Wednesday, March 28, 2012
It’s apparent the 38th Avenue gang has decided to reassert their authority up here at my end because of an encounter I had yesterday. I’m guessing here, because the two gentlemen involved used the same tactics as I’ve seen over three decades. They approach by passing by a couple times making my motion detector ding, heralding their method. They then peek in from each side of the big front pull up door thinking I’m not aware of them. Been there, done that. While they’re scoping out the inside of the shop I move around the Honda I’m working on and over to where I can approach the outside door under cover of my office’s outcropping. When they slither in from either side, I’m waiting. I come quickly out to say hi.
“May I help you?”
They’re like deer in the headlights.
The one on the right starts mumbling in rapid fire nonsense. I greet this verbal dance as I have many times in the past, by gesturing for calm and slowing down of the pace.
“Slow down. I haven’t understood a word you’ve said. Start over and tell me how I can help you. What kind of car do you own?”
“No man, it ain’t like that,” the one on my right says. “We’re wonderin’ if you’re hirin’.”
“Sorry, this is a one man shop. Plus, sneaking into a potential employer’s business is probably a bad idea. You might want to try a more straight forward course.”
Yeah, this conversation is not going anywhere. “Anything else I can help you with dealing with cars or trucks?”
“No man, but we need to borrow bus money to get up to MacArthur.”
“I don’t give out money here. I fix cars and trucks for money. Besides, it’s less than a mile to MacArthur. I think you two young men can walk that far.” They don’t move forward so I’m figuring they’re just a scouting party. Then I get surprised.
“It’s our hoodies! What’s next… shoot us down?!”
I start laughing. I can’t help it. Yeah, these two sterling citizens have hoodies, one a faded black one, and the other some puke green color. I actually didn’t notice because it was sprinkling and cool out yesterday, and these guys didn’t have umbrellas. The only time hoodies draw my attention is when someone walks in when it’s ninety degrees outside with a hoodie on and their hands stuffed in the pockets. I guess this is some new pickup line from the Florida investigation going on in the news. After Katrina I had a string of goofballs dressed in mismatched work helmets, orange vests, and beat-up tool belts hitting me up for money because they were stranded from hurricane Katrina.
The guy on the right starts cracking up too. He gestures at his buddy, who is still trying unsuccessfully to keep a straight face. “Le’s go.”
Just like that, it’s over. Of course now I’ll be watching the door more closely. As I stated earlier in the post, their method of checking out the building’s been done before numerous times over the years. I wonder if that hoodie ploy’s working for them anywhere. I’m also wondering if Oakland’s going to get looted and pillaged again due to whatever comes out of Florida. If so, our completely incompetent mayor Jean Quan will welcome them with open arms.