Mar 13, 2008

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee

Anyone sick of my rose pictures yet? I'm not.

I had an interesting experience in the hardware store, I met a knockout artist. More on that term in a minute.

In the store, the staff uses a code over the in-store radio system to alert the management when there is a suspected shoplifter in the store. In our neighborhood we have some pretty scary characters walking around. Some of the suspected shoplifters are just the usual suspects, others are miscellaneous drug addicts, passing through.

Yesterday afternoon I was re-keying a door lock for a guy and I heard one of the cashiers mention that there was a possible shoplifter coming into the store. The manager responded over the radio that he would check the guy out. I just kept on working on the lock, since I'm not in the criminal apprehension part of the hardware business.

My customer had to leave the store and asked me to leave the lock at the cashier's register for him to pick up later. I took the lock to the cashier and found that she was talking to a very large African-American fellow about some ten-cent item he was buying. I waited in line behind him.

As an aside, one of the techniques used by opportunistic stickup guys is to get the cashier to open the register, so that they can grab the cash and run. A tiny purchase accomplishes that goal.

Sensing that I was standing beside him, this fellow turned and asked me if I was keeping my eye on him? I suppose that is a fair question since many people in retail treat African-American men as though they suspect them of criminal intent. I replied that I was just waiting for the cashier and he turned back to his conversation. His in-my-face confrontation surprised me a bit.

By this point I noticed the strong smell of marijuana about this guy and his homeless-like appearance. If I was on the lookout for a shoplifter or a stickup man, ethnicity or race aside, it would be him. But I wasn't on the lookout for anything, but a way to get rid of my lock.

Abruptly, the guy returned his attention to me and told me to back off, because and I quote here, "I'm a knockout artist." Close enough for me. I announced that I was leaving the lock and went about my business. The manager was lurking nearby anyway. Should the knockout artist find the need to knock someone out, better the manager than me.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Kurt said...

So did he grab all the money and run away? Did you give chase?

Julia said...


Once an unsavory looking character was running down a department store escalator shoving people out of the way. I made a disgusted pishaw sort of sound and he threatened to beat up Richard over my indiscretion. I guess he should have had better control over his woman's mouth.

Steve said...

Geez. People are messed up.