Tuesday, April 7, 2009

That's no leprechaun...

Upon arrival in the city, I took a job working the door/bouncing at a little neighborhood spot call "The Looking Glass". Dark and divey, it was the kind of place you really shouldn't let any exposed skin touch anything. Unless, of course you had already received your Hep C shot.

8:15 p.m., Thursday night:
The asshats hadn't started flowing into the streets, yet. That wouldn't happen for a few hours still. Only about a dozen people were in the bar. There were a few aging tipplers left over from happy hour, a couple of 30 somethings that had stopped in on their way to dinner, and a few bro-dogs from NYU pre-gaming for their evening festivities on $2 pints of Bud.

Even though St. Patrick's Day had come and gone over a month earlier, I didn't think twice when I saw a gent down the block sporting one of those green plastic derby's that are common on that holiday. I simply assigned the guy as a "colorful NYC outdoorsman" (translation - half-crazy bum). Realizing I was out of smokes, I ducked into the bodega next door to grab a pack, nodding to the guy as I passed.

Having purchased my smoky treats and chatted w/ the deli guy for a few minutes, I was back on the sidewalk lighting up. I looked up and saw the aforementioned gent exiting the bar, counting his change.

"Hmm. Maybe I was wrong" I thought to myself. "Maybe he's just one of those eccentric New Yorkers you hear about stopping in for a quick shot".

I looked into the bar and saw a confused look on the face of the bartender (and childhood friend), and agitation on the faces of a few of the customers. I went in to investigate.

Erik the bartender - "Did you see these guys put any money on the bar?"
Me - "Well, yeah. About 5 minutes ago before I went for smokes."
Customer - "I had about 15 bucks on the bar."
2nd Customer - "I had 10 bucks or so."
(light bulb going off over my head)

Realizing the bum had entered the establishment and raked the bar of all unattended cash, I was out the door like I was shot out of a cannon and down to the corner. Looking down the street, I could see the wayward leprechaun crossing the street, looking over his shoulder (presumably for pursuers). My days of foot pursuit being long behind me, I turned with disgust to head back to the bar. At that point, in what can only be described as serendipity, the light changed letting a cab cross the avenue to me.

I flagged the cab and hopped in. "Next corner, please." The cabbie looked at me like I was nuts, but drove to the next corner. Having slid down in the seat, my quarry didn't respond when we passed him. At the corner, I told the cabbie to leave the meter running...I'd only be a second. I left the door open as I stepped out. The thief was still stealing looks over his shoulder looking for pursuit when I grabbed him by his shirt.

Now, bearing in mind, I do not now, nor have I ever claimed to be a tough guy. That being said, I hit that douche so hard that, quite literally, snot shot out of his nose. I threw him into the corner formed by a building and a dumpster and began unfolding a good old-fashioned south Alabama beat down.

The light having changed, the cabbie began honking his horn (didn't care about the beating, evidently, but he definitely wanted his $2.40). I grabbed the miscreant by his shirt and shook him like a rag doll. "Where's the money, motherfucker?" (bitch slaps to the head) "I want the cash from the bar, you fuck!" At this point, bills started flying out of every pocket.

"Fuck you, scumbag! I know there's more!!!" (obviously, I had absolutely no idea how much was taken, but I assumed he'd hold out). Sure enough, more cash came out. I released him, kicked him in the ass, and let him escape to whatever hole he crawled out of. Gathering the surprisingly large amount of cash on the sidewalk, I hopped back into the cab, telling the driver to drop me off at the same corner. The fare was $4.80. I threw him a $10 and tipped the change for the trouble.

Walking back into the bar...
Erik - "Where'd you go, bro?"
Me - "To get the money back."
The 4 guys claiming to have lost money walked up. The two that had already made their claims were given their money. The other two claimed $14 and $20 respectively, and were given that amount.

Then, confusion, followed by realization set in. I still had A LOT of money left. Going to the end of the bar, I counted it out. I still had nearly $400 dollars in my hand. I had, technically, rolled a bum and taken a cab to and from the scene of the crime. And no, it didn't bother me one bit.

He may not have been a real leprechaun, but I most assuredly followed him to steal his pot o' gold/Lucky Charms.

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