A few nights ago I was rifling through the â€œWorkâ€ section of the zine library and came across a little book I have always wished existed. Itâ€™s too good to be true: the compiled incident report log from Petersonâ€™s convenience store.
I know Petersonâ€™s as the crowded little store you stop in to buy chocolate milk and PBR from before Zoobombing, a straight up snack and beer establishment that Brooks Brothers thought was too dirty for downtown, the only 24 place for cookies and magazines in Portlandâ€™s central city. It has two locations, both on the MAX line, and in my brief sojourns into Petersonâ€™s, Iâ€™ve always run into some slightly off-kilter folks. Petersonâ€™s Incident Report Book is a transcription of the best of the noteworthy incidents the Petersonâ€™s staff wrote down in a series of notebooks behind the counter, thanks to former clerk Ms. George Black. Most incidents involve the police and the reports are seriously gnarly stuff. Itâ€™s an awesome glimpse of Portland life.
1/23/01: A drunk fratboy came in and repeatedly did that annoying, infectious â€œWHAZZUP?!â€ from the Budweiser beer commercial. For this infraction I ejected him from the premises.
1/24/01: Some maniac tried to give me a single old grimy glove in lieu of cash for a can of Budweiser (16 oz) and one of those nasty Sausage Nâ€™Egg muffins.
1/14/00: Joe came in and bummed a smoke from me so I 86â€™d him. He threatened to â€œgo upside my dumpling with a crack snackâ€â€¦â€¦â€¦.. â€œAnd not one of those cream-filled soft ones either but one of those hard, old, expired granola bars on the shelfâ€ if I didnâ€™t â€œGet off his jock.â€ He excused himself and leaned his face against the window all staring out and everything. After quite some time I asked him what was wrong. He said he was sorry and was just upset about missing the â€œAll-U-Can-Eat Sloppy Joe Fridayâ€ at the airport. â€”Jack
1/15/00: About mid-shift, one Karl â€œFancy Boyâ€ entered the store yelling, â€œI have the right to remain silent, anything I say will be reported.â€ At this point I opted to ignore him. Then he proceeded to holler â€œKeep playinâ€™ Satan, gimme your shoes!â€ He was scaring customersâ€¦ I approached him from behind and laid down a righteous headlock but this didnâ€™t stop him. He ranted dementedly asking me if I was the man â€œwith the peppermint flavored penis?â€ Then he asked me if I had beer flavored nipples. He broke my headlock and ran free telling everyone he was going to call security! I was scared! I locked the store.
4/27/98 A black man, aged 27 (approx) tucked two Hostess products under his coat and walked out. I stopped him and he gave me the products. I told him to leave and he refused and suggested I call the police. At this time a black woman, probably in her early 30s, walked in. She had been in earlier in the evening telling me that she had sickle-cell anemia and needed immediate attention. I tried to call her an ambulance but the folks at OHSU didnâ€™t seem to think it was an emergency so I told her to leave. This time she refused to leave and proceeded to lay on the floor moaning. The shoplifter remained in the store eating beef jerky. I called the police and reported both of themâ€¦ the police came 40 minutes later and directed the woman to where she could find some social service. The shoplifter is a regular and Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll see him later. I think he is probably a little crazy but he is a friendly enough guy.