July 28, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Kevin Smith At San Diego Comic-Con
Comic-Con was a catalyst for me taking a trip down memory lane; all good memories and all good things. Besides being able to catch some candid photos of John Cusack, I was also able to see Kevin Smith, who pulled a J.D. Salinger on our asses by introducing himself to the world by writing, financing and directing the movie, “Clerks.” I was a 19 year sailor in the United States Navy the first I saw that movie and like most people I thought it was brilliantly executed and watching people my age languish in a job they hated while the world seemed to pass them by resonated with me as well.
Back then (in 1993) I was stationed on the USS Fletcher DD-992, home ported in Pearl Harbor, HI which was a dream location and the setting of countless tales of reckless military youth that will never be told. The problem was that all those fun times, all those adventures that will one day be presented to the world as a movie took place amidst days of chipping & painting and nights of standing watch, and that was while we were in port. Out at sea I had to do those things AND do general quarters & firefighting drills at all hours. In the movie version, all those good times take place over two hours so it would seem like it was a nonstop, party time enlistment. Wrong! Those good times were spread out like a razor thin coating of jelly over a FOUR YEAR slice of toast; that’s not enough jelly for some people, like me.
Kevin Smith, by writing “Clerks” and bringing it to the world when he did helped me see one more thing, and that was how humor can make a shitty job more fun. If you don’t work at a funny place then bring it to work with you, just like Dante & Randall did in the movie. “I’m not even supposed to be here today” can be the start of a terrible day or the beginning of a mantra where you make the best of being at work, despite the grumps all around you and your constant odor of shoe polish. Cheers!