Another Poor Boy Christmas

December 26, 2018 at 12:55 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

Hat Tip to Hannibal

Christmas has come and gone, and not a moment too soon. The jingling of bells is jangling my nerves.

Oh, it wasn’t all bad. I found some good roadkill, saw old friends.

And then there was the Christmas Party.

Eva Braun, manager of The Nightclub Store since The Mothership closed down, decided years ago that to improve employee morale we should have a Christmas party and gift exchange. A fine idea, which sounded great until everyone realized we’d need to come up with an extra $30 for dinner and a present, right before payday. (And Xmas.) Instead of attending, I offered to work so that others could go have fun. It’s a bit of cheap nobility on my part, and a tradition that has held. I have yet to eat at the Mongolian grill where they have the party every year.

The last time I popped in, Dr and Mrs T, Lucy, Festus, were all there. And Giggles. If there’s a free feeding, he will be there, with Tupperware. The past few years, I have been brief in my drop-bys. All have moved on to other jobs. (Except Giggles.) Lucy retired at age 65, Dr T got married, (hi SundayGirl!) and is working at a pharmacy these days. Festus has finally moved back into the cheap hotel around the corner, and works with the homeless. I’m the only one without an upgrade.

Now it’s only Mrs Brady and her S/O, a lanky Bob Vila type who does carpentry for the store. Southie and Grinder, neither being in the greatest of moods lately, skipped. Igor, Sugarmama and Voorhees stayed at the far end of the table, away from management. (I would be in this group, had I attended.) Seated in the middle of the table were Master P and his wife, along with Eva, Popeye and his nephew. I took a spot at the corner of the table and visited for a few minutes.

“Grab a plate, chow down!” The boss is always generous, but known to be frugal, so I figured I’d score points by not running up the bill when I can’t stay and take full advantage of the ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT option. Turns out, after the second year Master P paid for the dinner en masse, so it would have been office-politically better to have had a polite serving

I reminisced about donating plasma with Mrs P. (She used to be the regional director of a Mega Plasma Corporation.) Heard about the bosses travel plans. Soon, fifteen minutes had passed, and it was time to get back.

“You sure you don’t want a small plate first?”

“I wouldn’t want to be late.” I grinned, and he grinned back.

“You won’t get in trouble if I say it’s okay.”

“Thanks anyway, but it’s too hard to be a complete and total bastard on a full stomach.”

I waved goodbye, and got back to what I normally do. Walk around downtown and quietly smoke a bowl so I don’t commit homicide during the last four hours of my shift.

My schedule is usually Wednesday through Saturday, with a random shift thrown in. During the holidays, managers get paid time off, so it falls to the underlings to keep the boat afloat. This put me working on Xmas Eve. Upside? It was a Monday, and it was raining.

My work motto regarding holidays: I don’t mind working the Eves, just keep me off the Days. The Eves tend to be quiet, and I bring a book. (It’s the one day of the year I get pissy if I’m not getting paid to read.) Alas, since the closing of the Mothershp, the Zombie Wanderers have drifted toward the Nightclub Store.

My secret weapon: Igor. Much like Festus used to do, (and still does on occasion) they will drop by to chat, and help keep an eye on things. Even the most seasoned of cashiers has a hard time watching all the moves when three tweakers spread out inside the store. You hope to be lucky and looking in the right mirror at the right time. When you double or triple the eyes, woohoo! Like shooting fish in a barrel.

One dude I’ve seen around forever came into the store during a rush, when I was alone. I was trying to explain the lottery to tourists while watching him at the same time. He stopped in front of the energy bars, and proceeded to put on his hoody. It took him about fifteen seconds to find his sleeve, in which time half a box of $4 Clif bars disappeared. I watched his every move as he walked around the store. He came to the counter and set down a portable speaker, along with a couple of expensive things from the back aisle. He knew I was watching. “Oh shit, I forgot my food stamp card!” He, and half a box of $4 Clif bars, left.

But he left the speaker.

I doubted he would come back, so I put the speaker underneath the counter. After the crowd left, I put batteries in it and turned it on. Blue light of power! I tried connecting my phone via Bluetooth, and my phone connected to half a dozen random things around the store, but not the speaker. I turned off the music on my phone and switched to internet function, Googling the speaker name. It was one of those “bumpstock” style speakers, where you lay your phone on top and it projects the sound. (Until your phone vibrates off the speaker when listening to Slipknot.) But what’s this, a miniplug input? With a cord, I could connect my MP3 player!

I had to visit Freddy’s and drop $4, about the price of a stolen Clif Bar, for a connecting wire. After going home and getting properly stoned, I hooked everything up and VOILA! I have jammin’ tunes that don’t require headphones. It won’t play stuff on my phone, even with the connecting wire, but that’s okay. I have about 120 CDs on my MP3 player, and after two years with the new laptop, I’ve finally figured out how to open that file. Interchangeability, here we come!

I’ll have tunes at work, until Grinder busts me.

Christmas Day. I awoke early, taking a walk to the nearby dispensary. One of my coworkers, needing a favor, gave me $40 to come in two hours early Xmas Eve. Despite my weak protests, she insisted I take the bribe. Oh okay. I gave her a fancy e-vapor rig as an offset. She won’t have to buy disposable cigs next time she rents a car, and I can get a new cartridge. I was there when Deanz Greenz opened, and bought a new 87% THC Sour Diesel cartridge. The last one lived from October 4 to December 25. I should be good until at least St Patrick’s Day.

I hurried back home, to reruns of Mythbusters and NBA games. The Nephew showed up about 3 PM, and we opened presents.

Nephew had been giving me the Cheshire grin for a couple months regarding Xmas. The kids have always indulged my love of horror-film decorating, and way-cool skulls have migrated to me accordingly. I’m not sure where he got it, but the nice skull cup pictured above, and named Hannibal for its flip-your-lid stylings, is my latest addition. It has assumed residence on my nightstand. Niece got a dancing Hula Boy hood ornament, and Nephew was given his first coffee table book, a People of WalMart coloring book. So much butt-crack! But it was cheap, and I might have money to get them something that they really need, if I don’t go into debt at Xmas.

We weren’t as monetarily happy this year, but there seemed to be a lot less anger and depression in our house. We are a small group, with our cats and dog and mouse and guinea pigs and hummingbirds. There’s a lot of love in my world, and for that I am a millionaire.

Holy Happy Days, y’all!

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