Ok, shit. So it's been a minute since I've updated. What did you miss? Well, for starters I was fired from my job at the head shop. After two years of faithfully selling drug paraphernalia to the public, I was fired at point blank range for reasons the boss would not disclose on account of it was "emotional." Oregon is one of few states where you can fire an employee without telling them why, by the way. Anyway, now that my job doesn't depend on me not bragging about what I got away with around there, I can finally say the following:
1. I drank on the job almost as often as not, and one time when I was forced into a 13 hour shift, I decided the company owed me more than my wages so I had another employee take $20 out of the register to spend on beer, which I proceeded to drink on the clock.
2. I once dropped the boss off at the airport in the middle of the night with a stripper. They went to Las Vegas and he called me two days later fucked up on ecstasy and cocaine, wondering what had happened to the stripper.
3. One time I received a phone call at 7 in the morning and was moments later at the boss' apartment removing 3 separate felonies from his hands so that his acid trip could be more comfortable. He was coming down from a paranoid fit and convinced that "they" would find the substances at hand, even if he flushed them.
4. I porked hard on the boss' dinner table.
5. One time, when I felt overworked with bookkeeping in the backroom, I drank off of a keg I'd stolen from a party the previous night and instructed the new girl to give me a massage while I got through the paperwork. She was paid her normal hourly wages as well as a keg cup of her own.
6. A number of times, I played "hacky sack" with glass merchandise until it shattered simply because I was bored.
7. One time, I called a coworker in two hours early for his shift because "something came up." What came up is I went out to get a massage and acupuncture.
8. I once opened the store almost an hour late under the grounds that it snowed and traffic was delayed, but in reality, I was porking hard about 5 minutes away. I gave free cigarette lighters to the hapless souls that stood outside the store in the snow while I took my sweet time getting there as compensation for their wasted lives.
As long as this entry is mostly fill, I'm tossing on an article I was working on when I still had a job. It makes present-tense references to my employment, but don't be deceived, I no longer rule the headshop with an iron fist.
To shed light on what my "retail" position actually entails, I've taken the time and liberty to write detailed descriptions of a number of my more "colorful" customers. One or two of them are decent, but the vast majority are black holes of human beings that do nothing but rob functioning members of society of the oxygen we deserve to breathe and welfare dollars we should get to spend on nice things, like electric guitars or kegerators. Let's get started!
The Squirrel Guy-
Not to be confused with Squirrel Girl, who we'll get to momentarily. The Squirrel Guy is middle aged and comes in regularly for our cheapest, shittiest tobacco, which draws most of the people that qualify for this list. I never found him noteworthy, but a few months ago, the coffee shop at the bus station began carrying some product, I'm not even sure what, which had a promotional card displaying a squirrel that possessed photoshopped, huge balls. It reads "Chock full of nuts!" While to most people, this would delicately walk the line between mildly amusing and cliché, The Squirrel Guy keeps this card in his wallet at all times and somehow manages to detour any verbal exchange to the card. Example:
Me, cringing on the inside: "Hi, how are you?"
The Squirrel Guy, trembling with anticipation: "Well, I'm doing ok, but I'd be doing better if I could find my pet squirrel. I have a picture of him here, maybe you've seen him?"
At this point, he presents the card with enough build-up you can tell he's expecting controversy to explode out from the card in a wave, swallowing all who were not ready in it's mighty wake. Instead, staff members, most of with have dealt with this more than once already, respond with something polite yet discouraging. Usually the response will display the smallest traceable shred of artificial amusement accompanied by a reminder that he's shown us before.
The Squirrel Guy constantly flicks his tongue out like a snake and appears to be tasting the air around him. I know he's not ACTUALLY tasting it though, because the sight of him makes my body release pheromones that scream "stay away" with every cell.
He revealed the origin of the card to one of my coworkers who is kinder than myself and most others, encouraging her to go get one and show it to people like he does. He's kind of like a Mormon, only instead of envisioning a perfect world where everybody worships Jesus and has nine kids that do the same, his idea of a perfect world is nothing more than everyone walking around showing each other the same picture of a squirrel with a big nutsack. That's the entire focus of his evangelism, or so I'm led to believe.
Total other side of the crazy squirrel person spectrum. I don't know what the hell Squirrel Girl is on, but I don't want ANY. She looks about twenty and her facial features are constantly swimming as though her face can't funnel emotions from her brain fast enough and the signals overflow into an indistinctive mix of feelings that are impossible to read. Her squirrel fiasco was sudden. My first memory of her was her ranting about how successful she was at breeding rats, which is apparently a challenge at least some people. I've never tried, but seeing how there's a large industry based on killing rats faster than they can outbreed us, I always assumed that getting them to fuck was not too complicated. Drama struck her rat colony though, and I can't remember what kind because I lost interest instantly and quit listening to her. In brevity, she had no rats, but someone was going to get her a squirrel she said, which was okay because that was her favorite animal ever. She comes in only once in a great while, and I managed to avoid her for a couple of visits but overheard her speaking with either other members of the staff or other customers about squirrels.
One day, she came in especially distraught and her disposition, though clearly unhappy, was somehow more illegible than even usual. She had "Lost Squirrel" fliers and left a message on the company notepad with a description of her pet squirrel that had escaped and directions to get in touch with her if we found it. The description consisted of something like, "lost squirrel brown short tail named Scooby." She exclaimed in mutilated sentences that the squirrel had never been outside before and couldn't survive on it's own. It may have been a coincidence, and mostly likely was, but my boss did say he saw a squirrel on the property that was missing part of it's tail like she'd explained, but appeared well-fed and active. I think Scooby is doing just fine, wherever he is. I occasionally see Squirrel Girl wondering the street I work on, she is constantly in a state of overwhelmed perplexion.
The Mad Hatter-
The Mad Hatter always calls before coming to the store to make sure we have her products. She usually talks for way too long on the phone, as many people without jobs do. My first encounter with her was a call to see if we could special order rolling papers for her, and she went into detail on the product even though I told her I knew exactly what it was and that we carried it but we were just out. So it wasn't even a "special" order, it was just an order. She proceeded to reveal that she was a hypochondriac by telling me about some condition she just saw on TV that she was pretty sure she had. I don't remember what condition, but I remember it seemed mild, uninteresting, and barely tangible. Anyway, she came into the store later that day after introducing herself as "The Mad Hatter" over the phone. I didn't recognize her though, because her hat isn't mad at ALL. It's just a plain black hat that has the brim that goes all the way around, kind of like a very small cowboy hat. There's a feather in it but it's pretty small and doesn't grab attention whatsoever. I think there might be a button to, but I can't remember because the hat is so indistinct as a whole. A few times, I've even seen her wearing just a normal baseball cap. Part of me always wanted to get the staff to all throw down some funds and get her a fucking MAD hat, like the kind Abe Lincoln wore only maybe made out of an endangered species hide and lots of spikes and maybe a little fish bowl on top full of those fighting fish that would constantly be fighting and whenever they'd die she'd just replace them. The other part of me doesn't give a fuck.
We don't see a lot of Detox Kid anymore, most likely because the merchandise he bought caused several stores just like us to be closed and their owners sent to prison. It's a federal felony to help anyone pass a drug test, but many products still exist to do so. Products like synthetic urine or even artificial bladders that can be filled with clean urine and concealed under the clothes are available upon request at many places, but most businesses like less shady transactions so they sell either Detoxify or Total Eclipse, both of which are marketed for "dietary use," because they temporarily flush your system of toxins like THC and make passing piss tests a breeze.
So anyway, before we quit carrying these products at my work, they were in very high demand, but we rarely saw repeat business on them because people generally needed to pass one test for employment, or sometimes more for probation. Detox Kid, however, bought the stuff a number of times a WEEK. Constant Cleanse is a thirty day supply of pills, which somehow never seemed to last him half that long, and the drinks themselves are so harsh on your system that legitimate doctors would probably advise avoiding them altogether. He was 18 or 19 and really somewhat nerdy, so it was hard to guess why a freshman in college that looked like his mother still dressed him had to pass urinary analysis about twice a week. We quit carrying the products after a number of raids in the same state as our store, and when he came looking for them and we turned him down I could see his whole world crumbling. He was devastated at first and then aggressive once he realized that if we "pulled it from the shelves," as we had phrased it to him, that we must still have it somewhere. He began grilling us to reveal where that "somewhere" was. We never cracked and he left in a state of desperation. I don't know what happened to him, but I'm confident the volume of detox drinks we sold him probably took years off the end of his life.
Okay. That's all right now. There's a lot more freakshows to write about but I don't feel like it right now.