Please Don’t Hit Me, I Have a Job….

by on March 28, 2012 · 36 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, Popular

Life's avenues can get crowded. November 3, 2010, by Jim Grant.

Spring was in the air yesterday in Ocean Beach as I walked down Newport Ave. The Ocean had the color of cobalt blue and the wind was strong, although decidedly warmer than it has been. Is it possible? Is summer just around the corner?

I was on a break from preparing the evening meal at Sacred Heart of OB’s Ministry for the Hungry. I had just a quick lunch at the Old Townhouse Café, said “hello,” to several of my friends and acquaintances as I took my early afternoon walk down to the Ocean for a little head clearing, back stretching, and to let people know about the dinner; an activity which has become an alternate Tuesday ritual for me.

As I approached the corner of Bacon and Newport, the sidewalk narrowed because of the metal planter box around the palm tree. There were several people walking toward me, but enough room we could walk past each other. Then this fella about half my age, and little bigger, came toward me and from behind the group. Apparently he was very important because he was in a hurry and I was impeding his hurried, self-important day. As he passed me, he did not brush against me…he threw his entire shoulder into me nearly knocking me to the ground. I grabbed the metal railing to stop my fall.

The fella continued on his way without a word. But of course I had a few.

 “Hey! What was that all about?” I said while he was still in ear-shot.

 “Your blocking the sidewalk, get outta the way.” He replied.

 “So you knock me down?”

 “Get a job asshole!” was his reply.

 A few more words were exchange as he climbed into his newer model black Jeep Rubicon. Other than my strong suggestion he, “get out of OB, we don’t need [his] kind,” I truly apologize for any which were offensive. I write it off, however, as being in a state of shock. Granted, I was wearing chef pants, a surfin’ t-shirt, sneakers and a beanie, but I was clean and clean shaven. And for those of you who do not know me, I am bespectacled and my hair (what’s left of it) is white. I was not pan-handling or carrying a sign. I certainly was not drunk or high…I was just walking down the street, perceived as homeless and nearly knocked to the ground because of it.

Now I’m a big boy and I will not suffer any long term, post-traumatic stress as a result of this encounter. The event was disturbing nonetheless. It was disturbing in the sense this fella felt he was justified in doing violence to me because he perceived me as homeless. As I continued my walk, I began to ponder what the homeless and poor encounter on daily basis. The physical and symbolic violence done against them for simply being poor. The metaphorical spitting upon them if you will.

So I have to ask myself, and perhaps you who are reading this, has Ocean Beach become such a place of violence? Have we, as a community, become so intolerant we would condone such violent behavior toward anyone, let alone the most helpless and unprotected? And if so, what is the hope for our community? I remember a time not too long ago, when this was not the case. But change has come and with it, apparently so too has intolerance and violence as an acceptable response.

Well, these are some of my thoughts the day after…as usual, I welcome yours…

In Peace, Jack

Nov. 3, 2010. Jim Grant.

OB Pier, Nov. 3, 2010. Jim Grant.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Goatskull March 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Sadly, the answer to your question is a big yes. It’s going on everywhere, even in communities like OB. There are a growing number of people who while gainfully employed are convinced that their own standard of living is not what it could due to the poor and less fortunate. No one has a crystal ball but I think this problem will continue to get worse before it gets better, if ever. While there’s the whole divide between the 1% and 99%, the 99% seems to be fighting within their own ranks.

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avatar doug porter March 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

yup. this is what we’ve become.
anybody not wearing the uniform (whatever that is) becomes defined as one of “them” and thus subject to being abused and mis-treated by the arrogant fools who think their shit smells sweeter. this cuts many ways (straights v hippies, hippies v. business people, surfers v. tourists, etc) and only stops when enough people have the courage to say “no more”.
we know where Jack stands. What about you? What will it be?

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avatar Christopher Moore March 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

It’s the Golden Age of The Douche.
Just turn on your TV.

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avatar Goatskull March 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

About 4 years ago a friend of mine’s son who was attending Humboldt State and living off campus in nearby Eureka had the misfortune of coming across a couple unemployed and very inebriated tree cutters. Because of having dreadlocks and sporting a Heal The Bay t-shirt (basically looking like a hippie) he got the bloody snot beaten out of him. He sustained enough serious injuries that he had to drop out of school and move back down to Torrance where to this day he is living with his parents. No arrests were made, it didn’t make the local papers. Pretty much treated as a non issue, and this is HUMBOLDT country we’re talking about.
Even more recently here while my wife and I were walking through Balboa Park we witnessed what apparently was a scuffle between a couple Marine vets and some Occupy protesters. Not an all out brawl but there was some pushing and shoving.

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avatar Jack March 28, 2012 at 11:43 am

As children, we learn from our parents what is acceptable behavior and what is not. As adults, we learn from our authority figures what is acceptable behavior and what is not. If we see the local authorities “jackin’ up,” the homeless and poor, to some of us, that becomes acceptable. If we see national authorities beat and jail black men, then some of us haven’t a problem with gunning down innocent youths for the manner in which they dress. If we see our government at an international level, invade sovreign nations without cause, engage in assassinations of international citizens in foreign countries, or our own citizens in foreign countries, or our watch as our military kills, murders and ravages third world countries because they are “defending my freedom,” then some of us, think is okay to oppress and take whatever we want, whenever we want, regardless of the consequences.

In words we say violence is unacceptable, but in action we say otherwise.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG March 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

If we follow the Bush/Obama example of good govorporation, we could don our brown shirt gear of sandals, bell bottoms, pony tails & flowers; and then we could march up to North Park to invade it, strip it of its resources & make the leaders of the movement in OB richer & richer. We could set up a Green Zone in OB w/ franchises of Lefty’s Pizza & Claire de Lune coffee. OB would truly be “bad.”
When idiots try to knock me off the sidewalk, I tend towards the spinning backhand; but these days it makes me a bit dizzy.

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avatar Christopher Dotson March 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Doug, it sounds like you are walking the walk, not reacting in the same way folks are brain washed by TV and war games. After ten years of warring, it is no wonder advertisements even take on a war like and in your face approach to attracting consumers.

Tolerance is hard work, as foretold by one young Rabbi. While many feel they are “persecuted” when someone cuts them off in the cappucino line at Starbucks, your experience and reaction begins to tell the real story of AGAPE. Can you imagine how a Samaritan and a Jew could recount their stories of hate, back in the time of thier infamous tale ? Or the innocence of Timothy? These stories really model, imho, how it really is upon each of us, everyday, to act as u did while standing up for our core beliefs.

You’re not alone. This weekend, while attending 99 Spring training, one loving, caring facilitator spoke whole heartedly about tolerance and acceptance of all creation. The irony, at least for some, was her continued comments against white males, of which only 4 or 5 were in the room. Naturally, fate would have the two of us engage in several exrcises where it was clear my demographic is among her shit list. While this has only vague similarities to your violent encounter, I remained patient. Finally, during a “hassel line” exercise, where pairs exchange angry talk back and forth, who do u think was my partner? While her long term anger was not healed during this breif encounter, she did reapproach me later to reconnect in a less hostile manner, and she ceased calling out white males during the remainder of the class.

******As the person experiencing this, I still do not begrudge her feelings.*****

We all have a story to tell and, perhaps, it is the NOT TELLING it which adds to the hostilities which we must all rise above, as only the strong and faithful can readily affirm. Examples of hate abound, and they are too easy to account for both in OB and elsewhere, as foretold by the good samaritan. In that story, I have learned to accept the core message by substituting the injured Character as Dick, or Donald, or G. W. . . . what a test! How would I react?

Thanks for telling us part of your important story which is The Model I will try to follow in your footsteps, too.

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avatar Jack March 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Thank you, Christopher. One little peace at a time.

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avatar john March 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I’m not religious but whenever I see a homeless person the phrase “but for the grace of God, go I.” is always the first thought in my mind.
It’s easy to fall into the idea prosperity lasts forever. For most people it’s a long slow slide, for Jeep Rubicon Piloting Ass Pirate Who Knocks Perceived Lesser Beings, it could be as quick as the next trip down a sidewalk is on a sidewalk, he gets a brain injury, becomes the second coming of Gary Busey, can’t hold a job, so boorishly rude his family disowns him, nobody there to empty his dribble cup, and he’s on the street with the mortals.
Hope springs eternal!

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avatar john March 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

^^^^Insert “Down” after “Knocks”. But then you knew that. :-)

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avatar Maria March 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

We don’t need his kind ANYWHERE, unless just to remind us to love and have compassion for all people and creatures on our planet.

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avatar Jack March 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

As for walking the walk…I had to do some soul searching, because I let my anger get the better of me, if only for a minute or two. So rather than rise to the level of hate or anger, I ask God to soften my heart and to soften the heart of the fella who felt he was my superior. It is not a time to meet fire with fire…it is a time to meet adversity with compassion and understanding.

As my grandmother, a nearly native OBeachian (she moved there when she was two in 1908), told me, “It is easy to hate someone because they are different than you. To love them, despite differences, is the true test of a man.” Although she has been gone nearly eighteen years, her words are more true today than when she said them to me as a child.

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avatar Anna Daniels March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Jack- I too have done a great deal of searching. I wish I could eradicate the tremendous anger I feel on so many occasions. I can’t eradicate those feelings. What I can do, however, is control how I act upon those feelings. I am so deeply grateful that you are moving through the world. You are a good man. I am not asking for a perfect man.

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avatar Jack March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Thank you Anna…

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avatar Presly Deen Hollingsworth March 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Remind you of the Third Reich? It should.

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avatar Sunshine March 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I see piles of ego-driven, self-importance spilling all over the sidewalks in OB these days.

it’s always a shock when someone else’s anger spills outta their humanity into mine. Yet at each encounter, I am faced with a decision: to react or to respond. combine anger with physical contact and things escalate quickly as thousands of years of documented history will show.

having designed and facilitated an Anger Management class, I taught my clients that anger was simply an emotional energy, not a sin. One they were misusing to gain a false sense of power and/or control. I showed them the connection between allowing their anger to escalate into rage and watching the consequences escalated also. It never surprised me when my clients would learn this and find healthier alternatives than manipulation with anger to express themselves. what surprised me is that they hadn’t learned this before. We must continue to teach peace, acceptance, and compassion by example. Apparently, not many read those books anymore.

As for this old flower child, I choose love.

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avatar Jack March 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Indeed

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avatar P.D. Sullivan March 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

Yes, I’ve seen it in traffic, too…and there’s a recent study floating around showing that the more you have, the worse you behave, in general, to other people.

In other words, the Landed Gentry still think it’s Jolly Good Fun to ride down The Peasantry.

In The Land of The Free, this is a disgrace. This is just the kind of thing we wanted to get away from in England.

In the meantime, watch out for that 98-pound individual with a quart of milk on her seat driving the Sequoia as she rams you into the asphalt, or runs you off the road.

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avatar RB March 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

Could give a reference or link to this study?

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avatar Shane Finneran March 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

the study came out last month and it seems pretty airtight. Its title is “Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior.”

you can read about it here:
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/02/shame-on-the-rich.html?ref=hp

or buy the actual study here:
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/11/4086

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avatar Citizen Cane March 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Landed gentry? I worry more about the Land Rovered gentry. Cars seem to bring out the worst in people, and they can still feel self rightous about it. The guy that slammed into Jack was on his way back to his car. His body was getting him ready for a fight. He’s probably not old enough to have watched Bonanza or the Rifleman when he was young.

Nobody has ever yelled at me to get a job when I was driving a car. It always happens when I’m walking or riding a bicycle. What should I do?…wear a suit and tie when I ride my bike?

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avatar Goatskull March 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

And make sure there’s a Bluetooth in your ear and a brief case strapped to your back.

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avatar Shane Finneran March 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I enjoyed this article, and the comments have yielded two awesome new terms:

Golden Age of the Douche
Land Rovered gentry

instant classics!!!

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avatar jim grant March 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Since I always take the other side of the issue , thats what editor dude told me………..I will say : I could relate 15 or 20 instances where homeless travelers has done the same or worse while i simply walked the streets or the seawall of OB …………….
It typically goes like this : They block the sidewalk like they own it I say ” Pardon me Excuse Me” they look up in ambivalence… ” huh” I say “pardon me” again ……I try and slide-by sideways ….they nudge bump and say ” hey how about a few bucks for weed or beer ?” I say ” nope” they say ” what the F Ahole you got a 1000 dollar camera cant you spare a few bucks?” I say again ” nope” As I walk off they say “F u yuppie !!! ” So it happens to us all get over it !!!

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avatar Jack March 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Jim, I am sorry to hear things are so rough for you when you visit OB. I hope it gets better. In the meantime I will take your advice and “get over it!!!” Thank you.

In Peace, Jack

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avatar Seth March 31, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I was taking my kids into the lifeguard station bathroom this afternoon, when I hear, “Hey! Why don’t you suck my f—ing d–? I have a big fat one.” I look up, and some street kid like 30 feet away is sitting in a group outside the bathroom, staring right at me, and clearly speaking to me. I’m holding my 2 year old daughter in my arms, with my 4 year old son next to me, and we hadn’t even so much as looked at the dude. I’m assuming someone in his group said something to him, because he apologized when we were on the way out. He was obviously pretty hammered. All good, comes with the territory, I guess. I know it isn’t all of them, but anyone who doesn’t think that is a fairly regular kind of thing in OB lately doesn’t spend a lot of time here.

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avatar Mark March 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I hope you’re alright. But I don’t see anything in your verbal exchange that he thought you were homeless. He thought A) you were in his way, and B) you were jobless. You don’t state that he called you a bum, a troll, or some other negative word for a homeless person. How do you make the assumption that he thought you were homeless? He probably didn’t, since you were wearing decent clothes, so why did you conclude he had something against the homeless? Thanks, and again I hope you’re alright!

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avatar Jack March 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

You are correct, I did make the assumption he thought I was homeless. I assumed his comment indicating he thought I was without employment was a logical connection with homelessness. After all, homelessness people are never told to get a job. I stand corrected.

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avatar Kenloc March 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm

He jumped in his car to go home because he doesnt live in OB.Otherwise he’d walk.I like to hope so anyway.
The other day I saw a guy actually tag his name and “187” or someother stupid shit on the back of a homeless guy in awheelchair. He wrote on the back of his jacket,took a pic of it real fast,and ran off.This was a guy in his 20s.Unreal.
In the last few years we have had assaults,stabbings,murder,attempted murders,armed robbery,etc. Seems to be getting a bit out of hand.
Glad your OK Jack. Be careful out there…..

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avatar Bobob March 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Also get a job can be a figure of speech, something my grandpas both said to their kids and me. Haha.

Seriosuly though lets count up every homeless/jobless victim of harrasment or crimes and then compare to the same amount they dole out and commit.

Fact is rich or poor, homeless or hardworking it takes all kinds, some are aholes, some are not. I try to be nice to people until they give me a reason not to.

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avatar Jamie March 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm

That is a terrible yet commonplace story in OB. I shall now share my own tale of being treated in such a fashion: My friend and I, at 10:00 pm one fine Wednesday evening, were enjoying, standing up, some Hodads grub, next door to Newport Pizza in front of one Dream Girls boutique. To summarize a lengthy, horrific experience, the matronly owner of said boutique was having a rampage, screaming, pounding on her own shop window glass, and yelling profanities at the top of her insanse lungs, to me and my friend calling us homeless pieces of shit and telling us to leave her “property” aka the sidewalk in front of her closed, upscale, slave-made clothing boutique. I literally went numb with shock, I am large and in charge and wearing a $200 jacket, nice clothes, well groomed. My friend was a little scruffier but clearly a normal, beach going type. This woman rampaged so hard we left her to her rambling insanity and walked away. A clear nutjob. I take one last glance back, she flips us off! Since then I documented this on Yelp!.com (she has had it taken down twice) and I have told EVERY OBecian that would even consider shopping at that so-called woman’s store to never go there again. I have personally told MANY customers shopping in front etc this tale, and I have also personally cost her the sale of at least 2 overpriced slave-made garments. This is an OB shopkeeper folks. I am a five year almost resident of OB and have sat on the board of directors of a tech company. I have short hair. I dress smooth. This is where we are at.

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avatar Kenloc March 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Hodads closes at 9 and you were still eating in front of a closed store at 10. Were you there awhile? Perhaps thats maybe why she thought you were homeless? Most people don’t stand on a sidewalk in front of a closed store eating a burger for an hour at night.I’m not condoning her treatment of people without houses.Just trying to see both sides.Perhaps she has had many run-ins with some bad houseless types,had a bad day and snapped.Maybe?
I think the real reason your upset is that she owns a clothing store, sees numerous homeless people on a daily basis,looked at you and your clothes and thought you were homeless.You seem more concerned with being identified as a homeless person than the rant itself.
Try running a business on a daily basis in a tough economy while constantly having to deal with what she deals with every day in that location.While she was wrong for reacting that way,I don’t see the need to try and destroy her financially for it on the internet.Interesting thing about Yelp, they won’t take bad reviews down unless you give them $300 per month or so.Blood money. Remember that while wasting your time posting lame reviews on a site that bilks business owners for money to save their online reputation.Beware the companies with all good reviews,you know their paying.
Now about that jacket……

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avatar Jamie April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

I find your post to be negative, baiting, and very insulting. Lets address each of your points”

“Hodads closes at 9 and you were still eating in front of a closed store at 10. Were you there awhile?
Reading comprehension must not be your strong suit. I was in front of Dreamgirls Boutique. Your friend perhaps owns it? I was there for 2 MINUTES KENLOC EATING A GOURMET BURGER AND ONION RINGS ON THE STREET. I know you and her both might find it hard to believe that someone might consume food in a beach town while simply “hanging out” enjoying there city, atmosphere, fresh air etc.

“Perhaps she has had many run-ins with some bad houseless types,had a bad day and snapped.Maybe?” That is called an excuse, a lousy one, and will not fly with me, I am an adult.

“I think the real reason your upset is that she owns a clothing store, sees numerous homeless people on a daily basis,looked at you and your clothes and thought you were homeless.You seem more concerned with being identified as a homeless person than the rant itself.” I think only a passive aggressive asshole would make a comment like yours above. I am upset she owns a slave-labored “upscale” women’s boutique? That statement is so wack of yours I cannot even believe you made it. Is now a good time to mention I own a waterfront piece of property on one coast and live on the other? Why don’t you try re-reading the above? No one in there lives would ever confuse me with a person with permanent housing, I am tall, dark, handsome, fly, and a smooth dresser. I own a closet full of beautiful clothing. I have personal taste, style,and very well groomed, and I have sat on the board of directors of a multi million dollar tech company. Once again, no one has nor ever will confuse me for someone (other than this angry Ogre) without means of personal support. Comprende? Wow, you seem like quite the hater.

What I am most concerned with Kenloc, is a local busines woman whom thinks she can treat anyone she wants, anyway she wants. I have never been treated like that in my life, if she was a man she would have her hands full.

“Try running a business on a daily basis in a tough economy while constantly having to deal with what she deals with every day in that location”

You you sound like just another Ogre is. Want to know what an Ogre is? It is the name I gave, and the people whom know me adopted, for the AX WIELDING PISSED OFF ELITIST MERCHANT CLASS OF OB WHOM IS PISSED THE ECNONOMY SUCKS< AND NOW YOU ONLY MAKE 200k a year instead of 450k ripping off tourists. And now you need someone to blame. So instead of blaming the world, the economy, you point the finger at the beatniks, the skaters, the homeless people that live in OB. NEWSFLASH OGRES- the reason tourists come here and not La Jolla or PB is to see those INTERESTING CHARACTER .

Kenloc- what business do you or your wife own?

.While she was wrong for reacting that way,I don’t see the need to try and destroy her financially for it on the internet.Interesting thing about

"While she was wrong for reacting that way,I don’t see the need to try and destroy her financially for it on the internet.Interesting thing about Yelp, they won’t take bad reviews down unless you give them $300 per month or so.Blood money. Remember that while wasting your time posting lame reviews on a site that bilks business owners for money to save their online reputation.Beware the companies with all good reviews,you know their paying.
Now about that jacket……"

I have no interest in destroying her financially. I have spoken with people that know this woman, they dislike immensely. She will destroy herself with her hate, her rage, and her delusions.

As you Yelp, yeah thanks for the info? Yelp has a role, and of course is to be taken with a grain of salt.

The Jacket? A Columbia two piece charcoal/fleece snow parka? Cost me lots of $$? Weather proof? Very nice?

Why would you defend her in such a vehement matter Kenloc? I would like to know.

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avatar kenloc April 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

You sound like quite an angry person.I dont personally know her,but I dont like seeing ob merchants slammed online.braggng that you personally cost her sales does little to back up your claim that you dont want to ruin her financially.neither do your repeated yelp posts.you go on about her slave made clothes.ar you 100 % sure all the stuff in your amazing closets isnt?or you electronics?.try and get through a post without telling us how awesome you and your posessions are.we get it

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avatar Jamie April 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Keep attacking the arguer not the argument..you lose every time.

Ken- when you are eating onion rings on Newport Avenue and you get attacked by an insane shop owner pounding on her own glass window screaming profanity at you at 10:00 pm on Wednesday night, if your reaction is not one of anger, outrage, and disbelief then you are incapable of experiencing human emotion and that would mean I am really wasting my time trying to communicate with you.

I have never been treated like that in my entire life by anyone, not the waiters that have served me in ***** restaurants or back-alley third world taco shops, nor in any social setting ever. She will ruin herself financially Kenloc! Karma is quite nasty. You sound kind of nasty yourself thanks for welcoming me to the board.

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avatar kenloc April 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Honestly dude,i would have been mad at 1st.but i would have simply not shopped there,and forgivin her trespass.Lots of stuff likenthis happens here.Perhaps not by a raving shop owner,but it does.I dont understand how you can spend so much time trying to get even with her,or whatever it is your trying to accomplish.I apologize for the jacket crack.It was an attempt at humor.Im hoping you reffering to hodads’as gourmet food was a joke as well.
If you scroll up and read your comments, it seems like your yelling with all the caps and profanity.How do you feel that you are somehow better than her?

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