Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The hazards of learning how to shoot a gun from rap videos

Greg told me an interesting story today when he got home.

He was in the shower because it was a rainy day, and he didn't have an umbrella, and he smelled like hot wool. The dog was running up and down the hallway, excited or bored.

"Hey. Babe," Greg said from the shower, sticking his head through the curtains. "I've got a story you're gonna like."

Skeptically, I called out from the kitchen, "Okay. I'm listening."

"So, I told you about the guys who work as security guards at the store, right?"

"Yes." I was cutting vegetables up. Waffles was running up and down the hall. The shower was pouring out water. My knife sliced thru a cucumber, making a shnick sound, then a solid shthunk as it hit the wood of the cutting board.

"They're all either men serving in the military or as policemen."


"So I get to work today, this morning, and there's a huge crowd around [Eddie], right. He's one of our guards. See him all the time."

"Okay." Schthunk.

"And he's mid-sentence. He's saying, 'So I took out the magazine before the fucker could use it.' So I'm like whoa-whoa. What? Turns out he was one of the guys who took out that guy in Times Square earlier this week."

"Wow." Schthunk.

"Yeah. His partner is the guy who shot the fucker."

I stopped cutting and moved into the hall, dodging the dive-bombing dog, who was still running up and down the hall with some sort of nihilistic abandon. "Really," I said to Greg's face, framed by the shower curtains.

"Really. Yeah. Here's what happened:"

And here's what Greg said happened:

[Eddie] and his partner were in Times Square, in plain clothes, checking out reports of an intimidation scam. For those of you who don't slog your way thru Times Square on a regular basis, here's what the most common intimidation scam is: A guy comes up to you and asks your name. When you tell the guy your name, he scribbles it on a cd, tells you it's now your cd, and asks you to pay him 10 dollars. If you refuse, some of the guy's buddies surround you and accuse you of ripping the guy off. If you're not used to this sort of thing, you are intimidated into giving the guy the 10 bucks for the cd.

Right. So. The guy shot dead last week in Times Square was doing that sort of scam. His brother was one of the intimidating seconds, and so got to see his little bro shot down by cops on Broadway. In front of the Marriott Marquis, the pussiest hotel in Times Square.

(And I'll just spoil the payoff for this story now by saying that as I stood in the hallway, dodging the dog and listening to Greg, a mouse was devouring all the vegetables I'd been slicing up. There. That's out of the way.)

So the guy was running a scam, and the plainclothes cops were moving in on him. To get evidence, they sent one of their own up to the guy--a cop who spoke Italian--and the cop pretended to be a tourist. The guy scammed him, the cop paid him 10 bucks, and the other cops moved in. Like with Al Capone, they didn't try to get him on theft or anything; they asked to see his tax ID.

Because, you know, to buy and sell shit in NYC, you need a tax ID number.

The guy pretended to search for his tax info for about 2 seconds, then bolted. He ran down 7th Ave, into the heart of Times Square, then doubled back on Broadway. The cops pursued--according to [Eddie], they were all familiar with the guy, having arrested him for various reasons before this incident. Tourists got out of the way, and, while talking, Greg lost his balance in the shower, slipped a bit, and tugged hard on the shower curtain.

Waffles came to a dead stop and stared into the bathroom. (And I presume the mouse looked up, in the kitchen, from his hearty meal of broccoli and carrots, the little shit.)

"So they chased the guy, and then they got to the taxi area in front of the Marquis, right. [Eddie] said this all happened in slow motion. The guy pulls out a Mac 10 from his coat. [Eddie] and his partner are less than 10 feet away, right, so you know, they're both fucking dead as far as they know. Point blank, right." Greg uses his hands, dripping from water, to reenact the story. He points a dripping forefinger at me, cocks his thumb up. "The guy shoots off two rounds at [Eddie] and his partner, and [Eddie's] like, he says, he's like praying, right. He gets off a quick fucking prayer, and is thinking of his wife and his kid, and he knows, right, he's also thinking about all the fucking people in Times Square who are about to die. Because one body doesn't stop a bullet from a Mac 10. The thing has 30 rounds, and one bullet can pass thru a body like nothing, and hit someone else."


Waffles, losing interest, starts to chew on his own foot. The mouse, by now, has probably started its poop phase.

"Yeah. You've heard Bloomberg, right?"

"Yeah. He's still pissed that people can buy guns so easily in other states. This is why you need a federal law--"

"--because Virginia, where this fucker got his gun, doesn't have to worry about fucking Times Square."


"So. [Eddie's] staring down the barrel of a Mac 10, in Times Square, and he's praying and thinking about his wife and kid and the tourists that are about to get shot. He and his partner are whipping out their weapons. But the guy, the shooter, he gets off two rounds, right. The shots go wild."

Yes. The shots did go wild. I've seen pictures of the windows in Times Square those shots landed in. Pretty chilling when you think about those shots hitting flesh instead of crappy merchandise.

"Then the Mac 10 chimney stacks." (Or smoke stacks or something--I don't remember the word Greg used, but the end result is that the gun locked up on the maniac shooting it).

"What does that mean?" I asked Greg.

"According to [Eddie], the guy held the gun sideways. Stupid fucker had watched too many rap videos."

Greg turned his hand sideways, so that his thumb was pointing towards the wall instead of ceiling. Which, I gotta say, looks totally bad-ass.

"Yeah. [Eddie] said what happened was, in the Mac 10, which is a terribly designed gun--who knew?--if held this way" Greg pointed his thumb to the ceiling "can do a lot of damage. But if held this way" Greg pointed his thumb to the wall "the bullets don't have the right support, and end up going vertical or something. Anyway. 10 feet away, trying to draw their weapons, they hear the click. Failed shot. [Eddie] stops praying, and his partner gets his weapon out. The guy starts banging on his gun, and [Eddie's] partner brings his own gun around and BLAM!"

Waffles jumped.

"I didn't know this," Greg said. "[Eddie] said both he and his partner put their arm over their hearts." Greg crooked one wet arm over his chest, his elbow roughly covering the spot where his heart is. "They're trained to do that. It gives them some shielding."

Good to know. Next time I'm being shot at, I'll be sure to crook my arm in front of my chest. It's like going into the basement of the Paris Opera House.

"So BLAM!" Greg repeated. Waffles jumped again. I don't know what the mouse in the kitchen did.

"As soon as his partner shot, [Eddie] dove on top of the guy. And he said he felt all wet and shit, and thought 'This motherfucking piece of shit just pissed himself and me.' He tried to get the Mac 10 out of his hand, but the fucker had too strong a grip on it, so he slid the magazine out of it. And when he did, he saw his hands--totally coated in blood. Not piss. Blood."

Then, by all accounts, the tourists in Times Square exploded in applause. Which, fine, okay, not a big fan of the NYPD, but I'll give the boys and girls this: when they do their job well, they deserve the applause.

Greg said he went up to [Eddie] later and told him, "You know, thanks man. It's people like you who keep me safe."

And [Eddie] said back, "Thanks man. We don't often get thanked for what we do, so it means something when it happens."

And here's the moralizing part of my story: All you fuckers in gun-crazy states really need to start thinking of the good of the country. Take care of your fucking guns, get some goddamn control over it, because no one wants to take your guns but we damn sure would like to have some sort of, oh I don't know, logical way of dealing with them. Maybe documentation, a waiting period, a background check.... If guns were your daughter, would you just let some random guy run off with her?

But if any of you gun nuts want to do something useful, please come up here and shoot this goddamn mouse.

That is all.

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