Search This Blog

Saturday, May 02, 2020


Enterprise! You've got to enterprise!
You've got to enterprise!
And God bless the blackout when it comes!
— "Enterprise" from RUNAWAYS (1978)

After completing errands before 9am today, I had planned to stay indoors for the next few days at least, but I ventured out just after 2pm once alerted of a prescription being available for pickup.

After the rainy weather of the past couple of days, spring arrived in all of its (quarantined) glory, so by the afternoon the previously deserted streets of Park Slope were once again bustling with life. Most of the people that I saw were merrily wandering about, glad to be out of their homes, hugging too-long-unseen friends and loved ones, but few sported masks or any form of mouth coverings or gloves, save for those entering the supermarket right around the corner. (No mask, no admittance.)

As I walked north along 5th Avenue toward the Chemists Shop (my preferred pharmacy by a landslide), I noted a guy across the street who was decked out from head to toe in a well-worn hasmat suit of the kind you can snag via eBay for around thirteen bucks (excluding shipping and handling). His face was obscured by a mask and he even sported those plastic baggie boots, along with, for some unknown reason, a blue superhero-style cape, rendering his whole look into a sorry cosplay variant of Moon Knight. He ducked into the 24/7 convenience store on one of the corners, but came out again almost immediately, after which he quickly crossed the avenue and ended up on the sidewalk a few lengths ahead of me. 

He too headed into the Chemists Shop. 

When I entered, I saw him brandishing a sealed box of ventilator masks, and he was attempting to sell them, "cheap," to the too-savvy-for him counter girl and the weekend manager, who is also always on the ball. The mystery wandering medical supply entrepreneur gave it his all, but the staff simply were not having it, outlining to him how they were only stocking and selling 3M brand N95 masks, and noting that what he was attempting to push on them were cheap paper knockoff that were functionally "useless." Realizing he was not dealing with the gullible, he beat a hasty retreat.

When I approached the counter, I engaged the staff in our usual session of friendly "regular" chatter, and allowed them to vent about what had just transpired. Apparently, the guy had been hitting all of the local convenience stores, supermarkets, bodegas, and supermarkets, and word of his scheme had gotten around.

Never underestimate the grapevine of small Brooklyn businesses.

No comments: