I walk into the derelict magazine/newstand/porn shop on 31st street and look around for a bit before deciding to ask for help.
There are two middle-eastern men standing behind the counter. They are talking to a train conductor and their conversation is lottery-related. Something about a guy who won 1,700 dollars and then gambled it all away like a jackass. You can tell that the taller man with rotten teeth loves to talk about lotto, as well as the gossippy stories that ensue.
I approach the counter and make eye contact with the shorter man who is not actively talking to the conductor.
"Excuse me...do you have the TV Guide?"
"TV...Guide?" he repeats slowly, phonetically back to me. Even though his voice is almost accent-free, something tells me that it is his first day, both here at work and in America.
Fuck. Sometimes it's worse to ask for help.
He turns to the man next to him and interrupts their conversation.
"Jibber jabber jibber TV Guide?" he asks.
The taller man stops speaking and pauses for a beat. He looks at me, then points his dirty finger vaguely to an area of the racks.
"Ova daer," he says dismissively, as if to say, Do not interrupt me with such petty nonsense! No one reads TV Guide anymore!
Oddly, I comply, walking over to the area and trying to find the TV Guide.
No such luck. Suddenly I wake up and realize, You know what? Fuck this! Why should I give them my money if they can't be bothered to help me find what I need? And then smoke came out of my ears.
I decide that's it's not a good time to tell this shit-head to shove a roll of lotto tickets up his ass and
Things to note:
1. The TV Guide was for my mother, not for me. I swear.
2. She is getting a subscription for Christmas.
3. I did not have any matches on me, so an "accidental" blaze could not be set.