3-1-2006 Put a cop on every block


I shudder to think how many times I’ve heard female types make the tired claim that “all men are pigs.” While I don’t want to debate that claim, I think it’s kind of unfair to those of us that would probably enjoy being pigs, but have somehow managed to restrain ourselves over the years. To be completely fair, it should be duly noted that some us males merely admire our cohorts in pigdom, but fail to mimic their carnal gourmet antics.

In my estimation, chicks are pigs, too.

Back when I was toiling away in the hospitality industry, during peak sales periods, the female staff members on the schedule could top 100, and the majority of these females were attending a local high school or college. In other words, these were transitory jobs. On a given shift, you’d typically find yourself managing a staff comprised of, maybe, 6-7 male employees, and 10-15 female employees.

One of the most frequent complaints coming from the waitress staff was the foul language the cooks would often resort to when the lunch or dinner hour business was coming close to overwhelming them. The waitresses, well, the waitresses always made things even worse by congregating in front of the kitchen pass-through window and jabbering away on the cooks until their orders finally appeared in the window. They jabbered away, and the cooks feeling the pressure launched into profanity-laced tirades in response. At some point, one of the more experienced waitresses would approach me and complain about the foul language emanating from the kitchen. No problemo.

I’d simply swoop into the kitchen, tell the guys to effing cool their jets, and give them a hand until they got caught up on the orders, and the waitresses hovering nearby scurried away with their customer’s orders in hand. Once things calmed down sufficiently, there was always that one smart-ass of a cook who took it upon himself to point out that when I was in their position not so long ago, I not only fired off profanities at buzzing waitresses like a high-velocity gun rolling into Iraq, I invented new-and-improved profanities during the height of battle. (You really don’t want to know. Trust me) Rather than dispute that, I deftly pointed out that when the kitchen was my domain to rule over, nobody, and I mean NOBODY ever had to come into MY kitchen and bail my ass out. At that point, it became obvious that it was futile to even think of messing with the short-ordering equivalent of a Jeddi master. So he’d shut the eff up.

Show me another guy who can flip two eggs into the air, spin completely around--a full 360--and catch those two eggs in the pan without breaking either yoke, and I’ll gladly relinquish control of my light saber.

Anyway, the males, those pigs, cursed all too often and the females did not take kindly to it. Sometimes, the teenaged waitresses would respond to a profanity-laced tirade coming from a cook, or a dishwasher by calling her Dad and having him show up at the store looking to beat on somebody‘s head. That was always fun to deal with. I had the very seem thing happen to me a couple of times after I got to blowing my top on somebody while within earshot of some female employees. ( I know, Chuck. I know. When you lose your temper you are, in fact, screwing-up. I know. I’m human) While these confrontations had the potential to get rather ugly in a hurry, I always found them to be somewhat amusing when Dad the unionized steelworker appeared pretending to be shocked by the thought of foul language in the workplace. Put a pretty young girl in a skin-tight pair of jeans within range of any construction site, and that site immediately shuts down until said girl waddles back out of range. You just gotta shake your head at feigned outrage.

So, anyway, the cooks tended to curse too much, the bus-boys did likewise, and iffin’ somebody got really stupid enough, the members of management were also known to lose their minds on rare occasions. Say nothing of the oft-drunken customers, or the weekend releasees from the veteran‘s hospital up the street a ways.

The thing that always got my goat was when the female members of the working papers crowd would be eating their lunch, or grabbing a quick smoke back in the break room. The very same girls purported to be scarred for life by a few F-bombs fired their way by the cooks would quite often be sharing the details of their latest sexual exploits over the crossword in the Voice.

The salad bar girl not old enough to legally operate a car would be telling the part-time hostess how not to puke after ejaculation. I’m telling’ ya. I’m freakin’ telling’ ya. Waitress #1 would be telling waitress #2 how she got a bit too tipsy one night and found herself having massive amounts of sex with another woman at her husband’s request. Here’s one I happened by one day, a nifty little exchange between two Coughlin High cheerleaders: How’s your sex life? Um, it sucks. Literally. Giggles all around. Whew! Don’t get caught cursing around her. Dad won’t like it.

Based on my experiences, to have women calling men pigs is akin to a heroin addict labeling his pusher as a druggie. I’m just sayin’.

So, what’s up with this disturbing trend whereby female teachers are raping up on school-aged boys? I know, I know. I’ve heard all of the jokes coming from men. Where were these horny teachers when I was in school? Yeah, I guess. Sounds like health class would have been a bunch more fun if it was more interactive. I guess getting paddled would have been much more enjoyable if it was accompanied by a wrap-around. But, seriously, what the hell is going on?

Twenty-two years ago, I thought the Van Halen “Hot for Teacher” video was a freaking hoot. I got it bad, I got it bad, I got it bad. I’m hot for teacher. Yeah, we could dream, but whoever thought we’d get to the point that kid’s lunch boxes, or brown bags would contain the following: A bologna sandwich. An apple. 3 vanilla wafers. 50 cents for a drink. Two condoms. And some joy jelly.

Wythe County teacher arrested again

I dunno. It all seems pretty insane to me. Gage Andrew will be attending kindergarten this fall, and corporal punishment kind of drops off of the radar screen when you consider what else might happen to him while being entrusted to those former beacons of virtue--teachers. If he came home from school and said the lady teacher slapped him upside the head, I’d be quizzing him incessantly about why he forced her to resort to such a thing. But if he’s presented with a flash card with a capital “T” on it and belts out “threesome,” I hope the cops get to the school before I do.

Men are pigs? Sure they are. Women aren’t? I dunno. I’m thinking maybe that ‘60s sexual revolution gibberish needs to be rethunk and fast.

Fact is, low-life predators come in all shapes, sizes, colors and sexes.

Sez me, of course.

From WilkNewsRadio.com:

ANOTHER SHOOTING IN WILKES-BARRE

An 18 year old girl was shot in the leg while she was walking near Columbus Ave. and Wilkes-Barre Blvd. Tuesday night. The Citizens Voice report says Amanda Harrison heard shots then realized that she had taken a bullet to the leg. The report says police got a call of shots fired at 42 Hutson St. around 7:35. Witnesses said a dark green Pontiac rolled up, at least 4 men got out and guns were removed from the trunk. One guy had a shotgun...the other a handgun and they walked the street randomly firing at houses and people. One neighbor says it's the second time in 3 days that gunshots have punctured the neighborhood.

One guy had a shotgun...the other a handgun and they walked the street randomly firing at houses and people.

Something doesn’t sound right. I’m not disputing the accuracy of that news blurb, but this is not the modus operandi of your typical drug dealer, or any other lawless idiot for that matter. If some have suddenly taken to randomly firing at everything in sight, that would suggest to me that somebody with outstanding warrants thinks that somebody else has been talking to the cops, or something thereabouts. Somethin’ ain’t right with that one.

I dunno.

Hutson Street has gotten a semi-regular mention in the police blotters of late, but to cruise down that street on any given day, you’d never think there was any kind of criminality going on there. It’s punctuated by smallish, nondescript homes. There’s a multi-unit row home that has “slumlord” written all over it. But that’s about it.

I pedal the Hummer the entire length of Hutson Street six days a week before the Sun rises while on my way to work, and I’ve never seen anything worth reporting. I’ve seen a few seedy-looking guys with the gansta’ rap apparel and all, but they never did anything bordering on being criminal. Although, they do tend to stop dead in their tracks and whirl their heads around when the scanner gets to chirping away. And studying the reactions of the people I’m in close proximity to when the scanner chirps up is fascinating.

Here’s a quick run-down.

If I’m on-line at the local Turkey Hill when the scanner goes ballistic, most of the folks hearing it look all around wondering what the heck is making that noise. More often than not, when people locate the source of the unexpected noise, they look at me and say “Is that you?” And when I reply in the affirmative, they very rarely quiz me any further, but I always get a few long looks from those privy to all of this inane-sounding scanner banter. Basically, they’re not quite sure what to make of me, or what I might do for a living.

Here’s another common happening. I’m in Family Dollar when the scanner goes nuts, and half of the customers within earshot do the “stop and whirl around” thing. We’ve got two things going on here. 1. These folks have in all likelihood heard police radio banter before. Most average folks have not. And, 2., The thought that a police radio might be nearby causes a knee-jerk reaction from them that tells me they’ve run afoul of the way before, or might even be on the lam from the law. In a nutshell, your reaction to a police scanner says something just short of definitive about your character, or lack thereof.

Trust me, in my mind, if the sound of a police radio blaring away surprises you to no end, that’s a really positive sign. But if a police radio just about causes you to jump out of your overpriced Nikes, a whole other thing might be going on there.

Now, carrying a scanner with you everywhere you go obviously gets those around you to wondering about whether you’re an off-duty cop, a sheriff, a constable, a fireman, or somebody employed by one of those secretive agencies utilizing only black helicopters. Sometimes they ask, but most times they do not. When they do ask, I tell them that I am not someone who carries a firearm for a living, I am merely someone who pays very close attention to what’s going on in my city. You know. A weirdo.

It has been pointed out to me that if some unnerved, on the lam criminal mistakes me for a cop, he just might put a cap through my head. Yeah, I can follow that. But I figure if I get shot through the head clear through to the other side, I won’t even remember any aspect of it somewhere around five seconds later. Pull out the hose, hose off the sidewalk and find a copy of Zappa’s “Watermelon in Easter Hay” for my viewing.

By the way, if “Watermelon in Easter Hay” is not blared right before they close my casket, I am going to reanimate some small segment of my being and haunt the lot of you. You have been warned. The “Ghost of Mark” will be the biggest urban legend this side of Iowa, and Jim McCarthy might even get to opening a “Ghost of Mark” museum somewhere on the backside of the Heights. I’m no Mr. Peanut, but I’ll give it my best. I’ve got the Scooby Doo template firmly ingrained at this point.

I realize the mostly clueless politicos, the health professionals and the mostly banal cable news outlets have trained us to be risk management worry-warts whereas our precious mortality is concerned, but I figure a single bullet through the cerebral-cortex sure beats the hell out of being ravaged by cancer for months on end, or being a Hillary Clinton supporter, but not necessarily in that order.

As far as I’m concerned, carrying a police scanner on your person at all times causes many of the folks you encounter to steer clear of you. Most law-abiding folks don’t want to be too close to cops for too long, and still others wear their guilt on their sleeves when they think a cop is standing somewhere nearby. What that suggests to me is that Wilkes-Barre, as in every other local municipality, needs more cops. And despite what the current union contract mandates, every police officer hired by the City of Wilkes-Barre needs to reside within the city’s confines.

Put a cop on every block and you’ll have less crime.

Simplicity.

Gosh, it sure works for me.

This is a first of sorts. I think. Got me. Political commentary on the Classified pages?

Is nothing off-limits?

I should talk, right?

I read somewhere that advertising professionals realize that 60% of their efforts never find the intended target audience. The never-ending question for them is, what part of what they do actually reaches that target audience? Sadly, they’re not entirely sure.

Wifey has been receiving six different magazines via snail mail for two years now. She did not order them, she has no idea how they made their way here, and worse yet--her last name is grossly misspelled on the address labels. In other words, the publishers of these magazines haven’t a frickin’ clue as to whom they are mailing their product to. Sounds like a complete waste of resources to me, but I do enjoy reading them for free.

A while back, I contacted two of the rags in question only to be treated to a very skeptical run-around. Imagine that. They could not possibly have made such an egregious error. No, the more likely explanation was that the folks receiving the monthlies were deranged lunatics with very short memories. Hey, whatever works in the corporate world. Right? Corporations that purchase mailing lists from every which far-flung source don’t drop the ball. No. The unwashed masses do that sort of thing. Whatever, freaks. I’m reading your magazines at absolutely no cost to me. Plunder on.

Check this special offer, addressed to me, that made it’s way to my mailbox yesterday afternoon:

A perm???

Wow! I’m so fu>king excited, I can barely control myself.

20% off Highlights??? Whoopee!!!

Bring this postcard to Holiday Hair to receive your special offer.

Holiday Hair offers the latest in cuts, color, highlights, perms and more!

Plus, we offer a full range of professional hair care products for all your hair care needs.

Well then. There’s another mailing list they shouldn’t have wasted their money on. They have no fugging idea what they’re doing, or who they are trying to contact. If you owned a gun shop, would you purchase a mailing list from Piercing Pagoda? If you owned a Bait & Tackle shop, would you be cuddling up to P.E.T.A. is search of an enhanced mailing list? Maybe if these outfits reduced their advertising budgets and stopped flushing good money down the toilet, their prices would be low enough to attract some more business.

When I worked for Franklin’s, our advertising budget was far, far less than what would normally be called miniscule. It’s been a while, but I think it was less than 2% of our total operating budget. Yet, we dominated the market wherever we chose to hang our logo. We did that by providing great products and great service in a clean and safe environment. And being that we didn’t waste much money on advertising, our prices were lower than that of our competitors. You know, simplicity.

This mass-mailing gibberish is exactly that--gibberish. It’s wasted money that could be better spent in-house. Look at it this way. Try this on for size. When the recipients of your most recent advertising blitz are laughing at your abject stupidity, you need to consider whether your budgeting priorities make any sense at all.

I’m just sayin’.

From the e-mail inbox Roslyn is near Willow Grove outside of Philadelphia. I was raised in Plains (where my father still lives) and graduated from Coughlin in '8X.

Mark

Okay, so I was there. Or somewhere thereabouts. I'd been to Horsham back when the A-10s were buzzing directly over Friendly‘s, then, the brand new “X” styled store of the future. So the Willow Grove air station has to be real close by.

I had a really good friend in Amber, but he drifted away as the years passed. Too bad. I never knew an Eagle’s fan I enjoyed busting on more than him. He was a huge Tommy Conwell fan and once appeared on stage with Conwell & the Rumblers somewhere in Philly. His girlfriend took a nifty 35-milimeter picture of him banging on some frets and turned it into a full-blown poster. Way cool.

Hey, click on that link, scroll down just a tad and click on the link to the "I'm not your man" video. Been there, done that. Let's rock!

He rented a place in Trucksville and had a bedroom outfitted with a PA system, drums, keyboards, a moog and all of the other necessary stuff by which blasting the neighbors out of bed and forcing them to call the police was the rage. I’m not your man! Cause you’re lookin’ for a hero! Baby, it ain’t me! Bring it on down behind me boys! Ah, the good old days. It makes you wonder how forming bar chords was even possible with so much alcohol consumption going on.

Sorry. Sorry about all of that, but like I said, I do miss Pat.

Stay in touch.

Bye





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