Street Pirates and Gypsies

As you may have noticed, yesterday was black friday, the biggest sale day of the year! People go out to get things that they otherwise would not need, because “it is a great deal.” Well, Roni and I fell for the we-don’t-really-need-it-but-it-is-a-great-deal-so-we-have-got-to-get-it trick. Best Buy put out an add for a $229 laptop. In our apartment we have one computer that is 5 years old, a janky laptop, and an old tablet PC. We don’t really need another computer, but we thought, let me rephrase that, I thought it would be a great idea to get a working laptop.

In order to obtain said laptop, we went to wait through the night at Best Buy’s doorstop. We had a list of a bunch of different Best Buys in the area, thinking that if the line were too long at one, we could simply jump over to the next one. We ended up just going to a Best Buy in South Salt Lake. What time did we go? Well… we went at 10 P.M. on Thanksgiving. What time did they open? Well… they open at 5 A.M. For those readers who are not math savvy, that is 7 hours. When we got in line we were within the first 100 people, so we thought that we might have a chance at getting what we wanted.

Not long after we showed up, other people fell in line behind us. We soon learned that interesting people show up for door buster events. Of the two girls directly behind us, one had only dressed in a hoodie and a pair of jeans. Let me emphasize how cold it was that night. On the way to the store, I decided to wash the windows of the car as we filled up the gas tank. Within seconds of putting the window washing fluid on the window, the fluids froze. I ended up scraping off ice more than actually cleaning the window. So, back to the story. The other girl behind us was a chain smoker, and would only go about 5 feet away when she smoked; I think my clothes still smell like smoke.

The chain smoker was very talkative. VERY talkative. She kept on going and going and going; she was the energizer bunny of conversation. I don’t know how many times I heard her say “I’m going to be fine all night long. I am wearing 5 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of socks. Yeah, I’ll be just fine. No way that that I’m going to be cold.” And then she told us about her life story. Three times. Three hundred thousand times. Maybe more. When somebody stops talking only to breathe, you get to hear a lot from them. Including an hour later, when she, while pacing to keep warm, said, “I’m so cold. I don’t get it, I am wearing 5 shirts, 4 pairs of pants. . . (etc).” I wasn’t really surprised she got cold… she was very waif-ish.

So around 1 A.M. this guy on a skate board comes up and starts talking to everybody around us. We ask him was he came for and he said, “Bum rush. I’m here to see somebody get trampled.” To which, the waif again told us how she got trampled at Walmart two years back when she was trying to put bikes back standing up.

After talking for a while, the skater, who was dressed in all black, and was wearing a black leather jacket with metal studs all over it, starts asking us if we have seen the gypsies. I was very puzzled. Gypsies in Utah? I thought gypsies, or Romani, were more of a European thing? He then tells us about how whenever you see a green light in a van, or in the front of a house, you should go up to them and ask to trade stuff, because that means that they are gypsies, and they have stuff to trade. He called it the “green light movement.”

He then told us that he is part of a lot of movements. He then extolled the “straight-edgers” and denounced the “hate-edgers” (who beat up old ladies who have pills in their purses). He told us about drum circles and how the cops are cool with it. This was all pretty normal compared to what he said next.

He said, “There is one thing that I don’t see much of in Utah. The Jolly Roger.” I could only blink. Did he just say “jolly roger?” As in the pirates? As in “Yarr me maties!”? No, no, I must have heard him wrong. He can’t have really just said the jolly roger. He then pointed to a jolly roger patch on his jacket, and said, “You know, the sign of the pirates.”

Now I really don’t know what to think. I am dumbfounded, at a loss. He then goes on to explain to us about street pirates. They used to be hard core pirates I guess. Robbing, mugging and plundering all they encountered on the streets. He then went on to say that they have calmed down a lot, and how there are all sorts of “rules and regs” now. I wanted to ask if they are more of “guidelines.” So there you go. Street pirates, gypsies and waifs. That was my Thanksgiving, what do you think about that?

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