I know I’ve said something about this numerous times in the past, but I bring it up once again, not only because this has been an ongoing problem for years on end, but because people and their idiotic entitlement bullshit just keeps getting worse.
So as I’m writing this, it’s the day before Wondercon and I was out washing the cars, getting ready to pack up and go. This Hispanic guy drives up into my driveway in a beat up car and says he wants to pick some oranges. Sure, like that doesn’t happen four times a week. So I tell him the same canned line that I tell everyone. No, you cannot pick oranges. This is a commercial grove. The oranges are grown for sale. They are not available for picking. If you’d like some oranges, I’m sure the grocery store down the street would be more than happy to sell you some, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if oranges from my grove were there. I say it as nicely as I can. This guy is a dick. He gets mad at me because I won’t give him something for free that is being grown for sale. That’s like asking someone working at Walmart if they can just take things from the store without paying for it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these people actually tried that. So I’ve got this pissed off Hispanic guy cussing me out because I won’t give him anything and I have to throw in the zinger, it is a crime in the state of California to pick fruit or vegetables from any commercial grove and we prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Hell, he’s already mad, what more could it hurt? I’ve learned that just telling people no doesn’t matter, I’ve literally seen people who came to the door and asked to pick, upon being told no, just go out and do it anyhow. They think I somehow owe them something. If he comes back, he won’t be the first person I’ve taken a picture of picking fruit, along with their license plates and forwarded it to the police. It helps to be friends with almost all of the cops in your town.
But this really is an ongoing problem. The week before, I had one obnoxious lady who kept coming to the door. I used to have a sign posted that explained the situation so we wouldn’t get knocks at all times of the day by people looking for freebies. The sign got vandalized so I took it down and now just don’t answer the door unless it’s someone I know. But this bitch not only rang the bell, when nobody came to the door, she banged on the door and started yelling “HELLO!” Then she walked around to the back of the house and looked into my back yard and kept yelling. The first time I heard her, I ignored her, a little shocked at what she was doing. The second time that she did it, and this is about 6:30am that she’s pulling this, I got pissed. I open the door and of course, she wants to raid my trees. Who in the hell does she think she is, banging on the door, screaming, invading my privacy, because she wants some free fruit? I told her where to shove it and slammed the door in her face.
I wouldn’t say if these were nice people who asked politely and accepted no as an answer. I actually have some trees out there that aren’t commercial, I have some avocado trees that never get picked that I couldn’t care less if people take, but every single time, without exception, that I’ve told people they can pick from these specific trees, I find them out in the groves, filling up shopping bags with oranges. Every single time. So I don’t do that anymore. I tried to be nice. I was taken advantage of multiple times. I’m sick of it.
If I could get away with planting landmines out there, I would. I honestly priced razor wire once. It’s bad enough that I had someone try to commit suicide out in the groves a couple of months ago, only to crawl to my door, trailing blood all over the place, and bang on it so I could call her an ambulance. I guess that’s better than finding a dead body out there, but come on.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do they think that anything they see is theirs for the taking and if someone tells them otherwise, they can get pissy and probably just try to take it anyhow? Fuck these people. Just fuck ’em.