The Rat Race

willing to die for a biscuit

willing to die for a biscuit

Breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.  McDonald’s breakfast however, is as important as it is cheap.  We visited one morning with the oldest child in tow.  Popular destination among the minivan set, as moving children through their morning routine is a taxing one.  Pulling into this particular destination, we had a near collision turning into the drive-thru as this Honda Odyssey driver cut us off.  Profanity followed.  Poor lady was getting cursed out seven ways to Sunday and  didn’t know it.  To add further insult to injury the Odyssey driver held up the line at least twice as the efficiency of the McDonald’s crew moved the line quicker than expected.  This inspired more profanity, however biscuits were consumed shortly thereafter.

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Can you spare a dime?

Those of you familiar with the historic streets of Third Ward, Houston know the diverse community that has come to live there.  A little bit of bourgeouis plus a little bit of ‘hood.  A slight real estate boom and aggressive gentrification might have upped the property value in some parts of the  neighborhood, but there are still areas of Third Ward that remain true to its *ahem* urban flavor.

Take for instance the corner of Dowling and Southmore.  Specifically the Chevron on the corner of Dowling and Southmore.  This gas station is the typical corner spot gas station.  They serve what the neighborhood needs.  Fried chicken, burrito’s, chips, candy, bootleg jewelery and bootleg Obama gear all slightly overpriced.

All of these things bring a certain amount of aggravation on a bad day.  But none are more bothersome than the homeless hustlers (we’ll refrain from calling them crackheads since I have no actual knowledge of their drug use) who mill about the station offering their specious services to unsuspecting patrons.  In general, a hard line must be taken and reaffirmed regularly.  Any money given to these types has just purchased you a friendship that will cost you cents on the dollar everytime they see your car.

Since I frequent this station, I’ve laid down a good track record of refusals to limit my harrasment when I get my gas.  The wife on the other hand fell victim to one of the newer homeless hustlers working the station.  I saw him coming up while I was pumping gas and didn’t think anything of it, but the wife had her window down.  He made his pitch, clean windows for $.75.  Impressed by his appeal to work for money instead of beg, the wife accepted his offer. 

that is newspaper in his hand

that is newspaper in his hand

He dashed back to wherever he kept his cleaning products and dashed back to complete the job.  All of this would have been a minor annoyance if he hadn’t almost knocked me over to get to the squeegee that was waiting for action in dirty water.  So he hits the windows with the spongy side of the squeegee and doesn’t wipe it off with the the blade side.  The result? Dirty water on dirty windows.  Then he pulls out his own cleaner; a spray bottle that contains more dirty water, but with bubbles.  He sprays the cleaner fluid on top of the dirty water that was dripping down the dirty windows.   How would you wipe off dirty water on a dirty window?  With a balled up piece of newspaper of course.  Long story short, I gave the man an extra $2.00 to stop.