"Don't be yankin' on my doors"
The graveyard shift mini-mart employee, surly as can be, fixes Nic with a death stare.
Welcome to Portland Oregon. It's 2 AM and pissing down rain and we've just played a show down the street and Nic's trying to buy some beer to take back to our hotel, just around the corner. The doors to the cooler remain locked. The minimart guy ain't budging. "You think you can come in here and just yank on my doors? Get the fuck out of here!" Stupified, as Disturbed would say, Nic walks back out to the van and hands me the money, warning "Don't yank on the cooler doors. The clerk is crazy".
I go into the store, walk back to the beer cooler, gently try the door, see that it's locked and turn to the clerk. "Is it too late to buy beer?" He looks me up and down. "No"
A few seconds of eternal silence. The store is empty, save the two of us.
"How do I access the beer then?"
More silence. Then...
"You need the key"
"How do I get the key?"
"You come over here and give me your I.D. I give you the key"
This guy is pissed, fuming under his breath. I slowly walk to the counter and give him my passport. He hands me a key chained to a slop bucket. He leans over the counter and gives me the same death stare Nic told me about. "Don't be yankin on my doors". His voice is low and gravelly.
I unlock the cooler, grab the Pabst, relock the door, and take it back to the counter.
"You ain't buying this for that guy that was just in here yankin' on my doors, is you?"
"What? Nah, man. I'm by myself", I lie. He looks at me as if I might be the man that dropped him on his head when he was a child.
"Good, you better not be. Cause that guy was a douchebag, comin in here, yankin on my doors and shit"
He rings me up and I skidaddle the fuck out of this surreal minimart.
"That guy really doesn't like you", I tell Nic. "He called you a douchebag".
"Me a douchebag! That guy is seriously disturbed", Nic says in disbelief.
We drive up to the doors. The guy is looking out the window. I roll down the window and hold up the beer, smiling. Nic gives him the finger. "Douchebag!"
I've never seen a man's face turn so red in anger so fast. We peel out of the parking lot, just as king shithead comes running out of the store.
What would have happened if we hadn't left? God only knows. Despite this, I still love Portland. Just don't be yankin' on anybody's doors.
After our show in Lincoln Nebraska. Gas station. I go in to get something to drink. I need to use the bathroom, but there's and out of order sign on the door. Skinny, meth-head looking clerk rings me up as he talks on the phone. The van is still being gassed up and I really need to relieve myself. I scan the perimeter, weighing my options. I walk around the store, the clerk watching me through the window. There's a huge dumpster and a vacant parking lot behind it. Ghost town. 1 AM. Tuesday night.
The ground is wet, it's just rained. I take care of business quickly and start back to the van. The clerk rounds the corner and walks toward me.
"You just piss on my dumpster?" He stares at me with glassy eyed suspicion. I notice scabs all over his face, taking the emphasis off his rotted teeth. Give me a fucking break.
"What? Nah, man", I lie again. I seem to to say that alot, especially when accused of dastardly deeds. But actually I didn't piss on "his" dumpster, but the ground, which is wet anyway.
"I'm gonna check. You better not be lying", he says and starts off towards the dumpster. I scurry to the van.
"Can we get the fuck out of here" I tell the guys.
"Why? What happened?"
"I'll tell you once we leave, but please, let's just go. This guy is fucked up"
Happily, we prepaid for the gas and Nic has to go back inside to get our change, which he does quickly and returns to the van, looking at me quizzically.
"What did you do?"
"Well, that guy just told me he called the cops on you"
Like I said, can we just get the fuck out of here.
Now I know my actions weren't very classy, but back the fuck up man, I'm tired and weary and the bathroom was broken and I didn't even piss on the dumpster. And besides it's not "his" dumpster. What's up with all these minimart clerks and their false sense of propriety. I worked at a bagel shop before, but it certainly didn't lead me to believe that the place was mine. Sheesh.
ten minutes later, highway outside of town. 2 police cruisers, lights flashing, the four of us lying on the wet pavement, hands behind our heads, batons digging brutally into... JUST KIDDING!