Hair Triggers And Hair Brained Cops; Ordering A Number 4.

So. I was over to the Firehouse Sub shop on Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe’s busiest local business street. Cerrillos Road is filled not with fancy jewelry stores, $200-a-plate eateries or cowgirl-centric boutiques like the downtown tourist areas. Nopers, our Cerrillos Road has your tire stores, Wendy’s and Kohls. Almost to a store, the big national retailers are there on Cerrillos Road, and my Subaru dealership as well. It was because I was headed to see if there were any add-ons for my little WRX hotrod that I could install without voiding my quite comprehensive warranty that I landed at Firehouse Subs. Sandwich shop is next to Olive Garden in a building it shares with one of the big cell phone stores.

There were not additional modifications under warranty, and when making my way back towards La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe, a hot sub samich spoke to me. I parked, entered the store, cringed to the shouted, “Welcome to Firehouse,” and grabbed a place in line.

I hate to be greeted that way by anyfuckingbody. Say to me, and politely at that, “Hey, man, how’s it hanging,“ or, “Come on in,” or, “What tha fuck you doing here?” But don’t have a counter full of seventeen-year-olds yelling “Welcome!” at my ass. If the sammies weren’t so good I’d go to Jimmy John’s place every time.

So I ordered my Number 4 medium combo on white—fully engulfed—and filled the drink cup and sat. Fully engulfed means with everything on it. While I waited, four—I think or maybe more—State of New Mexico Troopers entered to stand in line. Which brings up another point.

We Americans enlisted the English language from the Brits as our official tongue, then fought a war with them to solidify that usage. So why do we say, “In line,” when they say, “On line.” OK, and they say, “Queue,” which, when I spell-checked, showed to also be a crockadile, another point in the altogether.

One of the State trooper guys was in the street clothes I associate with an investigator, one was dressed like a Major, and two were in Patrolman outfits, one of whom looked like a giant flaming asshole. Big guy with a buzz cut, muscles showing, and his pistol in a quick-draw holster—you know, a hard case with no strap to hold it in, and way too fucking much handle showing. As I sat glowering at this guy I noticed two young men staring at his holster, but with a different look than mine. While I was pissed, they seemed interested, like, “Maybe I could pull that cannon from Shithead’s hip and shoot him before he could shoot me.”

I came quite close to saying something, remembered that I have yet to be arrested here to Santa Fe, and ate my Number #4. I finished, cleared my table and walked out. I drove around the building to enter Vegas Verdes Street, accelerated towards the light and was forced to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a shirtless man. Skinny white dude clutching baggy jeans with his left hand and holding what appeared to be a cell phone high in the air in his right, and running hell-bent-for-leather at what appeared to be his full clip.

My first thought was that he held the phone high as a counterbalance, keeping him from falling because he couldn’t let go of his pants. My second thought was, “Holy shit, there’s five cops and two kids from the phone store chasing that dude. Run dude, run!”

A giggle was forming inside my head when the big cop with the quick-draw holster whipped his gun from his hip right in front of my car. This man had a look-to-kill plastered on his angry face and was yelling something at the shirtless man, taking aim as he ran. My brain told me this quick-draw cop was going to shoot an unarmed man in the back.

“Don’t shoot,” I screamed at my windshield, and one of the other cops seemed to yell at the gunman to don’t shoot, because he lowered his weapon and didn’t shoot. Dude was caught maybe thirty yards past me, wrestled to the ground and manhandled into cuffs. I watched as knees were jammed into his back when he must have resisted. Right, he must have resisted? I was getting honked at so I needed to move along. I was a mile away when it dawned on me that I should go back. I did and it was all over.

I witnessed just how easy it is to be unarmed and shot in the back by a cop. I saw the heat on the faces of those officers as they lay chase to some dumb freak who wanted a free cell phone. Were they so pissed because the kid interrupted their Numbers 5, 8, 3, and a second number 5, or was it excitement at the possibility to get in a little target experience? Does one of them have stock in Sprint, looking to save a few dollars for the bottom line?

In reflections, I realize just how lucky I have been in my life. I’ve been in some pretty tense situations with cops and guns, but the worst injuries I ever had were bruises and tiny burn holes from Taser spikes. I’ve had cops who I knew without a doubt wanted to shoot me, yet they contained their egos, anger, emotional ties and personal maniacies, and did not shoot.

And like that dude yesterday, the running man, I’m mostly white. What if that kid was black or brown or wore a turban? How might things have gone? What if he had pointed the cell phone at the asshole cop?  What if I weren’t white? If my skin was ebony black, I’d likely be dead by now, shot or beaten by some bigoted Texas lawman.

I witnessed a man in a potential death scene, a situation one wrong move from death. Death comes too easy these days. Too many guns in the wrong hands. Bad cop hands. Too much anger fueled by too much hateful rhetoric. And all too often it’s the wrong people getting killed. Unarmed people in the wrong places with the wrong cops. But there was at least one good man in uniform that day, the man who called the gunman down, so you didn’t see this story on your evening news.

Now I know just how fast, and how easy, people get shot by cops. And even though it’s inappropriate for me to say at this point, let’s all Fuck Walmart!

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7 Responses to “Hair Triggers And Hair Brained Cops; Ordering A Number 4.”

  1. In olden times – by which I mean the Eighties and Nienties, I guess – they sued to say that life was worth more than property. That’s why you couldn’t set up a spring gun at your lakehouse to shoot people intruding while you were away.

    I’m not sure that holds true anymore.

    Depends on whose life and whose property you’re talking about, I guess.

    We seem to justify horrible things with, “Well, had the deceased party been strictly following the law, then this horrifying escalation of events would not have occurred!”

  2. Mooner's Cascading Rivulets says:

    Nazzy. In olden times–by which we can also say 2014–any political leader who spoke the vile spew of Trump would be publicly, and loudly, labeled a racist, and unfit to represent.

    But what is it in the character or the training or the mental stabilities (instabilities) that causes a policeman to draw his gun, while running at full speed, to point it at an unarmed, shirtless knucklehead who has just committed the unthinkable crime of stealing a cell phone? One dumb kid equals one smart phone. So, that life was worth something between $239 and $700 retail.

    And “justification” is modern society’s new religion.

  3. that last line says it all Mooner … “justification” … and yeah, fuck Walmart! 🙂

  4. Mooner's Cascading Rivulets says:

    Bella. Don’t you get tired of how people are constantly justifying their bad behavior? For my part, I simply cannot justify my own bad acts. They are called “bad” for a reason and I learned early that they are unjustifiable by definition. This was set in me when we got stoned and decided to steal Xmas bulbs from this neighborhood where our buddy Tony Butts lived. Streaker Jones and I were in Junior High so we didn’t yet know Tony or his neighborhood. It was much later–the early summer after we graduated high school–when Tony invited us over to listen to Sgt.Pepper’s. Magical, it was, and I was reminded of the lesson from the Chief. Must have been sometime in June, 1967.

    This was back to the early Sixties and Xmas bulbs were thick glass the size of a sausage. When you threw them against concrete they broke with the sound of a gun. When we got caught, as we mostly got, Streaker Jones’ father asked us for justification for our act.

    I caught a breath–mind spinning for the answer that would save the skin (and an inch of flesh) off my ass, and just as I opened my mouth to make matters worse–Streaker Jones stepped in front of me and told his dad, he said, “No justification, Chief. We thought it would be fun but didn’t think about much else. We did a bad act.”

    My best buddy’s father was a high muck-a-muck in the Peyote culture, and a man of great wisdom but few words.

    “This bad act will visit your futures. To harm another for fun………..”

    To harm another for fun. Wow, what a concept. How far lost is the truth, wisdom of that simple axiom?

    Can you tell I’ve nipped a recent shipment of my Gram’s potion?

    Mooner, signing out.

  5. yep them was a big darn bulbs back then and boy did they make noise when they broke…LOL…what kind of poison you been nippin’ Mooner?

  6. Mooner's Cascading Rivulets says:

    Bella. My dear old Gram is Central Texas’ Number One magic mushroom elixir concocterator. Loony old bird thinks she can fix just about anything with the mixtures in her little tincture bottles. After sixty-seven years to the very day of my birthing, I can tell you with an assurance of absoluteness the she can. Fix just about anything with her juices, that is.

    Couldn’t fix my cancer though. That took eight-plus weeks of visits to The Great Radiator, a random fact of information that obviously is sitting, fat like Humpty Dumpty, high atop the liquid bridge between the Motor Strip and the Sensory Strip in my fevered brain. Sitting, teetering, swaying, waiting for an ill breeze to topple.

    The particular potion on tonight’s menu is what Gram calls “Fergit yer Allzan’hammers an’ grab a beer.” My grandmother told me I’d feel less of a martyr for caring for my mother with a proper dosing, and it’s worked its charms. Spent the last four hours out back under the stars with the dogs, thinking on spending time with my demented mother. Squirt tells me this is a chance to see if I can get through to her, have an honest conversation.

    See. The potion works. So let’s all give a big “Fuck Walmart!!!”

  7. so you are a cancer survivor? that’s cool … sad to hear about your mother’s dementia … the silent brain eater. 🙁

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