Wednesday, August 5, 2009

a punk in the 21st century...

I was sitting in the Incidental Bookshop this morning, tapping away on my laptop and thinking about how I should be be doing more with The Obsessions of an Incidental Bookseller, when into the shop walked a goddamnned punk. Yeah for real. Not the Clint Eastwood Do-you-feel-lucky-today-well-do-ya-punk type punk. The Sid Vicious type punk. The Vivian-off-the-young-ones type punk. I thought to myself, "See? That's the kind of thing I need to put in the blog." I thought to myself, "In fact, I ought to ask this guy if I can take his picture for the blog."

But I didn't expect I really would. I always think, when someone interesting comes in, that I should have taken their picture for the blog - but I never actually do it.

So then, the punk came right up to me and asked where the novel table was. I told him and asked if he was looking for anything in particular. Yeah. He was. Charles Dickens. Ha! There's fuel for your stereotype exploding machine, I thought to myself. I REALLY ought to take this guy's photo.

I tried to take a long shot of him without his permission because, you see, it's just not that easy asking strangers if you can take their photo. It has the potential to sound really very creepy. But I just couldn't get a decent shot of him with my camera phone as he rummaged around the classics table.

I watched him walk towards the counter with his book, still debating with myself - will I/won't I will I/won't I ask The Punk for permission to take his photo. It's hard. You're basically saying to someone, "My, don't you look UNUSUAL!" But what the hell! He DID look unusual!

He slapped down Victor Hugo's Les Miserables on the counter and I said to him, "My, don't you look UNUSUAL!" No, I didn't. I said, "Hey, I keep a blog about the interesting people who come into my shop and you're one of them. Can I take a photo of you for it?" He gave me a nice smile and said, "Yeah, sure."

"Hold your up book then," I said and snapped.

I can't believe I actually decided to ask. I can't believe I actually took that photo. I can't believe even more that within half an hour both he and I would be extremely glad I did!

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of a punk in the 21st century...


  1. Good on you! BTW, it never gets easier but I've never had a knockback yet :)

  2. Gorgeous. You really are a special writer!

  3. Thanks, anonymous - you made my day.

    So did you Bill - but I think I mentioned your comment on Twitter?