Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Returning To The Scene of The Crime
Memories are a funny thing. Like ghosts, they can lie dormant for years, only to be stirred back to life by just the right trigger.
Case in point: just got off the phone with my good friend, and fellow "Avenger," Mark, and it seems my confession posted yesterday on my brief criminal career at a certain local comic book store was such a memory spark. Turns out Mark knew exactly what and where I was talking about, which--mind you--is not to say that he lifted anything from the store like I did.
Yet our discussion about the place--okay, let's say it: Lyle's Hobby & Craft on Cass Avenue in Westmont, Illinois--raised some eerily familiar stories.
While Mark and I agreed that while Lyle's store selection was good, the obnoxious 'tude he dispensed was not limited to kid customers, but also adults. Mark noted that during one visit to the store as a kid, his own father (and later grandparents) noted how bad Lyle's behavior was, and how his obsessive habit of cramming new comics into metal racks made removing them without mangling the books almost impossible. Ditto on Lyle's brilliant habit of writing prices on back issues in pencil, in addition to his poor jobs of model railroad repair, and overcharging customers.
Mark and I also reminisced about how Lyle's cranky, senile old mother would work the register (with a small TV beside her to keep her distracted), and wail at us kids for the slightest infraction - real or imagined.
Indeed, Lyle lived in a kingdom of his own making, and seemed to relish reminding his customers of it at every turn. Shockingly, the man was also married, which I'm sure is as much of a surprise to you--dear readers--as it was to Mark when I told him. In fact, I believe I saw Lyle's wife at the store once with the couple's infant child, making the fact that anyone married the guy--much less bred with him--enough to evoke wave after wave of intense nausea.
Still, as unpleasant as Lyle himself was, his former comic store is the site of many fertile memories.