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Friday, March 7, 2008


I had opened up the big shop door, and was walking into my back room to do a little work on my taxes.

“Excuse me… excuse me… excuse…” a man began screaming out while standing near my roll up door entrance. He quieted as I returned to the front.

He had his below the hip pants on with cuffs dragging fashionably on the ground, complete with a couple layers of loose tops. On the plus side, he didn’t smell like he’d hit the bottle before coming over this morning. The man had a shopping cart. Hanging over all sides of the cart rested a mattress with a bungee cord draped around the middle. I’ll call my visitor Bedding.

“Can I help you?” I asked, not picturing any probability of it.

“Man… I need you to loan me a dollar for the bus,” Bedding blurted out.

“Well, there are three things wrong with that,” I began pointing out. “One, I don’t give out money here. Two, the bus stop is in the opposite direction of where you’re headed. Three, you couldn’t get the cart on the bus with you.”

Bedding looked at me with a mixture of disgust and outrage. When he saw how unaffected I was at his disapproval, Bedding smiled slowly.

“Want to buy a mattress?” Bedding asked.

“Absolutely not,” I replied with a touch of my own disgust. I hadn’t expected that one.

“It’s new,” Bedding informs me indignantly.

“I’m sure.” I wasn’t, and after it had hitched a ride on the shopping cart for a tour of East Oakland with Mr. Bedding, the mattress had a rode hard and put away wet look.

“Give me some rope so I can tie it on better,” Bedding told me.

“Ah… no.”

“Man, you ain’t very helpful.”

“So I’ve been told. Luckily, not by my customers.”

“I won’t ever bring my car in here,” Bedding stated solemnly, while hunching forward to get his mattress laden cart moving.

“I’ll make a note,” I replied with a wave, making a quick mental outline of the conversation to write on the blog instead of doing taxes. :)


Jordan Summers said...

You have so many 'interesting' people where you work. ;)

BernardL said...

I admit, this was my first traveling mattress on a cart day, Jordan. :)

raine said...

Geez, Bernard. You're a magnet for the strangest people!

BernardL said...

It's the big open door from the sidewalk, Raine. The neighborhood's much improved from the days when we had a crack-house across the street in the early nineties. I had some real strange stop-ins back then. As stated though... this was my first cart driven mattress. Just when you think you've seen everything... :)