Assault and a Pepper Shaker

June 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

I have a good rapport with most of the street crazies. (“Hi, Carol!”) They can have their internal conversations (and arguments) while getting a soda, and I don’t judge. If they seem extra agitated I may ask if they’re doing okay, but mostly it’s Live and Let Live. Honestly, there aren’t many places the mentally ill feel safe shopping. My store, with all its lunacy, is home for them.

ShakerThere are exceptions. My biggest problems are with those who have self-inflicted retardation. Whether through drugs, drinking or stupidity, they are deficient enough to pass for crazy, and they abuse it. Which leads us to tonight’s cautionary tale…

Mr Whorebath has been on my radar for several years. (His original path to infamy began when he was caught selling candy bars stolen from us on the MAX. He’d even made a cardboard display box. Fifty cents for XL Size? YOU ASSHOLE!) He seems pleasant enough when panhandling, (“Got a dol-l-lar?”) but shopping is another story. He walks into the store, begins filling his pockets, and only leaves when the clerk threatens violence or gets an actual 911 operator on the line. He will break things and leave messes, all the while yelling, “Peace, brother!”

As I prepared to close the store a week ago, I looked over by the door and saw Mr Whorebath at the fruit stand, fondling a banana.

“You!” I said, “Out of the store!”

“Don’t call me a Jew, you Nazi. I’m Hungarian!”

“I didn’t call you a Jew. But I will call you a THIEF, you thieving cocksucker!”

Mr Whorebath peeled the banana and took a bite. I charged the door, and he ran down the sidewalk.

I rang up another customer, and noticed motion outside the window. I moved toward the door, a few steps from Mr Whorebath. He stopped, threw the banana peel on my freshly vacuumed floor, and cursed me.

He retreated from the doorway. I picked up the banana peel, wound up like Nolan Ryan out of the stretch, and nailed him in the back of the head with it.

“You asshole!”

I made him mad? Cool… “Stay out of the store or I will hurt you…”

“I’m just gonna go get a beer…” He tried to push past me.

“If you try to enter the store I will break your fucking neck.” I was visualizing the scene in the original version of The Longest Yard

I pulled the door shut, locked it, and stood guard. He wandered off. Several hours later his ugly-ass face was on It will only be justice if someone stomps him a new mudhole while he’s in there.

* * *

A week later, as Rose Festival winds down, things are calmer, yet busy. The flow of the store is heavy, and we are making money instead of babysitting a MAX stop. It’s early afternoon, the beginning of my shift, and my clientele is mostly office workers and food stamp feeders. I’m bopping and weaving through the line when I notice Mr Whorebath avoiding eye contact as he heads for the beer and wine aisle.

“YOU! Get out of here!”

“Why do you keep calling me a Jew, brother? I’m Hungarian…” He reached for a $14 bottle of champagne.

I walked past him, got between him and the beer cooler door. “Get the fuck out of here NOW or I will hurt you.” I blocked his reach and placed both hands on his chest, directing him toward the door.

“Don’t touch me, man!” said Mr Whorebath. “Keep your hands to yourself!”

Picture Quentin Tarantino yelling, “ACTION!”

I wrapped one arm under his, spinning him around into a three-quarter-Nelson. My left hand bent his head forward at an uncomfortable angle, and I began walking him through the store, past the wine and porno. He grabbed another bottle of wine, which I wrestled away. As we passed the porn, he grabbed two copies of Fox magazine w/DVDs. I cranked his neck another quarter-turn, and he dropped them. The nice lady in the candy aisle gave us lots of room, and asked, “Should I call 911?”

“Um, yes please?” I had not lost my sarcastic streak.

I got Mr Whorebath to the door, walked him outside. I’d been holding him for close to a minute, not attempting to hurt him, just contain him. I shoved him away as I let him go. He turned to face me, and I marveled at the color of his complexion. He was a brownish-purple. If I’d held him another minute or so, I’d have choked him out. Shit.

GODDAMMIT! I’D PROMISED TO BREAK HIS FUCKING NECK! Now I was mad. I love keeping my word in situations like this, and I’d blown the perfect opportunity.

On the other hand, I had a witness on the phone talking to 911. I could have roughed him up a lot more on the way out. Pinball off the coolers, oopsie, didn’t mean to land on you with my full body-weight, etc… But I was all professional. No retaliatory punches or low blows. Contain and disperse. In hindsight, I wish I’d fucked him up like a sorry-assed stepchild.

Once outside, he had nothing to grab but the Mexican sodas on ice in a bin by the door. I’d place my hand on the lid, he’d pull his hand back. He’d reach again. I’d put my hand out to stop him. He pulled a pepper shaker from his jacket, and sprinkled pepper on the back of my hand.

Pepper 2“Man, you really don’t understand the concept of pepper spray, do you?” Now I was angry AND had the giggles. I took the pepper shaker away, tossing it into the bushes.

“Dude, you stole my pepper!” Mr Whorebath seemed upset that *I* had stolen something from *him*. “That should be worth a beer–”

“Everything okay here?” Woohoo! It was Grinder, making his afternoon managerial rounds.

“911 is on the way, this piece of shit thinks he’s gonna come in and steal some more…”

“Let the little bastard try to get past me!” Grinder took my place at the door, while I stepped back, wondering if I would need an ambulance after all that dancing. Grinder also called 911.

“Don’t I even have time to jack off?” yelled Mr Whorebath. He tried grabbing the nearly-pilfered porno mags again.

Grinder got in front of him, without nearly the consideration for his fellow man that I had been showing. Grinder would LOVE to decapitate this bozo, I could tell.

“Fuck you, you fucking cunt!” Whorebath was addressing the lady calling 911. “You guys are assholes.” Mr Whorebath decided his time with us was over.

“I’m going to follow him a while. You okay?” I waved Grinder off, who was giving police dispatch a blow-by-blow account of Mr Whorebath’s sticky-fingered walk to the MAX on the opposite platform. I picked up the scattered drinking cups, misplaced stroke-books and Spanish sparkling wine. Assessed my back, declined medical assistance. I did tell Grinder that I’d call if I couldn’t make it out of bed the next day.

About 1 AM, Mr Whorebath’s booking photo was posted. Disorderly Conduct, Trespass I and Possession of Heroin. I didn’t have to speak to a cop, and won’t have to go to court. I am disappointed in myself though. I was so looking forward to reliving ‘that’ scene in The Longest Yard

Special appearance by Eddie Albert as Master P…



  1. Hutz said,

    Walking around downtown with a few colleagues the “Bluetooth or crazy?” game is a fun one to play. Got a feeling this guy didn’t have an earpiece . . .

  2. who_wants_sherbert? said,

    “He pulled a pepper shaker from his jacket, and sprinkled pepper on the back of my hand.”
    Too bad it wasn’t Angie Dickinson that got sprinkled on to the back of your hand….. Mmmm, Angie Dickinson, now there was a hawwwttt lady!

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