No Laughing Matter
(I can't get a question mark to stay on title line, but the actual title I would prefer for this story is probably this: No laughing Matter?)
Let me tell you a story . . .
When I was around age sixteen, I worked at Stop ‘N Go,
every other evening until 11 p m.
Imagine a convenience store not huge, but still bigger than a typical 7-11,
with only one checkout stand and one cashier there all night.
One of my many duties (key to this story) was that the clerk on duty
needed to ensure the cash register never got too full of money.
I would run to the back office with X amount of cash periodically
and put it into a safe for which I had been given the combination.
Stop ‘N Go was located on Lucas Street, the street on which I lived.
It was four blocks from my house, but on the opposite side of Lucas Street
Also, a large cemetery named Greenwood extended the four blocks
across from my house all the way to the convenience store.
One could easily get lost in Greenwood Cemetery. It was at least
another three to four blocks deep, and the only way out of the back side
was down a very old and long series of narrow steps that led down
to the south side of town which began on Hershey Avenue.
Often I would see very few customers or none at all after 10 p m,
and it was at one of these times that a tall dark-haired man
walked in and asked for cigarettes.
Once the cash register was open, he drew a gun on me,
asking me to empty the register’s contents.
There was maybe only $300.00 to give him.
I do not recall feeling afraid. The man quickly fled on foot
in the direction of the cemetery, where I supposed he would disappear
down those long back steps that led some distance away from our area.
I ran toward the pay phone on the front wall near the large window
which allowed anyone to see into the front of the store.
The man turned around and immediately headed back toward the store,
popped his head in and yelled, “Don’t call the police until I am long gone,
or I’ll come back and shoot you.” (did he say that last part exactly that way?
I can’t remember well, but I’ll use it for dramatic effect.)
I watched him just a little while as he began to vanish into the cemetery.
Then I ran to the back of the store where the safe was located
along with the office phone!
From that phone, I proceeded to telephone the police.
As I reported the crime to them, I was giggling a bit.
Maybe they did not take me seriously at first.
Had I been subconsciously nervous? I really didn’t feel much fear.
At the police station I could not pick out the man’s picture
from any that were shown me (I am not too observant anyway,
and to this day I do not recall the man’s face at all).
I kept thinking how ridiculous it was for a robber
not to expect that I would either lock the store or call the police right away.
The funniest thing to me of all, however, was this:
if only he had been clever enough to have thought of it,
he could have had me open the safe and then he’d have gotten away
with thousands of dollars!
April 17, 2022
For Form N - Narrative - New Poems Poetry Contest
Sponsor: Constance La France
Theme is number 6: Funny (although it's also a life experience of mine, theme 8)
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2022
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.
to post a comment