Yes, the Lebanese…This group of men ran an illegal LEVIS cartel. What? Yes, Levi Cartel. We had three apartments, each one having a couple of older Lebanese gentlemen (“chaperones”). All which by the way were either named Sam or Al. Along with the chaperones was anywhere from three to six young teenagers living in each apartment also. It was a sort of interracial halfway Brady bunch house. All the kids were around my age, fourteen, fifteen drop outs, junkies although there were a couple of normal ones (well who seemed to be normal compared to the lot of them).
In exchange for the roof over our heads we would all pile up into three or four, filthy, minivans and travel from state to state, store to store and buy as many pairs of Levi 501 jeans on sale as possible. This was so that by the end of the month after we had filled up an entire bedroom to the ceiling wall to wall, we would shove them all into as many U haul trucks as needed, drive it down to San Diego, throw it on a ship so that they could send them to Lebanon to get a disgusting return on their money.
The retail stores and the Feds started getting savvy to our little operation. So most stores in the greater north-west, because of yours truly, implemented a maximum amount of jeans that could be sold to one person and that number was three. Before this we were getting paid one dollar per pair of jeans we bought (with their money) and each of us was pulling in hundreds of pairs per day, so this new rule tossed a monkey wrench in our income. Now we had to change our tactics drastically. Now instead of six people in each van we had to fit suitcases of clothes, hats and even fake mustaches in with us. We would all run into a store get our three pair maximum, run outside change clothes and do this as many times as we could before the store was either out or security escorted us off their premises.
Now these stores being as smart as they are changed their policy again and added not only a cap on the amount but now anyone that wanted to buy a pair of jeans needed to have a I.D.. This did not have the effect they were expecting, because after we all got our plethora of fake I.D’s we pretty much drained the Levi 501 market…Washington, Idaho and Montana were the next in line for our 501 supremacy, but you get the picture.
I don’t really remember how long I was with them, but it was a while. Enough time to learn enough Arabic to get me by. I also learned that if you are in the back of a mini van going 80 mph and the driver wont stop to let people use the bathroom, you get pretty good at going out the window. Always felt bad for the people driving behind us.
Eventually the IRS was able to catch up to us and deported our chaperones back to their own soil, forcefully I might add.