So maybe I did go a little overboard.
This city reminds me that inbreeding is alive and well, and doesn't always coincide with country/western music or cowboy hats.
"Daayum," my new friend Ezekiel spouts. "You didn't have to get so rash. I gotta admit, though. You'd make a hell of an engineer."
"Hell yeah," I rebut.
If there's one thing I know, it's that being around all the people I've grown up with gets a bit annoying. Suffice it to say, these people are mostly 20 years older than me. It's that point in your life when you realize that the grown-ups are just older versions of their earlier selves, much like your classmates and siblings.
To the point: There is no refuge. Ever.
"I still don't get it, though," says Ezekiel.
Christ. Some people have no concept.
People don't always change with time. A lot of people grow older, yet not wiser.
"Like them 40-something fuckin' bitches that get bumper stickers and license plates with the name of their alma mater on 'em?"
"Holy shit, Zeke. We are now officially on the same wavelength."
"Yeah, man! Fuckin' A! We're all Dionne Warwick and Miss Cleo and shit."
I suppose I have to transport you and Zeke towards the resolution of the story, or a greater point. To leave it at that would still leave you, my listeners, and Zeke, my compadre, in the dark as to the nature of my police record and a polymer wang.
In my fair city, the complacence is deliciously noticeable. Smug little yuppie road warriors and white-boy gangstas. A variety of whitebread neighborhoods and a similarly bleach blonde news media. Office workers and their bosses frolicking at a steady pace towards their designated food court or shuttle bus. People on the street asking for change or bumming cigarettes or playing on their guitars.
Most of the time, it's just nice and peaceful for our sheeply brethren. It just pisses me off.
"Gaw. Fuckin' yuppies took this place over, bro. I know what you're sayin'. It's just like, man, like, nobody wants change or progress or, damn, like. Anything but their Starbucks and the Gap and the office, and like--"
Exactly! We know what to expect every minute of the day! Commute downtown, take a nice calm stroll down the commercial strip where not even the nutjobs are making any kind of a scene whatsoever for fear of being noticed...
"So you did what ya had to do to remind people that we're still here."
"That, and I was having a bit of a breakdown and tried to make the most out of it."
"Whitehair, Ezekiel. Whitehair, Ezekiel."
Zeke giggles as he shakes my hand, does the fist-to-fist handshake accessory and follows the bailiff into his closed courtroom.
The ghastly scene starts on payday. Walking towards my bank of choice with paycheck in hand, smiling gleefully like a cracked-out Teletubby, I hear skidding. I hear it getting louder. I realize that the man in the Acura does not care what the light says, as he's too busy trying to adjust his shiatsu massager while not dropping his latte or his phone.
I run like hell.
The man yells out the window: "Get a car, fat ass!"
I glare daggers at him. He drives to the next light and decides to stop.
There's nothing like the rush from being publicly insulted to get a large butt down a block like a swarm of locusts.
Panting, I memorize the license plate on the high-line vehicle, and walk up to the driver's window.
"Hello," I pant and smile maliciously.
"Yes?" glares the yuppie back. "Hold on, Mr. Steele--"
"Douglas County issue. Highlands Ranch? Roxborough Park?"
"None of your fu--"
"--Oh, it is my business now, and I'll find out."
"Yeah? My lawyer thinks otherwise, punk. If I see you anywhere near my house..."
The man drives off, but not before throwing a gum wrapper in my face.
I pull out my cell phone.
"beep boop bop boop beep beeep boop beep.... Terrence! Five Seven Two Victor Delta November."
"Oh good god. You're finally gonna do it."
"No. Not that. Something different. Five bucks for Five Seven Two Victor Delta November."
"*click clack click beep* '01 Acura TL, Richard D. Vanderkuken, 9378 Spotted Owl Lane, Highlands Ranch 80142. This is offa Rare Orchid Drive near Condor Court."
"Right on. Thank you!"
"This call never took place."
"Dinner after work?"
"Sure, but that good Mexican place offa Wadsworth will self-destruct in five...four...three--"
Richard D. Vanderkuken is a fucking ass.
He takes out exorbitant loans for a new car and a new house. This new house has an extra $20,000 in value because it is in a neighborhood where the streets are named after what used to be there before the place turned into a sea of overpriced prefab housing. He prides himself on the ability to keep the minimum credit card payments flying in on time and buy $200 sneakers for his kids. He then turns around and takes out his angsty little white boy problems on his subordinates at work, or some $10-an-hour schmuck like me on the street.
He's one of the many present-day quasi-decadents that roams this district, trampling over the pavement like he's the king of the world, expecting every day to be like every other day. He doesn't expect any new stimuli to enter his habitat.
Tee, hee, hee.
That evening, not able to confirm nor deny if the Mexican was rather scrumptious, Terrence and I drove up and down Champa and Stout streets, looking for the breaker box that controls the signal lights in the area. With some help from Terrence's friend the City Planner (it helps to have blackmail material on these otherwise squeaky-clean assclowns), we found the exact locations of the boxes, and how to access them.
"Tell ya what, Willy. Nobody finds out about the Denver Swim Club if we get into that box by tomorrow morning, commuter hours--uuhhHHH! UH UH! Down, boy! Your secret is my secret, just let us in that fucking box. Isn't that what you told to Joe 'Twinklebutt' Sanchez the night of--PERFECT."
What a man will do to stay in the closet and employed.
As we turned down Doe Eyed Brown Bear Boulevard into the Polo Cambridge Club Ranch Estates development, there it was.
"Five Seven Two Victor Delta November! So, Terrence..."
"Fine, fine. FINE. You can borrow the camera and the GPS. Finally those X10 ads come in handy for something."
"So that's how you knew how to pinpoint Mr. Vanderkuken's precise location as he commuted into work that morning, yes, Mr. Parker?"
"That's correct, your honor."
"And this intricate pump and tubing network you wore on your person. Please explain this to the court again."
"I had filled the tubing network with food coloring and distilled water, and attached it to a very small yet very powerful water pump. This is where it gets fun..."
It was fun indeed. That morning, small hand-held monitor and GPS in hand, I waited at the breaker for the precise moment to shut off the traffic signals. As the X10 picked up Santa Fe Drive, then Evans Avenue, then Broadway...
How his car glided effortlessly up 18th Street towards the corner of Champa! Latte and mobile are ubiquitous, and Vanderkuken is unaware of anything besides his morning chat with the CEO.
I pull out a section of the tubing, open the breaker, and squirt a tiny portion of water on the newly frayed cables.
"Any more sound effects, and I will hold you in contempt, Mr. Parker."
"After Mr. Vanderkuken collided with the Pinto crossing Champa Street, according to the police report, you limped up to his vehicle before his air bag had completely deflated--"
"I wasn't hurt. I had to limp, however."
"This was due to the large... marital aid connected to the tubing, yes, Mr. Parker?"
It was fucking wonderful.
Vanderkuken had an imprint from where the air bag had pressed the front plate of the mobile phone into his face. I did my best to look and sound injured:
"VANDERKUKEN! I AM HURT! I am BLEEDiiNNgGGG!! OW!!"
I proceed to crawl onto the hood of the car.
"OWwW! Ow! I am bleeeeeeeeding INTERNALLY! I think I am--YES! Oh my GOD, you MONSTER! YOU ASS! You.. you..."
The tubing starts to leak, and I whip out a genuine 21" DonkeyLove™ penile replica from the local adult bookstore, which I had thoughtfully drilled a hole all the way through for the tubing.
Vanderkuken froze in terror as I towered over him, my giant wang leaking a slight bit of red water onto the windshield... amazingly still intact.
"Ow! MOTHERFUCK! OOOWwWW!! I'm even bleeding out my PENIS!!!! MY PEEENIS IS BLEEEEDING!!! RICHARD D. VANDERKUKEN MADE MY WANG FILL WITH BLOOOD!!"
"And by then a large crowd had formed, staring in awe at your... accessory..."
"That is right. The people had started gasping and yelling as I waved the wang replica around. Can I say 'wang' in court?..."
I groaned, and grimaced, and I screamed as convincingly as I could, and then it happened:
"Oh GOD, I CAN'T HOLD IN ALL THIS..."
The dark red water in the tubing mechanism gushes out onto the Acura! Onto the onlookers! Onto the surrounding news cameras!
".....BLoOOODDddD in my PEeeEENIiiSSS!!"
Yes! Yes! It breaks through Vanderkuken's windshield and all over him and his clothes!
And the mobile!
And the briefcase!
And the croissanwich!
"My PEEENIIIsSS IS making yoU SUFFERRRRR FOR BEEEING A WWwAANKEEErrRR!!"
"And you lost control of the.... device... and ended up flying at roughly 30 mph towards the side of an adjacent building..."
I hang my head in insincere shame.
"I must say, Mr. Parker. This has brought a lot of attention to Denver, and a lot of good and bad press...."
The entire courtroom begins to sweat, including Vanderkuken, standing next to his counsel wearing a neckbrace.
"But you've suffered enough. Your sentence is as follows: I hereby sentence you to six months probation. As a condition of this probation, I am also ordering you to stay at least 500 feet from Mr. Vanderkuken at all times. In addition, you may not be in possession of a polymer penile replica longer than 7" or thicker than 5" around for the duration of the--"
"--I demand to know what restitution my client will be offered as a result of his pain and suffering, and the damage done to his vehicle; I want that gigantic settlement check and I want it fast! Those insurance companies have attorneys working hard on their side, and so does my client," snaps Vanderkuken's attorney, none other than TV's Frank Azar!
"Oh, yes. Um, er, he has insurance, right? --Let's see. Dadada.. Dahdah.. carry the one.."
I begin to sweat to the point of my nipples hardening and showing through the fabric of my suit.
"Here we go. Mr. Parker, you are also ordered to pay $3.21 for lost breakfast, $7.23 for lost caffeinated beverage, and $18.27 for purchase price plus sales tax on that very convincing neckbrace. In addition, you are responsible for full payment of Mr. Vanderkuken's attorney's fees, totaling $9,652.78 as of this date and time. The payment will be made immediately, either in full, or in installments of no less than two dollars per month."
The judge bangs the gavel, glares fearfully at Terrence, and runs into her quarters.
My eyes burst open in amazement. I look over at Terrence...
"Saw her doing lines with Mayor Webb at the kegger up at Campbell's..."