In the van, Warren is less than enthused. "This is so dull I might actually have fallen asleep and be dreaming you guys." Huh. I didn't know I could insert my innermost feelings into the dialogue of tertiary characters. Neat! Jonathan is ready to start his spell. He tells Warren and Andrew to hold hands, but Andrew wants no part of it. "Well, you know what homophobia really means about you, dontcha?" retorts Warren. He extends a large bone toward Andrew, causing Jonathan to snap, "Stop touching my magic bone!" Oh, okay. Heh. I'm five. The geeks crack up. Jonathan lights a piece of paper and then recites a spell in Latin; I don't catch much but "tempest" and oh god! Someone tell me that Jonathan is not summoning the Cosby Show star Tempestt Bledsoe from whatever '80s rock she's been hiding under to menace Buffy, pudding pops a'blazin', with terrible sweaters, leggings, oversized earrings, and sassy attitude!
Der Zauber Kasten. A customer walks through the door. Giles gives Buffy a bit of advice to concentrate on service instead of the hard sell. Giles polishes his glasses and is visibly pleased with this nugget as he walks off. Buffy cracks me up as she says, "Guess I'll have to find my own style." Which I have chosen to interpret as, "Cram it, you sconehead." Anya directs Buffy's attention to the customer. "That woman. Go sell her something." As Buffy crosses the sales floor, she's stopped by some tool who can't tell which candle will create a "more romantic atmosphere," lemon seduction or essence of slug. She hands him the lemon seduction candle and then heads over to the other customer. The woman is looking for a mummy hand to use in a prosperity spell. Buffy cheerfully says that she saw one downstairs, joking, "It's kinda hairy though. Maybe it's a daddy hand." The woman looks at her askance. Hey, lady? Maybe you'd have more prosperity if you weren't such a crashing BORE! Buffy heads downstairs. She finds the mummy hand on top of a crate, but when she grabs for it, it flings itself at Buffy's neck. She wrassles it off and then grabs a dagger, impaling it. Oops. Dead mummy hands sell no sales. Upstairs, Buffy cheerfully tells Sourpuss that, as a bonus, she gets the dagger for free. But apparently an inanimate mummy hand contains no power, so Sourpuss isn't interested.
The bell on the door of Der Zauber Kasten tinkles again. Buffy is back where she started. Giles gives Buffy the same bit of advice. Buffy tries to tell him that they've already done this, but he's not really responding to her.
In the van, Jonathan expositions that he's made Buffy loop until she satisfies her customer. "Maybe I should have done more," he muses. Clearly Jonathan has never worked retail, or he'd know that's enough. Customers = thankless harpies. You think I'm joking? I saw many a hapless sales clerk's liver eaten during my tenure in retail. In fact, I must admit that I've been that customer. Just the other week, I was at Monolithic Corporate Grocery Store in my neighborhood and I wished to pick up a rotisserie chicken. There weren't any out, so I asked the deli clerk how long the next batch would be. She told me that there was no next batch. It was then that I saw the sign. The sign which read, "We guarantee you a hot, fresh, roasted chicken every day between 4PM and 7PM or your next one is free." I asked the deli clerk if I could get a coupon, then. She seemed confused. I pointed at the sign. Obviously, she did not have the power to dispense free chicken to me, so I asked to speak to the manager. He explained to me that the guarantee did not apply, because their suppliers had been late and they had received no chickens to roast. I asked him to point out where in their guarantee it said that they were free of liability due to poor resource management. He gave me a look and insisted that they didn't owe me a chicken. I asked him to please read his sign aloud. He did. I asked him for the time. It was 4:30. I pointed out that they had no chickens, I wanted one, it was a day that clearly fell under the category of "every," and furthermore that the time was between the hours of 4 and 7PM. He then tried to lead me to the cold case, where yesterday's chickens that didn't sell were sitting, waiting for some sucker to take them home and feed them to families that they obviously didn't care for a great deal. He tried to pass substandard chicken off on me, but I wasn't having it. I said, "Sir, I'm sorry but that fulfills neither the 'hot' nor the 'fresh' portions of your guarantee." Finally, he caved and gave me a coupon for a free chicken. The next week, when I went to pick up my free chicken, I noticed that they were again out of chickens, but by that time the sign had been taken down. I ruined the system for everyone. Fight the power!