Years ago I worked a second job in a convenience store for a while. At that time, the thought crossed my mind that Shakespeare had to have worked at the Elizabethan equivalent of a convenience store … one manages to see a lot of life from behind that counter. Here’s just a snip from my catalog of convenience store stories.
There was a notorious bad check writer who haunted our part of the county back then. Her father was a respected businessman and she wasn’t above dropping his name if she thought it would help, but he didn’t bail her out of her checks. She’d cruise different stores and if she noticed somebody new working at one of her haunts, she’d ply her trade. I once noted that the grocery store down the street had a note taped to every single cash register with her name written boldly.
She must have made a mistake this one night and didn’t recognize me–I had worked there a while and had been caught by her on my second shift. The owner gave me a ‘bye’ on that one, but said that was the only one. She pumped gas and came in and tried to pass a check.
The woman pumped gas and came in and tried to pass a check.
“I can’t take it.”
“You KNOW why not.”
“You KNOW why not.”
“Well, I’ve pumped the gas, so whatcha going to do?”
I sighed. It was about 6:30 and I really didn’t want any hassle on my shift.
I said, “You come back with the money by ten and I won’t call the cops, but I call at ten sharp.”
She turned and left. She owed like nine bucks for the gas.
Big Jimmy came by after a while to keep me company. He used to work there but he still liked to come hang out. His name was well-earned .. he stood about 6’5″ and weighed way over 300 pounds.
We were sitting around and talking and here she came, carrying a pizza box. It was about 9:45.
“How about seven bucks and two-thirds of a pizza?” She opened the box … sure enough, inside the box was two-thirds of a pizza. It was still hot.
She opened the box … and sure enough, there was what appeared to be two-thirds of a pizza. It was still hot.
I’m thinking to myself “oh my fxxxing gawd ….” Then I’m thinking, what a pain in the ass it would be to call the cops for three bucks. And I also realized that the pizza smelled good and I was a hungry. I had to give her some credit, she was good.
I had to give her some credit, she was good.
I loudly sighed and resigned myself to the situation.
“Okay,” I said as I threw in the three bucks to balance the register.
Her debt paid, she left and I opened the box and offered some to Big Jimmy.
Big Jimmy gnawed on a piece and said, “The thing I don’t understand, is how did she get a pizza if she didn’t even have the money for gas?”
I think the concept of irony was a little lost on Big Jimmy.
I shook my head and said “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy … she wrote a *check* someplace for it …. “
Jimmy then got it … .”Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”