Zine Review: Peterson’s Incident Report Book

A few nights ago I was rifling through the “Work” section of the zine library and came across a little book I have always wished existed. It’s too good to be true: the compiled incident report log from Peterson’s convenience store.

I know Peterson’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 Portland’s central city. It has two locations, both on the MAX line, and in my brief sojourns into Peterson’s, I’ve always run into some slightly off-kilter folks. Peterson’s Incident Report Book is a transcription of the best of the noteworthy incidents the Peterson’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. It’s an awesome glimpse of Portland life.

1/23/01: A drunk fratboy came in and repeatedly did that annoying, infectious “WHAZZUP?!” 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 N’Egg muffins.

1/14/00: Joe came in and bummed a smoke from me so I 86’d him. He threatened to “go upside my dumpling with a crack snack”……….. “And not one of those cream-filled soft ones either but one of those hard, old, expired granola bars on the shelf” if I didn’t “Get off his jock.” 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 “All-U-Can-Eat Sloppy Joe Friday” at the airport. —Jack

1/15/00: About mid-shift, one Karl “Fancy Boy” entered the store yelling, “I have the right to remain silent, anything I say will be reported.” At this point I opted to ignore him. Then he proceeded to holler “Keep playin’ Satan, gimme your shoes!” He was scaring customers… I approached him from behind and laid down a righteous headlock but this didn’t stop him. He ranted dementedly asking me if I was the man “with the peppermint flavored penis?” 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 didn’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 them… the police came 40 minutes later and directed the woman to where she could find some social service. The shoplifter is a regular and I’m sure we’ll see him later. I think he is probably a little crazy but he is a friendly enough guy.