Boot In Awning and The Bead Lady

It was one of the many nights we had been getting drunk and lounging around B Street. My bedroom window opened up onto the second story roof of the house, from there if you wanted to you could walk onto the roof of the hair salon in our front yard. This particular night Senor Random got drunk as hell and climbed out the window into the night air. He muttered something over his shoulder to us about wanting to walk on the awning that hung over the front of the hair salon. Sure thing buddy. Whatever you say. We crowded around the windows and watched.

That awning was nothing more than a pipe framework with thin canvas stretched over it. I knew it couldn’t hold much weight. So he puts one foot up and steps down on it. Wham! His foot went right through, Senor Random loses his balance, and the next thing I know the canvas is up to his hip. His left leg was still on the roof and he appeared to be peforming a kind of gymnastics manuver. Random almost went over the side of the building but luckily he regained balance and pulled himself up onto the roof again. He was wearing big burgundy Doc Martins so the hole he made in the awning was huge.

Timing is everything. Had this event took place a couple of weeks before nobody would have cared about it. Funny thing was, the lady that ran the hair salon just had the awning replaced with a brand new one. The hole in the canvas was centered almost perfectly above their front door. The girls that worked there noticed it the next morning. Obviously, we were blamed for the damage, but they had no proof of wrongdoing on our part (once again). The property manager called me up a few days later to investigate the deal but I lied like a rug. There was nothing they could do.

Eventually, the hairdresser closed up her shop and moved away to Arizona. Apparently her ex-husband had been harassing her so she wanted to skip town. It must have been serious business because the guy came by here twice before she moved away and threw bricks through all the windows in the salon. Since I am a nite owl I was up each time he came by and smashed up the place. Never saw him though. He was smart and did the job on foot instead of using a car.

The salon was vacant for months after that. B Street breathed a long sigh of relief. No more wars with the dingbats over their customers blocking our driveway. No more frantic calls from the property manager threatening eviction over complaints of damage to the building. I started tossing my empty beer bottles out the window onto the hair salon roof again. A couple of the guys brought crummy lawn furniture up to the roof and sat out there at night. Things were good.

Then that scumbag Bead Lady moved in and turned it into a hippie bead shop. Fucked everything up.

Bead Lady was a burned out 1960s summer of love leftover that was super skinny and had shoulder length hair that was turning gray. Every time I had to go down there to talk to her she was completely spaced out. It was irritating. I had to talk to her a number of times when she began moving in to the front building because she thought it was cool to use our driveway as a loading zone for her boxes and crates full of beads and other hippie crap. Bead Lady blocked us all in every time she parked there. At first I was nice about it and tried to explain politely that our driveway was not a parking spot for her future customers or as a loading zone. That’s what the yellow curb out front was for and those little things on poles that you put change in, well those are parking meters for your customers. She didn’t seem to get it. Not once. Then I would yell at her and tell her to use the “Fucking loading zone”. Didn’t seem to phase her one bit.

One morning I came back to my room after taking a shower and as I opened the door to my bedroom I heard a car pull into the driveway and the motor died. Doors opened, two people got out, closed the doors and walked down the driveway out to the sidewalk. I could hear the gravel crunching under their feet. I jumped onto my bed and peeked out the side window just in time to see two college age bead hungry girls turn the corner and head into the shop. Murder! I will do murder to you! I was in a rage. This was just like having the hair salon here. The product had changed but we still had the same bullshit problems brewing bewteen us, retail shop and animal house wars would ensue.

Before I knew it my feet were carrying me down the porch and out the driveway to the street. I marched along the sidewalk in my pajamas and slippers to the door of the bead shop and I barged in. My hair was wet and I scanned the inside of the shop like a Terminator looking for two filthy humans. As the door shut behind me the Bead Lady looked up at me from behind the counter. She was sitting on a stool and I avoided making direct eye contact with her. I ignored her. I was about to make a horrible scene take place in her shop since nothing else had got the message through that you will not abuse our precious driveway. I could see a startled and somewhat worried look come across her face out of the corner of my eye. Yup, you know it’s coming now. You done fucked up too many times. The line has been crossed and now I’m hoisting the black flag. Time to cut some throats.

Scanning the room there was one guy with a backpack on, shopping. I would spare him and he didn’t pay me any attention anyway. Directly in front of me were the two college wenches. They were looking at beads and stupid shit on the wall so their backs were facing me. I raised my arm, pointed at them and shouted as loud as I could into the store, “Hey! Stupid bitches! Our driveway isn’t a fucking parking lot!” They were shocked and Bead Lady almost fell off her bar stool. One of the two girls said to me in a squeaky girlie voice, “But… we were just going to be a few minutes”… I cut her off and bellowed back at them “A few minutes or a few seconds it doesn’t matter! Get that shit heap car of yours out of there now!” Before they could say anything else I did an about face and marched back out of the bead shop, smiling. I never made eye contact with the Bead Lady. That show was mainly for her, not the two girls. I wanted Bead Lady to know how things were going to work around here from now on. If I put Leaky Pete or Senor 23 on the job things would get much worse for her.

Those were the days.

~ by factorypeasant on January 17, 2005.

2 Responses to “Boot In Awning and The Bead Lady”

  1. I used to be really into beads. I was even a member of the Ohio Bead Guild (if that’s what it’s called, I never even went to one of their meetings because I think I sensed that I didn’t belong in their hipppy-arty ranks). Beads themselves are not evil, though I will readily agree that those who buy them avidly are suspect individuals. I still dig beads, but I just kinda have them to look at and touch and crap. Certainly not to wear! Our hippy neighbors live abouve us, so it’s not as easy to heckle them…they have ritualistic tantric dances or soem kinda crap all of the time up there, always after 10 pm. You’ll hear all sorts of foot-bounding all over the floor. I wish they had an awning…

  2. I suppose you are right, beads themselves are not entirely evil nor are they the currency of The Devil. Some bead-people are entirely weird though. My last girlfriend was really into them, but she never really did any projects with them. She had a whole toolbox filled with beading supplies and once a year or so would pull them out of the closet, look at them, and put them away a couple of days later without making anything. Not even a single earring. Whatever. Whenever we were on foot window shopping if there was a bead store around I got dragged inside. I can only look at beads for oh, all of 8 seconds before my mind switches off and I go into a coma while still standing up.

    Having a Bead Shop for your neighbor really sucks though. Really really sucks.

    Sounds like you have a little less than desireable living situation with the second story hippies, Lefty. Bummer on that one. Usually I’ve always had the high ground so to speak which makes it much easier to do battle with those at ground level. Gravity is your friend when you live upstairs… and many household objects can be used as projectiles to be hurled at those below you. It’s kinda neat.I don’t really have any suggestions on how to deal with the noise problem there. If complaining hasn’t worked and ear plugs are out I suppose the next thing I’d do is lie like a motherfucker and get them to give me access to their bathroom. Once inside I’d probably pee in their hair conditioner.

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