My Whacky Neighborhood

This morning my daily ritual of repeatedly hitting the snooze button was interrupted by loud noises from outside, where several police officers were breaking down the front door of the neighbor’s house and hauling some of them away in handcuffs. An angry man stood on the street out front shouting “I told you he was a punk!!!” and something about a dog. Several young women with babies in carriers evacuated the premises at about the same time, and one woman, wither holding her stomach or cradling her arm, went away in an ambulance.

This is, I think, the third time that Grand Rapids’ Finest have come and cleaned that place out. The most recent was over this past summer, when one of the residents at that time had walked up the block and shot one of the employees of the local scummy convenience store in the legs.

Two weekends ago I noticed that that scummy convenience store, on the corner of Fulton and Diamond, has lost its liquor licence. “Until Relocation or Closure”, it says on the notice. The Powers That Be finally got fed up with them selling liquor to minors and looking the other way when drug deals and muggings happen out front and in their back parking lot.

This past fall someone tried to mug Master Lee at that store. As he was getting out of his car someone hit him in the back of the head with something and yelled “Gimme yo fuckin’ wallet!” and other such niceties. Master Lee turned and advanced on the guy, saying “You want my money? Come take my money!!!” The guy turned and ran. Probably the wisest decision he has made in his life.

Unless he has since decided to commit suicide, which would be a truly neighborly thing to do.


I recently finished reading The Red Hourglass, a nifty book about all sorts of predators like Black Widows and Praying Mantids and Pigs and Rattlesnakes. The chapter on pigs had some interesting things to say about humans, both physiologically and psychologically. The chapter on black widows had this neat description of how doctors determine if that ungodly pain you are feeling is, in fact, a black widow bite: They ask you if this is “the worst pain you have ever been in?” If the answer is Yes, then it is likely that you have about a year of painful recovery ahead of you.

If you survive the next 24 hours.

So for the rest of the evening, I will read Richard Dawkins, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and eat Ethiopian food from Little Africa (the best food in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Oh! Before I forget: Fundamentalists are really necrophiliacs .