“COOKIES!” (And a bullet.)

August 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

“Hey, can you call one of your Clean & Safe buddies? A customer fount a bullet on the floor.”

Uh, okay.

The call came just before my newly-imposed lunch break. Since I had no particular place to go, I said, “I’ll come pick it up.”

“It’s a .22 caliber long rifle hollow-point. I’ll leave it in a bag with your name on it.”

I love how Art lets me know the caliber, in case there’s a mix-up as to which bullet to pick up. Efficiency runs deep with that boy.

On the way, I cruised through the mall past the bakery in the food court. O…M…G… The bakery just wrapped the cookies as day-olds, for tomorrow. I snagged a bag of fresh chocolate chip cookies. They were so fresh, in fact, that they had melded into an inch-thick mega cookie. Yum! I stuffed it into my vest pocket and proceeded.

I passed the Made in Oregon store, and wandered in for a minute. Their perishables cooler often has near-expiring cheese on sale. I found half-pound blocks of exotic Tillamook cheeses for ninety-nine cents. Perfect for homemade mac & cheese or Eye-talian dinner. I’m king of the bargain hunters!

Dannyboy was running the show at the Waterfront store. “Hi! I’m here to pick up the weapon of mass dee-struction.”

“Excuse me?” Dannyboy doesn’t always understand my cerebral sense of humor.

“Where tha bullet at?”

“I have NO idea what you are talking about.”

I briefed him, and he still didn’t know what I was talking about. I scanned the counter area, nothing. I looked in the safe. Nada. I broke down and called Art. “Sorry to bother you, but where the fuck is it?”

“Look up.”

Taped to the top of a cigarette ad, as far up as one could reach, was a brown bag with my name on it. I pulled it down, feeling a sizable lump. I unwrapped the parcel. It was thumb-sized, thanks to the insulating paper towel. Inside was a lone .22 long-rifle hollow-point. I tossed the wrappings away and dropped the bullet in my pocket.

Dannyboy stepped out for a cigarette, we chatted for a bit, then I heard him say, “Oh, here comes Art and Master P.” He butted out his smoke and scurried back behind the register. Must appear busy…

“What are you doing here, Mister C?” asked Master P. He was fully aware I was supposed to be working eight blocks away.

Instead of ranting about mandatory lunches, I said, “Since Uncle Cliffy’s day ends at 3 PM, I guess I’m the de facto arms expert.” We told him about the bullet.

“Shouldn’t Clean & Safe be involved?” he asked.

“I’ll take care of it.”

While finding a bullet on the floor may cause momentary shock, it’s not a major cause for alarm. It’s like fining an empty glassine baggie on the sidewalk. There’s not much you can do with it by itself. I’m an old country boy, finding a .22 shell in my pocket is as natural as a city boy finding a bus ticket.

Later, when Butch rode by on his bike, I beckoned to him. “Someone found this on the floor, can you find a home for it? I figured calling dispatch would create reams of paperwork for ya, so I hoped to make things ‘just go away’.”

“No problem. It’ll find residency in a tin can next time I go plinking.”

Problem solved. No embarrassing paperwork.

There was one other disposal issue. Near the end of my shift, a long-haired fellow with a messenger bag entered the store and headed for the beer section. He chose a beer I would drink, and placed a six-pack on the counter. He wasn’t a dirt-urchin, more likely a service industry worker. I bagged him up and wished him a nice night.

“Hey, you smoke weed?” he asked.

“No.” Stock default answer. People occasionally ask me where to get some, and I tell them Hawthorne. Homey don’t play at work.

“Are you sure?” hew asked, in a teasing voice.

“Why?”

“‘Cuz I was gonna give you this bud.” He dropped a greenish-brown lump on the counter and walked out.

“I can get rid of that for ya,” I announced to nobody there. I made a throwing motion toward the garbage can.

Man, I’m everyone’s garbageman today.

The cookies were delicious. SO DELICIOUS.

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