There’s a liquor store by where I live, pretty close, right on the corner of my street, convenient as hell, and yet I never go to it. Not anymore anyway. When I need some beers I’ll go ahead and pass this place by and walk to the second-nearest liquor store, adding a few more blocks to my “quick” beer run. I avoid this shop, which I’ve come to refer to as “Boss Liquor.” I avoid it at all costs.
Why? What happened? What’s so terrible about this place that I’m willing to inflict undue exercise on myself rather than give it my patronage?
Because the cashier inside is a “Bosser.”
What’s a “bosser,” you ask?
Okay, Boss, I’ll tell you.
A “bosser” is someone who blatantly refers to you as “boss,” sometimes multiple times in a single conversation, when you are not their boss at all. Even when you don’t even work in the same liquor store as them. Even when you don’t even work in a liquor store period! Even when you are not Bruce Springsteen. Even when you are not the massive, trigger-hyper tank/monster at the end of some level in a Nintendo game. None of this matters to them. You are still “Boss!”
The proprietor of Boss Liquor is a five foot tall Indian man, maybe in his early 30′s, who hasn’t fully worked out the English language yet but has mastered the word “Boss” in the same sorry way a kid in school, failing all of his classes, can destroy anyone in “Call of Duty: Special Ops.” He looks friendly enough. He wears a red dollar store baseball cap indicating some minor league team that almost surely never actually existed. He wears heavy-looking square framed eyeglasses with brass frames. His head closely resembles a bowling bowl. He has the body of Wickett the Ewok. Not very imposing. I never said he was. The man doesn’t derive his “bossiness” from physical strength. He derives his bossiness from a thick layer of bullet-proof glass that safely separates him from his all his “bosses.” It’s like the tellers’ windows in a bank.
He cannot be stopped.
I’ve now received multiple reports confirming his powers, and from these I created the following composite scenario:
“Hey, can I pay for this twelve pack of PBR with my debit card?” you ask after spending a minute or two trying to balance your box on the sad wood flap that thinks it’s a sales counter.
“Yeah, you got it, Boss.” He says while chewing his gum, sitting on his stool, his eyes glued on the television set above him.
Your dignity takes a hit in the gut but you decide to push through. “…uhh. Cool. Thanks.”
“No problem, Boss.”
Aw hell. Now your dignity just got shanked. Twice in a row? You’re bleeding dignity juice all over your shoes. You think: “Why? Why would he do it twice in a row? Didn’t he get what he wanted the first time? DIDN’T HE?” But still, a good sport, you try to just finish up the transaction and get the hell out of there. You wisely choose to avoid saying “goodbye” because you don’t want to give him any more opportunities to do what he does.
You miraculously reach the exit un-bossed. You put your hand on the glass door. You push. But then, as the bell above the glass door jingles, you hear behind you:
“See you next time, Boss.”
You nearly drop your twelve-pack to the cement. You feel very much like Willem Dafoe’s character in Platoon as he appeared in that iconic scene where he gets shot up from behind, having been left behind by Tom Berenger to fend for himself. You think, “Why? WHY? He’d already won! He already had his way with me, and still, STILL that wasn’t enough!”
You want to rip open your pack of PBR’s and start firing the cans, one by one, at your “employee,” but you know they’ll simply explode impotently against his semi-invisible shield barrier, much like when humans try to attack invading alien motherships with puny earth missiles. I mean, he’s so safe and secure and comfortable inside his impervious glass fortress he might not even realize he’s under attack in the first place; his eyes still locked on the television set above him, he could conceivably be totally oblivious to the whole affair.
You could try to engage him in diplomatic peace talks but he’d probably just get bossy again right after you signed the treaty.
No. You lose this one, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it.
See you next time, Boss.
You turn your head slowly and you say over your shoulder in a soft tone that throbs with newfound inner-strength and conviction. “Nah,” you whisper. “There won’t be a next time.” And you scamper off before the sound waves of your puny earth whisper can reach the alien mothership.