The crew at Hudson Refrigeration warehouse thought of theft as like a divinely derived job benefit.

Back in the late-70s, the crew at Hudson Refrigeration warehouse (on Henderson Street, down by the exit of the Holland Tunnel) thought of theft as like a divinely derived job benefit. Mostly, this was the sneaking out of the gate of some relatively small, but high-priced item — Alaskan king crab legs, for instance — by just hiding it under a coat. One particularly ingenious and industrious individual (who hailed from the Heights and had done hard time (along with accomplices) years previous for assaulting a police officer, and who later went on to homelessness and panhandling at the corner of Central and Manhattan) came up with a plan that was both novel and ambitious. On the second floor of the 15th Street side of the building there was a door to wide open air, for what practical purpose I do not have a clue. Our clever character opens that very door one cold day and starts tossing out cases of hams. Unbeknownst to the hero, inside the Tunnel Bar, across the street on Henderson, a straight job driver from the trucking outfit a block away on Provost Street has the falling boxes under a eagle-eye watchful gaze. He counts, one case, two cases, three cases, four cases. No need to be greedy. He starts up the truck and drives over to the scene, gets out, and loads the by now six crates into the back of the truck. The indignant schemer up above is yelling his lungs out, “Hey you! Stop! STOP!” but is duly ignored.

And it gets better.

After 5pm, the party of the first part, from whose fingers the possession of the hams had so recently and reluctantly slipped, goes down to the trucking outfit and demands to speak with the boss, “I’m from Hudson Refrigeration. One of your drivers stole SIX cases of hams from me today and I wants ’em back!”

Boss of the trucking outfit (going through paperwork): “But, we haven’t had anything at Hudson Refrigeration all week . . . ”

Warehouse worker: “I didn’t come here for a story. I came here for my hams and I wants ’em back RIGHT NOW! I ain’t leavin’ witout ’em!”

Boss of the trucking outfit: “But without papers, how did my driver get into your yard?”

Warehouse worker: “He didn’t have ta. I was pushin’ the boxes out the side door when –”

A this point, the boss of the trucking outfit cut the little speech short and asked the visitor to leave, and was not very polite doing so.

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About Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa.
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