Darkness on Criminality:

I saw this documentary on Colombian cocaine smugglers. It was pretty intense. It showed me some interesting insights that really confirmed some ideas I already thought of. Two main things stood out to me as very interrelated.

First, they had these human mules that would swallow tightly wrapped packets of cocaine, fly into the US, and shit them out for distribution. If any of these packets accidentally unwrapped or burst inside the mule, they would die very quickly. What could drive someone to such a desperate line of work? They interviewed a bunch of the mules that were stopped at airport security, and one thing they all had in common was that they were unemployed. They each searched for work for long periods of time, and could not find anything. This line of work was always a last resort kind of deal.

Next, I was astounded at the sophistication of smuggling transportation. The smugglers were actually building legitimate submarines out of scrap metal and old engines. The stuff they were coming up with was just so brilliant and innovative. I got to thinking: Why were people this sophisticated building machinery for such a dubious trade? There could be only one reason: legitimate trades would not take them, (or this was much more lucrative).

Are people inherently bad? Can some people be predisposed to be criminals? Signs point to “no,” but even if it were “yes” for some, it certainly wasn’t “yes” for all, especially the people taking tremendous risk as human mules. That’s why I came to the conclusion that if a society does not offer a single opportunity to earn a legitimate living to a person, then it is that same society’s fault that they now deal with a criminal. An extremely small portion of the population, (if any at all,) wakes up and decides they want to become a criminal; yet the amount of criminals we have is much greater than that small portion, therefore we ourselves are the only ones that are to blame.

Advertisements

This one time in like third grade I got locked in a bathroom… let’s hear the story. O_O

It was a few minutes after school had ended, and most of the students and staff were gone. I needed to go to the bathroom, so I went and found one next to the playground.

I was about halfway through casually peeing, everything was quiet, and when I heard someone call into the bathroom “is anyone in here?”

I thought it might be one of a few things: either someone was looking for someone else and decided to check the bathroom, or it could be the janitor, before he came in to start cleaning or perhaps to lock the bathroom for the day.

I knew it was a good idea to say something, but I felt really awkward yelling in a bathroom while peeing, so I just kept quiet and hoped that I could finish quickly and casually walk out. That didn’t end up happening, because by the time I was done, I went over to exit, but the door wouldn’t budge. I tried pushing, pulling, looking for some sort of handle, but there was nothing.

There was a sort of vent on the bottom of the door, so I tried to look through it; No one and nothing was out there. I got down on the floor and tried yelling though the vent, but no one heard. After a few minutes I stood back up and surveyed the bathroom, looking for possible escape routes.

There were no accessible windows. I was imagining the dread prospect of actually having to spend the night in that bathroom, I thought maybe I could drink out of the sink if I got thirsty, and going to the bathroom of course wouldn’t be a problem… finding a place to sleep would be a nightmare though.

I didn’t want any of this to have to become a reality, so I tried yelling through the vent again until my voice went out. Then I stood up, leaned on the door, and started kicking it. I tried kicking it in multiple different places, until I found the place that would make the most noise. I focused on kicking that spot repeatedly for several minutes.

Suddenly, I heard a woman’s voice ask “Are you stuck in there?”

“Yes!” I called out.

“Hold on, I’m going to get someone to unlock the door!” and like that, she was gone.

I slid to the floor and just caught my breath for a while. She came back with the janitor and they unlocked the door. By the time I got out, I was crying. I looked at the woman who heard me; it was that one lady that was going around and introducing salad bars to school cafeterias, she looked a little bit like Ellen Degeneres.

I may not remember all the environmental details, or the exact length of time I spent in there, but that feeling of dread is something I’ll always be able to recall vividly.

The Childish Adult World

About a year ago, I was on my way over to E.P. Foster Library, and I went to the free parking section behind it. As I was going through the upper level, every single parking space was completely taken, it was really cramped. There is another level of parking reserved for the library itself, so I headed down there. When I was on the downward ramp part, just before turning in to the lower section, my dad stops me like something’s about to happen.

“Wait, wait, something’s up, I feel it in the wind… Wait for it… Wait for it… Oh, yes. There she is, she‘s a real beut’, isn‘t she? Just look at that perfect form!”

 

What he was referring to was a white truck pulling out of a spot at the end of the section, a spot that was now in our sights. So we waited there for a minute to let this white truck out, and then went down off the ramp toward the now open space.

 

Halfway there, some PTA-looking lady swung her arms, directing me to the space I was obviously already heading for, the only open space in the lot. As I closed the gap, I was just about to pull in, when some try-hard “hip” twenty-something mom wearing a Nyan Cat shirt and holding the hand of her son pointed at the open spot and then physically walked right into it, intending to save it for someone.

 

 This immediately infuriated my dad, so he rolled down the back seat window, “WHAT! NO, NO! THAT’S OUR SPOT, WE WERE HEADED THERE FIRST! YOU GET OUT OF THERE! WE WERE JUST ABOUT TO GET IN THERE!”

 

Meanwhile, I’m there in the driver seat trying to cover my face and look off to the side, it was really awkward. The PTA-looking lady from before came over to our defense, “sorry,” she told the “hip” mom, “I just directed them into that spot.”

 

Defeated, the “hip” mom departed with her spawn, and we finally secured the spot. The whole experience was just one awkward glimpse into the adult world of petty childishness.

Sean’s Trumpet

This one time a few years back, I guess Sean was playing his little trumpet at some huge, huge concert at Buena. When the boyos heard about this, we decided to pay him a little visit.  The whole auditorium was filled with people. The place was all dark, except for the well-lit stage, where Sean was in the middle of a solo. We pulled up in a truck across the street, and Gabin volunteered to handle things.

 

“I got this guys, they’ll never see me coming.”

 

Just like that, he hopped out of the truck, and went skipping across the street. From the back of the dark auditorium, there was a loud crash, as Gav forcefully pushed through the double doors, like a scene from a western saloon. Sean’s trumpet let out a startled squeal before everything went completely silent. The light pouring into the large room from behind him made Gavin a silhouette in the doorway.

 

“Woo!” Gavin exclaimed, as he hopped down the center aisle towards the stage, in between the rows of seats, with his arms outstretched towards the ceiling.

 

Sean was completely astonished by Gabo’s audacity, as Gabin climbed up onto the stage, and stood up right in front of Sean.

 

“Sean, I heard there was kooks here. Where are the kooks? Give some of them to me.”

 

Sean slowly walked off the stage, and into the back room. The audience began to mutter to themselves, asking each other what was going on.

 

Me and Charles were waiting across the street in the truck, parked in the shadow of the post office. I eyed the auditorium, wondering what was happening inside. Suddenly, Gav emerged from the double doors and came jogging over to the truck.

 

“I got some kooks guys, here take some.”

 

Gabin had two handfuls of cookies, and he began distributing them to everyone in the truck. I ate my first one, and thought it was pretty good.

 

I heard Charles complain “these cookies are awful.”

 

“Really?” I asked him, “I think they’re pretty good.”

 

“Oh, there are two different kinds,” Gavin explained to us, “Here, try this one Rob.”

 

I took a bite.

 

“This one’s good too.”

 

Gavin thought for a moment.

 

“Oh I think Charles already ate the bad ones.”

 

“God dammit,” Charles said fussily.

 

We all laughed at him.

Boat I – Saturday July 27

Late at night I got a few visitors. Into my room came Charles and Gabin, who were spouting something about building a boat; Yes, building a God damn boat. Immediately I was skeptical, I didn’t know what they were imagining. A canoe maybe? Even that might be past our abilities.

 

Well stupid is as stupid does, and I went with them. When I got to Gabin’s I found out exactly what “boat” meant. It was a wooden palette, and two boogie boards. Somehow we were going to combine them to make a raft type thing. Well first we tried gorilla gluing the boards to the palette, but they kept coming off.

 

Before long, Gabin’s dad saw how hopelessly ridiculous we were. He came out with a bunch of ropes and duct tape, and tried to show us the proper way to do it. I guess he got a little carried away, and started doing the whole thing by himself. Meanwhile, me, Gabin, and Charles each took a rope in hand, fashioned it into a lasso, and tried to rope each other while yelling “yeah boy!” over and over in our gruffest western accents. Gavin’s dad decided that duct tape wasn’t going to cut it, so he surveyed the raft and decided that he should put screws into the boards, attaching them to the pallets. He started making holes and screwing screws, all the while us three rodeo clowns in the background continued our jape.

 

With the boogie boards securely in place, it still didn’t look like a proper boat, so we decided to get some extra supplies. We drove behind an auto shop, and found a bunch of discarded Styrofoam pieces, probably from some recently opened appliance, (which of course we had to whack each other a few times with, while yelling our new favorite phrase, “yeaaah boy!!!”) and some perfectly good bamboo-like shades. We then took a trip to Home Depot for two cans of expanding foam to keep it all in place. We haphazardly broke up the Styrofoam pieces, and stuffed them into the open parts of the palette, filled as much of the gaps as we could with the two cans of expanding foam, and draped the bamboo shades over the whole thing. With a proper cover over it, you really couldn’t tell that the raft was just a bunch of things that float slapped together in a heap. We felt pretty proud of ourselves, and decided the boat’s maiden voyage should be at the harbor the very next day.