Sunday, August 26, 2012


When I worked at Hollywood there was this guy named Mr. Castro who was everyone's least favorite customer.  He was rude and sexist and supposedly a super smart computer programmer, so he talked down to everyone that he didn't think was as smart as he was.  He was in his late 40s or early 50s and would always come in really late at night right before we would close and want to stay and keep us after-hours all the time.  He was a walking sexual harassment case who wore a man-purse and Birkenstocks.  If you were a girl that worked there (which was a rarity) he gave you the hardest time and would try to invent ways to get you to bend over so that he could look at your ass or down your shirt.  It was great fun. 

We didn't carry porn because we were a family store, but we did end up carrying some softcore NC-17 titles like Pirates and the Emmanuel series.  Mr. Castro rented them all.  And when I say all, I mean all.  It got to the point where he would come in and I would just round them up for him at the front counter.  Sexual harassment only works if you let the other person feel like they have power over you, so I would just pretty much tell him to fuck off.  Eventually we learned to tolerate each other.  It was creepy.  One guy that worked with me there said that he used to work at an adult store and he saw Mr. Castro there all the time and they had to kick him out because he got caught, uh, testing the merchandise in the store before purchasing anything.   It just eventually became like a hazing ritual at Hollywood that new people would have to work an evening shift until they had to help him.  "Oh God, I had to help this really horrible little man last night?"  "Oh yeah, was it Mr. Castro?"  And we'd all laugh because we had been there.

One night I was working a closing shift with one of the guys and he had to go take a ten minute break outside.  It was super slow that night and we hadn't had very many customers.  Fun fact about me:  I love to sing.  I irritate people around me sometimes because I sing so often, but when I am all by myself I go all out--like full on American Idol status.  So when my co-worker went out to take his break I started putting movies away through the store.  I always hum to myself or whatever even when people are around, but I scanned the store and I saw that I was all alone so I start busting out some pop song that I had stuck in my head.  Now, I'm not the best singer in the world, but I'm pretty decent and when I got into the song I was kinda even dancing a little bit with the stack of movies that I was holding.  I had been out on the floor for so long that I had even made it to the part of the song with the high note that you hold out for a long time and I totally nailed it.  I had just finished my last few movies and, still singing, I made my way for the main aisle of the store to go up to the front and get more to put away.  I turn the corner and Mr. Castro is up at the cash wrap and he starts fucking clapping for me. 

I was so damn embarrassed because I thought I had been there alone, but he just heard me bare my soul to the Classics section.  And the worst part was that the other guy was still on break, so I had to fucking help him and check him out. 

Through the whole transaction he doesn't drop it and says stuff like, "I had no idea you could sing like that" and "Maybe if you dropped a few pounds you'd have a career for yourself, sweetie."  I was beat red the entire time and I wanted to jump over the counter and beat the crap out of him. And as he's leaving he says, "You know, if you ever wanted to sing anything else for me, you have my number."  And he did the little finger point and mouth click thing with a wink and walked out the door as my co-worker was coming back in.  And he tells my co-worker, "You better watch out for that one!  She'll get ya all riled up and leave you hanging!" 


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