Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plaid-Lad is dead :(

Well, hell and damn. I guess that's that. I've been let go. They never said fired though, so I get to put down "Left under favorable conditions" until they say otherwise.

Can't say I'll miss that job.

US Air Force, HERE I COME!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Has Plaid Lad met his match?

Has Plaid Lad finally met his match?

Is this the end for our intrepid hero?

In what very well may be the final episode of Plaid Lad, our hero goes face to face with The Sting!

Paperwork and possible legal disputes aplenty ahead.

(Yeah, I might be getting fired on false pretenses. Anyone who's shopped at my store knows I'm an ID Nazi when it comes to alcohol and tobacco sales.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Old notes

For the first month or two, I kept notes of every nights shift and wrote down each and every weird thing that happened. It was tedious, but it worked. Suppose I should start that up again, though it's still difficult to tell what's weird anymore. I'm getting jaded.

Anyway, here are some gems that didn't really merit full entries but are still fun.

A very drunk older man who must have been in his mid to late sixties came into the store and spoke at length on early Japanese film. Recommended that I watch Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Fist Full of Dollars which I think he said was an americanized retelling of one of the other movies.

Back when The Voiceless was still coming into my store, she once dug a large coffee cup out of the trash and wanted to refill it. You could see the filth clinging to it from 15-20 feet away.

An older woman came in and just got some hot water, (which we don't charge for), so she could make some of her own tea in her own cup. She apparently really didn't want to get something for free though, because she inisted on paying for it. I think I charged her for a creamer-packet or something small like that.

I suppose it's worth mentioning that almost every day, some old man comes in the store at almost exactly 7am and buys tremendous amounts of the most cost effective alcohol we've got. Mm-mm, Hurricane HG: Tastes like turpentine poured over corn flakes.

There is one man who returned to my store yesterday, that creeps me out particularly badly.
An older man, likely in his 50's, his hair the color of iron and combed into the most boring 50's hair style possible, he stares out at the world, eyes fixed just a bit above the horizon... even if he's indoors. He will stand far to close to other customers and either mumble to himself of terrors unheard of even in dreams*, or cough spasmodically, over and over for well beyond a minute and a half, all the while gyrating his head like a bird and his eyes bulging.

The most terrifying thing about this man, however, is that once you have witnessed all these bizarre traits and behaviors, only then do you hear him speak.

His is the kind of voice you expect to hear on a children's show. High pitched, sedated and cooing. Combined with his often bulging, non-focusing eyes and him trying to lean across the counter to get closer to me, something in me is even more terrified of this man than the kid with the knife.

* Ph'nglui mglw'nafh C'thulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



I swear to fucking god, from this point onward I'm going to steadfastly deny that I've ever even heard of Insane Clown Posse, and I'm DEFINITELY not going to admit that I enjoy a song or two of theirs. I've had to deal with a few Juggalos lately, almost all of them kids that reek of failure and don't have a brain cell in their heads.

I had just finished stocking the beer cooler, (which was bare-bones and mostly empty before and after I dealt with it by the way), and headed to the front of the shop to open the doors when I was greeted by the manic grin of a short young man covered in sharpie. I yanked the "Back in 20 minutes - stocking cooler" sign down off the glass door, unfortunately destroying it's already mostly torn in half form.

"That wasn't 20 minutes! That was only five! Well, since I got here at least. I'm so bored I've been counting the seconds," he said, speaking more quickly than you would assume a sober person would speak.

He had managed to get most of the ink off of his face, but you could still manage to read "FAGO" on his forehead, and on his neck was an asterisk, and arrow pointing to it and the word "HICKIE".

He bought a burrito with food stamps and announced "Don't you love Oregon Law? I'm a paying customer for 24 hours so I can just go ahead and stay here as long as I like, and your boss couldn't kick me out if he wanted to. I love this country, don't you?" I tried to keep smiling. I don't like it when people try to tell me how it's going to be on my turf, but I bit my tongue and didn't bother telling him that we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, meaning why yes I could kick him out at any time I please.

Probably should have, 'coz as soon as a customer came in, he stood right by them chattering at me like a gibbon on all sorts of bizarre subjects. Soon enough he mentioned "God I wish you guys sold Faygo here." The man he was standing far to close to was frowning, trying to ignore him and failing.

"Yeah, that'd be pretty great." I said halfheartedly.

"Wait. WAIT. You know what Faygo is!?"

"Yeah, of course."

"OH SHIT. EPIC. WIN." What? No. NO. "You know ICP?"


He started reciting ICP lyrics.

As the poor man left, the boy stood just out of camera range, perhaps by some unholy instinct, and lifted up his hoodie revealing a small japanese blade tucked under his belt and announced, "THAT AIN'T A NOIFE, DIS IS A NOIFE! HAW HAW!"

The word "What." escaped my lips.

"Yeah check this shit out! I got my naginata with me!" I didn't point out that his letter-opener sized japanese blade wasn't a naginata. Those are much, much larger weapons, essentially a sword at the end of a pole and certainly not concealable. "Yeah my friend let me borrow it in case I get jumped! I got jumped the other day, took on thirteen russians before the rest held me down and kicked my head around like chicken shits."

Believable. Did I mention he couldn't stand more than 5'4" or weigh more than 150lbs? It didn't take him much time to start talking about how he was in Iraq with the marines as a lance corporal, also a sniper, had all sorts of special privilages 'coz he was just so badass. So believable.

Soon enough he mentioned that his girlfriend wound up pregnant about two weeks ago, and that he's happy about it since he just found out that day but proposed to her a few days prior, which she accepted. I suppose that's why I didn't just call the cops as soon as he left. Regardless, standing outside as I was taking a break in the fantasticly warm spring night, I decided to pick his brain and ask him about boot camp and what he did in the Marines.

He spoke on his favorite kill, which if it's true, he definitely earned my congratulations on. Waiting for some high ranking target in his sniping position he was looking through his scope to kill three hours time. Sweeping over the area he noticed a little girl being raped by a man in his 40's and radioed in, "Permission to terminate a child molester."

"Fucking GRANTED." was the supposed reply.

So that's pretty cool. Or at least, if it's true it is.

It took at least two hours for him to finally leave, with one period of time where I explained "Hey I've got some work to do in back that requires that I have the store empty and the door locked, so I gotta boot ya real quick" hoping that he'd just leave.

Did he leave?

Of course not!

I would be so lucky.

Upon his return he told me how he was planning to rob the store if there was a woman behind the counter, and how he would do it.

I let him talk. He had the knife.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"I just got out of jail" is a red flag


In an already interesting night when paramedics told me about a guy who decided he had to paint his house with his own blood, (he barely survived as I understand), several college age men in the store and this "Bad Boy" attitude I've started to take on working graveyard shifts, I discovered that I'm getting a little more... ballsy?

The man who stumbled in the door was tall and gaunt, spindly and quite likely drunk. His unkempt gray hair was long and was matted to his worn leather coat with rain.

"I JUST GOT OUT OF JAIL." he announced, and stood right by the ice cream cooler and started looking into the clerks-only area. "I did my six hours," he bragged. I assume he was thrown in the drunk tank early in the evening, since it was only a little before midnight. He reached over the displays and started to try to take a lighter.

"Hey. Get out of that. That's for me to mess with. Get in line like everyone else." I growled. With an opening line like his I have no patience for such lame fuckery. He looked at me as though he didn't expect to be told not to try to steal something and wandered back to my customers, all huddled around a single cooler door where he proceeded to try to bum money and cigarettes off them. I considered telling him not to, but assumed he'd give me a better reason to kick him out.

Hey how's it going, you can call me Nostradamus. Another accurate prediction.

He returned to that same spot and started watching me work the register as the other customers started making their purchases. One man paid with a $20 bill, and I started to put it in the auto-safe.

"Oh you got a twenty-" the recently released man said, and he started to reach over the displays again in an attempt to take it from me.

Before I had the opportunity to consider the possible repercussions and hazards to my personal well being this course of action could result in, calmly slapped his hand with a loud "NO." The sound of my hand striking his was sharp and loud and pierced the conversation my customers were having easily.

I went back to taking care of the customers but looked over my shoulder at the man who was completely taken aback that someone like myself would strike him, even just a little swat like that.

"Yeah get out, man." I said.

He rolled his eyes, tilted his head back and left with a "yeah, yeah..."

The customers never even noticed this little altercation, thus constituting a minor victory on my part.

Ten minutes later I realized my finger tips were still a little numb. I guess I slapped his hand pretty damn hard.