Paris Hilton got mad at us today.
Wait, wait, let me preface this: We have a customer up in the Ameoba mezzanine we refer to as Satan. It’s not that he bears any resemblance to or practices anything in the style of the Dark Lord. I mean he can be a pain, and on some days, we really do wonder, but for the most part, he’s harmless. He picked up the nickname because one day we notice that the word Satan had came up three times in conversation, and there arrives this guy, demanding to know who on the mezzanine knows why Peyton Place and Return To Peyton Place were not released at the same time. (“Why is that? It’s so stupid. Do you know? You don’t know? What about him? Does he know? Does anyone else know?”) Simple as that. Say his name thrice. Satan appears.
So it stands to reason that the principle works in other ways. Say, for example, a DVD copy of the Paris Hilton film, The Hillz, shows up, and one of us, perhaps channelling a bit of cinematic zeitgeist, slaps a Post-It note on the cover that reads, “Attack of the Bird Lady” and sticks it on the counter in our Pick-Of-The-Day slot (a juvenile ploy, but hey, we get crazy sometimes,) it shouldn’t seem so far-fetched that Paris Hilton might actually show up and see it.
I come back from lunch at Los Burritos on Hollywood Blvd and Sara’s telling me that my girlfirend is shopping the Television Section. The one in the pink hoodie and pink Ugg boots, she says. Not one to waste an opportunity to clown around I skip across the mezzanine over to the girl in pink, arms wide. Then I recognize her and immediately join Brett, who pretends to be busy upstocking copies of The Simple Life.
The Heiress chatters on her cell phone and drifts about the store. Noisy and garish. Security guard Vic scrambles to turn down his walkie a voice blasts from it, saying, “She’s a billionaire heiress who starred in that–” And then she’s at the info counter, where, guess what? She spots our Pick Of The Day.
She at first tries to pry open the case herself to grab the “Bird Lady” note, but of course, it’s armed with Paris-proof technology. So she shoves it at Charles and demands that he remove the note. “I’ve only been here ten minutes and you’re already making fun of me,” she says, and not too kindly. Charles removes the note and hands the movie back to her. She drops it in her basket and storms off.
That’s when one of the floor managers, who had earlier seen our Pick Of the Day and who just heard that a certain billionaire heiress was in the store, calls up and says to Steve, “Grab that movie off the counter now. Quick.” And of course, Steve can only say, “Uh, you’re a little late.”
Oh well. Another satisfied customer. We didn’t have the heart (or, alas, presence of mind) to tell her that the movie had, in fact, been up there for the past three days, but we weren’t exactly chagrined she found it. The sad thing is that just yesterday, PJ Harvey came into the store. And PJ Harvey, who has more beauty, talent and character in one fingernail than Paris Hilton has in her entire inheritance caused none of the flutter and fury of this vapid little whirlwind.
But then, maybe Harvey prefers it that way, and that’s what makes her cool.