Better Stay Strapped
Author’s note: The following text was taken in part from actual online blog comments from online Humboldt County News, posted after a “home invasion” went awry, Dec., 2008 in Eureka, Calif.
Homeboy pulled into the driveway of a house with curtains drawn tight. He shut the engine off and waited for the man and his dog to walk by. He recognized the man from the week before when he came to check on things. He could see now that the man was trying to make eye contact, say hello and welcome him to the neighborhood.
“Not today or ever,” he thought to himself. Once the man turned a corner Homeboy quickly went to the front door, knocked three times, fast and let himself in.
Tossing a copy of the Times-Standard on the coffee table, he shouted, “This is what I’m talking about, man.”
The headline was decorated with a green pot leaf. A brother had been killed by a surprise visitor the night before.
“If you’re tryin’ to be a businessman don’t try to do it in Eureka,” he continued to no one in particular.
A group of 12 people were sitting on chairs in a circle in the living room, trimming bud.
“In Eureka you gotta deal with legit mo-fos who don’t eff around. People are about money and they don’t want to mess up a good thing.”
Another armful of branches was brought into the room and dumped on the ground in front of the bl¡urry-eyed workers.
“Shit’s just sad, man,” someone responded. “Home invasions and robberies have been gettin’ way too out-of-hand last couple of years.”
“Well, don’t mess with people you don’t know, and don’t deal out of your frickin’ house, man,” Homeboy slung back. “And don’t let the mothers know what you got, where you keep it, and what-not. And you goddamn better keep a gun either way.”
“Better stay strapped,” someone offered.
“Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” someone else chimed in. “Thousands of dollars aint no reason to kill somebody, but fuckin’ lettin’ some piece of shit steal on you and they will get theirs. People don’t mess around anymore.”
“Good for the dead guy for going down with a fight!” another trimmer added. “And good for the other guy that shot his attacker in the back. Hell with the invaders!”
“We will fight!” another shouted.
“I’m surprised we don’t see more retaliation for this type of crap,” Homeboy added. “Or maybe it’s that we don’t hear about the dudes getting back-hoed into ditches. There’s a whole lotta room in these here hills for one more asshole to disappear into, and don’t think people ever knew where you were in the first place – without a trace.”
Next week: Ferndale, Marcy and Joe