Back around 2000, just before I bought my store from the previous owner, we had a regular customer come in named Eva. Eva was a very nice woman. Not trying to be mean here but she was also one of the ugliest women we had ever seen. It seemed she had some plastic surgery that was botched big time and they told her that they really couldn’t fix much of it without risking even more problems. Well, she got a little money out of it and liked to come into our store to spend it.
But she didn’t just come in for stuff, she came in because she had the hots for the owner. Now the owner was married, and while he often talked with her, he made damn sure that he didn’t lead her on any. But she still came in, always asking if the owner was there to wait on her. What she came in to do was what was weird. She would have us make color copies for her of things she would cut out of magazines. We would copy an ad that she ripped out with a pastoral scene or a beach. We would copy pictures of horses and cartoonish bumble bees. She would then take these things home and cut and paste them into new images, often with a picture of her pasted into it, or her face over a bikini model. She would do this all the time and what she told the owner one time is she taped all these to a wall in her house and would dream about being in those places. Kinda sad, but made sure to not make fun of her, at least to her face.
We did, however, talk about her occasionally when she wasn’t there. Not really in a bad way like making fun of her looks. Like I said she was a very nice woman, She was so grateful that we took time to make all these copies for her and listen to her stories that she brought us fresh flowers from her garden every Monday. They were beautiful flowers and I swear they were different kinds every week. One day at lunch me and my crew were taking bets as to how much she would spend the upcoming month. She was currently averaging about $100 a month for the last year! So we all ponied up $10 and made our guesses, writing them on the dry erase board in the back. Then in comes the owner.
“What are you guys doing?”, he asks.
“Taking bets on how much money Eva is going to spend next month, $10 a head”, I replied.
He chuckled and asked what the largest amount was. I told him it was mine at $115.
He slapped a $10 spot on the table and said “Put me down for $175” and then left. We thought he was crazy.
Next month rolls around and Eve is on her usual route and at about $60 half way thru the month. We updated everyone at lunch on Friday (we all took turns ordering pizza on Fridays and ate together), and joked that the owner was going to come up short. That is when his plan started.
Not more than 20 minutes after lunch Eva walked in. Before I could get to the counter to help her, the owner had come out of his office and stepped up to help. Wow did her face light up! The owner waited on her and it seemed like it took an hour with him making copies for her and chatting her up. He is commenting on the flowers, her hair, asking her what she planned to do with ‘this’ picture, and so on. He was talking and she was giggling like a little school girl. I pointed this out to the designer and press guy and we all 3 just watched him as he worked his charm on her. By the time she had left and he rang her up her bill for the day was $50! She was now at $110 with half a month to go. She is going to blow right past the $115 I guessed. The owner just turned, smiled and walked back into his office. Sneaky bastard…
She ended the month at $230 and he only had to come out and wait in her 2 more times. He won. At least he bought lunch for us all with our own money.