12 (Dougie) Days Of Christmas – Day 2: 5416 & Christmas Wishes…

12 (Dougie) Days of Christmas – Day 2
5416 & Christmas Wishes
December 10, 2017

And we’re back again with Day 2 of my blog series, the “12 (Dougie) Days of Christmas. It’s been one of those days and while I’ve managed to get a lot of things accomplished, my concentration is shot to hell and it’s been hard to stay focused enough to sit down and write. Maybe if SOMEONE would turn that damn TV down enough where I don’t have to wear earphones to keep my ears from hurting or even better, turn that damn thing off, it would be better. And as I wrote that, she came over and turned the television off. She’s going to bed and I’m (finally) going to have some peace and quiet. It’s a Christmas miracle. Hallelujah! And now, I can write and think and get something accomplished. Woo-hoo!

Oh yeah, I made vegetable soup today. Two pounds of hamburger, onions, potatoes, celery, peas, corn and carrots. The soup rocks! It’s damn good. And then I went to lay down for an hour or so. I came back and guess what? My Mom had decided to “help” and added a can of lima beans to my soup. I don’t like lima beans which is why I didn’t add then in the first place. The soup was awesome and she had to add something to it. I’m not happy about that. Next time, I’m not making soup again. If she wants soup, then she can make the soup anyway she wants to, but going behind my back and adding something to my soup that I purposely excluded, that’s just wrong. The soup is still good, but it was better my way. Just saying. Lima beans suck!

And now, let’s figure out what the topics are for today’s post. I’m going to write about my brief time as a store manager down in Wilmington and a few memories from there so “5416” is one of the topics. And from the “Magic Christmas Bag”, I’m drawing out a piece of paper and it says, “Five Christmas Wishes”. So that’s the other one. I usually do three topics, but time is short, I’m running late and I want to go finish up watching “The Punisher” on Netflix so it’s only two topics tonight. I think it’ll be good regardless. Let’s do this…


Store # 5416 was the store that I, for about a year or so, managed down in Wilmington, NC back in 1996 – 1997. Man, what a time that was. I have some great memories from that time and met some amazing people include the man with the plan, the power that is SMF CyberSpace (look it up on YouTube), Brent, who along with his then-roomie Russ, were my upstairs apartment neighbors. And my four ever-so-awesome employees, Steve, Marshall, Jamie and Bubba. It was a wild and crazy time where I wasn’t that great a manager for the store, but I grew and evolved and changed as a human in many ways.

To explain what kind of chaos and craziness was regular at the store (and Ray, if you’re reading this, stop now… please), I found something earlier today in an old notebook that we used at the store with gas pump readings and other notes to myself about work stuff. In the middle of it all was a “Top Ten List” that I had written way back in 97, probably not long before I was “fired” and then rehired back at the Laurinburg store a month or so later. Anyhow, this little list, which contains far more truths than I like to admit, tells you everything that you could possibly ever need to know about our store and those of us who worked there.

Top Ten Ways You Know You’re At Dairy Mart…

10. No matter what you buy, you need ID.
9. Fast and friendly service by 1 cashier, 5 friends, 1 drunk and a dog.
8. The people like you… they really like you.
7. If you’re a guy, Doug keeps hitting on you and saying, “Nice booty!”
6. If you’re a girl, Steve keeps hitting on you and saying, “Nice booty!”
5. Daily Gatorade barrel rides.
4. Home of the Effie & Leslie tag team from Forest Hills.
3. Words “Bro” and “Man” heard in every sentence spoken. (Mark talking only!)
2. More freaks than Ringling Brothers.
1. The best damn people to ever work a store anywhere.

That last part is especially true, especially Marshall and Steve. I miss them guys and would love to one day try and track them down again. It’s been twenty years and I’m expecting that they’ve both got families and kids and knowing Steve, he’s a regional supervisor for some company and doing well. And Marshall, he’s probably still in the Wilmington area and doing good too. I hope so. Awesome people.

Let me throw out a quick Marshall story and I’ll move on. This is Christmas related. One night, while down at the store to help Jamie, who was the employee scheduled to work that night, Marsh and myself decided to drink a little bit. Okay, we drank a lot. It was a few days before Christmas and not really as busy as we’d expected so while Jamie worked the register, Marshall and I did all the stocking and floor work and sat around in the stock room getting very intoxicated. And well, there’s a song that we both liked called “Merry Christmas From The Family” by Robert Earl Keen. We decided to sing that song and well, it got pretty loud and we didn’t care, in the back room of the store, singing at the top of our lungs, while customers wandered in and out of the store and Jamie conducted business as usual. And finally, Jamie came back and told us that “everyone had been listening to us sing”. So what did we do? Drank another shot and started singing some more. The customers of the Dairy Mart had live entertainment that night. Damn, we were blitzed. And then we ended up leaving, going to my apartment which was within walking distance of the store and drinking some more until the liquor ran out and we passed out. Then I had to go in at 5:30 am the next morning to open up. Oh vey! But now, every time I hear that song by Robert Earl Keen, and it’s one of my favorites, I think of that night and laugh and start singing along.

And now, let’s get a little more serious… maybe.

Five Christmas Wishes…

5. For all of my friends and associates who have pain in their lives, be it disease, heartbreak, addiction, money problems or whatever, to find some peace and relief from their problems and to be free from the stress and anxiety of whatever problems they face.

4. A full day of no cell phones and no computers – just people interacting as people and using their minds and imaginations rather than just being zombified by the machines.

3. A new computer (desktop style) so I can keep the magic coming for many more years to come.

2. A chance to “do lunch” with some of my extended family who I rarely get to see anymore, but miss so very much.

1. Lots of hugs by lots of sexy ass men… and the people in my life who are so damn awesome and totally rock. I have the best friends and associates in the world and though I don’t say it enough (usually I’m being an anti-social twit and trying to hide from everyone), ya’ll is the bee’s knees! ‘Nuff said!

And I think that’s all for today. This was Day 2 of my blog series. Day 3 will be sometime in the next 24 hours. Comments, thoughts and all feedback is welcome and appreciated. Love you – mean it. Have a great one and I’ll catch you later.


@00 @ 1 1 12 Days 5

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