When I was a teenager there were three things short of actual contraband you never, ever wanted a cop to find in your car: a five-foot length of garden hose (known as an Arkansas credit card), a set of Ohaus triple beams, or a pair of bolt cutters. None of these items was illegal per se, of course, but all were presumptive of illegal behavior, and the policia do hate knowing that you were up to something, but they didn't catch you.
Oh, and where I grew up if a state trooper wanted to see what was in your trunk you obliged the man. There is no Bill of Rights on midnight Georgia asphalt. So yes, I've have all three of these items confiscated from my vehicle at some point before I was 21, along with a polite lecture on why I was lucky I wasn't getting my fucking ass kicked.
Which led me to pondering today: why, Baracky, he's just me at the age of nineteen, with tons more game. The Treasury Department is his siphon hose, sucking off the rewards of an honest person's toil without writ or by your leave.
Congress is his set of scales, finely calibrating who shall fork over, and what level of usury is acceptable that will leave the victim marginally viable but still productive, like a vampire hoarding the last stray dog in an abandoned city.
Barack's bolt cutters? It doesn't matter, they go by many names: BATF, ICE, FBI. They are the Praetorian. The faceless ghouls who snatched Elian Gonzales. There's always a long line of applicants for government work that comes with a gun, the color of law, and rife opportunities to pop your lock and kick your door in abuse it.
That was my problem, of course. I didn't dream big enough. I saw crime as a dead end street, with the state penitientary in Reidsville as the payoff. I decided I liked the rules. What a fucking naif I was.
So do I still carry any of these items? Just the bolt cutters. You never know when you might have to rescue a deer or a man tangled up in barbed wire along the side of the road. Or liberate a closed liquor store with just one too many bottles of Wild Turkey 101 on the shelf (holla!). I try to avoid the latter, because I still have that dream where I arrive in Heaven, and God awaits me, patiently balancing my soul on that old pair of triple beams with furrowed brow.
Posted by Velociman at June 9, 2009 8:53 PM