Monday, 23 August 2010

Pay it Forward (or How I sold a stranger comics in a pub)

*I meant to post this when it happened, but I didn’t. I blame Action Ash*
I'd stayed over with friends' the night before, after a great night at a slightly disappointing gig at Hyde Park; I was in The Maple Leaf, Covent Garden in the the process of killing my hangover by a shopping spree in Orbital and a bottle of Moose Head while I waited for the aforementioned chums to finish up buying some outdoors-y crap. I should not be allowed in comic shops when I'm hungover, it's dangerous. I get like a shark gripped with blood frenzy, picking up handfuls of back issues and every other new release without thinking. This is how I ended up with a duplicate copy of Jonah Hex #55 (and a full run of Enigma, but that’s another post).

As I was getting acquainted with said Moose Head I thought I'd sit down on the steps of the pub and spark a Marlboro. The only way to improve this I thought was to have a little read, so I reached into my bag. As I did, one of the group of lads to my left addressed me.

"What’s that mate, Big Issue?"

It took a second to realise that he wasn’t taking the piss, I was a hungover shell of a man, probably stinking to high heaven of last night's sweat and booze. The pungent evidence of my intemperance was apparent, the inimitable aroma of stale sweat and beer shame.

The production of colourful publications from my bag really didn't help my case - the fact the at the beer I was drinking was £4 a bottle, Imported beer not a can of Tennants should have tipped them off but they were well into their cups so I forgive their lack of attention to detail.

"Oh sorry mate, what have you got then?"

My protestations that I am not in fact a tramp seemed to fall on deaf ears. I explained that they were in fact comic books.

"Oh right, like the Marvel and DC stuff."

A pleasant exchange on super heroes and what they remembered about comics from their youth, comic book films etc. I tried not to sound overly know-it-all, they tried not to sound patronising to this poor down-n-out. Fun times. But I digress...

"So what’s that one then?"

"Why it's Jonah Hex"

"Oh My God! Jonah! We’ve got a mate in there called Jonah, He'd love that! What’s it about?"

"It's a western"

"Has he got powers?"

I explained that no, he doesn't have powers, it's just a western, like a clint Eastwood film but starring an ugly sunofabitch.

They looked crestfallen.

"But is he a double hard bastard though?"

"Oh absolutely!"

"That’s wicked, 'cause our mate Jonah's gay. I tell you what; if we give you three quid can we have it?"

I made a last half hearted attempt to explain that I still wasn't a tramp but would happily exchange my comic for his sterling. We cheers-ed and parted ways as my friends arrived, me safe in the knowledge that although they still thought I was an actual beggar, I had made 20p.


Action Ash said...

Don't balme me! I told you put it up ages ago *shakes fist*

Sane said...

Dil says : "HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAH! Tramp-balls!"