Way back when, I used to work for U-Haul. Yeah, that ghetto ass company that rents out roach-infested boxes on wheels to any bum with 2 forms of ID & a debit card. There was a time when some band of lowly criminals decided they would rob all the locations in the (less) greater Los Angeles area. After a few stores got hit in Inglewood, all the stores were on the look-out for any suspicious characters. My store was in the hood, really though, so everybody was suspect, even before the U-Haul Bandits made the news. This was pre-recession, so day-laborers hadn’t yet figured out that movers could make a decent peso. One day, I’m out in the parking lot, fake washing a truck when I hear a voice say, “Don’t turn around.” If you know Black people, you know by telling them not to do something, that’s exactly what they are going to do. & vice versa. That’s why Black children rarely get kidnapped & why so many Black men still live with their moms; from an early age, our mother’s start yelling “Get the fuck away from me!” as often as possible. But, I digress.
I turned around to the barrel of what appeared to be the rustiest .380 ever, held together by duct tape. If I wasn’t moderately stoned at the time, I possibly would have giggled. But, I was high. & that shit was actually happening. To keep me cool, dude let me know he was just there for the money, which made the situation that much more uncomfortable. Just my luck, I’m being robbed by the one thief in Los Angeles who needs to feel acceptance. With the rickety ass gun at the back of my head we walked inside, & me & all the other employees were herded to the manager’s office, where we kept our safe & petty cash drawer. He said, to no one in particular, “Open the safe,” which, the acting manager was the only one with the combination. I guess God didn’t see a reason in slowing down the action when He created this day, because I was “acting” manager. By now though, I’d grown as relaxed as one could be with a gun on him for the past 7 or so minutes.
In the office, I was moving as calmy & calculated as my adrenaline allowed me to. No bullshit, the nigga said, verbatim, “Hurry up, nigga, we ain’t at the club.” Some of the other employees actually snickered, out loud. At this point, everything had slowed down, & all I heard was my heartbeat. But in my peripheral, all I saw was this coward, holding a gun. I took the money out, stuffed in into a burlap bag, & the dude turned away & began walking away. He didn’t even say “thanks.” Without so much as looking back, he gingerly walked towards the exit.
“Count to a hunnid, then y’all can come out.”
& like that he was gone. Of course, we didn’t count to one hundred. I doubt a couple of cats even had that ability. As a sigh of relief washed over our uneasy group of vics, I was feeling some kind of way about this clown pointing his gat at me this whole time. At any given moment, dude could’ve spaz’d out & my head would’ve had an extra ventilation hole. Shit wasn’t cool. At. All. When the cops finally arrived, it was obvious they didn’t give a monkey’s ball &/or thought we were in on it. Which made it even worse. Instead of taking a statement, these dudes were giving me the “Law & Order’ treatment. 2 of the clowns even really looked like Tutuola & Munch.
When it was all said & done, nobody was hurt & I lived to see another day. Plus, it wasn’t my money to begin with. God forbid I felt all heroic, & gave homie a reason to get brazen with his robbery. That shit happens more often then you’d think in L.A. I could only imagine what would have happened if I had thousands of dollars in costume jewelry on me at the time.