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Monday, December 20, 2010


It was one of those days in the shop. I had someone try to sell me a Target $30 gift card for $20 and another guy tried to sell me the steering wheel off of a Mercedes. The best interlude came when I was doing a computer diagnostic on a 2003 Toyota Corolla and heard my motion detector chime. Looking out toward the front I see some guy fiddling near my electrical outlet just inside the door.

“Hey, what are you doing?” I ask while walking toward the front.

“Plugging in my phone to charge.” He’s still trying to plug into my outlet.

Now I’ve had people want to use my tools, my jacks, my bathroom, etc. but this was the first time anyone traipsed in off the sidewalk and tried to get their cell-phone charged. Not to mention skipping the step about asking my permission. It seems like cell-phones have become an entitlement nowadays and maybe everyone thinks if their battery goes dead it’s their right to recharge. I don’t think so, Sparky.

“So,” I continue my conversation with Recharge Man, “you think it’s okay to come into my shop and simply stick your plug in my wall without asking?”

He straightens up finally from his task with an annoyed expression. “I need a charge, man. I’ll only be doing a quick…”

“You won’t be doing anything in my shop. Gather your cord up and move along. This isn’t a cell-phone charging station.”

Recharge pulls down the scarf he had over his mouth so as to add a sneer to his annoyed look. Yeah, I’m really impressed now. He picks up the charging cord off the floor that he couldn’t get plugged in and points at me. “Best be careful.”

“I’ll make a note.” I’m always careful… and armed. “Get moving.”

Recharge streams a litany of pejorative prose in a rambling mumble as he saunters to the sidewalk. This is more like it, I’m thinking. It’s been way too long since any blog characters stumbled in. After all, this was another first. After over thirty-four years here, anytime something happens for the first time it’s cause for contemplation and dislodges a few cobwebs.  :)


whydibuy said...

Nice neighborhood.

Sounds like the areas I used to work in when I worked in Detroit. We had strung out druggies wander in, and this wasn't even a public place. We had to lock all doors and have a screen barrier over the loading dock when the overhead door was open, lest some lowlife would stagger in.

This hood gave you good advice. Being open to a lowlife public is dangerous. You got brass, Ill give you that. You never know when the hood you kick out may return with weapons and an attitude.

raine said...

Privileged much?? Lol!

BernardL said...

The neighborhood has been so quiet lately, whydibuy, I may have lost my edge. There are warehouses down the avenue that take precautions just as you described. I have a motion detector in the front which is the only approach. Because of limited street parking I have to keep the big door open in my line of work. There are a lot of families around the shop now with kids. It has changed a lot for the good. I'm hoping Recharge was an aberration. East Oakland is a place where if you show fear, you'll need a castle and moat to be safe. Having worked in Detroit I'm sure you know what I mean. :)

Yeah, Raine. Hell, if Recharge would have asked to plug in to make a call I would have let him. Finding him hooking up like he owned the place made me think 'Hey, you want fries and a coke with that?'. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

He sounds like such a sweetheart. Given that he can't even work a cell phone one wonders whether if he threatened you with a gun he would have remembered to put bullets in it.

BernardL said...

My plug is down at floor level by the door, Charles. I think Recharge had his big and small prongs on the plug reversed, hence his inability to get juiced before I intercepted him. :)