Praise Jesus! And Juan! And Jose!

December 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm (Cussed Dumbers, The Easy Chair)

It’s Xmas, Part 2. Since the American public is getting screwed out of a sloth-day with Christmas falling on a Sunday, today we get to pretend it’s Christmas all over again. Cool! Where’s my fuckin’ presents?

What? It doesn’t work that way? And I have to go to work?

Bah humbug!

Christmas was good this year. Nobody got arrested, at least in my family, and we weren’t so broke that gifts came from Dollar Tree and the day-old bin. In fact, one of the busiest parking lots I saw on Xmas Eve was the Dollar Store in Southeast Portland. (Because nothing says love like…) We didn’t go overboard, but everybody got something nice.

We celebrated on Saturday night, since Saturday is the one day everyone has off. (Except Sis. She shovels horseshit for a living, and the damned horses wouldn’t hold it in for her. Damned heathen horses.) Rain hinted around that she wanted to be invited, but I’d rather spring her on the family another way. Sis already did a ton of work getting dinner and the house together. To have to dress up and get the house up to “standards” for a potential sister-in-law? The stress would have been too much. Sis sitting around in a housecoat drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade is a tradition I don’t mess with. Relax, kid. You’ve done enough.

We cooked a 21-pound turkey, and opened presents while its “juices settled.” Bro-in-law got four boxes of candy. (See what happens when you say “I don’t know, surprise me?” SURPRISE!) Niece got video games and girly stuff only near-14 Y/Os would understand. I was gifted a new Mr Coffee. The one in the kitchen has been working in limited capacity for about fifteen years. We’ve replaced it before, only to end up using it again. I guess Sis figures the only way I will replace it is if she buys me one exactly like it. Cool. We are a bunch of coffee-hounds.

Coffee. It’s what’s for breakfast Christmas morning. Actual Xmas day was a work day for me. 9 AM-7 PM. Oh, and because that’s not enough Xmas spirit, could you give lunches after your shift? Sure, why not? I am already up for martyrdom. Tack on a sainthood?

I had not entered the alarmed store before. This could be interesting. (Being a closer, the alarm is always off when I arrive. I set it when I leave.) I opened the door, expecting a chirp or tone or something. Nada zip zilch. I tapped in my alarm code:

“BEEP BEEP BEEP System engaged! You have thirty seconds until SERT teams break down the door and stand on your neck at gunpoint-…”

Oh shit. I quickly re-entered my code, and all fell silent. Well, that was fun. Someone forgot to set the alarm. Way to fuck with me, whoever you are! (Update: It was Dr T, who was appropriately contrite.) I settled in for a long, quiet day.

I could not find a radio station that wasn’t overloaded with Xmas music, so I sat in silence most of the day. I read the papers from the last few days. Played on the internet. There was an average of 26 minutes between customers. I had a lot of time to piddle around. My second customer looked like an Asian hippie from the ’70s. Pat Morita meets Tommy Chong. He said, “I’m going to get some hot water to make my instant coffee.”

“It’s a quarter.” We sell coffee, not enable the circumvention of buying it.

“I don’t have a quarter.”


“WHAT? You’re not going to give me WATER? Well, fuck you, you fat motherfucker! NIGGER!” He stormed out, ranting and yelling about how he was going to call my manager. If he’d spent a quarter, he could have gotten Master P’s phone number off the receipt.

Wait? Did he just call me the N-word? Cool! I texted Rain, informing her of my newly found complexion. I have arrived!

Rain came by for a visit, made a cup of coffee and invited me over for an after-work visit. The present she offered was something she knew I could not refuse… A kiss, a wink, a promise. I resented feeding my co-workers more by the minute.

Things went well until about 5 PM. All of a sudden downtown was inundated with stumbling weekend warriors, doing the zombie stomp between establishments. Two… dumb shits for lack of a better-descriptive term, took ten minutes choosing and spending $2.25. That’s it. I locked the door with five minutes to go. I will open if the potential customer doesn’t look like trouble.

Nobody came to the door until well after closing time. Weird Steven had declined a lunch break. (Bless you, sir.) I locked up and went to the Nightclub Store to give Elmo a half-hour lunch break. It was like the Mothership of the glory years. A nonstop parade of tweakers and dirt-urchins, at least one shoplifting and two prevented. Didn’t take long for this place to turn to shit…

Rain texted me: “How soon you done? Coming over?”

“Ready to snap. Not mad at you. Just hating people right now. Gave co-worker half-hour lunch, it’s been an hour now.”

“Chill dude. It’s only 8:30.”

“It’s after midnight in my mind.”

“Well come on over and let me ease your mind.”

The offer I couldn’t refuse.

She met me at the door wearing nothing but a Christmas sweater. Minimal wrapping on my present: It’s a green thing, right? I spent a few minutes with another kind of green thing, and soon I was a different man. Where *did* that Grinchy old bastard go…?

I kissed her goodnight, made for the bus and was headed home in a matter of minutes. It was like the buses were put there for me exclusively. There were maybe five people on the whole ride. I went home to a happy family, a grinning dog and turkey leftovers. I made a meat/gravy/stuffing soft taco kinda thing, and went to bed early. Now it’s time to do it again.

Messy TexMex, and a Buffet New Year!


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