You're dead to me, Sam.

This image from the Frog Blog reminded me of something.

It was 1993 and I was working at a college book store. My previous gig, which lasted only two weeks, had been to go door-to-door promoting a railway line from San Francisco up into the far reaches of Sonoma County (I believe they're finally building it now). There was this guy I worked with at the previous door to door job, Sam. Sam wasn't that great. He was good at making money, but perhaps more because he was a good swindler more than anything. He was a hard core environmentalist. Idealistic. We all were. But there was something, you know, just a little off with him. He was a big guy and he was much older than I was. He seemed like he had been dealt a bad lot, though I couldn't say how. I only worked with him for two weeks.

Then I was back at the bookstore. The bookstore had a big problem with students writing bad checks, so for every check, we required two ID's. Same came through my line at the bookstore and wrote a check for like $300 or something. I asked him for the two ID's and he didn't have two. He just had his student ID, which everyone knows you just walk up to a pimply dude in the student union and tell him who you are to get it. Sam said I knew him and that was enough. I responded that I didn't really know him that well, and he threw a fit.

It got ugly.

The dude started throwing stuff all over the place and screaming and yelling. He threw some notebooks on the floor. Some pens. He screamed,

"I can't believe this shit! You know me!" and then he just ran away, straight out the door.

He left a stack of books on the counter.

The bookkeeper came out. She was a pretty blond with large (not unattractive) hips. (For some reason, her hips seem like her most prominent feature in my memory now.)

"What was that all about?" she asked with a smile. She was always smiling.

"He didn't have two forms of ID. I mean, he said I knew him, and I kind of do, but he didn't have two forms of ID."

The bookkeeper, knowing how much money we lost on bad checks, totally thought I had done the right thing.

"Well, that's dumb. He didn't have two forms of ID. He should have brought them!"

I wonder if it was a bad check. I knew how poor he was, but still. My BS detector was on ten.

The moral of the story is: Don't bro me if you don't know me.

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