1931 Juniper Circle was as clean as it needed to be. It had one bottle of 409 and one cannister of Scrubbing Bubbles (love those guys). One day we bought something called Toilet Duck so we could quack while we cleaned. But, for a duplex filled with smelly college guys…a clean salt water fish tank was more important than clean floors. I even recall Frankie once pouring his beer on the carpet…on purpose. We looked at him with light-level concern in our eyes. All he said: “Fuck it. It’s a rental.” That was all we needed to hear. We went back to playing Sega hockey.
As a result, there was bit of a fungus that tended to grow on one of the two showers. It was orange. We’d let it go for a while, then clean it, then watch it grow back. Point being, we put some money and effort into it, but knew there wasn’t much we could do…short of taking out the entire shower complex and replacing it with something new.
In about an hour, I’ll be on the second floor of our local Law Enforcement Center listening to the police chief talk about the 70 people they’re arresting for street-level drug dealing. Most–if not all–of these dealers come from low-income neighborhoods…the kinds of places you only go to score or be killed. There are good people in those neighborhoods. I know and trust a few of them. But overall, the neighborhoods are full of scared old women and young toughs who would like nothing better than to become the next King Cody (one-time big-time dealer in our city. He’s in prison now.).
My family knows first hand about how drugs can tie a slip knot around a person’s life. Suffice it to say, I once thought the saddest thing I’d ever seen was my uncle being delivered to his son’s funeral in the back of a county deputy’s car. His son died in a car wreck. Dad was in jail for meth posession. A deputy watched the funeral from the back row, let my uncle come to my grandma’s house for a few after-funeral hugs, then took him back to jail.
Today’s drug round-up will be the second major drug story I’ve covered in the last few months. The first…”Operation: Lights Out”…was a round-up of mid-level club drug suppliers. They were basically selling happy pills to the dancing set of Greenville’s club scene. Today’s busts…called “Operation: New Year”…hit the street punks where it hurts.
Tomorrow, while today’s 70 dealers sit in the county lock-up, 70 new kids will be working their way into Greenline, Nicholtown, and Greenville’s West Side. The first 70 dealers will end up in a crowded jail or even more crowded prison…and learn how to become better criminals. Prisons are prep schools for the malcontents.
I’m not going to waste my time or yours by laying down both sides of this argument…or either side, for that matter. We know what the Just Say No People say and we know what the Legalize It People say. I’m not even going to tell you what side I’m on, because, frankly, it doesn’t matter.
But sometimes I wonder if it isn’t time we all just pour our beer on the carpet, say “fuck it, it’s a rental,” and worry more about how clean our fish tank is. After all, the shower is a clean place and can handle a little fungus. The fish tank is a little more vulnerable.