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Panopticon's Open by Zombalaya
October 2021

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Real life
October 23, 2021

got up this morning and after a few hours decided to go for a drive. I wanted to get some gasoline in a different zip code area, as only very recently this town has had a newly unincorporated area pop up on the maps. Interesting to me...

So I drove a ways out to a different gas station, out near the interstate. My check engine light has been on since the last time I filled up, and I filled up at an exxon that was across the block from a newly resurrected 76 station, the ones with the big orange 76 ball as a symbol. Interesting.

I went somewhere else completely, this time, and lo and behold they were offereing some kind of "certified gasoline, no ethanol" or some combination of those words, and it was 50 cents more expensive per gallon that the regular. Had a red pump handle, compared to the yellow and green ones. I bit.

The check engine light magically went off when I started the car back up and drove off into the rest of the morning. Could have just been a loose gas cap, but I am highly suspicious anyway.

Then I went to a Target and bought some small games and other items to donate to the haven of rest.

While I was at target there were a number of things I noticed:

Firstly, almost no ONE had masks on. Period. Fine. If you can't recognize the calm before the storm, that's on you.

Secondly, while I was standing in line there was a small child going about saying "fire in the hole!" mimicking what he had heard elsewhere, most likely at home. I couldn't pinpoint exactly where he was behind my back, as he kept moving around and was about 30 feet or so away. I heard one of his parents comment that at least he doesn't yell it anymore. Well...

Then some guy tried to pickpocket me as I was looking at the various odds at ends that are offered near the registers. I was already in line, looking down and to the left at the items. There was a woman in front of me who had a special needs child and he was around maybe 20. He was generally happy and she was a bit nervous. He eventually came back to her and put his arm around her waist.
He was not the one yelling out fire in the hole, nor was he the one that tried to pickpocket me. That came from the rear and to the left, and I suddenly sensed color and someone that was very, very close to my left pocket and where I had my wallet. I was wearing loose gym-type pants.

Once I realized what was going down I started to turn and stare and that fucker started scurrying off, and I gave him the absolutely evilest eye my soul can cast, and he tried to fade back into the crowd about the registers. There was no mistake that I had marked him as the one, though, and everyone there knew it.

The next time something like this occurs, and it has happened separately now, twice within the past 3 weeks or so, I am not even going to cast the eyebrow and eye. I am just going to ask the nearest person, hopefully a staff member, how to contact store security.

Fuck these people.
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