And schoolboy John’s in jail
Making a killing through the U.S. mail
Sunshine Sally and Peter Instinoff
Don’t like the scene anyhow
I dropped acid on a Saturday night
Just to see what the scene was about
Now there goes the neighborhood
“There Goes the Neighborhood,” The Globe Sessions
I woke up inordinately early this morning. As I was getting ready to make coffee (which I didn’t need to do because Little Brother did it for me this morning before he left for class), I heard a muffled radio-like voice. Something was playing over a loudspeaker. Did my brother leave his laptop on? Was the neighbor next door playing his music loudly while he worked in his yard? What was that? Where was it coming from? I walked to the garage, but the furnace was running and drowned out the sound. So I opened the front door.
THIS IS THE POLICE. WE HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT. THIS IS A WARNING. COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP. THIS IS THE POLICE. COME OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW. WE HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT.
I poked my head out the screen door. “Ma’am,” an unseen female voice said. “You need to stay in your house, Ma’am.” No worries, disembodied female voice, I wasn’t planning on leaving my house! Mr. Rogers, the cowboy-hat-wearing neighbor immediately to the west of my house, was in his driveway.
“What’s going on? Which house are they at?”
“I know that! Which one?”
“[Dirtbike Guy]? But he has kids!”
“Do they know that?”
“They don’t care.”
Turns out it wasn’t Dirtbike Guy. It was one house to the east of them.
My first thought: that was either a very large gunshot or a battering ram. But there was no crunch. No splintering of wood. But there also wasn’t a scream. Maybe it was just into the air. After the bang, which one of my grandmother’s neighbors, a kid (now a man, which is weird to think about) with whom I grew up, heard it, the megaphone stopped. Eight blocks west by northwest, people heard that bang.
I longed for a press pass and a babysitter.
Mr. Rogers called down the block to the police, “Can I come down there and ask you guys questions?” He was told to stay put. He took his dog and drove away, the opposite direction from the action. He had to avoid a silver Grand Caravan parked diagonally to block traffic from coming down the street.
After a few minutes, when there was no ambulance and no coroner showing up, I figured no one got shot. I put on my shoes, went around the side of the house, and hid by Dirtbike Guy’s fence, watching three officers from the Lane County Sheriff’s Department. I could hear their conversation.
Young, fresh-faced redheaded officer with a crew cut: So do we have any evidence against the…
Young, fresh-faced brunette officer with great hair: Yeah, it’s in the back of the van
…a few minutes later…
Middle-aged bic-headed officer with a porno ‘stache: (eating a slice of cold pizza at 9:30 a.m.) It’s not locked
Brunette: I locked it! I swear!
Porn ‘stache: (opens back of van)
At that point, Boogermonkey came outside. MOMMY! MOMMY WHERE ARE YOU?!? I told him I was going outside, but apparently three minutes out of his sight and it’s too much. So I went back in and sat by the living room window again.
Eventually, a news van showed up, after the minivan pulled up to the house and a blonde woman got out, carrying a notebook and a pen. She didn’t have a press pass on that I could see, and her van was unmarked, so I don’t know where she was from. At one point the crewcut redhead started taking pictures of a pickup with a crunched front bumper. Maybe that was the bang?
I got busy talking to Llamaface online and mitigating sibling disputes and had to leave the window. Around 11:30, I realized the forest green cargo van and Bronco and silver minivan were gone, as was the unmarked black Ford that joined them at some point. I saw my across-the-street neighbor, Chicken Legs, talking with another neighbor and went outside to get the scoop.
Turns out the lady Chicken Legs was talking to, Femullet, lives in the offending house. The man that lives with her – I didn’t catch the relation, but I think maybe it’s her life partner of some sort – was caught growing marijuana in their backyard. He has a grower’s card, so they should have left him alone (you can get authorized to grow pot for medicinal use in Oregon, as long as it’s for personal use or you’re supplying it for a patient for whom you are authorized to do so, but to sell or distribute homegrown medical MJ to unauthorized patients or users is a BIG no-no), but he did a really stupid thing: he was supplying it to one of the shopkeepers in town, who was then selling it out of his convenience store, so when that got busted, Grow Guy got busted, too.
Femullet claims she knew none of this. She knew it was there, she knew he had a grow card, but she didn’t know he was providing it for Shopkeeper to sell. The clincher? We are within 1,000 feet of an elementary school in one direction and a preschool/kindergarten/church in the other direction. Grow Guy is fucked unless he gets a good lawyer, which Femullet says they don’t have. Of course, she also said she collects unemployment and works for two other people, meaning she’s committing unemployment insurance fraud, so she’s obviously not the brightest cookie in the drawer.
All I can say is: at least it’s not meth. At least it’s not a child porn ring. At least it wasn’t murder or rape or arson. Low-level minor local marijuana trafficking, given the non-violent nature of the local pot culture, I’m alright. I’m not scared and I’m not anxious. I know that non-violence is not the case for all pot culture, or for all pot dealing, esp. that with ties to Mexico or dealers who associate themselves with other drugs, but here in Podunk, among people who solely deal pot, and who grow it themselves, there is a very strict air of non-violence.
I still wish I’d had my press pass. $100 or $200 for the story, and $50/photo would be awesome right about now.