Friday, June 30, 2006

Neighbours from Hell and the Police Force that doesn't

Mrs Stevie alerted me to a story breaking on Long Island of an arrest of a Syosset man for storing a shirtload of fireworks1 in his hot2 attic, conveniently near his ammo cache. The outrage in the story was over the supplies of big-bangables being directly over a baby's bedroom, but Mrs Stevie was more interested in the comment of a neighbour who was asked for his opinion of the whole affair.

The neighbour said "I dunno why anyone is surprised about this. We've reported them to the police every year for years with no action. Every year they build fires in the middle of the street and let off fireworks for days leading up to July 4th, and the police have never intervened. All they ever do is drive past and look."

The humour here is that that is almost word for word what I would have said if it were my neighbour being arrested for his activities in the world of unsupervised amateur explosives. The cops do not intervene. Indeed, one year when someone informed the police that my neighbour had taken delivery of a three ton truck loaded with fireworks (bright yellow truck, three-thirty in the afternoon, no real effort needed to spot the crime in progress here) the cops actually informed the perp that he had been shopped and left the clear indication it was me that blew the whistle (a misconception it took several years for me to eventually clear up).

I would have to say that given that it is almosty certain that many cops on the force would have bought fireworks from my neigbour in their youth or at the very least have friends who did, given that he deals them out of his garage with no attempt at stealth, given that he runs huge firework parties that shut down the street and last year reached the pitch that it took me over a week to clean my property of the fallout3 - all of which was observed by two cops in a squad car parked not fifty feet away - that only two conclusions are possible.

  1. The cops hereabouts are dumber than a cowpat with a learning disorder
  2. The cops hereabouts are all bought and paid for

Only when someone gets hurt (and it is a given that it won't be one of these idiots that gets theirs) will the boys in blue race into action and stand bewildered when the public doesn't herald them as heroic defenders of the public good.

1: Illegal in New York without a permit, which is damn near impossible to get as a private individual
2: Attics in this neck o' the woods that aren't power ventilated can easily become hotter than 100 degrees F.
3: We ain't talkin' Benwells bangers here. These fireworks are of the kind and size launched at Walt Disney World and the payload can include plastic squibs about the diameter of a Bic crystal pen and half the length of one that have a shattered, razor-sharp end and globular pieces of a sandstone-like mineral 3/4 inch in diameter. I still find stuff from last year in my lawn from time to time. The plastic razors are good toys for the kids to find.

1 comment:

Yasser said...

I wouldnt say paid but that they are just lazy and dont care or they have personal friendship, etc. with the guy who sells them