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Please hire more ugly people

The local toy store is a sacred place. Change must happen slowly, because grown men who collect toys are a particular bunch. They’re obsessive. Once you get them in a comfortable routine, any altering of that routine is like taking away their security blanket. Even the slightest change in the store’s atmosphere might scare them away to another store. One must be careful with such things.

“Grown men? But toy stores are for children!” you say. Nonsense. What do children do? Wander around and not buy things, that’s what. Once every few months their parents buy them something, and the store owner earns $7. Big whoop. Grown men who collect toys buy entire cases of figures! They sometimes pay hundreds of dollars for a single toy. They’re the deep pockets that keep toy stores alive.

Catering to these weird adults not only serves a financial purpose, but a community service as well. Without the creative outlet of collectible toys, these people would have to get their freak on through socially unacceptable methods like huffing paint, stabbing homeless people or finding dates through Tinder.

I should know. I’m one of them. I almost stabbed a random person the other day, just to see what it feels like. But I couldn’t, because my local toy store was releasing the tenth colorway of a “rare” toy and I didn’t want to be late for the store opening. It’s in yellow this time! Yellow! Super limited, just like the other nine versions!

So I walked into my favorite toy store this morning, ready to geek out about the latest releases. Yet something felt amiss. I could sense it immediately. They had changed something. I wasn’t sure what they had changed, but whatever it was, I liked it much better before they changed it.

The cramped, uncomfortable space was still cramped and uncomfortable. The overpriced toys were still overpriced. The stale smell of old cardboard and vinyl was still there. Yet that nostalgic odor was overshadowed greatly by the smell of really nice shampoo, almost as if someone working in the store had washed their hair in the past 72 hours.

Using various professional tracking skills I had learned from watching The Walking Dead while really high, I traced the shampoo smell to the front desk, where I found what could only be described as a disaster of Holocaust proportions. The 30-something nerdy guys to which I was accustomed were gone. In their place were two very attractive girls. Girls who washed their hair regularly! The horror. The horror!

One was dressed in a tight shirt and skin-tight jeans, and looked to be about 19 years old. The other was a few years older, but was fully decked out in what could only be described as a costume from an Avril Lavigne music video. Short plaid skirt, low-cut shirt, lipstick so red that I saw ghost images of her lips everywhere else I looked, as if I had just stared directly at the sun. She looked like she was auditioning for a Suicide Girls photo shoot.

I know what you’re thinking. “Awesome! Hot girls! Flirt with them! Get their number! Bang them in a Burger King bathroom!” No, no, no. Damn it, man, this is a toy store. It is sacred, even by Humpty Dance standards. If I date a girl from the toy store and it doesn’t work out, I’m then essentially banned from my toy store, leaving me a broken shell of a man who has no choice but to become obsessed with Japanese cartoon porn. And I don’t want to become that guy, because there’s no turning back from such a thing.

Also, I’m more than a decade older than these girls. I’ve got about as much of a chance as a guy attending a Take Back the Night march wearing a t-shirt with “WHO WANTS TO CREAM?” in large lettering. Let’s be realistic.

I tried conversing with the new employees, discussing widely known releases. I received only blank stares in return. They weren’t even aware of releases their own store had done a few months earlier, nor any insight into current products. They seemed annoyed at my presence, like in a strip club where the girl is politely smiling at you but you can tell she despises you simply for being there.

Is it too much to ask that toy stores staff their businesses with ugly people? Is that so hard? When I walk into Bloomingdale’s, I expect to see pretty people. When I walk into Urban Outfitters, I expect to see douchebags. When I walk into a toy store, I expect to see awkward weirdos. I feel comfortable around awkward weirdos. It’s like looking into a mirror. It’s a delight.

This isn’t difficult. It’s not Star Wars vs. Star Trek. It’s not Marvel vs. DC. It’s not Michael Bay’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie vs. a steaming pile of crap my dog just unloaded in my laundry hamper. Just hire people who know toys. Ugly people. Fat people. Weirdos. People who think Ewoks are shitty.

Ugly people! That’s what works. Pretty people already have too many opportunities in life. Let’s make a nationwide push to hire more Ugly Americans. Imagine such a world. We’d all feel a little less ugly ourselves, and when I get a boner at the toy store, it would be from toys. That’s something we can all get behind.


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