RHU University 14: Bitches

RHU1RDFGreetings and welcome, my beloved students of RHU University! Ah, I see many of you have glanced at the syllabus and have mistakenly brought along the doggie toys. I am sorry to inform you that your tennis balls, kong toys and treats will do you no good today. No, not even a leash or a muzzle will assist you in today's lesson. Well, okay Jason, MAYBE the shock collar. Keep that on hand, but it's your responsibility to get it on her in the first place.

Why the reference to dogs? To put it simply, because a distant relative of the dog is the subject of our next class. The difference is, dogs are so much sweeter and more enjoyable to be around. Onward to...

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: bitch

Subspecies: Hag, Harridan

Bitches are adult females with bad attitudes. Descendants of the Crazy Lady through side breeding with less aggressive stock, Bitches are a somewhat calmer variant of Crusty.

A majority of Bitches resort to name calling, obnoxious barking and howling, and backless threats. The hyena like gibbering of "You-can't-talk-to-me-like-that!" or "I-don't-like-your-attitude!" is a common call that Crustologists can identify from a distance. She may utter a wail that sounds like a dog in a blender, "I-want-a-manager! Now!" An incredibly daring Crustologist was also able to catch a lower, deeper growl that may be harder to hear at a distance, "I-don't-care-what-the-policy-says. The-customer-is-always-right!"

This discovery has sent shock waves through the Crustology community. Speculation runs rampant that Entitled Crustys may adopt a Bitch into their pack and raise her as one of their own, producing a Bitch that has been trained to also be an Entitled Custy. It is also believed that Entitled Crustys learn from the Bitches, growing more aggressive in their stance of Entitlement. This mutually beneficial and even symbiotic relationship between the two species means that there is a risk of encountering both in a single encounter, often in the same body. Whether you encounter an Entitled Crusty that metamorphoses into a Bitch, or a Bitch that shows Entitled Crusty traits, the result is usually the same: trouble.

Bitch EncounterWhat makes this loud, nasty beast fall into the Crusty category is the aggression she shows toward Retail Slaves and Crustologists alike. While not necessarily a rule, it is certainly common enough to warrant discussion. Aggression from Bitches tends to become physical attacks that turn the situation into an official Police Intervention situation.

Slapping, screaming, kicking, throwing items and hair pulling are all dangers involved with encountering a Bitch in her environment. The separation of a Crazy Lady's behavior and that of the Bitch is the buildup. A Crazy Lady can snap without notice and launch into attack mode without giving a Crustologist a chance to brace themselves. Bitches have a buildup.

When a Bitch is unhappy, there is a definite cycle of escalating effort to get what she wants. First there is the Insistence, vocal only, where she presses a Retail Slave for what she wants. Then there's the Escalation: still verbal, but involving threats and angry language or swearing. Increased volume sometimes comes into play. Finally, there is the Attack, where she may become physically violent.

A sharp Crustologist may be able to identify the subspecies of Bitch that he or she may be encountering. Hags are a subspecies of Bitch and often common enough that the two can be mistaken for one another. You know you're encountering a Hag when your Bitch makes use of only the most expensive paints, makeups and products money can buy in order to conceal her withered, wrinkled skin stretched over her skeletal, almost bird-like body. Hags seek to conceal their less-than-pretty plumage, but the bitter twist to her mouth gives her away. They are also more fluent in spewing verbal abuse and laying blame on their victim, like all abusers.

The Harridan is the more elderly Bitch. "Harridan" is a word for a middle aged-or-older woman with the loud voice and the snobby, bossy attitude. Harridans can be all shapes and sizes, though she tends to be the one with the bellow like a drill sergeant and the habit of barking orders with the attitude that they will be obeyed. "My-way-no-highway-option."  Sometimes they carry around a rat-sized dog under their arm, but more often than not she's the one that shrieks about respecting and obeying your elders. See also Skeksis.

A wise Crustologist dons a set of heavy gloves whenever going out into the field. They are especially recommended in this case.

Homework: Share with the class a time that you encountered a free-range Bitch in her environment.

Class dismissed,


RHU University 13: Entitled Crusty

RHU1RDBWelcome, once again, to RHU University! Today is a day that may hearken back to visitations you have had with rich family members. Now this isn't to say that being rich makes you like this crusty, nor is it saying that your family members are like this... well, maybe that ONE relative that everybody hates anyway...we all have one of THOSE...

Today we are paying a visit to the most pompous of Custies; that snobby, raucous, primitive little creature that parades about with it's little pointed nose stuck high in the air so that it can act out the delusion that all other beings in the world must be looked down upon. These creatures feel that everything in the world owes them a living, and don't take kindly to scientists proving that the world does not in fact revolve around them. Have you guessed the identity of this walking Napoleon Complex? You guessed right! It's the Entitled Crusty!

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: entitled crusty

Entitled Crustys are difficult to identify if you merely go by their plumage. They can be dazzling and colorful, or drab in color with ratty looking clothes. They can wear all sorts of camouflage in order to look less threatening or to disguise their intentions. Sometimes even their behavior can be misleading: they will appear kind and harmless in the beginning on the interaction.

In a general sense, watch for the ones who huff and puff and shift restlessly at having to stand in a long line. Watch for the ones that march up to a coworker and begin dispensing orders instead of requesting help. Watch for the ones that claim to have spent XX amount in your store, as though it's some sort of banking system of Karma that should automatically dispense rewards upon reaching a milestone.

EntitledEntitled Crustys are firm believers in the mistaken creed, "The customer is always right!" It is like their penis religion, if you think about it. They have it, they're proud of it, they whip it out in public and wave it around, and they will put a supreme effort into shoving this creed down a Retail Slave's throat. They believe so wholeheartedly in this creed that they will immediately leap on the offensive if this creed even remotely becomes challenged.

In order to appease this creature, Retail Slaves will be expected to bend over backwards for this beast, even if it would mean an immediate reprimand or even termination for the Slave. It doesn't matter how extravagant the demand is. It doesn't matter how ridiculous demand is. It doesn't matter whether the system will allow the demand to be fulfilled. It does not matter that the demand would cost the company money in order to fulfill. If an Entitled Crusty demands it, you had better sodding well MAKE it happen even if it means shooting yourself in the head, climbing up to Heaven and bitch slapping God until he concedes to obey them. They believe that even if this is impossible, you had better MAKE it possible anyway.

Understandably such demands are often refused, and the Entitled Crusty will immediately shape shift into a Bitch or Douchebag. More upon these creatures in another lesson.

It is always a good idea to hone your ability to detect the hidden nature of the Crustys you may encounter. Experienced Crustologists can look at a store full of Customers, Custys and Crustys and pick out the troublesome ones at a glance. Listen to this inner warning system. It can allow you to brace yourself for trouble.

Homework: Think of times when you were ambushed by an Entitled Crusty and the ridiculous demands that he or she gave. Please share it with the class.

Class dismissed,


RHU University 12: Hellspawn

RHU1RDIt has come to this, dear students of RHU University. We're delving into the deepest pits of Retail Hell today. Grab your crucifixes, bibles and holy water, for you shall need them. And I hope you all remembered your ear plugs, as this little beastie is very loud and often shrill. This little beast dwells in the darker recesses of its environment, but has no qualms about scurrying out into the light to wreck havoc upon its victims. These squat little creatures are notorious for their shrill screams, grasping hands and high energy mode of locomotion. They are quick, sometimes stealthy, but always nasty. I am, of course, referring to Hellspawn!

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: hellspawn

Now there are many, many, many names for these little creatures, and depending on the location in the world, a well-read Custologist may also identify them by one of its many local nicknames:

  1. Crotch Goblin
  2. Crotch Fruit
  3. Crotch Droppings
  4. Crotch Monsters
  5. Crotch Spawn
  6. Demon Spawn
  7. The Sperm That Won
  8. Tiny Terror
  9. Ankle Biter
  10. Maniacal Midget
  11. Termite
  12. Terrible Twosomes/Trio/etc
  13. Off Leash Terriers
  14. Carpet Crawlers
  15. Linoleum Lizards
  16. Walking Condom Ads
  17. 9 Month STD
  18. Cookie Crumblers
  19. Lil' Banshees
  20. Lil' Maggots
  21. Decibel Demons

These creatures are small versions of Custies; always badly behaved, rude, mean, or downright malicious. There are two situations in which you may encounter these beasts: either they are with a Bad Parent or they are without a Parent at all.

Hellspawn talesUnder Bad Parents, the child's misbehavior is due to the parent ignoring the Hellspawn constantly and can be exacerbated by direct or indirect encouragement. Bad Parents have more important things to do than to control their children, such as talk on the phone or smile at how 'cute' the bad behavior is. Bad Parents will immediately become angry at any Retail Slave or Custologist who tries to curb their Hellspawn's behavior.

Without parent presence, evidence points to a Bad Parent having dropped their Hellspawn off in order to shop without their Hellspawn underfoot. In this situation, the store is deemed by the Bad Parent as a playground/free daycare for the Hellspawn to be turned loose in.

Once loosed upon its hapless environment, Hellspawn will rampage about the store. Some may knock things over and create a mess, some will race about screaming at levels that will have the light bulbs shattering, and some will do both.

They may be defiant toward retail workers and mouth off if some semblance of order is attempted. This distinctive cry will be "You're-not-my-mom!"

Hellspawn are difficult to control and even more difficult to remove, like a stubborn infestation of bedbugs, and equally as bloodsucking. A Crustologist's best hope is to locate the parent and firmly insist that the Hellspawn either be taken in hand or else the whole family must remove themselves from the premises. Security may be necessary, depending on how aggressive the Poor Parent becomes.

Homework: Share your worst hellspawn moment and what had to be done about it.

Class dismissed,


RHU University 11: Bad Parents

RHU1RAINBOAs we continue down the path of Crustology, it becomes painfully evident of one inescapable fact... Crustys breed. It doesn't take intelligence to be able to spread your genes, as even single celled organisms are capable of multiplying. Unfortunately, this sets the bar low enough to allow anyone to put their yay-hoo into a hoo-ha and pop out a hellspawn. The result is, unfortunately, an entire species of Sperm/Egg Donors incapable of doing the Eighteen Year Job that results from the Nine Month STD. If you haven't guessed the subject of the lesson today, students of RHU, please get a vasectomy/hysterectomy now. We'll wait...

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: bad parents

Subspecies: apathetic attendant, absent attendant

Bad Parents, or Sperm/Egg Donors as they are sometimes called, are a degenerate species who follow the bad advice of incompetent people claiming to be experts in a field where there are no instruction manuals. Their parenting skills are so minimal as to be nonexistent, and they follow these creeds:

  1. Never tell a child "no.'"
  2. Never correct a child.
  3. Children do not need YOUR supervision if you happen to be in the same zipcode.
  4. Children are fine if left in a public location like a store, business or any other child-unfriendly location.
  5. Employees of a business are responsible for watching your child, even if it is not the object of the business.
  6. If you are in earshot of said employee, who is trying to control the situation, immediately blow up at them: scream, yell, insult, assault and even batter said employee.

As such, their offspring grow and mature in an environment primed to transform them into Hellspawn. More on these creatures in a later lesson. Bad Parents come in two subspecies.

Apathetic Attendants are strictly hands off, permitting their spawn to act however they please and intervening only when outside forces interfere. They do not care what the child is doing, or what danger the child may be in. They are so removed from the task of managing their children that they will even find other things to pay attention to; the trees, the grass, the sunshine, stray air molecules, a cell phone, a text message... etc.

Carolanne hear no evilThe only way to attract an Apathetic Attendant's attention is to interfere with their lack of parenting by asking their spawn not to do something lest they get hurt. This will immediately trigger a sharp, angry response:

"RAWR! Don't-you-tell-my-child-what-to-do!" The Apathetic Attendants will snarl. "Stay-away-from-my-child-you-pedophile!"

Should a Hellspawn become injured due to their behavior, a different sound emerges... a high screech. "How-dare-you-make-this-store-dangerous-for-my-child! I-will-sue-you-for-negligence!"

Now unfortunately, these cries are only given when the Bad Parent is present. There are times when they are simply nowhere to be found, often for hours at a time. If there is no one present, you may be dealing with an Absent Attendant. These Bad Parents follow their Creeds like a cult, especially Creed #4 and #5.

The Absent Attendant feels that their spawn is a miniature adult; capable of taking care of themselves and keeping themselves entertained and safe from a Molesting Mark or a Kiddie Porn Carl. Absent Attendants will take their spawn to a public location, such as a store or restaurant, and leave them for an indeterminate amount of time.

These creatures expect the employees of the establishment to take responsibility for the child's safety, but will become extremely angry if the Retail Slave does the right thing. Finding out that the child is in custody of the police or Child Services enrages the Absent Attendant, but usually ends with them getting arrested for child abandonment.

It is inevitable for the Apathetic Attendant and Absent Attendant to eventually produce a Hellspawn, if only because the spawn seeks attention from its parent. Our next class will cover the younger editions of the Crusties covered in today's lesson. Get plenty of sleep, and bring your earplugs, dear students. You will need them.

Homework: Recall an encounter with one of these Crustys and submit it to the class.

Class dismissed,


RHU University 10: Crazy Lady

RHU1PRBrace yourselves students. Today we lace up our Crustologist shoes and step out into the darker, more dangerous neck of the woods. The Crusty we are about to encounter is incredibly vexing and at times dangerous. This beastie may appear normal and calm one moment, and then snap into a rage at the sound of a microbe's sneeze. Or she may come in already rampaging and cause docile customers and employees alike to dive for cover in order to get out of her way. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Crazy Lady.

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: crazy lady

This often rabid creature is unpredictable, aggressive and very loud. She may harbor physically violent tendencies and often has to be forcibly removed from her environment in order to preserve the sanity and safety of all caught in her path. Crazy Ladies sometimes are likened to a rabid hell-rat that attacks you for looking at it cross eyed. Watch for crazed eyes, foaming at the mouth and a high screech. This cacophony of sound is used to intimidate, disorient and frighten Retail Slaves and Crustologists alike. It lowers the willpower to resist or refuse her demands, and she will use it repeatedly in the hopes that her hapless victim will concede just to get her to go away.

"Cazy Lady" is a bit of a misnomer. The term "lady" is used loosely to define the creature as being female and of adult age; it has nothing to do with the association of "lady" with being "refined, polite or well spoken." She'll latch on to her victim with the tenacity that rivals your dog when it plays tug of war, and won't let go, back down to permit you to flee... She will follow: screeching and flailing all the while.

It doesn't matter how nice you are, it doesn't matter how helpful you are. It doesn't matter if you are Jesus reborn and about to break open the Apocalypse edition of a can of Whoop Ass on her head. She hates you, she hates your store and you are a Very Bad Employee who is Very Rude with a Bad Attitude and She Doesn't Like Your Tone. She wants what she wants and you better not deny her in any way shape or form, no matter how unreasonable she is or how many laws of physics you have to break in order to even hope to assist her.

Crazy ladiesShe is convinced that she is right and will throw a screaming fit if you argue. She may attack you physically, or she may just scream at you and everyone in the vicinity. She may obey a direct order to leave, or she may have to be tasered twenty times by a squad of cops in riot gear before she is handcuffed and forcibly removed. The variations on behavior are infinite, but even a green Custologist who has barely cracked a textbook can identify this creature after having heard about her, even in passing. The name is very self explanatory and the behavior only reinforces the identification.

The biggest danger from a Crazy Lady is, of course, her violent tendencies. She may try to physically attack a person, or she may seize products and start throwing them around the store and at anyone caught in the crossfire. Defense against this creature can be difficult, as even a mighty manager may have difficulty dislodging her from the premises. It is strongly recommended to enlist the aid of a Security Guard, or better, the Police.

Homework: Recall a time when you were the victim of a Crazy lady's rampage and share it with the class.

Class dismissed,


RHU University 9: Nasty Ass Thief (NAT)

RHU1PKClass excursions are getting more complicated as our students obtain more experience. Today we meet the tiny little creature that wreaks the most havoc in its environment. Now when I say "tiny little creature,' I am measuring by kindness, and in this case they would be no bigger than a speck of dust. Today, don your safari hats, lace up your boots and summon the security guard! We're on the trail of the Nasty Ass Thief (NAT)!

Family: Shopper

Genus: Crusty

Species: nasty ass thief

Now Custologists are welcome to sit in on today's lesson, but we advise extra caution since the NAT's tend to be Crusties, which means it will take more advanced methods for encountering them in their environment.

NATs are despicable beasts, guaranteed to snatch up just about anything and attempt to make off with them. Some are lean, quick and sly, able to flee before they are caught. There's the furtive N.A.T., with its distinctive grabby hands, darting eyes and raucous screech whenever confronted by their natural enemies, the Security Officer. Others are brazen and argue angrily with anyone who confronts them. Some are even willing to get into physical altercations over their thievery.

The more brazen the NAT, the more likely they will use tactics such as declaring that a Retail Slave is prejudiced against their race, gender, voting party, religion etc. This tactic is based on the assumption that the Retail Slave will balk at confrontation for fear of being called prejudiced. Unfortunately, sometimes this works.

Security or police are often necessary to take control of the situation, as they will often get out of hand.

The less confrontational NATs rely on stealth and not being seen. After all, if you don't see them steal and conceal, then you cannot stop them. These tend to skulk in the areas of the store where security cameras are not able to observe, or else in areas of the store where line of sight is not limited.

An example can best be put in the form of a miniature story of my own encounter with the handiwork of NATs. I used to work at Noble Barnes in their music department for the holidays. It was here that I learned that NATS will steal anything. ANYTHING. Our biggest 'shrink' section was tucked away in the farthest corner from the register. What genre of music was this, you ask? Christian/Gospel CDs. Yes. You read that right. I often wondered just how many of them were stuck down by a bolt from above.

NAT's take anything that isn't nailed down, and can be either cunning or just outright stupid. It's impossible to pin down an intelligence range. While you have to be just a little bit dumb in order to be a NAT, the range of stupidity to intelligence is vast. They can be 'how can you even remember to breathe?' idiotic, or they can be 'Good God, you could have solved world hunger with the intelligence you just wasted' clever. Their tactics could be anything from 'snatch and flee' to 'plans to smuggle the item out in places no one would think to look' complicated. It could be a devious plan that Retail slaves aren't even aware is happening, or it could be as blatantly obvious as waving their stolen object under the noses of everybody and their grandma as they race off into the sunset.

Unfortunately, this range leaves us with few options to thwart a NAT most of the time. Our only defense is to remain vigilant and keep our eyes on the people who seem to slip off into the hard-to-see places of the store.

Homework: Think of all the creative ways a NAT has (successfully or unsuccessfully) pulled off and submit it to the class.

Class dismissed,