Part 289: Tom’s Frozen Beater


RECORD STORE TALES Part 289:  Tom’s Frozen Beater

This is a previously unreleased story!  It was first recorded in audio format only, as a special “exclusive” Record Store Tale for Sausagefest XII.  Now, the text version is available for all to enjoy — a rare exclusion to the “What happens at Sausagefest, stays at Sausagefest” rule.

It was early in 1995, winter.  The near-legendary Tom, who today hosts Sausagefest every year, was working the day shift at our mall store.  I was working the 5-9 shift.  As was my modus operandi, I showed up early (about 4:30) to check out the new stock and do bank runs.  Tom and I caught up for a bit; he was acting as store manager for the moment and let me know what needed to be done.

His shifted ended, Tom met some of his friends at the store, and departed.  I began my shift and started pricing new CDs for sale.

10 minutes later, Tom and his friends stormed back into the store.

TOM2“FUCK! Fucking piece of shit car! Fucking doors are frozen shut!”

It was the first time I had ever seen Tom enraged.

“Jeez, is there anything I can do to help?”

“Not unless you have lock de-icer on you,” Tom responded.  I did not have lock de-icer.  I had walked to work.

I’m assuming the Zellers store in the mall was also sold out of de-icer, because Tom’s next proposed solution surprised me.

“Fuck it.  I’ll just sleep here tonight.  I have to open tomorrow anyway.  Yeah, fuck it.  This is fine.  I’ll fucking just lie down in between Easy Listening and Rap.  Fuck it.  Yeah.  Fuck, I’m sleeping here tonight.”

Great googly-moogly!  Was that even allowed?  Tom scoped out that section of floor, eyeballing it, making mental measurements.

“Fuck, this is perfect, I’ll just sleep right there on the floor.”

Thankfully one of Tom’s friends found some hot water from the mall coffee shop, and with some effort they got one of the car’s doors open.  If they hadn’t, it might have been the first time somebody slept on the floor!  (It would not have been the last time – a homeless man fell asleep on my floor in the middle of the afternoon once.)

Tom however has a different conclusion to the story:  “A little piss on the lock and voila…”



  1. My mom had an 85 Cutlass Ciera…that POS always had frozen doors, stalled at stop signs…the works. And it would always act up like that when you had to get somewhere in record time…like an exam.


      1. My Granny had the Dodge Spirit (the Plymouth Sundance equivalent!). She actually had to save me from being late for my exams a couple of times with that car thanks to the Cutlass Ciera. lol


        1. Oh I remember the Dodge Spirit. They were all crap cars too.

          My grandma saved me too. I forgot to bring pens to my exam! My grandma was really close to the university so I quickly went to her place, borrowed a bunch of pens, and made it back for the start of the exam.


        2. With me it was high school exam. I mistook the time the exam started…I thought it started at 12:30 PM (because 3rd period started at 12:30…), nope. The exam starts at noon! DOH! And my mom’s damn car’s doors were frozen shut. Luckily my granny was home and could take me. I was 5 mins late…


    1. True north strong and free, baby, YEAH! But, uh, lots of American States, not to mention lots of places in the rest of the world would have the same sort of thing, wouldn’t they?


  2. Oh man, I have been there. Lots of times! Another good one: one night in Saskatoon I got home and went to plug in the block heater and the electrical cord snapped off in my hand like a candy cane would easily break. It was -56C (-63C with wind chill) that night. On nights like that, even the fabric seats in the car crunched when you sat on them, and the interior light took several seconds to come on when you opened the door. Car doors could freeze shut, sure. Long haul truckers don’t even shut the trucks off when they stop to sleep at night. Never get them started in the morning, if they didn’t let them run. Fun times!


    1. Broke the friggin electrical cord? That’s hard core cold!

      That’s true about the long haul truckers, it’s better to keep the truck running or they’ll freeze overnight.


      1. Sure did, just snapped off, clean through, like it was nothing. And I said “well, shit.” The car sat for three days waiting for a tow to the shop because they were busy trying to help people stuck roadside. I was in my driveway and therefore not an emergency situation.

        Another fun thing is seeing the block heater plugs on posts everywhere you go. One fun game to play with tourists is to tell them about plugging cars in in the winter and, when they ask how you get around, tell them “really long extension cords.”


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