Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: crime

Stuff & Nonsense


My shift is from 3 to 11pm. The other night, I had relatively little to do, from the time my shift started, UNTIL…At 10:21, I got, simultaneously, an armed robbery (with gun), and a burglary in progress–with knife. On the same side of town. Now, although these calls came in simultaneously, I couldn’t dispatch them simultaneously, even if I were better at multitasking than I in fact am. Because there’s only 1 of me. Nevertheless, I got it all sorted out, and then said, “What’re the chances that that would happen at the exact same time?” No sooner had I said it, than–on that same side of town, a plague upon the East Side–I got “There’s a guy outside with a gun! And he’s arguing with my mom, and she’s got a gun, and I’ve got a gun, and I’ll shoot if I have to!” And, as I was scraping up more officers to send to that one, a woman calls in about the same situation, and says that she has a gun, and will shoot if she has to. Apparently that’s what you have to say if you’ve got a gun. So I’m thinking, Could someone call in who doesn’t have a gun, for a change? This is not building my confidence in the efficacy of a fully-armed citizenry.


At Walmart, obviously.

I have little patience with Walmart. They call in several shoplifters per shift, and expect us to babysit them on the phone while they trail them all over the store. Telling them you have other emergency lines ringing (possibly with more import than a theft from Walmart)  will not pry them from the phone. But I had to admire the shoplifter who:

  1. Stole a knife and then used it to cut open the packaging of electronic devices, then
  2. Stole and put on over his shirt–
  3. a blue t-shirt,
  4. then a white polo shirt over that, and then
  5. a blue-and-white-striped shirt over those, and then stole
  6. a pair of sunglasses, and
  7. a blue-and-white-striped hat. It all coordinates! I could not be more pleased if I’d put the outfit together myself. Of course, it was all for naught, since the cops made him take it all off when they got there.

Hey, I figured out how to make the automatic numbering feature quit! Just space down twice. I could probably have figured that out with that one old post where it got out of control, but I was drunk at the time. (Appearances to the contrary, I really don’t drink very often. I just write a lot when I do.)


Not nearly as exciting as his, of course, since I pay for stuff, but I went to the $ General (I have no patience with them, either, but they’re more exciting, because they have fewer corporate policies in place and tend to attack shoplifters) (now I’ll probably be sued by their high-priced lawyers) (or, more probably, low-priced lawyers) to get trash bags. They had a fund-raising deal at the cash register where you get to put your name on a piece of paper they tape up if you contribute money to support autism. I was all for doing that, but the cashier did not offer me the opportunity, and I could not bring myself to ask her. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, now that I’ve prepared myself for the eventuality.


Yesterday was the birthday of a certain Nick, with whom you may be familiar. What to get him?

“Happy birthday, Nick!”

He’s lying on my torn-up towel that he stole.

“I have a present for you.”

He raises his head with a weary hopelessness that’s heartbreaking.

“I’m giving you back the power of speech!”

He leaps to his feet, tail lashing joyfully. And the first words out of his mouth are–

“Could I be venomous, too?”

“Um, no.”





Dangerous Bohemian

…a description of my fashion style, taken from a magazine I remember not the name of. I actually had to combine 2 designations, since they had trouble seeing how someone could love rose prints and leather. But hey, every rose has its thorn, as I heard once.

“Are you ever going to finish my story?” Nick asks, gently nudging me (although when it’s a scaly snout filled with sharp teeth, how gentle can it be?).

“Do you want me to?”

“I don’t really care one way or the other.”

“Did you know your tail grows longer every time you lie?”

He looks at it doubtfully–it is quite long–then glowers at me, laying his ears back. “I hate you.”

“I hate you, too.” Now we’re both lying. Luckily, I don’t have a tail. But I figure I should finish the story for him before everyone forgets how it started.



I put a Walgreen’s bag down for a moment while I dug for some change, or my phone to see what time it was, or something similarly inconsequential, and when I looked up, it was gone. What did it contain? A box of tissues. “Oh, great, I can use these!” I picture the Kleenex thief saying. Speaking of which, CVS has assorted razors out of the package on cords so you can pick them up and test their heft without stealing them. Instead, people steal the blades off them.

But what might get my vote for best proof of Original Sin is that, if you leave a vacant building unattended for any length of time, it will be vandalized. Even though there’s nothing to be gained by it.



I Lose My Faith In Humanity

OK, so Rom sent me to Walgreen’s to buy a broom. So I did.

It would not be reasonable to expect me to resist a “Magnum Chocolate Infinity” ice cream bar at Thornton’s, so I didn’t. I found a shady place to consume said item at the side of the building, next to the trash can. Then I noticed a more scenic spot under a tree, but I’d already committed myself to a course of action, and there was NO TURNING BACK.

As you might imagine, eating an ice cream novelty in this kind of heat is a hazardous proposition, and I ended up with chocolate all over my hands. I went to wash my hands inside the building (hoping they didn’t try to make me pay for the drink I was carrying a 2nd time), just got around the corner–not even near the door yet–and thought, Oh, forgot my broom. (Sounds like I ride one, doesn’t it?) Went back around the corner, and the broom was already gone. There had been a small silver car and a dark blue SUV parked on the side of the building, and both were gone now, so it could have been either one. Easy to say, “Look! A free broom!,” grab it, and leave out the side drive. So I’m out $14, and had to troop back to Walgreen’s and buy another broom, which I held in a deathlike grip until I got home. I told my sad story to the Walgreen’s clerk, so they wouldn’t wonder why I kept coming in there and buying brooms–dementia, perhaps? She tactfully refrained from mentioning that I had chocolate on my cheek, but I’d mentioned the ice cream bar, so at least she knew why that was–dementia, perhaps?

I am picturing the scene at the thief’s house–“Look! Got us a broom! We never could have afforded one! Now we can sweep the floor at last!” “You did good, honey.” (This is known as Lavish Sarcasm. I will give you a tutorial on it, if you give me $14.) (As I read recently, “Being good at sarcasm is like being good at torture. People notice it, but they don’t admire it.” Food for thought. I guess.)

Fishing For Compliments and Looking For Answers

Welcome to D., who found her way here safely. I’m betting these are more words than you’ll ever get out of my actual mouth.

Speaking of words…


–Sister Theresa: “I never let my kids scream like these.”

–Charles: “If you burn them with a cigarette once or twice, they’ll learn.”

NO, he’s not really in favor of child abuse. He’s just funny that way. You can see how I’d fit right in with this bunch.


If you plan on robbing someone, don’t wear yellow shorts.


The yellow-shorts guy said his victim gave him the money to give to some other guy to buy some pills, and then the pill guy proved unreliable, and a scuffle broke out. The reporting officer observed drily, “Investigation determined there was some truth to this story.” I will report what the pill guy was wearing as soon as details become available.


–Thanks to my colleague Canderson, who was astonished that I’m old enough to have had a colonoscopy (9 years ago!). And that’s all you’re going to hear on that topic. Well, except for the fact that I’m planning on having a party for my 60th birthday. I have until May to realize that this would be a really bad idea. As if getting drunk in public could ever be a bad idea.

–Thanks to Charles, for thinking I would make a good novelist, although he has no evidence to base that on.

–And Rom said I was successful in my line of work (not this one, the real one) because “you’ve been there a long time and haven’t been suspended!” Hard to believe, isn’t it?


WordPress has a tempting option, Add Poll. Let’s try it (with some trepidation–what if it doesn’t work and the computer blows up?):

National Night Out

…”giving crime and drugs a going-away party, to another part of town, for a few hours!” Or, as Rom said, “If you show up with a whole bunch of other people, you’ll be safe!” It reminded me of the “Take Back the Night” march I attended against rape (complete with a guy on the sidelines yelling, “WHO’D WANT TO RAPE YOU?!”), where, so help me, we actually yelled, “What do we want? No Rape!” (When do we not want it? Um, not now?) You notice how successful we were in ending rape. (The above views are no one’s but my own. Well, whose views did you think they were?)

But, as the newspaper reported, “The chance to interact with police officers was the chief attraction of the event.” Yes! Approach them slowly, avoiding any sudden movements–they startle easily.

“But! But!” Nick interrupts. “Am I in that book you’re working on? I am, right?”

“You certainly are!” I tell him. “You’re very respectful, and you do everything I say!”

We’ll let him chew on that for awhile–he seems to be having trouble swallowing it–and move on to…


An employee and the manager were sharing a break in the booth behind me, and the employee was doing most of the talking. Her transcript follows:

“I’m not really into sacred geometry. I like to keep it more scholarly, you know? But anyway, I try not to fight with girls, because I know I can beat them. I like to fight with guys. They’re always like, ‘Really?’ But I really mean it. A guy broke my hand once. But that’s OK, because it’s fun, y’know?”

I’m telling you this story because, well, you might want to think twice before you complain about your order.


Returning to my original topic, because I didn’t devote enough thought to organization beforehand…

A woman called in the other day, wanting to report an officer texting and talking on the phone while driving. I explained that officers have computers in their cars which give them valuable information. “Well, but he was talking on the phone, too,” she continued, reluctant to let go of her righteous indignation. “Ma’am, that might also have been relevant to the run he was on.” “But I know he wasn’t on a run,” she said triumphantly, “because he didn’t have his lights and siren on.” Really? Do people think they have those on every time we tell them to go do something? Haven’t I explained that whole prioritization concept before? (“Yes, as you travel the country giving instructional talks,” they snicker.)


I encountered Nick/Sam today, and after exchanging witty banter (“Well, Sam doesn’t talk very well,” Nick said, but hey, he can’t ride a bicycle–we all have different skills), they offered me a ride home. So we strode confidently out of the store to the north end of the lot where they usually park, only to realize that they’d parked on the other side (variety, spice of life, etc.), and we had to go slinking back across, to the amusement of onlookers. And I was no help, because I’d noticed they were parked in a different spot when I came in, and forgot to remind them. (“You did it on purpose,” Nick growls, but he is just sulled-up because he has to spend the night in his cage, for referring to his owner as a “wretched she-beast.”)


No one who has to work while they eat can be considered spoiled. The other night, I subsisted on cold burnt popcorn and an old banana.



Or Maybe I Am a Lifestyle Blogger


There was a gaggle of young rednecks in the back of the bus, discussing their lives of crime. One of them said, “When the cops stop me, I catch amnesia–I can’t even remember my last name.” I’m guessing officers get that a lot. I remember the story of one gentleman who, when asked his name, looked wildly up at the street sign and said, “John…Barker.” I’m hoping the officer then said, “And your middle name is Mount Vernon?” It’s like the popular saying, “Those drugs aren’t mine.” And I assume you don’t know how they got into your pants, either. This sort of thing doesn’t seem to me to be worth the trouble. But, as the sagacious 911SK noted, “You don’ t choose the thug life–it chooses you.”

The blooming rosebush is gone from the site of the new CVS-to-be. Maybe the construction worker who dug it up took it home and planted it. This is like thinking, “I bet that litter of kittens all got good homes.” I mean, I can’t adopt every cat in the world. I tried it, and it didn’t work.

Sign on cage of pair of ferrets at the Pet Food Center: “CAUTION, WE MIGHT BITE.” Good of the ferrets to let us know. I remember one occurrence, from that very store, where a 12-year-old boy grabbed a ferret, stuffed it into his pants, and ran. Now, no ferret I don’t know is going to get into my pants. But, as noted above, a life of thuggery is not for me. I can see the police report now–“Body identified by scars from ferret bites.”


In the fullness of time, I would prefer that my dead body not have to be identified by esoteric means. But, because no one knows the day or the hour, I leave the following pointers: [DIGRESSION: DO NOT DIE UNDER AN ELECTRIC BLANKET. YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE HOW GROSS YOUR BODY WILL GET. Don’t ask how I know this, although I hasten to assure you that it wasn’t from a ride-along.]

–The cobra tattoo on my left forearm is guaranteed for two weeks after death. A sign on the artist’s wall said so.

–I guess I have to say something about dental records. I have numerous gold teeth, as a result of soft drink addiction that started when I was 4. I suppose suing the soft drink companies is not an option, although it’s an attractive option, because I’ve spent thousands of dollars on dental work. On the other hand, I’m guessing that it, as well, is guaranteed for two weeks after death.

–I have a weird albino spot on my back. It once had a mole in the middle of it, which mysteriously disappeared, and what’s up with that?

–There is a scar on my right knee from falling off my bike onto gravel. I don’t recommend the practice.

–Something even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t figure out–the chronically nicked and roughened skin on my right palm. This is from having a cat who likes to knead with her claws on my hand while she…well, while she nurses on my hand like a kitten. Yes, at any given time while I’m home, I might have a handful of cat spit. I wash my hands as much as a surgeon.

“Gee, World Leader,” they say. “We sure know a lot about you, considering you never talk.” Well, some things are just easier to admit while typing in the dark. Refer to previous paragraph.

True-Crime Stories Continued…

But first, a word from our sponsors….Saw an ad at Thornton’s, special price on “roller items”! That would be those cylindrical macerated-protein tubes that roll around next to the soda trough. They are not food as we know it. I have never dared to consume one.



When we lived downtown:

–Brother-in-law’s bicycle stolen from in front of our building

–Our new sheets stolen out of a dryer at the laundromat. Only one other person was in there at the same time I was, but this is not sufficient evidence to issue a search warrant. Or so I assume, since I didn’t call the police.

I did call the police about a guy looking into our apartment window one night while Rom was at work. All the more disquieting because we lived on the 2nd floor. There was an outside staircase going up to the 3rd floor, and this guy was on the landing looking in our living room. I called my colleagues at 911, and they sent Officer Patrick Bradford. You might remember him, and if not, Google will reward your curiosity. Anyway, he investigated. The guy was drunk and from Kentucky, and claimed he climbed the staircase to the 2nd floor to sit down and rest.

I also called 911 about a mysterious sound in/near our apartment, which turned out to be our cats playing with/under an umbrella I’d left in the bathtub to dry out. Yeah, I’m real proud of that one.

Once we moved to the West Side: Again, I think of it as a quiet neighborhood (well, quiet–there’s a high school in the front and a trainyard in the back, so you be the judge), but look!

— K9 Officer N.H. searching for a suspect in our back yard. We could have told him we weren’t harboring any miscreants, say, under the table in Rom’s workshop, but he seemed to want to find out for himself.

–The Railroad Rapist/Murderer. Those living near the railroad were told not to hang out laundry (as we did at that time) if it revealed that a woman lived at that house. It was then that I realized I didn’t own any clothing that would reveal that fact.

–The Torture House: A house down the street from us was home to a guy who plotted to abduct, torture, rape and murder his ex-wife in his basement. This came to light through some sort of sting operation. (I always think it would be fun to be the undercover officer in a case like this. “Abduct and torture? Dude, you got it! Now write me a check.” I mean, how do you connect with independent contractors like this? Craigslist?) So Rom and I call it the Torture House to this day (as in, “Did you see that rosebush in bloom? Down the street from the Torture House?”). I wonder if the current resident knows.

That plan was foiled, but sadly, there was no way to save the person who died in a wreck at the end of our block. I guess that’s not a crime, exactly, except in the existential sense.

I know I’m forgetting something. It wasn’t an additional crime; it was some type of digression I planned to tack on to the end of this. It’s now driving me nuts trying to think of it, so I’ll post a P.S. if I remember.

Torture Museum

Torture Museum (Photo credit: Travis S.)






Nightmare Scenarios & True-Crime Stories

Helicopter Chase.

Helicopter Chase. (Photo credit: elvis_payne)

Having tossed you a scrap last night, I feel I’ll be going on at length now, so you easily-addicted types can just settle in.

First off, I know a couple people have come looking around here because they see I write about religion and about correct use of the English language. While I have a fanatic’s passion for these things, the overall tone of this blog is Desperate But Not Serious. In other words, Warning: I Am a Smart@ss. Enter at your own risk. I attended the funeral of my husband’s grandmother at Sacred Heart (or Scared Heart, as my husband calls it), years before I became a parishioner there, and had to suppress giggling because the priest sounded just like the Grand Negus (sp?) on Star Trek. (Granted, I did not know the deceased very well. That’s not exactly an excuse, though, is it?) It takes a lot to knock the smirk off my face. One thing that would do it would be a helicopter ride with the Infamous Nick. You see, I’m afraid of heights. I could imagine a nightmare scenario where the police department acquired helicopters, and They decided it would be a mandatory training exercise to make us go up in one with that nice officer who’d learned how to fly these things. Fortunately, this is unlikely to happen, because there’s never money for stuff like that. And begging Nick for mercy would be an ugly thing, so in that way, life’s been good to me so far. I’m getting a little queasy thinking about this, so let’s move on, shall we?


I like to think I’ve lived an uneventful life, but read on…

In St Louis:

You already know about me getting beaten up at work. But wait, there’s more!

–House broken into while I was at the mall. The suspect was apparently a teenage girl, because my blow dryer and heated curlers (yes, I used to style my hair, until I realized trying to curl this hair is wasted effort) were stolen, while the TV and music system were left behind.

–While at said mall, took off my grandmother’s platinum/diamond engagement ring to wash hands in restroom. Left said ring on edge of sink. Came back when I realized it, and guess what? My friend’s mother said, “But think how happy the person was who found it!” Yeah, that was a big comfort to me.

–Police helicopter (see, some places have them!) circling over my apartment building one night. Guy who was shot or stabbed, I forget which, found hiding in apartment hallway.

–Purse snatch while standing at the bus stop, by group of teen boys, one of whom poked what I’m sure was his finger into my back and said it was a gun. Purse was later recovered, missing the usual money and credit cards, plus my bottle of Scoundrel perfume. I guess he wanted it for his girlfriend. She was probably more of a scoundrel than I was, anyway.

–As I was walking down the street, a guy pulled over and said, “Get in the car or I’ll shoot you.” You may remember my ability to keep my wits about me and escape in the beaten-up-at-work story. This time, my wits told me, What kind of deal is this? Get shot on the public street with people around to help, or get in the car and be driven who knows where and be shot and/or worse anyway? I refused to get in the car, and guess what? There was a squad car lurking for speeders in the very next block! So they are there when you need them! They had me get in the back seat, and then took off in pursuit of the vehicle, with a presumably armed man in it, with me in the car. So my experience of involuntary ride-alongs goes way back. I ducked down in the back seat to escape any flying bullets, although there was no way to escape the way officers drive in pursuit of a possible felon. They apprehended the suspect. No gun was found, but they did find ammunition in the car. It ended up not going to trial for some technical reason, and I was glad, because I’d never gotten a good enough look at his face to positively I.D. him, and I wasn’ t looking forward to getting up in court and stating my name, etc., right in front of him.

Methinks this post is over-long, so I’ll get to the true-crime stories at my current residence tomorrow. I’d forgotten how many exciting St Louis stories there were. I only have to add, speaking of miscreants: Lisa–how do you know about my bathroom habits? We haven’t been on the same shift for years! So cease and desist. (What’s the difference between those two things, anyway? It’s like assault and battery, or barred/banned.) A person should only have one stalker, and I’m already taken.

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