In honor of the holiday, I give you something green to laugh at. Enjoy!
Three men with black army boots and trench coats walked through the doors. One had shorter hair while the other two had longer hair than mine. They carried a presence about them that gave them away as soon as they entered the door. My manager perked up and watched them walk past us towards the back of the store.
Now before we get into the ‘You’re judging them for their looks’ argument. I didn’t. Most of the kids I hung out with in school wore this same apparel and I loved them dearly, they were—in my opinion—some of the nicest kids to ever walk those halls. In all honesty I’d rather be around them than most people. What I judged was the air and presence about them; you could tell they were up to something just by the way they walked by. It doesn’t matter what they look like, its how they presented themselves.
Now that we’re clear on that..
My friend, we will call him Sam, also picked up on it and mentioned it. I told him to just stay away from them and he should be fine. I was hoping they didn’t check out through my line. A few minutes later they walked back to the front of the store and walked right out the doors. I figured they stole something and would run but they didn’t, they parked themselves right outside the front door and lit up a joint. A joint.
I caught my manager exiting the office headed towards the back. Sam followed him. It wasn’t long at all before Sam and my manager hurried back to the office, I watched as my manager made a phone call. Behind the glass I couldn’t hear what he was saying but I knew he was talking to the police. Sam trotted over to me.
“Those guys trashed the bathroom.” He said, “It’s a mess back there.”
Apparently these men had knocked over the trash cans, stopped up the toilets, threw toilet paper everywhere, and left the water running. Cute. I watched the men as I rang up customers. They stood there talking and laughing, finishing their joint. Sam went back to the bathrooms to clean up their mess. My manager was also watching them, waiting for the police to arrive.
In about fifteen minutes Sam came back.
“The cops are not here yet?” He asked.
“No not yet.” I told him.
“Okay. I’ll be right back.”
He was headed for the doors when I stopped him.
“Sam, what are you doing?”
“I’m going to go get buggies.” He said pointing outside.
“No Sam. Wait until the police get here. They may hurt you.”
“Ah you worry too much.” He told me in his thick accent, “It’ll be okay. I’ll just go get buggies and come back.”
“You better stay in here Sam.” I yelled after him.
Of course Sam didn’t listen; he smiled at me as he headed straight out the door right towards those men. What happened next was the most random thing I’d had ever seen (up until that point in my life). Sam walked by the men and smiled at them in greeting; one of them pointed to his smock and said something (of course I can’t hear it). Sam looked down at his smock and nodded his head, he seemed a bit confused, like what the man said didn’t make sense but he agreed anyway. When the guy said something else, I watched as Sam’s face flooded with panic. I could tell Sam said, “What?”
And then pandemonium erupted, whatever the man said last scared Sam enough to make him run. The three men took off after him. I screamed thinking they’d kill him. They disappeared into the parking lot. I was just beginning to think they had caught him when he entered the front doors on the opposite side of the store. Sam came running across the front end of the store, sprinting as hard as he could with these men hot on his heels yelling, “Help me, help me!”
The terror on this kid’s face was unbelievable. It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to react.
He exited out the door in front of me again, sprinting into the dark parking lot; still screaming. I looked up just in time to catch the confused look on my manager’s face. Had I not thought Sam was going to die, this would have been funny. Sam entered the opposite door for a second time, about halfway down the front end he looked at me and yelled, “Help me! Make them stop!”
Yeah, that’ll work, I thought. But desperate times call for desperate measures so I yelled, “Hey, stop!”
Brilliantly worded, I know. Don’t expect a lot from me when I’m under pressure. Sure enough, it went just about as well as I thought it would, they ignored me and chased Sam out the door again.
This time, they didn’t come back. My manager ran outside to find him, only to come back in a few minutes later smiling. Sam was right behind him. Apparently the police had showed up and saved Sam. He walked over to my register panting for breath.
“What happened?” I cried looking him over.
“They wanted my smock.” He gasped.
“They wanted my smock. They didn't like the color green.”
“They were chasing you for your green smock?” I asked exasperated.
“Yes, but I didn’t want to give it to them. It was mine.” He told me.
Oh Sam, bless your heart.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!