Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, October 01, 2006


A Shot in the Dark

So this morning, around 4:45 or so--it's hard to fix an exact time, because...because it was a quarter to five in the goddamn morning--our door buzzer goes off, which sets the dogs barking like crazy, seeing as how they're dogs and all. I snap awake and get out of bed to answer the door. Before I take a step, I realize that I've removed my pajama bottoms during the night and am about to walk to the intercom with my stuff flapping in the breeze. (The actual reason for my de-pantsing remains, alas, a mystery; I checked with my wife and can report that they were not removed for any kind of sexy purposes.) I groped around on the floor, pulled my pajamas on and stumbled into the living room.

I jabbed the "speak" button and grumbled a "Hello?" I switched to the "listen" button and heard, "Sir, this is the police, we'd like to speak to you for a minute." Now, this is not something I like to hear under the best circumstances. If I was eating ice cream atop a mound of gold and had just been awarded the Nobel Prize, I still wouldn't want to be told the police wanted to talk with me.

I grabbed a sweatshirt to cover up my gray-haired man-boobs and padded down to the entryway in my bare feet. As I neared the front door, my landlord's door opened and he stepped into the hall, also in his PJs. Neither of us, of course, had thought to bring our keys and so we stood there for a moment in our not-quite-awake confusion, staring at the cops on the other side of the door. (Our front door has a deadbolt without a knob, y'see. You have to open it with a key, which has never thrilled me. If there were ever, say, a fire, and we ran out of the apartment in the state of dress I was in this morning, we would have to pause, remember where we'd left our keys and then run back into the inferno to fetch them before we could flee to safety.)

Anyway, my landlord went back into his place and grabbed his keys, came back and opened the door. And there stood two plainclothesmen right out of Law & Order. The shorter guy said, "Sorry to disturb you, but we had a guy shot outside here this morning and we need to know if you heard anything." Which is right up there with "Police. We need to talk to you." on the list of things I don't want to hear.

Now, I need to say here that I am a fairly sound sleeper. I can sleep through a noisy party downstairs, a wife with a hacking cough. Hell, one time in college, I slept through an evacuation of my dorm. I'm pretty sure I was drunk that time. Anyway, between my deep, deep sleep habits and the fact that our bedroom is at the rear of our apartment and The Shooting happened out front, I heard absolutely nada. My landlord heard nothing either. My friend who lives in the apartment above us, once he'd peeked his head down and determined that there was no emergent situation that would force us to flee into the night, shook his head and walked back upstairs without chatting with the cops.

I'm proud to say, though, that, even at quarter to five in the morning, I still had the presence of mind to correct the policeman's misspelling of my name on his notepad. I'm very militant about that.

So, once we'd said that we hadn't heard anything, the short cop said, "Okay. Well, don't worry or anything, the guy's okay, he was shot in the butt," and then he and his partner left, after which we locked the front door back up and made our way back to our apartments.

And now I'm wondering if the cop was trying to make the situation sound graver than it was in order to scare information out of us. Did he figure we'd be less likely to spill if he'd said, "Good morning. A guy was shot in the ass out here. Did you hear anything?"

Of course, I couldn't get back to sleep, 'cause I never can. So I leashed up the dogs and took 'em for their morning walk. My wife wasn't thrilled that I was walking the dogs right after receiving news that someone had been shot in our neighborhood, until I pointed out that the place was crawling with cops, so it was probably safer than usual.
I discovered that there are a surprising number of people on the sidewalks at quarter to five in the morning, some of them actually on the sidewalk. But none of them had a big, bloody wound in their ass.

Well, at least it made for a good blog...
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