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South Houston is the new Harlem

I’m from South Houston. I used to wear that with a badge of pride. People would ask where I’m from and I would tell them. They would then get this weird look on their face or comment, “That’s a rough part of town.”

In case you’re not familiar with Houston, South Houston is rough. There are several rough parts, but South East Houston I am intimately familiar with. I didn’t realize how bad it was until after I got married and moved out. Now I try to stay away from it at all costs. It’s not that every part of South Houston is a shit-hole, its just that the ratio of shady-goings-on is a lot higher. Case in point.

Today I had to run some equipment to a calibration service place. I work about 45 minutes away with light traffic and the reason I took the equipment over was because they wanted $300 to come to us. Boy was that a great idea.

So I near the intersection where this place is located and I automatically realize that I’m in the ghetto. To be fair, its all the ghetto but the house on the corner with the shoes hanging from the electric wires looks like its held up by toothpicks and the siding is half missing. Needless to say the calibration place was kind of a dump too. I’m sure they do good work, its just that is looked…less than desirable. But that’s not even the kicker.

I go to leave and realize my tank is on “E”. I stop at the gas station, attempt to pay and my card doesn’t work. Now I’m worried I’m going to be stuck here and that’s causing the wheels to turn. I decided to go in and try to pay. Works like a charm. $20 on pump two and a big Monster Energy drink to pick me up from this whole experience. I walk outside and……some older Mexican lady is pumping my gas into a dented old gas can while trying to hide next to my van.

I start screaming: “Hey, that’s my gas. I paid for that!” (really it was a polite raising of my voice.)

She looks at me and just says, “Sorry, sorry” but continues to pump my gas. I grab the nozzle away from her and put it into my van. Here’s the part that pissed me off, she was pumping the most expensive gas. Now I have to pump the same crap into my van and waste my money, aside from the two gallons she’s already cheated me out of.

I’m so frustrated I drive off without realizing that I had left my Monster on the roof of my van. SMACK. PFSTSSSSSSSSSSSSS! That’s the sound of it hitting the ground and spewing forth is liquid energy goodness. Now I’m really pissed. I mean, I would have given her gas if she needed it. I’ve bought people gas cans and filled them up before. Because I’m a decent human being. Not someone who sneaks behind vehicles stealing gas and saying “sorry, sorry” with their whorish harpy mouth.

I feel like I might have taken it overboard on that last sentence. For that I apologize.

Anyway, so I leave South Houston as fast as I can. I don’t look in my rear view mirror. I don’t reminisce. I just drive.


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