The Mango Shitz

March 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

“Party woohoo!”

Oh, the humanity.

I deal with a lot of downtrodden types at work. I’m given a lot of latitude when it comes to who I serve. Our goal is to serve everyone (legally) and send them away happy enough that they will return to spend more money.

Returning empty bottles is a bane to every cashier. You have to stop whatever you’re doing and go dig through trash, and then pay the stinky disruptor. (It isn’t always that bad, but more often than not.) As of a couple months ago, there’s a dime deposit on damn near every drink bottle in the 8 oz-64 oz range. I love certain aspects of the new system. I redeem my own at work, and am shameless as I collect cans along the way.

But, I don’t dig in the garbage, and I don’t smell awful when I’m done. Others aren’t so blessed.

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“Where Ya Been?”

February 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

Ya Big Silly!

Hey strangers… It’s Stranger Yet!

Yeah, it’s been a while. I’ve been a negligent blogger, watching life’s moments pass by without stopping to note each one. Been spending a lot of time pondering the universe, and sometimes the thoughts that wander through the brain need time to age, ripen, ferment. Not that I’m any kind of genius. I just needed a break.

Sunshine passed away last week. Rain’s new boyfriend and Sunshine were best buddies, and Rain was crying when she called to tell me. Sunshine had a major case of ass-cancer, and was a hard-living old coot, so it wasn’t unexpected. (Anyone who can smoke three packs of American Spirit full-flavors in a day is living on borrowed time.) How he lasted as long as he did is a tribute to the stubbornness of the human spirit. I’d been holding up okay, but then I saw Werner Klemperer on a Law and Order rerun, and noticed that Werner and Sunshine were dead ringers for each other. (Literal.) I’d thought about reaching out, but our chats lately involved lots of his get-rich-quick schemes, usually needing my financial support. (Sorry Sunshine, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.) The doctors, frustrated with his use of street drugs, cut off his prescription meds and told him to go for it with the heroin and meth. I don’t know if he passed from natural causes, or got a fentanyl hit, but Sunshine has faded into the night. RIP, you giant teddy bear.

I have a sneaky feeling my beloved cousin has also moved on to the next level. He’d not been well, and moved to Arizona. All phone numbers are disconnected, no news whatsoever. I’m going to write him a long letter, in longhand, to tell him goodbye. Whoever says adopted relatives aren’t as close as blood relatives has not met our family. WE decide who is family, and if you burn us you might find yourself unadopted, bloodline or no. You can choose friends but not family, the saying goes. Our best family are the ones we’ve chosen, not those thrust upon us.

A lot of other stuff has been going on, which I will eventually write about. I needed time for life to percolate. Also, there have been major changes at work, and I don’t want to pontificate too much about that in a public space. I love my job at Master P’s, and now, other than the bookkeeper, Grinder and Master P himself, I have been there the longest. Art East is behind me by about six months. Everyone else, my bosses? I’ve trained them all. I’m feeling a bit of burnout, it’s been thirteen years. But I’m not so burned out I’m ready to jump. I took a sick day, creating a four-day weekend, and it was just what I needed. I sat around just long enough to be restless, but not long enough to appreciate being bored. I came back to work a half-hour early, urging Southie to bank those minutes for the next time my bus is late.

It’s been a dark time in my world. Ain’t no Sunshine to brighten it up. It will be a long time before I forget Sunshine. He was a sweet, thoughtful career criminal who gave me more smiles than I ever realized at the time. Save me a fistful of happy pills, bud, and I will see you when I get there.

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The Crashing of the Mothership

January 12, 2018 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Waxing Nostalgic)

After 34 years, Master P’s main store is closing. After a long, hard-fought battle with the landlord, (the City) he let out a big sigh and closed the doors last week. Downtown’s infamous late-night c-store is no more.

I peered through the window of the Mothership. Art East was winding up cords from the security cameras, and storing them in milk crates. I used my key to come inside. The first thing I noticed was the quiet.

“Wow, the sounds of silence. It’s amazing how quiet these places are is when you don’t have thirty to forty coolers running.”

“Yeah, and how funky-smelling it is with the door closed for a week!”

The dusty smell was pervasive; the aisles have been emptied, rectangular squares of dust marking their previous location. An old copy of Busted! Magazine was on the floor. I was tempted to grab it, but Art was using it to protect his jacket. I settled for the Wall of Shame, a poster collection of mugshots, of whom half the people were still coming around. It would make a nice addition to profiles of the shitbird contingent at the Nightclub Store.

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Little Karmic Rewards

October 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Shoplifting is THEFT

After last week’s shit-show, I was optimistic that work could only get better. That could also be wishful thinking. I went in with the best of intentions, not gonna let the bastards win, etc… They gave it their best shot, but in the end I declared myself the winner.

The path to weekend wasn’t without a couple bumps here and there. The first couple days, at the Waterfront Store, tested my patience. Scoring a buttload of pastries from the bakery cured my low blood-sugar, and allowed me to be a pastry-Santa. (Adding special butter gives my day a patient, easygoing feel.) I took a handful of cinnamon twists home, and dispersed the scones, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls amongst my co-workers. Igor was particularly grateful. He bought me a cinnamon twist the next day, and pizza slices from the classy joint across the Avenue. (NY-style, foldable, so good…) He’s also hung around during my shift, helping to alleviate attempted shoplifts. It’s paid off, in more ways than one.

Indulge me, if you please? Take a puff, sit back with your feet up while I brag about our crime-fighting exploits…

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October 15, 2017 at 2:22 am (Cussed Dumbers)

“Took A Dump Dump Dump…… Annnnd another one’s gone, and another one’s gone. Another one takes a dump…”

They say pictures or it didn’t happen. We could have gotten surveillance video of this, but some things can’t be unseen, and since Uncle Cliffy rarely gets to be the star, we are going to let this one become an urban legend. (Art East was quoted: “Good god I hope they don’t want video.”)

Who needs video when you’ve got Uncle Cliffy to tell you all about it…?

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My Civic Doody

June 30, 2017 at 10:30 am (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers)

Every two years, near Mizelle’s birthday, I get called for jury duty. It’s that time again.

I tried to get out of it in previous years, but they are tenacious. (“Okay, then when can you serve…?”) Jury duty fell on my days off, so might as well get it over with.

At the same time, Dizzy was leaving town, and needed a cat-sitter. Since Naomi and I get along famously, (and I get along with Dizzy okay) she asked if I would peek in on kitty, make sure she’s fed, didn’t poop in the sink, etc…

For my troubles? Use of a downtown loft…

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A Bucketful of Pleasantries

June 13, 2017 at 11:00 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, That's not funny...)

People often ask how I can tolerate dealing with the public. Sometimes I wonder myself.

Portland’s Rose Festival is coming to an end. It’s the store’s busiest time of the year. We get tons of business from the parades, festivals and conventions. We go out of our way to be accommodating, but we never seem to succeed.

Last night, my night off, I get a call from Voorhees. He’s mid-shift at the Mothership. Usually he texts me. A phone call provides a sense of urgency, so I answer. “Whazzup?”

“Dude, I just had a guy pull a knife on me because I told him to turn his radio down. He woulda cut me if I hadn’t locked him out. Fortunately I had my keys out. I’m waiting on Southie or Grinder to come open up. I am so done with this place.”

He had locked the door, and was pacing around inside. He’d achieved his threshold of madness.

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Sinking the Leader Ship

June 1, 2017 at 9:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I’m a pretty straight-up guy. I will tell you honestly what’s going on, sometimes painfully so. I understand discretion, and omitting details to spare feelings etc… But I’m not a big fan of deception, and really hate being lied to.

So when I have to play games with a supervisor, it gets on my nerves.

I’ve known Uncle Cliffy for fifteen years. We worked together at the store I worked at before Master P’s. I recommended him, vouched for him, even applauded as he passed me in the ranks to become my supervisor. He claims we are friends, so it’s nice to have friends at the top, right?

With friends like these…

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Filthy Fake Lucre!

May 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Durability Issue

Okay, here’s your mystery question: What’s that in the ashtray?

It’s not a pile of crack, or any drug. (It may have been used in an attempt to procure drugs, though.) It used to be light green. It used to look like money, because it was.

Counterfeit money.

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May 11, 2017 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, That's not funny...)

I’ve gone on about storing my stuff at work. I have a dressy shirt I wear while on shift, its pockets hold my phone and spare store key. (It’s nice to be able to lock up at a second’s notice, without my key being locked in the office, or having to go to my jacket pocket across the room.) A big enough shirt it takes up most of the room in my travel bag, plus a hoodie, reading material, and various other necessities to get through the night, and I’d be weighed down like a bag lady. So I find a non-obtrusive spot to hide my pile of work-junk.

I’ve told the story of how Grinder wanted to throw my stuff away. I’ve gone on about Eva Braun insisting I move my storage area to another store. I’ve been cooperative, done what asked, and complied with all their various requests. Uncle Cliffy, manager of the Waterfront Store, has no issue with me using a closet-sized spot in the very-back of the office. It’s like it was made for me. It was nicknamed the Wilson Water Closet, because a former employee used to leave Big Gulps of pee back there, instead of locking up and going to the bathroom. The peeing has stopped, (no evidence anyway 🙂 ) No more pee-cups, it’s a storage area for brown bags and cash register tape.

When I came in to drop off my work shirt, and found my area completely empty? As the kids say, I about lost my shit…

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