As I sat here, wondering what to blog about tonight, I saw this book I have sitting next to me. "Write a Novel and Get it Published", a book I picked up while I was in Colorado last week. Seeing the book reminded me of a spectacularly unhelpful woman who worked at the bookstore where I purchased it. Impatient, unhelpful, not very knowledgeable. She was an Ed.
Now, for those of you out there who are named 'Ed', and who may someday read this, my apologies to you. I in no way mean to defame you or your name. It's a fine name, and you are a fine man. Unless, of course, the Ed who is reading this happens to be the same Ed who worked at Home Depot a few years ago, when I needed a switch. If you are not that Ed, then I apologize, and please know I do not mean to tar you all with the same brush. If, however, you are that particular Ed, then listen up, Bucko, I'm talking about you.
This was a few years ago. I needed an electrical switch. I forget, now, what type I needed and what I needed it for. All I remember is that I needed one. I and my friend F- were at Home Depot, in the electrical aisle, looking at switches. Lots of switches. All kinds of switches. Was any of them the one I wanted, that I needed? I wasn't sure. F- and I looked about for an employee of that fine establishment, someone who could help us. No one was to be found. We looked at the switches some more, trying to make the decision on our own, but we had no luck.
Out of nowhere a man comes around the end of our aisle and starts to walk past us. He is wearing the orange apron that marks him as an employee of Home Depot, and his name badge says "ED", in mismatching block letters that a three year old would be proud of. F- stops him to ask our questions.
So we explained, in detail, what we were looking for, what we needed it for, and what we wanted it to do. Ed listened to all this quite calmly, until we were done. When we were finished he said, and I quote:
"Sorry, not my department."
Having delivered this little bit of news, Ed turned and continued on toward wherever he had been going in the first place.
No "Let's see if we can find that for you", no "Let me see if I can find out about that for you", not even a "Let me see if I can find someone who works in this department to help you". Just "Sorry, not my department."
F- and I stared at each other for a few seconds in disbelief, and then F- turned to shout up the aisle to Ed's retreating back.
"Thanks for the help!"
I started laughing.
Ever since then, whenever F- or I run into someone who is amazingly unhelpful, we refer to them as an 'Ed'.
Now, Ed was at one end of the spectrum, but at the other end is The Movie Guy. I don't know my Movie Guy's name, and you might not know yours, but most of us have met one. I'll describe mine and see if he sounds at all familiar to you. A little above average height, carrying a little extra weight. Glasses perched in the middle of a face that is quite red, possibly due to high blood pressure, and a habitual smile. The smile is there because he genuinely loves his work and is looking for someone to help.
This is the guy you go to if you're looking for a movie but you can't remember what it's called. I know. I have done this.
"Hi! Do you guys carry that movie, gee, I can't remember the title, but it has that lady who goes down south looking for something, and she meets this guy, and he's helping her, well, he acts like he's helping her, and there's the little guy who's trying to stop them and take the thing for himself. I can't remember any of their names, but she was in a thing once with initials in the title. At least I think that was her. Anyway... do you have that movie?"
And the Movie Guy smiles and he takes you to the movie you were looking for! From that description! And he can do it again and again. One time I started to make up plots on the spot just to see what he would do! Never did manage to stump him.
The Movie Guy is a dying breed, what with he disappearance of the brick-and-mortar movie rental store. A sad state of affairs. Not to worry, though. From what I have seen there are plenty of Eds to go around.
Talk to you later!
P.S. - For those of you who are racking your brains, the movie description above was an amazingly rough outline of "Romancing the Stone". No, I didn't expect you to figure it out on your own. Geez, what do you think you are, a Movie Guy?