Friday, February 25, 2011

Welcome to my neighborhood: where the police are plenty and the drug paraphernalia abounds!

Before I knew Big V existed on this planet he bought a house. This is the house I, along with my two girls, moved in to. After I met him, I mean. It's not like I just picked up my kids and made my way into some stranger's house, I mean, I was invited.
Anyway, Big V had been living with his parents and partaking in the whole I'll-live-in-your-basement-and-never-pay-you-rent-while-you-ignore-the-girl-sleeping-in-my-bed way of life when something snapped and he decided to buy a house. He probably figured it would be easier to keep girls in his bed without his mom walking in, so, two weeks later he bought the house.

He got a really great deal. Perhaps because of the house fire and the fact the homeowners did most the work themselves so they didn't need a lot of money from the sale to pay off pesky remodel bills. Or, perhaps because the police had incarcerated most of the previous tenants during a SWAT raid. (Less people to have to share the profits with.) Needless to say, it was a decent price. Big V was happy.

Except, Big V wasn't very familiar with the community. Or the fact this part of the community tends to have more than its share of shady characters. It's somewhat sad we've actually grown accustomed to waking up in the middle of the night to find police searching our back yard for some wayward criminal.

Last night around 11pm there was a loud noise. Bigger than a gunshot, yet less impressive than a meth lab explosion. I assumed an electric transformer blew and called it a night. But before drifting off to sleep I happened to notice police activity picked up a bit in our neighborhood. City police. County cars. The unmarked squad. I triple checked the locks on all the doors, took a peek in the back yard just in case, and chalked it up to just another night in the 'hood.

Then this morning I was backing out of the driveway and noticed a green plastic soda bottle laying near the bushes by the garage. Since Woodsy Owl taught me "Give a hoot! Don't pollute!" I put the car in park, hopped out, and picked up the creatively homemade drug paraphernalia from my front yard.

Homemade drug paraphernalia, say what?!

I was pretty certain I (literally) held a key piece of evidence from last night's criminal activity. Wait. I picked it up - now my prints were on it! I couldn't just toss it in the recycle bin; what if Mr. Recycle Man saw it and thought it was mine and called the police? I've never even used drugs (although many people believe that I should); they'll get a search warrant and dust it for prints and find my fingerprints on it and my kids will be taken away and I'll have to get a mug shot and then sit on that hard, concrete bench in the holding cell before being transferred to the Big Pen where I'd never get a decent night's sleep again because it will always be too cold and also they keep the lights on all the time and I can't sleep with the lights on. Sure, I could cover my eyes with the blanket but then I can't breathe because it gets so hot and suffocating and I feel like I'm going to smother to death so then I'll have to peek my head back out again and see the light and never fall back to sleep.

I quickly grabbed a plastic bag crammed in the side of my car door and put the sooty, half melted bottle inside, tied it up and headed to my nearest police department.

Can I help you?

(thrusting the bag in police officer's face) I found this on my property and it's not mine.

What is it?

I think it's a soda bottle someone used to smoke crack cocaine in. I mean, I know it's a soda bottle; I just don't know what was smoked in it. It could have been pot. Or heroin. I'm not sure. I'm not really 'up' on drug lingo. But I'm pretty sure it was used for drugs. I watch 'Intervention' on A&E a lot so I recognized it. 

Was it already in the Taco Bell bag?

Perhaps a bad choice in baggage. Regardless, the police told me they would increase patrol in our area.


Becca said...

Ah, memories. One time while I was out of town Ryan called me to tell me the SWAT team was down the street and that he'd seen our house on the news. We didn't have kids in that house, thank goodness. But we did in the next house. I'll never forget the time I had to rock Charlie back to sleep after a drunk nineteen year old crashed his Tahoe into the apartment building at the end of our block. I live in a more white-collar crime neighborhood now. So much quieter.

Johi said...

Have you ever considered a job in criminal investigation? :) It's nice to have stories like this to tell your children.
Our neighborhood is not "upper crust". I mean, our neighbor has used appliances sitting in his yard... but there are no ordinances by golly! If I want to put a plastic butterfly on the side of my house (don't worry, I don't), no one can say a word! Word.

Ellen said...

Goodness gracious how do you sleep? I guess I have lived in too safe a place for all my life. My daughter however lived for 3 months in an awful neighborhood where gunfire was not unusual to hear at night (or day). I tried very hard to not want to go bring her home to the safety of her room but I couldn't do that. I could only ask her please, please be very careful. And my prayers were granted when the boyfriend turned into a turnip (as I knew he was) and she left him. Now she is in the heart of L.A. where she often tells me of what she sees on the streets and I once again pray for her safety.

Did I really write this much? It's just you stirred me up.