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You all know I was once a manager of a bookstore. We had lots of characters that would literally spend the whole day and night at the store. I have about 30 different people described in various journals from my time there and I think it’s about time you hear about these nuts.

Civil War Slim was one of my favorite nuts. He looked like John Candy, participated in Civil War reenactments, and was super gay. He usually wore rainbow suspenders with jeans and a tiny Howdy Doody hat with shitloads of gay pride buttons. But what made him special was that he was crazy. He believed he was really fighting in the Civil War. He would walk the aisles of the store exclaiming ridiculous things like, “How dare he point that bayonette at me, REBEL!” Or, “I choked the life out of the traitor.” There’s more, but I forget most of it. He once had a very vivid conversation with himself about how the government can’t copyright a song in the public domain. I wish I knew the song he was talking about. But this isn’t the best part of Civil War Slim. Oh no….

One Saturday night, it was unusually slow in the bookstore so I was hanging up at the front of the store bullshitting with one of the cashiers, when he came bursting in the bookstore. I really mean he came bursting in. Both doors flung open with flare. I stopped talking and stared because there was our Civil War Slim, whistling “When the Saints Come Marching In” and marching. In a shiny silver buttondown shirt and black dress pants. Crazier than crazy. Because I wasn’t missing anything, I followed him until he got to the Gay and Lesbian Studies section of the store. I got called away for something, so reluctantly I went. About 45 minutes later I came out of the back office and I saw him. With a man sitting on his lap. This man was rubbing Slim’s cheek and hair telling him how beautiful he was. How do I know? Because I was pretending to put some books away in the shelves behind their chair. They suddenly stood up and I got a good look at the boyfriend and I almost broke a blood vessel in my brain from holding in the laughter. He looked like one of the gelflings in Dark Crystal. I. Am. Not. Fucking. Kidding.

Over the next couple of months Slim and the Gelfling were regular fixtures and unfortunately I had to kick them out of the store one night after a customer complained that there were two men humping each other in chairs in the back of the store. When I got there, they were indeed dry humping and I told them they had to go. They never came back.

But I will never forget them.

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