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Number 2


Observation 3.1.8

June 3, 2003

In case you didn't remember (shame on you), my birthday was on June 2 - I am now a whopping 31 years old (yikes - ancient!).  Thank you to all of you who wished me a happy birthday, or more importantly, got me a present!

I was reminded of a funny thing that happened to me back when I was working at the Pet Shop in the Mac Dade Mall - I think it was right around the time I began working there (sometime in 1989, I think).  The Pet Shop was owned by the Van Impe brothers - Greg and Howard.  Howard was the more "business-oriented" one, and Greg was more of the "partier" at the time.  They were the sons of the famous Flyer defenseman of the early 1970's, Eddie Van Impe.

They bought this old rust-red van that must've cost them around $400.  The sucker ran, but that's about all it did.  They used this van as storage/transportation of pet shop trash, because the dumpster was all the way on the other side of the mall.  We would let trash sit in there for up to 5 days or so sometimes, and then somebody had the ungodly task of driving the van to the other side of the mall and emptying the trash.  Considering the fact that pet shop trash usually consisted of dog crap, dead fish, urine-and-feces-saturated cedar chips, and the occasional dead hamster or mouse, the van usually had a unique odor to it.

Since I was one of the new guys working at the pet shop, usually I "won the van driving and trash dumping lottery."  The smell of the van caused me to gag on more than one occasion, and, to my fortuitous luck, my clothes ended up also "sharing" the odor.  Hot summer days were the best for obvious reasons.

One day, while I was driving the van to the dumpster, a police officer pulled me over and informed me that the truck was about 5 years late on inspection, and proceeded to write me a ticket. Since I was a relative newcomer to both the pet shop and to having a license, the workers at the pet shop decided to play a joke on me after I presented them with the ticket. Greg (one of the co-owners) informed me that he received a phone call from the Township Municipal Building, and as a result of getting this ticket, Ridley Township (this is the township the pet shop was located in) had suspended my license.  Needless to say, I was scared shitless (doesn't happen to me very often - I'm full of shit usually).  

I informed my mom about this, and she (who sometimes still acts as if she is just visiting this country) agreed to drive me to the Ridley Township Municipal Building.  I walked through the doors, went to the main office and said, "Hi, I'm Karl Grieb.  You suspended my license because I received a ticket in the Mac Dade Mall parking lot because a van that is owned by the owners of the pet shop in the mall, had expired inspection stickers."  The lady behind the counter practically spit her half-eaten sandwich in my face, and began giggling uncontrollably.  I guess she sensed that I was visibly shaken by her less-than-serious reaction to my inquiry.  She politely informed me that I was the butt of a joke, and that I should forget this ever happened.

Of course, as I entered the pet shop for work later that afternoon, Greg and a few of the other co-workers, were eager to ask how my day went.  I felt like shoving them in the back of the van and letting them sit with the rest of the trash for 5 days.  It's funny, I can still remember the smell of that van.

Observation 3.1.1 - New Grieb Updates (new house, new job, new Grieb) - 3/17/03

Observation 3.1.2 - My thoughts on Iraq, the Basketball Tournament, and the Stones in China - 3/24/03

Observation 3.1.3 - Philadelphia Flyers playoff prediction, new house - 4/7/03

Observation 3.1.4 - Bull Durham - 4/14/03

Observation 3.1.5 - House update, Hockey playoffs, Philly Sports, Smokin' Steve - 4/28/03

Observation 3.1.7 - Summer?, barbecues, party - 5/27/03

Observation 3.1.8 - Pet Shop Van story - 6/3/03