Notes From A Walkman Junkie: The Good (Girl), The Bad, and The Napkin Tricks
“Mom, where is my sword?” This was the phrase uttered by the young son of the owners of my favorite sushi restaurant as I walked in late one night. This random statement seemed all too appropriate after the evening that I had spent in the art gallery where I work. It was the night of our Art Walk, held on the first Friday of every month. These are nights where we feature one particular artist’s work and serve wine as well as other various refreshments to our gallery patrons. During these events, I am usually the designated chump who must serve the wine to the masses. This obligation has afforded me the opportunity to engage (avoid eye contact while trapped behind the serving counter) in an inordinate amount of (generally unwanted) conversations with (generally creepy) people (men). This night seemed to be particularly thick with (creepy and unwanted) conversations and people.
A man who was donning a self-crafted wizard hat approached me, selected the wine of his choice, grabbed a napkin, and laid it out flat on the counter. The following exchange then occurred: Wizard hat man: “Fold this napkin once, any way you like.” Me: “What, why?” Wizard hat man: “Just fold it!” Me: “OK…” Wizard hat man: “See how you folded it?” Me: “Yes, what does that mean?” Wizard hat man: “I don’t know, I left my turban in my other house.” That last statement reminded me of my brother, John’s reply to a person he had mistakenly called who said, “I think you dialed the wrong number.” John’s response was a blunt, “Maybe you picked up the wrong phone.”
Shortly after the wizard man, I had a bizarre interaction with a man about the tee-shirt that I was wearing. The shirt has a picture of a cartoon piece of french toast sporting a beret with the words, “Bonjour French Toast” printed on it. The man looked at me with a distinctly glassy expression and blurted out in one long, strange stream, “I like your shirt… I like french toast… I am glad they still call it french toast.” I just responded with a similarly awkward string of phases: “Thanks you…. french toast is good… I am glad too” and left it at that. The evening also consisted of the usual standard remarks due to the name of the gallery, “Good Girl Art Gallery” — which is actually just intended as a reference to the vintage paperback and pulp art. I was asked a number of times that night the delightful (and original) question, ” Are you a good girl or a bad girl?” Yeah, It never gets old.
The name of the gallery has also caused a bit of confusion as to what type of business we are in and what specific services we provide. I have received some interesting phone calls while working there. One evening the phone rang and a man speaking in somewhat broken English inquired about the location of the gallery. As I tried to explain exactly where we were located, I was interrupted by the man nervously laughing and saying, “I don’t understand, where are you?” This vague back and forth continued for a bit until he asked, “Can you meet me somewhere?” To which I responded, “What? No, I am working.” The misled man then said, “Yes, please can you meet me at the Best Buy? How much?” It was of course at that point that everything became all too clear for me and I replied in an indignant tone, “Sir, this is an art gallery… I think you picked up the wrong phone.”