Once upon a time, I was an 18-year-old bright eyed and bushy tailed college student who worked as a cashier at a convenience store.
Hey, we all gotta start somewhere.
This was actually a pretty sweet job because I worked with one of my friends, Tara, and there were, like, literally never any customers in the store so all I would do is clean, stock shelves and fuck around with Tara.
One day I was on campus in between classes when I got a call from Tara, who sounded MANIC. Like, talking so fast I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. I was finally able to gather the gist of her message, which was equally a “WTF” moment for me that I had to verify the accuracy multiple times from her, just to make sure I was 100% clear on what I was hearing.
We had this regular customer, Harold, who was about 60, worked at a factory, had missing teeth, was always wearing jeans and dirty t-shirts and reeked of old cigarettes. Harold would come in every single day for a Gatorade, Ritz crackers and sometimes an air freshener for his old crusty pickup truck.
But on this particular day, Harold had a surprise in store.
And as to how Tara and Harold got into this conversation in the first place, I will never know. I don’t want to know. Some things are just better left untouched.
Anyways. Apparently Harold had informed Tara that he had a HUGE panty fetish.
Just your standard casual conversation.
And not only that, but Harold also informed Tara that he would buy all of her panties AND give her a gift card to Victoria’s Secret so she could buy more.
Tara was not only calling to tell me this, but to also tell me that Harold had asked about involving me in the same offer.
What’s funny about this situation is that some people I’ve told about this were grossed out and couldn’t believe we did this. On the other hand, Tara and I just thought it was weird, random and also fucking hysterical. Like, WHO does this?
I still think it’s hilarious, P.S.
Zero fucks given.
But also, what the fuck else were we gonna do with all the underwear we owned? Eventually it would be thrown away. It seemed certifiably insane to us to NOT sell it.
It’s all in perspective, yo.
Being the mischief maker and hustler I am, it took all of 4 seconds to agree.
Sell my panties that are collecting dust in my drawers to this man, make more money than I did in a week at the convenience store AND shop till I drop at VS?! Say no more!
So, that night, Tara and I raided our panty drawers and each put together a goodie bag for Harold to give to him next time he came in the store. Sure enough, like clockwork, the next afternoon Harold came clomping in with his old dirty boots, on the hunt for his Gatorade and Ritz crackers.
Except this time when he went to pay for them, we nonchalantly handed him the two bags of panties and he wordlessly handed us each $200 cash in separate envelopes and a shiny pink VS gift card, grabbed his goods, and walked out the door.
Like, what could anyone possibly have to say in this situation anyways?
We were in business, baby.
For the next few months, every week, Harold would come in and we would do the panty exchange. After I got rid of all the ones I didn’t wear anymore, I started hitting the dollar store to buy more and making a few hundred bucks off of Harold every week.
Not bad for a young lady who was pulling a grand total of $8 an hour at the store!
Tara and I were THRIVING.
Do you remember being in high school and stealing whatever you could at Walmart, walking out without paying and feeling that RUSH?! (For me it was always Wet n Wild makeup. And on one occasion, sneakers. Yes, we ALL did dumb shit when we were teenagers. I’m no exception).
That was the same exact rush I got every time I made a sale to Harold. Pair that dopamine hit with cash I wouldn’t otherwise have…I was HOOKED on the panty game.
One night, Tara and I had negotiated a big deal with Harold. This time, we were going to give him an ENTIRE GROCERY BAG filled to the brim with our panties and he would give us $800 to split, plus $100 gift card to VS. EACH.
Harold hadn’t been in the store for a week, but he was down to meet us in the Walmart parking lot at midnight to do the exchange.
Hey, I’m from the sticks in upstate New York. What more do we expect?!
So, there we were, in my old Toyota Corolla waiting on Harold to pull up. Blasting 50 Cent. True gangsters, indeed. We didn’t know for sure if Harold would even show up.
I mean, for a guy that worked at a factory (and for us), he was about to hand over a LOT of money. We thought maybe he was all talk.
But sure enough, a few minutes past midnight (the witching hour), we heard the sputtering of Harold’s rusty truck engine before we even saw the two beams of his headlights pull up right behind us. He pulled up, got out, and walked over to the driver’s side (my side) of the car.
Now, I ain’t no dummy. I had the doors locked and the window cracked JUST enough to be able to slip Harold the bags. I also had the car still running in drive with my foot on the brake, so if he tried anything shady I would immediately gun it and leave him in the dust.
Maybe even run him over.
But trusty ol’ Harold skipped right up to the car with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face, clearly fucking stoked about his precious treasures that awaited. He handed me a fat envelope and I quickly handed him the bags, said “THANKS BYEEEEE“ and immediately peeled the FUCK out of there.
Like, I didn’t need that MF trying to follow me home, god forbid!
Once we got out of the parking lot, I pulled over into a random apartment complex well out of sight of the road, turned the car off, turned on the lights and we counted our loot. It was all accounted for.
Even the gift cards.
God DAMN, were we good!
But, as with any fairy tale, there is always an ending. Our panty hustle with Harold did indeed come to an end because after that night, Harold stopped coming to the store and we never heard from him again.
He did pop in once, 6 months later when Tara was working, to get his Gatorade and Ritz crackers, but he didn’t say one word to her. It was as if the whole thing had never happened.
Twilight Zone vibes, indeed.
Later on, Tara informed me of one tiny little detail she had left out when first telling me this:
When Harold came into the store that last time and bent over in front of her to grab his Ritz crackers…
Her purple lace thong was peeking out of his jeans.