The Bard and Jester

Welcome Readers! Here you will find some real life experiences and musings that I'd like to share with you. So, come on in, if you have the time and I'll do my best to be entertaining... Please click on my sponsors' links!!! Established March 12, 2005.

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Location: New York, United States

I can be a clown, a poet, a fool, a romantic, a diplomat, a beast...it all depends upon the timing and circumstance.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Criminals Are a Cowardly Superstitious Lot...

When I lived in Brooklyn, sometime in the early 90's, I was the head of my neighborhood safety patrol. I had to report our activities to a detective at the 72 precinct. Our neighborhood's night time quietness made it an occassional target for car thieves and other low lives.

I tried to get the patrol volunteers to wear masks--bandanas over the mouth, like the old Wild West Outlaws--for two reasons: one, to protect us from any possible reprisals from those we busted, and two, being a Batman fan, I subscribed to his theory that it would spook the hell out of criminals.

One night, I finally got the patrol to agree to wear the masks. We were waiting in a dark alley of garages, near the street, for this guy to show up. He had been coming around just after midnight, pulling up at an apartment building and blaring his horn steadily for a few minutes. He was probably an angry ex-boyfriend or something. He was disturbing alot of folks and it was our intent to convince him not to do this anymore.

So, masked, we crouched in the shadowed alley and waited for him.

But he never showed.

However, a car stopped at the mouth of the alley and we saw a man and a women in the front seat. The passenger side door opened and out hopped a kid, maybe 16 or 17 years old. He was holding a screw driver. The car slowly drove off and waited further down the street. We crept up to the alley entrance and saw the kid crouch behind a parked car and go to work on the rear license plate. He had it off in seconds. Then he ran around to the front of the car and disappeared from view as he started on the front plate.

I readied my guys and we stepped out of the alley and into the middle of the street.

I called out to the kid, "Hey!"

The kid's head popped up over the car's front end and his eyes widened almost comically. From the kid's perspective, the street had been completely deserted only a moment ago and now 9 masked men had materialized out of nowhere.

He was so stunned and frightened that he didn't run, but only watched as we approached and surrounded him.

We snatched the license plate out of his hand and forced him to put it back on the car. As he did this, we roleplayed aloud, trying to decide if we should "kill him and bury him in the park, like the others"..."Nah, he's too young...we should give this stupid punk another chance at life", etc.

Then I leaned toward the kid and in my best Batman voice I said to him, "Take this shit to another neighborhood...we don't want it around here. You tell anyone you know that we'll be waiting for the next idiot to try this crap here and they'll never see us coming...just like you didn't see us. Now get the hell out of here."

"Thank you, sir," the kid said in a trembling voice and ran off down the street toward the idling car that had dropped him off. The car drove away.


Another night, my friend John and I were coming home when a neighbor ran up to us and said that four guys were looking in car windows and houses. John and I went to check it out and sure enough, we saw the four peering into a car.

It was winter and my friend John wore a long coat. I told him to act like he was concealing a shotgun or rifle beneath it. I kept my hand in my motocycle jacket, as if I were hiding a handgun. We followed the four like this and when they saw us, we deliberately stopped and purposedly did a bad job of trying to act like we weren't sneaking up on them.

I was counting on them thinking that since there was only two of us following the four of them, we must be packing.

And my bluff must've worked because they stopped their suspicious activity and headed out of the neighborhood, with us following as we were. The four saw a police car and actually flagged it down and reported us to the cops. The police drove over to us and I explained to the officers the situation and our strategy.

"That's a dangerous game you were playing, son," the officer said and advised us not to do that in the future, but that we should just call the police.

The neighborhood patrol didn't last very long. Those who volunteered mostly did so with visions of constant action and excitement...when the reality was long boring nights--freezing ones in the winter--and they soon grew bored and quit until only John and I patrolled the streets.

John's now a NYC police officer and doing well, I hear.

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