"These crazy crackheads keep boosting (stealing) all my batteries," my favorite clerk told me this morning.
I had drove the short drive down the street to get a cup of hot chocolate using the last of the spare change my Honda had collected these past few months.
"Batteries?" I asked, amused. Wondering if my favorite clerk wasn't suffering from a tad bit of paranoia.
"Yeah, batteries. Triple A. Double A. They like them all and they sell them somewhere for crack."
I laughed. I had never heard of such a thing, but I have come to expect the unexpected from our little convenience store down on the corner. Being open all night, it attracts the most interesting and wayward souls. Including me.
"I'm talking to my boss this morning about moving them to the back of the counter," he then told me. "I can't stand shoplifting! And I don't want to spend all my time in court after catching them."
It pays to be proactive instead of reactive, I thought. Nip it in the bud, as Deputy Barney Fife would say filled with bravado and boisterousness.
"Do you ever sleep?" my clerk friend then asked me as I sipped on my hot drink and puffed on a little cherry hinted cigar. I had been up for hours.
"I slept five hours last night with all my lights on and the internet radio blaring," I said. "I was just emailing a friend awhile ago about how unscheduled my bachelor life is these days. It is kinda nice to be so free."
"It must be nice!" he replied with an air of jealousy. "I wish I could live that way. I just work, eat, shit, and sleep. That is my life. I feel like a hamster in a exercise wheel running his ass off to never get anywhere."
"Good night!" I finally said with a smile, meaning good morning, as a line of customers had formed behind me anxiously and hurriedly. The morning spurt of patrons had arrived heading for their early shift of work after getting their morning dose of caffeine, snacks, candy, or cigarettes. I chuckled to myself as I got in my car to drive the short drive home. You never know what to expect down at Circle K #12 on Gilmer Avenue. Batteries, I mused. You learn something new everyday.