#2 Not My Problem

Working overnight at a gas station means there is no shortage of drunk people at bar close. Fridays and Saturdays meant stocking up on cigarettes, buying a Gatorade ahead of time to prepare for recovery, or picking up condoms before going home with a hot date. Sometimes they weren’t there to buy anything at all. Sometimes all they wanted to do was loiter or destroy the bathroom.

The cabbies would drop these losers off sometimes. I don’t know if they didn’t have the money to pay the fare, or if they didn’t have anywhere else to go. Sometimes they would drive themselves, and they were completely hammered. Maybe it’s just a Wisconsin thing, but I bet I could have called in 100 drunk drivers if I really wanted to.

This guy comes in at around 3 o’clock on a Saturday morning. You could smell the alcohol on him when he walked in the door. He browsed around the store, kind of stumbling here and there. After settling on a sports drink a bag of chips and a Slim Jim, he brought the items to the counter.

His world was just spinning. You could see it in his eyes. He rested his head on the counter while I scaned the items. I thought the guy was going to fall asleep right there at the counter. I totaled the items and announce to him the cost, but he doesn’t respond.

“Hey buddy, $3.15 is the total,” I repeated to the guy as I shake him back to consciousness. He sort of snaps out of the coma he was just in and reaches into his pocket and pulled out a checkbook. This guys really about to write me a check for $3.15. Of course he is.

Writing a check is this whole big annoying fucking process that involves running it through machine, getting the customers drivers license number, writing it on the check, verifying the address, and making sure there is a phone number listed. It takes a little less than a minute for the transmission to go to the credit company and get returned back with an approval. If you get two of these assholes back to back writing a $20 check for their gas, you can count on the line going 9 people deep. Get a fucking debit card you jerk off.

So while I’m running his check, this guy goes back to napping on the counter. It’s at this point when a county sheriff comes in the store. It’s not often that I see the sheriff. City cop sure, but never the sheriff’s deputy. He waves, walks to the bathroom, then waves and leaves. Meanwhile, this guy still has his head down on the countertop this entire time.

I don’t know how he dodged that bullet, but he’s not about to dodge the second bullet that’s coming his way. Here comes one of those city cops. This is one of my regular customers, the one he would come in and drink free coffee and tell me about all of this wild stories from the night before running off to his next call. This city cop wasn’t just going to quick come in and quick to leave. He was going to sip of coffee and bullshit with me for the next half hour.

So as this drunk guy is coming to, grabbing his bag of stuff and walking out to his car – the car that he drove here in – I take another look at the check he wrote. 3:15 AM is what he wrote in the box where the dollar amount goes. I start laughing out loud.

“Man you just missed a good one,” I motion toward the guy who now looks like he’s passed out on his steering wheel. “That guy was fucking wasted.” You could still smell the alcohol in the air. “Look at this guy’s check. He wrote the time in the dollar amount box” The officer takes a look and sort of chuckles to himself.

“Who that guy?” He asks pointing at the car leaving the driveway and turning at the traffic light. I nodded and laughed. “You know what’s that way, don’t you?” he asks.

“The highway? Aren’t you going to go get him or something?”

“Nope. That’s Ashwaubenon. Not my problem.”

This guy dodged not only one bullet, but a second one too. This guy has been kissed by a fucking angel to avoid a DUI from two different police officers. I don’t know what ended up happening to that guy, but I never saw him again. If only he had bought a lotto ticket from me that night.