Welcome to L’il Pepe’s!

April 4, 2022 at 7:16 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Once upon a time I worked for a small chain of downtown newsstands. Evolving with the times, those four newsstands have turned into one small, mighty busy Quik-E-Mart. Until recently it was one of the few open businesses in the pandemic/protest ravaged city core. As life returns to normal, I forge on, trying to enjoy that which pays for my existence.

Downtown was on a down slide before COVID-19; Master P was looking to bail. Business at two of the four stores were down, and the big moneymaker was shut down by the city. Master P gathered his wits, put the stores up for sale, and got rid of all the underperformers. That left him with my home-away-from-home, the Nightclub Store.

I avoided writing during this time, out of self-preservation mostly. My relationship turned chilly with Eva Braun, who I was working with daily. I’m grateful she twisted Master P’s arm into keeping the Nightclub Store; he wanted to sell it as well, but she convinced him that if he kept his A-list employees he could still have one profitable store. He went for it, changed the name to Li’l Pepe’s, and two months after the ink was dry Eva Braun put in her notice. He offered her a ton of money to stay, but she was done.

At one time there were too many employees. Now we struggle to fill shifts, but there is an upside. Andes and Mrs Brady, two long-timers, agreed to co-manage so Master P doesn’t have to appoint a dictator to run the day-to-day. As long as we remain cool, the inmates can run the asylum.

I’ve been looking at old photos and essays, and can’t believe how innocent my previous life seemed compared to now. Portland is fucking weird, and it’s upped its game the past couple years. I hope not to dwell on it too much, but I am going to share some of the unusual, often mind-bendingly WTF stuff I encounter during my two swings and two graveyards.

The creatures of the night pay my bills. You should get to know them…

1 Comment

  1. lee said,

    Greetings Charlie…
    I have been a long time reader and follower of the dingleberry gazette. I lived in Portland for 10 years, working construction downtown. I naturally got snacks and goodies from Master P’s.
    When this COVID crap hit I was kind of blown away because I really really missed your musings about downtown Portland and all of the characters living there. I guess you could say I kind of lived vicariously through your words and stories. Since I move back to California, I’m in the Sacramento area. The other day when I got online to check my mail. Lo and behold, here was the dingleberry gazette. I was ecstatic! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for coming back and lightning and brightening my day. I wish you the best for continued health and look forward to many more sessions of laughing, scratching and carrying on to the dingleberry gazette!
    Thank you again.

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