OK, now that all statutes of limitation have run out, the truth can be told.  I’ve never been a wild person but I do have at least one story.

Back in the late 70’s, I was working one summer at Fred’s.  Fred’s was a low-end store something like BigLots but not nearly as nice.  The clientele were just about what you’d expect from a store that always had the lowest prices on Vienna Sausages.  It’s where I saw my first knife scar, bullet wound, and peeing wino.  Not bad for a little town in the bible belt.

So there I was doing what I always did – unloading the truck.  Every Thursday, a semi would back into the alley behind the store and park; then I would unload it.  One particular day, we got several boxes of strange glass bowls which were nestled into circles that had been cut into a piece of cardboard packing material.  For some reason, the circles that had been cut were still in the bottom of the boxes thus providing me with about a dozen cardboard frisbees.  I wasted no time in flinging these into the air just to watch them go.

Most of them landed on the roof.  More on this later.

Some days or weeks later an afternoon thunderstorm rolled through as they often will in southern Arkansas in the summer.  This one was pretty intense with torrential rainfall.  Not long after the torrential rainfall started I became aware of a strange sound; sort of a splashing sound.  When I went into the back to investigate, I discovered to my horror that a huge waterfall was coming through some unknown hole in the roof and splashing onto the CIRCUIT BREAKER BOX!!!!!  We were in imminent danger of both fire and electrocution.

I yelled for everybody to get out of the back.  The manager of course got mad at me and demanded to know what I was yelling about.  When he saw for himself, he dialed the fire department in one quick hurry.  We all avoided the water on the floor, not knowing if it were electrified or not.  No sparks were forthcoming.

The firemen arrived quickly and immediately made their way to the roof.  I don’t remember how they got up there – it must have been via their truck; otherwise, I would have found it and tried it myself.  The water shut itself off soon and the boss fireman came inside to talk with the manager.

He was carrying one of those cardboard circles.  I thought “oh oh.”

“We found this on the roof.  There were several and this one had covered over the roof drain.”

The manager looked around for me as he always did whenever anything happened even though I was never guilty of anything (until now).  He asked me if I knew anything about this.  Normally an honest, all-around good kid, I promptly lied like a dog.  Like the Grinch, I thought up a lie and thought it up quick.

Well, that store went on for a few years then went out of business like most dying small-town downtown areas.  It burned down shortly after that while abandoned and was bulldozed to make room for a drive-through plaza for the local bank.  Plus, the manager is dead now so I guess I’m off the hook.

Well, there it is.

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