Friday, April 09, 2004


I was like a donkey caught between two piles of hay. I was hungry when I finished my last blog entry today, and I heard a voice shouting "Police! Stop! Get Down!" There have been several break-ins across the street due to a mother having no control over her drug-dealer son. Now he is away for an extended period, and the neighborhood is keeping an eye on her house. She works during the day, and there is no husband, and the kid's friends know that. Prior to his going away, they'd been in his house many, many times. It was an all-day party each school day. People would come and go, like at a fair. While we were in Hawaii, two teenagers were arrested for breaking into her house and stealing a computer CPU. They were caught with it in their hands. And the drug-dealing son has been gone since before Hawaii. So today, apparently five teenagers pulled up with the radio blaring and went into her yard or house. A neighbor called the police (I wish it had been me, but I didn't see them go over there). The cops came and started shouting, and I started catching it all on videotape, including the arrest of two of the miscreants. The other three got away by hopping fences. While all this was happening I turned on the radio and Science Friday with Ira Flato was devoting the hour to ... ALS! So while I was videotaping the police action (particularly seeking to get a shot of the faces of the young men), the soundtrack on the video is people talking about stems cells and gene therapy. Weird.

Their red car (which I presume is someone's mommy's car), is still parked in front of our house. I took pictures of it and the license plate.

My son got in trouble for smearing yellow finger paint all over the wall. Then he was rascally and I finally got him settled into his nap.

And while I was writing this entry, Mama pulled up alongside the red car, in her black (Saab?). I caught a glimpse of pale, puffy white flesh, privilege, and 50ish self-importance. By the time I had rushed out the door with my camcorder, she was already down the other end of the street, turning. I might have tried to get that shot, for the license plate, but I wanted to get the face of the teenage boy (another son, I presume), who she had dropped off. So I filmed him. He was in no hurry, and smirked for the camera, then drove away.

Then I was on duty to watch my daughter while her mom had lunch. We went for a little walk in which she pulled the petals off of the state flower. I encouraged her not to pick, but to smell. I smelled some, to show her. After that she pulled the petals off and sniffed them. All good things in all good time.

From the Saab Mama's perspectives, it goes like this: Peer pressure got the best of Paul and Robert today: They let one of their friends drive the Grand Am. I had explicitly told them, when we got them that car, that they were to be the only drivers, and they were to go to and from school, only. But the friend drove them over to a friend's house, who wasn't there. They were standing around on the lawn when the police showed up and arrested them! Apparently there had been some break-ins at that house that we didn't know about, and the whole neighborhood was on high alert. The other boys ran away, and weren't arrested. But not my boys: When a police officer talks to them, they do what they're told. How ironic. My husband is a very prominent lawyer and we have friends in the police department, who explained all the wild confusion to us. It's going to sort itself out, although I am going to hold the boys to some very strict rules about using that car. But the thing that really bothers me is the way one of the neighbors came running out of his house, like this was 'America's Most Warranted,' and started filming my son Ethan as he picked up the Grand Am! Like we were criminals! I saw it in my rear-view mirror. Some people just need to get a little less excited. Honestly!

From my perspective, it goes like this: Your sons wanted to smoke some righteous weed and maybe steal some stuff, and they recruited three other guys to go with them. They drove over to the house where they had stolen the mom's jewelry last year, because they knew she wouldn't be home (since she was at work), and plus, they'd gotten that email from her son saying his mom was his enemy now. They were too stupid to know that the house has a new alarm system, and they went around back to smoke a spleef and maybe look for a way to break in. A neighbor called the cops and your sons were too slow and weak to escape. More likely, they were the ones inside the house when the fuzz showed up. You show up to reclaim the car, and you're such a coward that you quickly drop off the boy driver, and speed away, as quick as you can.

We have a government program around here where you can send in the license plate of a smoking vehicle, and they get a notice in the mail of where and when you saw them. The Grand Am was not smoking, but I think I may turn it in as if it was, with the exact street address of where the boys were arrested.

Over on the other side of the world, some much less trivial battles are being fought. Check out the blog from a woman soldier:

"The attack resumed at one AM with RPGs and machine guns opening up on us from across the other bank of the river. We kept calling to Higher for Air Support, for Evac, for reinforcements. They’d say, “Sure, they’re on their way…” Twenty minutes later, we’d find out--not be told---that in fact they weren’t. This happened about eight times. During the time they weren’t reinforcing us, the enemy mined the bridge that’s the sole way out of there with IEDs. Then Higher ordered us to Evac our way across that bridge. It was explained to them over and over that the bridge was mined. They’d listen, then issue the order again."
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