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Careful! He Might Give You A Lethally Ugly Haircut!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: andrewkelly87 | January 24, 2023

This happened back in 2014 when I managed a small, locally-owned vape shop.

It’s been a long day, and my employee and I are cleaning up to close when the door opens. In walks this guy with a swagger the likes of which I will never forget. He’s clutching a brown paper bag and a small pair of pruning shears, holding these tight to his chest as if his life depends on their safety. As soon as he approaches the glass display cases, my employee and I both look at each other. We know that swagger: meth.

It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been face-to-face with someone like this, but there’s this specific crab-walk they do when looking at things lower than torso height — dramatically bent knees, legs out to the sides, bouncing from side to side like a crustacean on a lethal dose of caffeine. [Guy] is looking through our product cases, crab-walking across them, pointing at random items, and repeating, “WAZZAT?! WAZZAT?! HOWMUCHIZZAT?! GIMMEDAT!”

I know better than to confront these people; they’re volatile and unpredictable. I keep my business face on and try to get through this ordeal as professionally as possible. He chooses a lanyard (for an old-style vape pen, clearly useless for him), and we go to the register. We’re watching this guy’s every little movement. My employee (relatively recently released from prison for, of all things, drug charges) is tense; he’s ready to fight.

And then, the reason for the visit was revealed. I know the hundred-dollar bill is a fake as soon as he pulls it out of the brown paper bag, but I play along and don’t immediately call him out. I do my normal big bill check, holding it up against the light to see a missing watermark and security strip. (We didn’t use counterfeit pens; that’s another story). Of course, it’s a fake.

Me: “Sorry, I can’t take this.” *Hands back the bill*

Guy: “WHY NOT?!”

Me: “It’s a fake.”

Guy: *Visibly enraged* “HOW DO YOU KNOW?!”

Me: “No security features; it’s fake.”

The guy points the pruning shears at me like a knife.

Guy: “YOU WANNA SHOW ME A REAL ONE?!

And that’s when I drop the mask. I break; this is too absurd. I can’t help but laugh in the face of this clearly deranged person. What is he going to do? Trim me and enter me into his neighborhood’s prettiest lawn contest?

Me: *Snorting with laughter* “No?”

He waves the pruning shears around… threateningly? 

Guy: “WELL, YOU’RE A F****** LIAR, THEN!”

He stomped away like a petulant child, kicking over an innocent trash can on his way out the door. We never saw him again, but legends say he’s still trying to get change for that fake Benjamin.

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