Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Archetype

He's more interesting that you are.

He's brighter, too. More worldy. More personable. Better-looking.

His life has been one charmed adventure after another. And he has this easy-going smile that lets you know it hasn't gone to his head.

I'm speaking, of course, of Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guy.

He looks like someone who stepped out of a Harelquin Romance novel that takes place at the Renaissance Fair. Immaculately groomed goatee. Pony tail. A linen shirt opened halfway down his chest. It's a look that no one, absolutely no one can pull off, but Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk guy does.

Interesting? Hell, yes, he's interesting. Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guy is so interesting that you wish you drank more just to chat with him more often. When he tells you about finishing off a hundred dollar of pinot noir with a liquor salesman in the front seat of his car, the story is so full of camaraderie that it practically glows. He's a twenty-first century Chaucer, really, spinning his magical, bawdy tales while the customers listen, spellbound.

Content? No man on Earth is more content than Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guy. In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, he's reached Self-Actualization. And if you mentioned it to him, he'd respond with such a confident yet humble smile that you'd believe he's the one who explained it to Maslow.

How is that he wound up in his mid-thirties as a clerk at a liquor store? That's a good question, a very good one, but Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guy is so entertaining that somehow you always forget to ask. And if you ever remembered, he'd tell you that it was all because of a promise he'd made to a dying vintner he met during a backpacking trip through France.

I'd think this was an accident, but I've been in liquor stores probably thirty times in my whole life, and I've met at least four Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guys. There's no way that happened by chance. He's an archetype.

So today we salute you, Fascinating Liquor Store Clerk Guy. Mick and the Stones are better off for having met you.

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