Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finding a new dealer

As vices go, mine are pretty benign. Don't drink, don't smoke, not into porn. Only stimulant I use besides light, dry Utah 5% blower is diet coke.

From time to time I try to moderate my diet coke consumption, but the truth is I like to go to the convenience store and get a 44. Anything less, and I'm left wanting more. (Wow, unintentional rhyme there. Sorry. Vizzini: stop rhyming, and I mean it. Fezzik: anybody want a peanut?)

When I first started my current job, I frequented the 7-eleven that's two blocks away. It's close enough to walk, though in cold weather, even two blocks is a long way with an icy cup in hand unless I'm wearing gloves.

But besides the cold, walking to the 7-eleven has other drawbacks. It just so happens that the 7-eleven is also on the same block as the apartments where pretty much all of the crazy people and junkies in Salt Lake City happen to live. This of course makes for an entertaining walk some days and a somewhat frightening walk on other days.

I heard recently that there was a stabbing at the 7-eleven. Not surprising given the neighborhood and clientele. I'm sure, however, that this was not the first, just the first I'd heard about.

Stabbings and verbal tirades from people in their underwear notwithstanding, the neighborhood never actually got to the point where it was a deterrent. That distinction was reserved for the owner. This particular 7-eleven franchise is owned by an older couple, both of whom are often behind the counter loitering. Even when their paid staff is there doing an adequate job.

One day, not coincidentally the last time I was there, the female half of the couple opened up the hot case where they keep the pizza and hot wings and potato wedges. I figured she was getting something for one of the customers but thought it odd that she was reaching in there with her bare hand. Then there was no plate or napkin or even waxed sheet to put it on. Then the pizza went straight into her mouth. Right behind the counter. Right in front of the customers. No napkins or other hygiene products were in sight.

At that point I was done. I thought about throwing out the diet coke, but you don't see crack addicts throwing out a rock just 'cuz the dealer had a runny nose. So I just went back to my office and tried to forget.

The staff at the Maverick four blocks away are all quite nice and seem to keep their hands clean and their nails trimmed. I've gotten to know them quite well of late.


  1. Funny story! A coworker and I walk to our corner store a couple of times per week to get a fountain Diet Coke too. Our story is that the store is next to a popular watering hole, and on several Mondays there has been the lovely smell of vomit in the store.

  2. That's just wrong. She probably didn't wash her hands either after using the restroom. Think of all the germs she had on her hand.


    That reminds me of that Moab Diner incident where genius schoolboy licked his hands, wiped them on the filthy rag, and then proceeded to use said hand to help scoop more ice cream into the cup. For some reason I lost my appetite for a shake that night.

    I admit I'm a bit of a germophobe when it comes to food and public restrooms, but the thought of him also picking his nose or scratching, touching, fondl...never mind, and then seeing him lick his hands and then touch the product just turned me off.

    That was almost as bad as the sight of a thick black curly in my side of rice at the mongolian bbq place.

    It's best if I just don't see what happened or how the food is prepared.

  3. Yuck, just my type of story. Some people are obsessed with poo, others are obsessed with germs and such.

    So do you think she had been handling any money before snacking on that pizza? Keeping in mind that the money would most likely have been from junkies and the crazies, therefore not freshly laundered.

    And the memories this bring back... Fingernail in a sandwich, a subway employee (most likely) urinating in the back where food is prepped.

    Well no need for Diet Coke now, I'm awake and scared!