On The First Day of Summer

May 6, 2018 at 4:20 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Cinco de Mayo; it’s the beginning of our Xmas season.

Downtown is a constant beehive, although the past few years the sidewalk seems to roll up earlier than ever. I could take my break on 5th Avenue, sitting in plain view puffing on my one-hitter, eyeballing the occasional bus or MAX, and only see one or two shopping cart people rifling the trash for empties. That is standard from January through April. Nobody out for the hustlers to hustle.

But once May rolls around? Yeehaw!

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The Seven-Year Itch

May 3, 2018 at 10:40 am (Drunk and disorderly, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

“Hello, my name is Charlie and I’m an alcoholic.” And a drug-addict and all-around man-about-town.

I’ve been quiet lately, not feeling like sharing, or much of anything, really. Was dealing with depression issues for a bit, but like in my teens, eventually it evaporated. Depressed about what? Nothing more than the pressures and general shame of life. In the midst of the downtime, I’ve had some fun. It’s just that the fun evaporates as well, leaving me to my own empty (yet way-too-busy) thoughts.

My friends have been there for me. I drop in on Dr T. Dizzy and kitty Naomi are stalwart companions, giving me smiles and support. At work, Igor has risen to the top of the milk jug like fine cream, positioning himself to become manager-apparent. Doing such, we spend lots of time working together. I’d rather teach my boss what I want than have to make them figure it out.

And then there’s Wednesday, my day on the road. Mizelle and Lily show up about 9 AM, smiling and bringing sunshine on the rainiest days. I get up about 6 or 7 AM, putter and get my head ready for driving. Lately there’s been nothing to prep my head with, which leaves me in a weird limbo…

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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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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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May Day Play Day

May 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, Sweet sticky things)

May Day and I go back.

Over the past two decades, I’ve encountered big romance, lost said romance, gotten jobs, but the one consistent has been the protests. Every year there are May Day protests, and I end up in the middle of them. Unintentionally, for the most part.

It was a Monday, and the news warned of mischief and mayhem. There are always respectable protesters, the ones who bring their kids to teach them about democracy in action, or older folk recapturing the glory days of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. “Power to the peepole!” Of course they aren’t the problem. It’s the 25-100 black-garbed goons with Molotov cocktails, spray paint and chunks of concrete for the windows that get all the attention.

You know, the assholes.

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Mister Wolf Is On The Way

March 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

I was going to write about a head shop today. Instead I am writing about head cases and headaches. Work-related, of course.

I got up this morning, prepared to take it easy. I had errands to run, and I wanted to drop in on Voorhees and Dr T. They are working day shift at the stores I usually work, so we share ideas on keeping the stores livable.

Because lately, people have been assholes. But before I could even take a shower, I see a 911 alert on my Twitter timeline. The Nightclub store had been robbed!

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Will Everything Come Out Okay?

January 2, 2017 at 9:35 pm (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

I’m not much for holiday songs, but this ditty came out during my teen years and I felt the urge to revisit. George wasn’t my favorite Beatle, but he was one of the top four. He also did an ode to constipation that I will put up at the end, if I can find it.

But that’s later. First we’ve got to get through New Year’s Eve.

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The Reduced-Size Vacation

December 21, 2016 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Fried...

Fried…

It’s been awhile since I had three days off in a row. I think it was starting to show.

Because of finances, I jump on any shift I can get, as long as it starts after 9 AM. (I’m getting old, getting up earlier, but don’t call before noon east coast time. Standards!) I feel guilty when I have time off. I should be doing something. I rebelled from that feeling all my life, and now I’m surprised that I’m having issues?

2016 has been one hell of a dark year. Dead celebrities left and right, scary politics in our future. What future? I’m getting old! I try not to run to drugs, but they’ve always been there for me. My biggest demon lately has been alcohol.

Not my drinking. Other people’s.

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The Old Gray Goose Takes Flight

December 5, 2016 at 3:33 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

mommaPeople often ask how I can tolerate working with the public? It’s not easy, but 99 out of 100 people are nice and just want their Twinkies or whatever. However, out of a thousand people, that leaves ten assholes. Sounds like a proper ratio.

I have been training new workers. I preach tolerance, but there are no shortages of rule-breakers, so everything is like school, and I am the hall monitor. After a week of newbies, they sent me to the Waterfront Store for the night. Sundays at Waterfront are deathly slow. Perfect for reading or recovery from endless screaming. I had a stack of Oregonians, waiting for a quiet moment to settle in.

That’s when the old lady with the bottle of vodka walked in.

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I Gotcha!

October 1, 2016 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

I have a new weapon in the war on crime.

It was a typical Friday night. Everyone’s been paid, but it wasn’t too busy. At 10 PM the drinkers are out, and the street trash is drunk and either ready to crash or just getting started. (Meth, the wonder drug.) I see it all from my captain’s chair, the upside-down milk crate.

There’s been a lot of activity in the Master P camp, some of which I will be discussing very soon. Secrets have been kept, but gag balls, I mean gag orders have expired, and we can talk freely.

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