My Life Amongst the Meth Addicts

Today a sixty-something married guy came into the drugstore with a bandaged burn on his hand. So I'm trying to help him find more bandages and tape, and he's being belligerent about the texture and colors of tape and he insists on finding bandages in a non-standard size. And he's being very belittling, as if it's my fault he wants the bandage to be exactly 1/8 inch larger than a standard size. So we finally find something that "will do" and he goes to check out.

Then he starts telling the clerk how he burned his hand. The dumbass poured a barrel full of sawdust onto a trash fire, then was amazed at the fireball that ensued and burned his hand. Oh, sawdust is flammable? Tiny pieces of wood with a massive amount of exposed surface area is a fire hazard? Who knew?

Here's where it gets weird, though. After the clerk was done checking him out and he was supposed to, you know, get the hell out, he stands there for a little bit and starts twitching.

Then he says to me, "Hey, young man, do you do any woodworking?"


"Oh . . . well, you should come to my garage sometime. I've got a blah blah blah" and he goes into a long listing of all the toy cars he has in his garage that are made out of wood. Then he continues, "You should come to my garage sometime and see those. They're really neat." And he's twitching this whole time.

Ack. No, I don't want to come over to the Garage of Death. Apparently, the right way to lure a young man to your garage is to be belligerent and then wile him with promises of toy cars made from real Iowa trees.

Today I also witnessed a meth addict scrounging around in the pockets of one of the jackets hanging up in the entryway of the town cafe. I must have looked angry, because he rushed off empty-handed. Too bad. I was hoping I'd get to tackle a tweaker today. That's how I always celebrate Earth Day.