Lookin’ for some hot stuff baby this evening…

May 30, 2007 at 12:02 pm (Cussed Dumbers, The Easy Chair)

Portland’s hottest day of the year is happening today. (Heat Wave Team Coverage! on channel 8…) So far it’s off to a rocking start. A gas station robbery up the road at 4 AM. A woman shoots her significant other in the face, then goes on a multi-county car chase before attempting suicide. I am awakened by news helicopters- there’s a motorcycle wreck on the freeway close by.

Did I mention it’s a full moon?

I remember things that happen on this day, for some reason. (It’s someone’s birthday, ahem.) When I rolled in at 1 AM, niece and nephew were awake, and greeted me with big hugs and thanks for being such a cool uncle, etc… They inherited my night-owl genes, apparently. Any excuse to stay up past midnight.

While I don’t usually document my morning trip to the bathroom, today I will make an exception. (Relax, no mention of bodily functions.) Awaiting me, and away from the puppy, cats, et al, was a helium balloon, tied to my newspaper. A purple star with musical notes. It was the same balloon I gave to my X-GF’s daughter last week.

It’s official- we both rock!

And so rocked the Turtle Brownie cake and Hershey’s Kisses hidden in the reefer. (Refrigerator, to clarify, dude.) I will be in a sugary coma about sixteen hours from now.

I still have to get through work, though. Almost without fail, when I work on my birthday, and it’s a full moon, about ten minutes before quitting time I have to call the police on some asshole and miss my bus, file a report, get on the subpoena pain-train. Just ten years ago, for example:

I was working for the Nationally Recognized Chain, with my friend Rusty. Rusty is alpha male, takes no bullshit, and has a hair-trigger temper when lines are crossed. In other words, perfect for having around when we’re playing good cop/bad cop, busting shoplifters, etc… Since the graveyard guy was late, and Rusty was giving me a ride home as a B-day present, we were playing the waiting game.

A group of African-Americans came in, two or three teenagers, an older male, 20ish, and the matriarchal figure, a middle-aged woman of substantial stature. (Six foot, four hundred pounds, give or take.) They were messy, noisy, argumentative. They went to the nacho bar, and spilled chili, cheese, clumps of onions all over the counter. Rusty stayed back, biting his tongue. I just wanted the night to end, as I had plans to see my favorite local band.

They got to the counter, and pulled out food stamps. I explained, as patiently as possible, that one can’t buy hot food with food stamps, and this set off a shouting match. Rusty, a short, middle-aged bald white guy, had his adopted family hanging out in the game room. They are black. (It’s a bit like Me, Myself, and Irene, come to think of it.) I bring this up, because the large black woman played the race card. “You just hate ****ers!” she yelled. Rusty’s complexion turned beet-red, but he checked his temper.

Then she threw the nachos at me. Splat! I was a cheesy, beany mess.

“That’s it,” pronounced Rusty. He was around the counter and up in her grill. The lady’s son, Rusty, Rusty’s sorta son-in-law, and buffalo woman crashed through the door, out onto the sidewalk, and the brawl was on.

I saw Rusty get hit at least twice in the face. The lady’s son and Rusty’s friend got them apart, thankfully, but not before Rusty gave her a solid boot in the ass as she was on all fours, trying to get up. I started laughing when I saw that, and the guy at 911 seemed perplexed. “If this is a joke, you can be prosecuted.” I assured him it wasn’t, and soon police arrived.

The lady and her family had left the scene, but were arrested at the Safeway down the street a few minutes later. Rusty had a bloody elbow, but was otherwise okay. (He was madder than a wet hornet, though.) We spent an hour answering questions, showing IDs. I was getting subpoenas for six months before the lady pleaded out on minor assault charges. When the graveyard guy showed up an hour late, he couldn’t figure out why we weren’t happy to see him…

So all the pieces are in place for this to be one giant headache of a night. Hot weather, end of the month so nobody on the Avenue has any money, full moon, hip-hop night at the club upstairs. Oh yeah. The Starlight Parade is Saturday night. people will be living on the sidewalk in front of the store for the next four days. It’s the perfect recipe for a disastrous night.

I’m cautiously optimistic…


  1. Cynthia said,

    Happy Birthday!! Thank you for such an entertaining blog. I read this stuff to my husband and he and I think you are a riot.

    Here’s hoping that it turns out to be a mellow evening and that this birthday has happy memories!


  2. Betsy said,

    Well, at least I now know I shouldn’t fire up my oven to make you some brownies tonight (yep, it was on the List of Things To Do…)

    Seems like it’d be a better B-Day gift to hand out some Benadryl to your customers tonight…!

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