Saturday, December 10, 2005

Well, the obituary associated with our mini-adventure the other night finally hit the local paper.

The guy has several living brothers and sisters, and at the ripe old age of 43 has already been predeceased by three brothers. I'd hazard a guess that the males of the family have tended to involve themselves in high-risk entrepreneurial pursuits.

In retrospect, so many facets of that whole incident have become clear. We were used. I've never been a police officer—many years ago when I brought home an application from a big city department my parents and then girlfriend (now wife) had paroxysms. I dropped the matter and have always regretted it. But nonetheless, I did have a job for several years that required me to drive around that same city from 7PM until 7AM every night, opening buildings in the wee hours to check them out as well as escorting lottery money to the bank, and I carried a handgun. I met many a cop in the course of that job, and they were all cynics. Now I know why.

Something went wrong with a drug deal that night (I already just knew that, but it was confirmed by a police contact, albeit with no further details, other than it might have had to do with a delivery that wasn't paid for). Joey, our guy, strode into our meeting so nonchalant that some of us thought he was a new parent. Thinking back, he wanted to blend in. Then he begged for us to lock the door, for obvious reasons.

Joey told us he had just opened the door on the car to talk to his brother when someone stuck a shotgun in his brother's “open” window (it was cold that night, and I suspect neither of them had a great tolerance for cold), yet Joey was uninjured and there was no blood spattered on him. Shotguns at close range tend to be somewhat messy, and Joey should have been directly in the line of the shot—you don't open a rear door to talk to someone in the front seat, you open the opposite door. For an extremely graphic and extremely unsettling look at what shotguns do at close range you can click here, but I don't recommend it. Anyway, methinks Joey sensed it coming down and bolted. He wasn't talking to his brother at the time. He heard and maybe saw the shooting and hauled posterior, looking for safety in a group of people. He then went into the role of the sobbing victim, playing on our sympathies.

He begged us to take him to the police station. We tried waiting for a police car to come by, but he kept badgering us. I finally succumbed and made another call to the police. At that point the dispatcher said they were so tied up that she couldn't tell us when a car would come by. He begged and cried until we took him. Hell, he knew that was the only place he'd be 100% safe. That's why he begged us to take him there. In retrospect, it was also obvious that the detective knew exactly who he was.

I've been trying for some years to not be such a “nice guy”--they really do finish last. This may be a big push in that direction.

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