Red Bull Does Not Give You Wings

September 9, 2008 at 2:10 am (Cussed Dumbers, That's not funny...)

After a solitary Sunday, (I didn’t even go outside) I couldn’t wait to get back to work. My Sundays have been kind of droll lately. All my Sunday girls have other stuff going on: kids, husbands, girlfriends, you know, stuff that doesn’t involve me. Now that football is back, I’m even more bummed. Missing football was the one big sacrifice I would make so I could spend time with you, honey. And now that you’re not there? I’m stuck watching a bunch of grown men sniff each others butts. (My mother’s definition of football…) Trolling downtown gets old when you do it constantly, so I hunkered down, read a book and watched TV all day. I took naps. Sunday was mellow, but by Monday I was ready to get back to it.

Unable to sit still any longer, I left for work an hour early. A CD was waiting for me at the library, and I had Barbara Walters’ forty-pound tome to return. I ditched my backpack at work and headed for the library.

I’d heard the sirens while walking up the train tracks. Saw the fire inspector’s car drive by. Saw a police supervisor drive by. Fire trucks honked. Turning the corner onto 10th Avenue, I saw the medical examiner’s truck pull up. As I got closer, I heard snippets of conversation. “She just fell over the side.” “She kept leaning forward, she must have lost her balance.” “I heard her eyeball popped out.” Yellow tape blocked off the corner of the garage. A police photographer was taking pictures. I looked, but not too closely. Careful what you wish for…

The body was back from the stairs. Hmm… She must not have died immediately; the body was ten feet or so from the point of impact. Unable to see enough to tell if I knew her or not, I kept going. There were enough rubberneckers, and I wasn’t sure I wanted that image stuck in my head all day. I went to the library, and was back in ten minutes. By then, the medical examiner had picked up the body, and the fire/rescue team were hosing off the stairwell. It smelled strongly of bleach.

I couldn’t resist looking up as I went back to work, hoping no one else would follow suit. Then I heard a crash and a yell, and saw a woman hit the sidewalk. Oh crap…

Fortunately, she was trying to dodge a MAX train that was in the process of stopping, caught the toe of her sandal on the sidewalk and face-planted in front of the taqueria. Bums (the gentlemanly sort) helped her up, gathered her packages. Her face was beet-red from embarrassment, but all that got hurt was her pride. Still, it was eerie to think of something like that, then have it happen. Think pleasant thoughts, goddammit…

It was a typical weird night at the Mothership. All the fun that usually happens? It did. The funniest of the fun stuff happened at the end of my shift. The store now has 24/7 security, and the security supervisor came by to check on his men. The supervisor bought two cans of energy drink, (horribly overpriced, according to him) set them aside and took a tour of the grounds with his charge.

I babysat a young tweaker-type, who had panhandled enough change for a package of Top Ramen and cooked it in a coffee cup. He took his time, and as I rang things up I kept an eye on him. Some friends of his came in and made a beeline toward the back of the store, where my TWO security guards were. The friends came back out immediately, bitching about how we “don’t take fucking food stamps.” Yup, just like yesterday, and last week. You know we don’t, yet you conveniently forget so you can shoplift like crazy, then toss out the “Sorry, my bad” thingy when everything’s all rung up. NEWS FLASH: we’re on to you, and no, we “don’t take fucking food stamps.” (Especially for Evian and Altoids. Jobs, people. Jobs…)

Security came up to the front, proud that their presence had postponed a crime. The supervisor wished us a good night, went to pick up his horribly overpriced energy drinks, and–

“Where’s my stuff?” the supervisor asked.

“Where’d you leave it?” I asked.

“Right there, by the door…” His voice trailed off, reality setting in.

“Lesson one at the Mothership. If you don’t nail it down, they will steal it. It was probably the Top Ramen guy.”

“Did you see which way he went?”

“No,” I told him. “We don’t put easy-to-steal and expensive stuff over there, for just such reasons. That way we can watch the floor…”

“Son of a bitch…” the supervisor muttered, then wished us a good night. The overnight security guard seemed worried until I pointed out that his supervisor was with him the whole time, and it was the supervisor’s own damn fault for leaving stuff laying around. He couldn’t be everywhere. Small consolation, I suppose.

However, the consolation may have gotten bigger. As I left work, I saw the tweaker-type with the Top Ramen stumbling around the parking garage elevators. He saw me and poked the button to get on the elevator. In his hand? A 24-oz. energy drink, just like the one I’d sold to the security supervisor. I called Elmo, and had him relay the message to the overnight security guard. Elmo stopped laughing long enough to say, “You should see him busting ass toward the elevator!”

I heard no screams, loud thunks, or sirens on my way to the bus.

Maybe Red Bull does give you wings…


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