Did you hear about this story? Well, I was at least glad to get more details this morning, as I went to bed scared shitless because of the activity surrounding it in our neighborhood. I was getting ready to turn everything off and go to bed, and I heard some strange noises outside. The dogs heard them, too, but didn’t get too alarmed (and they bark at almost everything), so I didn’t think much of it. Then, a cop car with lights & sirens on flew down our street. Like, at least 60 mph. (I thought, huh, he’s going to realize he went BY Crazy Cat Lady’s house any second…. since that’s where they normally stop.) Nope. I’m turning off lights, and BLAM, there goes another cop car, in the other direction, no sirens or lights, then two MORE cars go by, with just lights. And the sound of a helicopter grows closer.
Now I’m a little skittish. As are the dogs. They are burfing and running from lookout point to lookout point. I am locking and checking everything and turning off lights as fast as possible. (If someone’s in our back yard, I don’t want to be lit up like a shiny pink target through the windows.) Our house is right by an elementary school, and in the parking lot, I see a huge convergence of cop car lights at all sorts of crazy angles, lit from overhead by the copter. THEN they all peel off and are driving back down our street! They turn on the corner, another cop car meets them (this is all now just one backyard and across the street from our house), the copter is circling, and I hear POWPOWPOWPOWPOW like, fifteen times, and while they sort of sound like firecrackers, in my mind, there could only be one explanation: gun fire. And THEN, the copter keeps circling and the cars start backing up to leave like they didn’t get the person (though it would seem they did, now that I read the news bite) and after the hubbub seemed to be moving away, I finally let the dogs out for one quick potty break, and put myself into bed, where my sleeping husband continued to doze, missing all the excitement. (I did try to see if he would stir and wake up after the gunplay, but he had taken a Tylenol PM and was out for the night.) Had it turned into a Shotgun Needed! sort of night, I would have tried harder, of course. I was just terrified we had bandito(s) in the greenhouse, hiding.
This morning, I reflected on the fact that was quite the run in the nighttime cold weather, from Popeye’s to our neighborhood. It’s not that far distance-wise, but there’s a pretty big hill, slick spots everywhere and I just can’t comprehend how all of that could have been close to worth it – what could the till be at Popeye’s? $100? Now the dude’s in a hospital bed, in critical condition. Another drain on the system, for who knows how long. It blows my mind that we are neglecting students’ education, not putting the money into education properly, instead emphasizing test scores over actual learning, yet we’ll pay so much more in the long run with the less-desirable public services – prison, policing and officers involved in shootings, court system, hospital bills. Our priorities as a nation are fucked up. I don’t understand how we can be so logically challenged. I realize that even with massive overhauls, there will always be criminals, but I’m watching my husband slog through a classroom of kids who could care less about performing on state-mandated tests – yet they know how to do the work, and get it when he uses an analogy of their apathy to them. It’s somewhat ironic: If you went to Popeye’s and ordered a bucket of chicken, ten pieces, but they put 6 raw ones in and gave you only 4 cooked pieces, you’d be mad, right? You didn’t order raw chicken! Well, that’s what you’re giving me – only 40% of your ability, when I know you can do 100%. They all nod. Yes, they’d be mad. Nobody eats raw chicken.
But they just don’t care. Get a gun. Rob the joint. It’s somehow, technically, easier. Again, logic is defied. I can only shake my head.