Fair Warning

May 6, 2015 at 9:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

Biebers“At night I walk these stinkin’ streets
Past the crazies on my block,
I see the same old faces and I
Hear the same old talk…”

“You’d think they would have stayed in school long enough to be able to read the instructions on their clothing labels. Hat placement befuddles, and he just can’t figure out WHERE THE PANTS ARE SUPPOSED TO GO!”

I was referring to the group of ne’er-do-wells rolling past the front of the Waterfront Store. My trainee giggled.”Aah, they must be The Biebers.”

Summer’s back, and so are the shitbirds. With springtime and the traveling shows and weekend festivals underway, we might as well declare it open season. It’s when we make our money, and with money comes all the trappings. Kids will grab things and run to the train, or to the park where our security force has no jurisdiction. The “Road Warriors”, whom I lovingly (not) refer to as the Garbage Pail Kids or Dirt Urchins, as well as carnival groupies seem to pop up out of the ground like blackberry bushes. If you don’t knock ’em back early and often, they will overwhelm you.

“We like you down there. The assholes respect you.” Mothership manager and schedule-keeper Eva Braun was massaging my brain with nice things to say, because they know my heart lies at the Nightclub Store. Working the Waterfront is for old people and people with disabilities. Gimme my happy crackheads!

But I’m like Travis Bickle, I’ll work anywhere, anytime. The Waterfront ain’t so bad, but it’s slooow… I find ways to amuse myself, but prefer the medium-paced bustle of the Nightclub. There, I’m like everyone’s creepy uncle, or I’m “that guy Mama’s been livin’ with.” (I get a lot of passes from Rain’s good karma.) Even the ones who hate me nod and smile when they see me out in public. A lot of them, anyway.

Imagine my delight when Portland Police came in, wanting to talk. I tremble with fear (like a shoplifter after one of Giggles’ patented three-foot vertical leaps) when the PoPo show, unless I am the one doing the calling. If someone hands off a six-pack outside to a minor, I could still get a ticket if I don’t answer just right. “I hear you’ve been having flash-mob issues?” The officer wasn’t after me.

“Ongoing, for years now. Third summer with one group. I have fifteen pages of notes from a six-week period last summer.”

“Do you have any footage? We’ve caught a couple.”

I sighed, “Our cameras are pretty much useless as evidence in court. And we need the tech guy to retrieve footage, so I’d need specific times…”

“Yeah, that’s been the ongoing issue. We need to roll up, get a disc of the crime, and take it to the interview. When we bring their face up onscreen and ask, ‘Think the judge will notice the resemblance’ they roll over pretty quick.”

I smiled. “Well, sir, we have hope on the horizon. Art the tech guy has up in his office, as we speak, the brand new video security system.”

“With all due respect, is it more detailed than that piece of crap we’re looking at right now?” I like a cop who shoots straight.

“Twelve to sixteen cameras, 1080 HD. Think that’ll be an improvement?”

I don’t know who was grinning wider, him or me.

“Make sure you have one pointed straight at the door as they come in. That’s crucial. A straight-on shot is tougher to disprove in court.”

We exchanged tips and anecdotes. I love community policing. I work closely with Clean & Safe, who are mostly retired cops and kids who someday want to be retired cops. I get them to do most of the legwork, but sometimes the real police need to get involved.

The Biebers are playing with guns these days. When I heard a shooting took place on the Waterfront during Cinco de Mayo, I could only hope a couple of Biebers were arguing over a pilfered Gummy Worm and things got out of hand. The ages and descriptions were close, but the faces on the news weren’t familiar, and of course no one was seriously injured. (If these stupid fucks ever learn to shoot, we might be in trouble. If we are the target, that is.) In gangland shootings, it’s mostly cars and windows that die by gunfire, despite what you hear on the news.

“We’re talkin’ about the latest thing,
A Break in this routine.
We’re talkin’ some new tricks,
Ones like you ain’t never seen…”

This is home. This is Mean Street.


1 Comment

  1. Hutz said,

    Very best Van Halen album. Well played.

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