826 Valencia Days

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My essay about working at 826 Valencia in San Francisco is now up on The Rumpus!

Wednesdays are 826 Valencia days, and that puts me in a good mood. 826 is named for the address of the tutoring center, and it has a pirate store in the front of it. At the pirate store you can buy anything from eye patches to spyglasses to lard to a map of Davey Jones’ Locker. Also, if you stand in the wrong place, you get ‘mopped.’ This means: there’s a box on the ceiling, and there are about a dozen stringy mop heads in there. If you stand under the box, the person behind the counter pulls a string, a trap door swings open, and all the mop heads fall on top of you. This tends to scare the heck out of some people.

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