Being a tattooer, you end up interacting with all kinds of people. Some of them, are just plain bat-shit crazy. By far the craziest person I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with would be a woman that we refer to as The Spirit Lady. The first time she was in the shop, she didn't seem to be completely insane, although she did tell us that the spirits had told her to come in and talk to us. She didn't stay long, and after she left we had a good laugh about the crazy lady and her spirits. She was what we refer to as a 'walker'. 'Walkers' are, in general, never a good thing. In Snellville Georgia, there really is no where to walk to- there is no real 'downtown' area where you can park your car and leisurely walk from shop to shop. All the shops are in strip malls along highways, so unless you have a car, you're pretty much screwed when it comes to getting anywhere. Whenever we see someone come to the shop sans vehicle, we bump the crazy threat level up to orange. Generally, it's a drunk or a meth-head or some crazy that forgot to take their medication, and it's pretty easy to usher them out of the shop without any kind of major confrontation.
About a year later, I'm standing in front of the shop one afternoon, having a smoke, and I see this woman walking down Highway 78 carrying a carton of juice. All of a sudden, she sees me and makes a bee-line for the shop. Oh Shit. She walks right up to me and says "I got a proposition for you". Knowing what I now know, my best plan of action would have been to put out my cigarette and walk into the shop, locking the door behind me. Instead, I replied, "Oh, really?" Then she says, "You want publicity? You wanna be in magazines?"
Me: "No, I'm OK, I've been in magazines"
Crazy Person: "I want a crown on my crown, Mr. King has a crown." (she makes a circling motion around her head with her hand)
"We can do anything you have the money for"
"Are you implying that I don't have the money to pay for a tattoo?" (she seems a little angry now)
"Actually, yes, that's what I'm implying"
"I can't believe that you would say that I don't have any money for a tattoo!"
"Well, you just walked up to me and told me you had a proposition for me and that you could get me in magazines. That's usually the kind of thing we hear from people that don't actually want to pay for a tattoo."
Now, I've finished my cigarette- time to ESCAPE! So, i turn around and walk back into the shop hoping that she'll just wander off on whatever crazy mission she's on. No such luck. Apparently her mission has now become slinging craziness at us. So, she follows me into the shop and immediately asks, "Where are your crowns?" To which I reply, "We have lots of crowns- there are some in that rack behind you, but you're not going to find anything that's going to go all the way around your head- that's the kind of thing that we would have to draw for you."
"Well, draw me one!"
"No, if you want us to design a tattoo for you, you have to leave a deposit and we'll work on a drawing for you."
"But, you're not doing anything."
"No, I'm not. But, I'm also not going to waste my time drawing something for you that you're not going to get and don't have the money to pay for."
So, she turns to Guillermo, who has been standing quietly behind the counter and says, "Will you draw me a crown?" Now, poor Guillermo has been sucked into the craziness. He replies, "Sure, I'll draw you a crown if you leave a deposit, just like he told you."
Now, she starts getting a little more unstable, and with a quiver in her voice yells, "Why wont you help me, why wont you draw me a crown. I just want a crown like Mr. King."
Guillermo looks her over and asks, "Aren't you the lady that came in here telling us that the spirits sent her in?"
Her eyes widen, she stands up a little taller, and declares, "YES!"
Guillermo looks at her and says, "You were crazy then, and you're crazy now."
The crazy comment doesn't even register with her, and she goes on, "I just want a crown like Mr. King!"
I had to ask, "Who is Mr. King?"
"Mr. King and Mr. Mooney- they're the spirits I work for."
"OK, you're crazy and I think you should just leave now"
Now she starts yelling, "I don't want to leave, I want a crown!"
"We're not drawing you anything without a deposit. I don't know how Mr. King and Mr. Mooney pay you, but we only accept American currency, we don't deal in Spirit Bucks. It's time for you to leave."
That really pissed her off. Apparently, you should never say anything bad about the spirits that employ crazy people. She loses it and starts screaming, "DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT THE SPIRITS THAT WAY- DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT MR. KING AND MR. MOONEY THAT WAY!"
I've had enough, "Lady, get the fuck outta my shop!"
She turns to leave, and on her way out yells, "I CURSE THIS SHOP, I CURSE THIS SHOP AND I'M GONNA TELL EVERYBODY I KNOW NOT TO COME HERE! I CURSE THIS SHOP!"
Not a real big loss since it seems that everybody she knows is imaginary.
Eight or ten months go by, and we've forgotten about the spirit lady except for the occasional joke about someone being sent in by the spirits. It's a slow day and I'm sitting on the couch messing around on my laptop- probably searching YouTube for words like REDNECK or IDIOT or RETARD (because that's how you find the best videos), and I notice a big jacked up pick-up pull up in front of the 4X4 accessory shop a few doors down (you never know when you'll need more KC lights or a battering ram for your redneck tank). A guy gets out and goes into the store. A moment later, a woman gets out and comes into the shop- she's crying and between sobs she blurts out, "can I use your bathroom?" Against my better judgement, I point towards the bathroom and tell her that it's the 4th door on the left (I was trying to be a nice guy). I notice that as she walks to the bathroom, she's still crying and she's talking to herself. Right after she goes into the bathroom, the driver of the truck comes in and asks, "That crazy bitch in here?" He's obviously jacked up higher than his truck on copious amounts of methamphetamine (known in redneck land as 'the go fast'. As in "Y'all like the go fast?"). I point towards the back and say' "bathroom". He turns to leave and yells "When that fuckin' bitch comes out you tell her to get outta your shop.", then heads back into the Truck Accessory Store. The whole time she's in the bathroom, I hear her yelling and crying. She leaves the bathroom and quickly exits the shop only to curl up in a ball rocking back and forth on the sidewalk. Guillermo has now come out of his room to ask what the hell is going on. His room shares a wall with the bathroom, so he was interrupted from working on his drawing by the crying and yelling coming from next door. I point out the window at the woman on the sidewalk and ask him, "Hey man, isn't that the spirit lady". Guillermo replies that, no, he doesn't think that's her. I'm pretty sure it is. He goes back to drawing. All of a sudden, I see her pop up from her place on the concrete and head back into my shop- now I KNOW that this is the spirit lady. She comes in (still crying) and says, "I think I left my phone in your bathroom can I go look for it". I just point towards the bathroom figuring that the sooner she gets her phone and gets out the better. Here's where things really start to get weird. She comes out of the bathroom and says, "It's not in there, can you call 770-XXX-XXXX?"
My response is "No"
"Why won't you call my phone? I have to find my phone?"
"Because you've been in here before, you're crazy and I just want you to leave my shop"
"YOU STOLE MY PHONE!"
"I didn't take your phone, get out of my shop"
"YES, YOU STOLE MY PHONE, THAT'S WHY YOU WON'T CALL IT, BECAUSE IT'LL RING AND THEN I'LL KNOW THAT YOU HAVE MY PHONE!
Now I'm pissed, "I DON'T HAVE YOUR DAMN PHONE- GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY SHOP!"
"NO, I'M NOT LEAVING UNTIL YOU GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE!"
"GET THE FUCK OUT OR I'M GONNA CALL THE COPS"
"GOOD CALL THE COPS, THEY'LL MAKE YOU GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE"
So, I call the police. The entire time I'm on the phone with the dispatcher, the spirit lady is yelling "HE STOLE MY PHONE, TELL HIM TO GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE!", so loudly that the dispatcher is having a hard time hearing me. At one point she asks me if I could tell her to be quiet so that she can hear me. I reply that I have already tried that, it didn't work, "That's why I'm calling you". She tells me that she will send a car out, and I tell the crazy person that the police are on their way.
"GOOD, THEY'LL MAKE YOU GIVE MY PHONE BACK!"
"I told you 3 fuckin' times, I don't have your phone. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT!"
"I'M WAITING FOR THE POLICE!"
"Good for you, how about you go wait for them outside?"
"NO, NO, IF I GO OUTSIDE YOU'LL TURN MY PHONE OFF AND THEN WHEN THEY TRY TO CALL IT, IT WONT RING, AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE."
"Lady, get your crazy ass out of my shop. I don't have your goddamn phone and when the cops get here they're gonna lock you up for being bat-shit crazy"
Now she's completely lost it, she has a look in her eyes like she might be thinking about taking a swing at me or maybe even trying to bite me, and then she yells "HELLS ANGELS!"
I'm at a loss for words. I have no idea where that came from. There weren't any motorcycles in the parking lot- I didn't even own a motorcycle at the time. So I just shook my head and said "OK".
Then she yells, "THAT'S RIGHT MOTHERFUCKER! YOU AIN'T GOT NO CLIQUE! YOU AIN'T GOT NO GANG!"
Right about this time she sees Meth-Man walk out of the 4X4 store and she dashes out of my shop questioning him, "DO YOU HAVE THE PHONE?"
Guillermo, who has been standing by watching the latter part of this exchange is now standing at the front door holding it open so we can hear that he tells her that he does indeed have the 'stolen' phone. She hops up into the truck and as they're backing out, rolls down her window, and calmly says to Guillermo, "Tell your friend I'm sorry- I've had a bad day"
The cops showed up about 20 minutes later, and were amazed by the tale of insanity. They told me that if I ever even saw her in the parking lot again that I should call them immediately.