Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shoplifting Scum...

I think this one is going to be a bit on the short side.  I was up late trying to find a recipe for pulled pork marinated in concentrated orange juice, and I found every single recipe that I have ever torn from a magazine except for that one.  I might be able to wing it, but I would much rather do this one by the books...I will keep looking gawdammit.  I went to bed kind of late...ugh.


Again from back in my days at the downtown music store, there was an ensemble of characters that were always hanging around the store.  There was the guy we called "Giggles"because he looked like he was laughing as wandered around listening to his Walkman cassette player.  Then there was the woman that would dance and groove at the music station until the day that she started yelling at the top of her lungsthe lyrics to a gangsta' rap album.  Then there was the very weird kid with pencil-thin mustache, the kind of mustache that junior high school students sport once they figure out that they can actually grow hair on their face; it always looks terrible.  Let's call this kid Line-stache.

Line-stache must have lived very close by, because he was always hanging around the store and slowly perusing the video games, cassettes and CDs.  He was a weird fellow, but who wasn't in their adolescent years?  Shit, I still have emotional scars from those days.  Occasionally we would hold items for him behind the counter and he would be forced to talk to us for those brief moments, but otherwise he kept to himself.  He just creeped me out, and there was no real reason why, he just did.

One incredibly dead day at the store, it was me, a coworker and Line-stache hanging around.  The day was sunny and beautiful, and the rest of humanity who did not have to work was at the beach enjoying the water, BBQ'd meats, and girls in teeny-tiny bikinis.  Periodically, I wandered outside to have a look at the scarcity of people in the mall and sigh heavily, imagining everything that I was missing, but there were CDs to be put out, so I walked to the back room to grab a box of CDs and passed my coworker, who was straightening the displays near the back of the store.  I went in the eerily quiet office, hoisted the heavy box and the moment I pushed the door open, I saw Line-stache standing by the open doors holding two Sega Genesis video games.

I like to imagine the moment as if it were a scene from an old western.  We stood apart with naught but the CDs separating us.  He with the store owned video games and me with my box of CDs.  All was quiet except for the thumping of the Bucketheads blasting over the sound system and I imagined a cool wind blowing outside that...well, it was fucking hot outside, so there was no cool wind, but I imagined it.  I could see the look in his eyes, or at least I felt that I could see it in his eyes, since my eyesight sucks rocks, but I knew he was going to make a break for it.  I slowly began to lower the heavy box to the ground, not once breaking eye contact and the moment it touched the carpet, Line-stache made his move.  With a brief doofy smile, he was off and running out the door with the alarm system angrily shouting its objection.  I took off after the youngster, but being very out of shape, possibly hung over and more than likely having eaten a fajita omelette, hashbrowns and chocolate Coke for breakfast at Ruby's--I had no chance in hell of catching him.  Yet I ran.

By the time I made it outside and turned towards Chapala, I could see Line-stache vanishing about a block and a half away and then he rounded the corner.  I was pissed.  Stupid little a-hole.  Oh well, at the least he would never come back to the store, but Santa Barbara is a small town, and I did end up running into him again.

A few months later, I was at the locally owned competition, which was far cooler than my corporate music store, and looking around and saying hi to some of my friends that worked there.  Guess who I saw perusing the CDs...Line-stache.  We stared at one another from across the CD display rack and the smug little shit smiled at me and said, "Hey man, what's up?"

I replied, that not much was going on and asked him to hold on for a moment.  I walked a little closer to the front of the store and called out to my friend Megan, who was the manager of the store, "Hey Megan?  Yeah, hi.  See that guy right there?"  I pointed and everyone in the store was staring at Line-stache at this point.  "Yeah, him.  He stole from my store a couple of months ago.  Yeah, he stole two Sega Genesis games.  Ran right out the door with them.  I would definitely keep an eye on him."  Line-stache went ashen and possibly had some beads of sweat forming on his ridiculous mustache and I casually strolled out of the store while the employees moved ever closer to Line-stache, whispering amongst themselves.

I did not have any sort of loyalty to the corporate music store, but Line-stache broke an unspoken understanding that we had.  He was free to loiter, act like the weirdo he was and do his thing and I would let him.  He broke our understanding and now had no music stores nearby to steal from.  So long sucker.

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