Tales from the Convenience Store: Officer Friendly
So there was this drunk… Saturday a couple of weeks ago I had the dubious pleasure of working the afternoon/early evening shift. It was hot, as Texas weather usually is during the late summer, so we were selling massive quantities of beer. Amidst the hustle and bustle of rapid fire transactions I looked out into the busy intersection outside our store, there to see a pickup truck stalled out, hood open, and a guy wandering up in my parking lot.
Now next door to us there’s this 10 minute oil change place, with those wonderful 6 dollar an hour would-be mechanics working in it. You know the ones – pretty nice guys actually, but not quite the brightest bulbs in the box. To me they were steady customers like everyone else, only they get free refills on their sodas and in exchange leave their greasy footprints all over my nice, clean floor.
Anyway so the guy comes wandering up just as the youngest oil tech comes over for his (once every 10 minutes all day long) soda refill. He proceeds to offer “Squirrely” (as I like to call him – he acts like one) 10 bucks to get the truck out of the intersection and help him fix it. Squirrel, seeing a profit of almost 2 hours of his labor agrees to help. They work their way back into traffic.
Just then Officer Friendly (remember officer friendly from the last post? Same guy) comes rolling up behind the truck and turns on his lights. Now it gets interesting.
I tend to a few more customers who are in a hurry to get their beer and get back to watching ballgames on their teevees and ignoring their rugrats (who’ll come in later begging coins to buy candy with), then turn back to see everything gone. No cop car, no truck, no Squirrel, no Officer Friendly, no guy. Hrm. This is odd. It’s only been a couple of minutes. I walk out front for a smoke.
Now there’s a blind side of my c-store where I can’t see from the inside or in front of the store. It’s a parking area. We call it ‘robber parking’ since it’s a favorite hangout of local drug dealers, shoplifters, potential robbers, and those who prefer I not see their vehicle. I always look over into robber parking when I’m outside smoking to make sure nothing too dangerous is going on. I looked, and there was the truck, half in and half out of my back driveway, cop in front, and another in the rear. One’s doing a field sobriety test on our hero, while Officer Friendly and his dog are searching the cab. “Hey, this one’s getting good.” I think to myself as I stroll back to the front doors so as not to be too obvious in my curiosity. I finish another drag of my smoke and up drives yet another customer so I ditch it and go back inside.
It turns into a rush, so I don’t get to go back out and gawk. No matter, Squirrely and Officer Friendly enter the store about 20 minutes later. I get the details. Turns out our hero was involved in a hit and run about 3 blocks down. It was bad enough to cause his truck to overheat and stall out at the intersection. Once the truck had cooled enough, it was easily started and driven (by Squirrel) into our parking lot (sort’ve – I told you he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box already didn’t I?) and the entire parade moved over here. To make matters worse the guy was completely hammered on whiskey and beer, which he was more than willing to throw up all over my otherwise reasonably clean parking lot during the investigation. The icing on the cake was the gram of methamphetamine and half ounce of weed Ali (Officer Friendly’s dog) so easily found in the cab. Ooops.
Ok, I hosed off the puke, but I got my revenge by proxy – another drunk’s off the street.
Written by l3lacklce