Friday, April 5, 2013
She Certainly Can... CanCan Part II
Cell Phones with 'no minutes' serve as more than just paperweights. Our alarms would be set anywhere between 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. depending on which neighborhood we were set to pillage, adding in of course the time required to secure a rogue shopping cart, plastic bags, and safe arrival time. The most lucrative addresses were normally gang safe houses; Biker's occupied one form, Men Who Wore Red or Blue (Crips/Bloods) resided in the other. Neither was a safe place to be after dark.. or during the day for that matter if you weren't invited. After the risk was assessed by the Raccoon, he and the Scout had the daunting task of making a withdrawal after the lights were out.In the likely event there was to be climbing to a second floor balcony, it was to the advantage of the Scout to be a smaller frame than the other members. That made it easier for him to climb to where he
needed to be, easier still for the Raccoon to 'hoist' him to where he needed to be, and then would begin the struggle between productivity with regard to low noise levels. His size would later be a major disadvantage when he was captured, cornered, or when he would disagree with the decisions made by the Raccoon.
One group of favorite spots were massive party houses, they were organized by the owner's <everything in tidy piles>, there was enough loot to make any vagrant drool, and they were likely guarded by a 'Trespasser's Will Be Shot' sign. It was a deterrent to some, but not to those who knew most times these signs were as accurate as a McDonald's catchline. No one goes to the 'Golden Arches' with the inner thought 'I'm Lovin' It'. It's a last resort and everyone including the people who lick your cheeseburger before you eat it are in on the false advertising, they just hope you're stupid enough to
'buy it' in every sense of those words. In time after time, night after night, we'd risked the sign and found they were camoflage at best; Our camp site had many of them surrounding our campfire. They made us feel somewhat safer.
The first times we'd gone to these locations, we'd worked the kinks out and streamed lined the process, since most of the loot was next to the houses we'd work to bring entire stacks, bags, and barrel's to outside of the yard and make the necessary arrangements to affix full plastic bags to the cart.
Physic's rules apply here, the Ox can only fit five dollars of cans into the 'basket' of a shopping cart. When it's bottles he's reduced to four dollars in the easiest compartment, and he gets the added bonus of waking EVERYONE in earshot up as he makes his way as far from the original destination.
Though I don't believe in magic I do believe in organization, physics, and creativity. That we <I> could commonly manage to fit and tranport over a hundred dollars of all of the above on a banner night defied all of these conceptions.
Bonus 'finds' were always appreciated. Not only would some people leave their empty container's in ridiculously open spaces in eyeshot, there were essentials that couldn't possibly be overlooked, or left behind. Rewards in the form of unopened beer in coolers, portable radio's, and yes even the
occasional clothing item from a clothesline were reserved for the limited basket. Surrounded by empty 'decoy' booty we roamed the area knowing we'd make less noise when there was weight in the cart and items were concealing and minimizing the 'shock value' of bottles rattling in the wee hours of the morning. In the likely event we happened on more than 12 unopened beers work would be suspended until said containers were empty and once again had only the recyclable value of the other occupants. It's an unsuprising fact that after a number of beers during crucial concentration time, we would not only get careless regarding noise, we'd also get rather cocky so far as minding the decibels or 'p's and q's' for that matter.
I've said and will repeat the streets on these mornings were full of other occupants doing the legal version of what we were doing. 'They' would open and reseal bags of trash on the sidewalk, removing the three to ten cans that were often surrounded by used kitty litter or even worse. 'They' would be concerned with not tearing into the plastic bags so 'they' could be re-tied and no one would complain about the mess, 'they' did it quietly so no one could complain about the noise, and 'they' weren't completely repulsed by sticking their entire ungloved hand into a used diaper so long as up to fifty
cents was the reward for covering themselves with someone elses fecal matter or rotten casserole. That these items were more regularly collected and shared smell and frequency upon discovery was what turned our operation a bit 'shady'. If there is a 'gray area' to be found, I'm admitting that our gray area was dark, very dark indeed. But, it was night and everything out there was dark, so who's vision is so
sharp that the difference between 'smokey gray' and 'onyx black as night' is easily guaged? We weren't subtle at all, and when we 'celebrated' finding beer that required it's own form of recycling we were less subtle. Heart attacks are more subtle declarations than we were at times like this.
Mistakes would be made, both by the group and by it's individual members. The Scout would NOT be allowed to leave a balcony until 'every single can' was retrieved no matter how many lights came on, dogs barked, or people yelled out windows. The Raccoon was ruthless that way and wouldn't offer the 'help' down or out of these areas until the job was complete. The Raccoon might even threaten to leave
you there, and without his protection the smallest member of the organization would be left to the original owner's of the aluminum, usually with horrible physical harm resulting.
We had three different 'Scouts' that summer, including one that returned after such a night; His memory either hadn't fully grasped how terrible was his fate that night he left or the injuries erased said memories, for not closely
following the strict retrieval rules of the Raccoon was punishable. That the Raccoon was ultimately
revealed to be a dictator is another chapter. You're not the only one who's surprised this chapter never became very humorous. I'm working on it.