Don’t Taze Me, Bro!

February 29, 2008 at 10:00 am (Cussed Dumbers)

Another work week is done. Phew. When my graveyard relief was late last night, I left a terse message on his cell phone. “Daylight’s comin’ and I wanna go home. Give me a call, or better yet, just show up!”

The store phone rang as he walked in; it was him. “I’ll be right there.” The echo between the phone and him threw me a little. I shook it off and clocked out in record time.

Our usual routine, when he’s on time, is to share the gossip of the week and have a few good yuks to start the weekend. Since I didn’t have time to fill him in, he’ll just have to get the dirt here…

The balmy weather, sunny and 60ish, was a preview of coming attractions. Spring has sprung, and along with the birds and blossoms comes an array of mixed nuts. A new batch of transients have been loitering, drinking themselves to an unhealthy pallor and disrupting my train of thought every five minutes by trying to convince me that their losing scratch tickets are actually winners. “But look! I have four words on my Crosswords ticket!”

“Sorry dude, spelling counts. And I have to go with what the lottery validating machine tells me.” I press print, providing a receipt which officially calls him a loser on paper. He cusses and buys another ticket, this time a Bingo. Maybe numbers will be easier to read.

When I arrived Wednesday, another regular scratch-off buyer (there was a lot of gambling going on this week) asked as she made her selection, “What’s with all the K-9s around the corner? They’ve got the sidewalk blocked, and cops are everywhere.”

“Maybe the street crimes unit is doing a sweep. Nothing gets a crack dealer moving on down the line like a pack of drug-sniffing dogs.”

Later on, the true story would come out. A little bird confided that indeed, the First Lady was in town. Welcome to Little Beirut!

She had dinner at one of the higher-end restaurants nearby. The hostess, after much prodding, told of how Secret Service came through, checked the whole restaurant, then brought in the First Lady. They had prepared a quiet booth in the corner, but she insisted on sitting smack-dab in the center of the dining room. By all accounts, she was gracious and outgoing. I’m glad the protesters left her alone, or hadn’t caught wind that she was in town. We don’t have to be obnoxious every time a Republican comes to town.

Later in the evening, a fellow in a blue blazer came in. He bought a couple cans of chewing tobacco and a bottle of water. He had a gizmo like a Bluetooth, only not as flashy. Then I noticed the ID holder hanging around his neck, which read ‘whitehousewhitehouse’ and held what looked like the backstage pass to everywhere. He slithered off into the night, giving TriMet security a nod.

Mere seconds later, we hear a clickety-clickety-click. I look at Major Nelson of TriMet. “Was that a Tazer?”

“Sure as hell sounded like it!” Nelson went for the door. I had to finish selling a pint of ice cream. Damn! I always miss the Tazings.

I listen for gunshots. The clicking continues, and I see sparks across the street. A large bald-headed man is waving a Tazer around, lighting up the night with his electric toy. (A wingnut who’s had all he can stand and can’t stands no more?) Nelson investigated while I supervised porno browsers. He made a phone call on his Bluetooth, and within a couple of minutes a cop car pulled up. They conversed, and Nelson came back in, shaking his head and smiling.

“What’s the scoop?” I asked.

“See that big bald-headed guy over there? He’s some kind of skinhead. Apparently a black guy was over there at the bus stop, words were exchanged and the black guy pulled out his weenie to show him who was the bigger man. The bald guy pulled out the Tazer and tried to zap him. You know, there!”

“No wonder there was so much hollering.”

“Yeah, the black guy took off, and now the bald guy is over there bragging and acting like an idiot.”

“Maybe the black guy’s just waiting until the Tazer battery dies, then he’ll come back and kick the crap out of him!”

So many idiots, so little time.

But the week is over. I won’t dwell on the past. I have a three-day weekend to erase the stain of this week, and plan on doing more than just killing time until it’s time to go back to work. But not today, at least for now. I have no reason to go downtown, and am going to spend some time enjoying this little room I call home.

Of course, as I write that sentence, the sun comes out and wanderlust sets in…

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