Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I went back and forth on whether I wanted to follow-up on the man with the gun incident I'd written about yesterday. I have decided that yes, I do. Because while I do so enjoy all the delightful sympathy, it's just . . . well, this is too ridiculous not to share.

So in greater detail, let me first go over exactly what happened to me yesterday:

I wake up, I'm feeling pretty okay about life after a week or so of, well, not feeling okay about life. But my mood is somewhat lighter, clouds are beginning to part, that sort of thing. I ready for work, I say farewell to Bonnie as she is readying for her own job. I head toward the stairs to go down to the parking structure. I get to the lobby and as I'm crossing, there is a pretty girl just coming out of the door to the parking structure. I wish her a good morning, but there's something wrong. She's looking at me, she's heard me, but my smile isn't being returned. Obviously, this happens from time to time, but I can just tell there's something off with her. And then she says, "Be careful if you go in there, there's a man with a gun beating another man."

Well, that is to say, what? There's a fucking man with a fucking gun and all you can say is be careful??? So I stop immediately, am dumbstruck. And all I can think is, "But how am I supposed to get to my car? I'm going to be late for work." And I absentmindedly follow her out the front door of the lobby. The girl tells myself and the family of four who is also in the mix that she's already called the police. She's out of breath, she's nervous, she keeps expressing concern for the "poor white guy getting beat by the black dude." Then I think, "Oh, shit! I have to warn Bonnie! What if Bonnie just goes down to the parking garage? I must pick up my phone and save Bonnie's life!" So I call her and in her infinite wisdom, she instructs me to return to the apartment. And we watch an episode of Buffy, expecting that 40 minutes is enough time for the violence to get sorted out.

After Buffy is done, we go down to see if the police have arrived. They have. They're handcuffing a thin, calm black man. And they're handcuffing him right next to his Jaguar. His what? Yes. His Jaguar. And Bonnie and I are saying nothing, but we later discover that over the course of the next 30 seconds we are thinking the exact same thing, "Why would someone who owns a Jaguar be beating someone with a gun? And why is there a ratty looking skateboard in the backseat?"

So I go to work and I am lectured by Phil on the etiquette of calling people when one is going to be late to work. For the record, I did call. But I called work, like an idiot. This was stupid because I'm the one who opens, which means I'm the only one there until 9am or so. Who did I think was going to answer the phone? Me?

So I work, all the time thinking, "I was thisclose to opening the door and finding a man being beaten within an inch of his life." But was I?

No. As it turns out, I was not. Here's what was actually happening behind that door:

This young, black mortgage broker woke up yesterday morning and decided that he'd had enough, that today he was going to get the money that his middle-aged, white former associate owed him. So he drives his Jaguar to the man's apartment building - my apartment building. There, he drives his car into the garage, finds his former associate, and the two fight for a little while. At one point, they get into a little pushing and threatening (it is this particular part of the scene that my informant walked through). They settle down and the middle-aged man tells the younger man he doesn't have the money, but would he be willing to take his skateboard and set of golf clubs as payment instead? Jaguar Man says yes and deposits the items in his car. And then the police show up and arrest him.

Did you all notice? Did you notice the lack of a gun in that scene? You should have, because THERE FUCKING WASN'T ONE. When tracked down later and asked if she saw a gun, the girl replied, "Eh, I don't know. I guess not."

So I guess I don't hate LA. But I totally hate that fucking girl.


Miles said...

High-strung people make the world more exciting! It is their job!

Chris Kelly said...

I like how you always capitalize Black woman.

Anonymous said...

There goes your street cred.


Anonymous said...

(but I'm glad there wasn't a gun)--Also Hava

Mike D. said...

Wow. I really hate unreliable witnesses. If you're ever in that case again and you're curious about fact checking the crime, call the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information in the city and ask for an update (I learned that as a journalist).

Also, Chris is right. According to the AP Style book, black should be lowercase unless you're talking about Black Muslims.

Lindsay Evelyn said...

The only thing Chris asserted was that he liked that I capitalized it. But I have deferred to your style tip and upped the ante as well - I removed all mention of her race entirely. That's how much race doesn't matter to me. Now the only mention of race comes about because the girl brought it up.

I'd also like to point out that no one mentioned even once the fact that I also capitalized "white." You discriminating bastards.

Mike D. said...

Sorry Linds, I didn't mean to sound like some nazi copyeditor. And you're totally right, I did glaze over that fact as well.