A few nights ago I was rifling through the Independent Publishing Resource Center's zine library and came across a little book that is too good to be true: the compiled incident report log from Peterson’s convenience store.
I know Peterson’s as the snack and beer establishment that Brooks Brothers thought was too dirty for downtown, one of the only 24 hour places 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 noteworthy incidents the Peterson’s staff recorded in notebooks behind the counter, compiled in the early 2000s by former clerk Ms. George Black. The reports are gnarly and hilarious, many involving the police. Altogether they give an awesome glimpse of Portland's seedier side.
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
More incidents below the cut.
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.
Check out the Peterson's book and 6,000 or so other zines at the IPRC (SW 10th and Oak).