Mon, 12 Sep 2005

So. I witnessed a robbery over the weekend. About 3 AM on Saturday night I was lying in bed reading when a gang of teenaged punks pulled up in two cars and parked in the parking lot just below my window. Nine or ten kids tumbled out of the cars and began shouting and smashing empty beer bottles on the pavement. I turned off my lights and peeked through the blinds to watch them. (On summer nights I often amuse myself by watching the young punks rumble on the street outside.)

I was disappointed because the punks didn’t start fighting, they just tucked a couple cases of beer under their arms and strutted over in the direction of the rowdy party house on the corner. So I crawled back into bed and tried to sleep.

A few minutes later I was roused by more shouting and bottle-smashings. The kids were underneath my window, conspiring loudly. One of them said, “Fuck, we’ll just park down the fucking alley.” The cars started up and pulled away. A few second later, there were two loud crashes.

I went to the window again just in time to see three kids sprinting across the road, from the direction of the drugstore underneath my apartment, carrying bulky cardboard boxes. I’m assuming they were full of pills. The kids hopped into their car, which was parked as planned in the alley, and sped away.

A few minutes later the cops showed up and I watched them prowl the parking lot and the alley with a police dog. I thought about going down to tell the cops what I’d seen, but they seemed to have all the angles covered. They even had enough sense to go over and talk to the kids at the rowdy party house, who undoubtedly masterminded the whole thing. Anyway, I was embarrassed to realise that I had absorbed no useful information about the identity of the robbers. What were they wearing, what colour was their car? Hell, I dunno. I’m not even sure about their number. Were there three or four? I couldn’t be sure. Fat lot of good I’ll be if I’m ever a witness to a serious crime.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Mr. Charles, is the murderer in the courtroom today?

MICHAEL: I believe so.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Could you point him out?

MICHAEL: (pointing)

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Mr. Charles, that is the jury foreman.

MICHAEL: Well, it was either him or that short black guy by the door. Or maybe that tall guy in the sombrero in the first row. Or it might have been a space alien.

Anyway. I was tired, and it was drizzling outside. So instead of blabbing to the cops, I went back to bed. Am I a lousy citizen?


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