Friday, March 04, 2005

The $40 (Canadian) Sock

It's the beginning of September 2001, and our group just traveled from Seattle to Vancouver. I had spent the day driving my car, "grandpa" (a 1985 sky blue Ford Thunderbird, which used to belong to my friend Nellis' grandfather), along with T, the TFO and The Pretty Pretty Princess.

The PPP started the day trying to jam his much-too-big suitcase in the trunk, nearly twice the size of any of the luggage everyone else brought. He refused to condense. He then spent the day bitching about how he wasn't comfortable in the car, how my car sucked because it didn't have a CD player, how tired he was, and how he needed a shower.

Upon arriving in Vancouver BC, I ended up having to break down the back seat to be able to get to the trunk, for the lip of his suitcase got stuck in the lock of the trunk. Nary an apology or any kind of gratitude from PPP.

Needless to say that by the time we got to the front desk of the hostel the group was staying at, I was in a mood. So, I decided to take a nap.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang decided to head to a nearby "cafe", to unwind. J told me that it was a block and a half from the hostel, and that it was "over that way."

About 45 minutes later, I wake up, still cranky and tired, and head out to try to find the place. I get up to the corner, and blissfully turn left, where I should've turned right.

And I'm walking, looking for the place, wondering where it was, though not too preoccupied by it, because I was revelling in the fact that I was in Vancouver. Vancouver is to Seattle as Seattle is to Portland, OR, though Portland has more in common with Vancouver. At this point, I realise that I'm woefully unprepared for what I was about to do at the cafe. I needed to pick up some merchandise, and quickly.

I wasn't worried, though, for I had the sage advice from my friend, Jerk Angerson. Jerk had regaled me with stories of just how easy it was to attain merchandise in Vancouver. Something akin to: "You just walk down the street, and people will offer to sell it to you. It's fucking awesome."*

So, I reach a corner. And, no sooner do I recall Jerk's tale, when I hear from behind me: "who's looking for [merchandise]?" I turn around, marvelling at my luck.

What was that?

He confirms what I thought I heard, and I ask how much it'd be, and he says, ominously, "you new here, right?" Yes. "For you, just $40." Doing the math in my head, I realised I was going to get merchandise for a fraction of what I usually paid. Okay. "All right, then, follow me."

I walked with him. By this point, I realise that I'm about four blocks away from where I started, and I still hadn't found the place. I ask my new connection, and he tells me that I overshot it, that I needed to head back where I came from.

Now we reach a park. He turns to me and says, "look man, I'm gonna go see my guy. Now, he's expecting me, but he doesn't like when strangers come to see him. So, give me the money, and wait here. I'll be right back."

In retrospect, I'm not sure what he was expecting me to do, but he was about to find out how stubborn an ass I can be. The promise of merchandise kept me waiting patiently for 10 minutes. At this point, getting pissy, I think to myself that I can wait until I finish smoking a cigarette. Then I was going to take off.

About halfway through this cigarette, the man turns the corner. I catch his eye, and notice but don't register the look of surprise on his face. He says, "all right, man, come with me." I tag along. We're walking back the way we came, and he's talking a mile a minute about how cops know him, and so we had to do a trade all subversive like. He says, "I'm walking up to this stoop, I'm gonna put it in your sock, all right?" Sure.

He heads up this stoop, and at this point, other dealers notice me and start soliciting me "man, what you looking f--" when they notice who I'm with, and immediately back away with a smile on their face. On the stoop, the man pretends to tie his shoes, as he stuffs the delivery into my sock. Says, "all right, man, you're set, now don't check on that, until you get back to where you're going."

I then shake his hand, in thanks for the service he provided.

I'm walking back, and when I get about a block away from the hostel, I start to think, for real this time. When I reach the fateful corner, I imagine that I look like the biggest fucking Blowpop in the world. Crossing the street, I notice the gang walking back to the hostel.

"Hey, man, where did you go?"

You said it was a "block and a half away, up that way."

"It is."

But I needed to turn right, not left.

"Ohhh. Sorry, man!"

I couldn't stand the suspense anymore. I found a ledge I could sit on, pulled down my sock and pulled out the package. It's a sock, it must be in the sock. But I knew. I knew I'd been suckered.

Sure enough. Inside the sock was its mate.

At least they were clean socks, though this didn't stop me from throwing them away in anger.

I still get shit for this from my friends.

*(Knowing Jerk, it's entirely feasible that this actually did happen to him, much like it did for me towards the end of our stay in Vancouver--9/15/2001. I was a lot wiser about this procedure then.)

[TBO's Note: In writing this entry, found out that the cafe where my friends were hanging out has burned down in a fire in April '04. A damn shame, as it was a pretty cool place to hang out. They do have an online presence. If this kind of thing interests you, check them out here.]


At 4:59 AM, Blogger Joe said...

It burned down???

That makes me so incredibly fucking sad. That place was one of the best things about that trip, and gave me great comfort when the planes hit in New York. That's such a bummer.

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still love that story, Oh Beige One. Well told. -Rood1


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