An Open Letter to My Local Thug

Dear Gang Member,

Its always nice to see you in the parking lot at the grocery store or huddling with your fellow thugs in the alley when I walk the dog, but I feel we may have had a misunderstanding. I appreciate that as a member of the Maniac Latin Royal Disciple Kings, you deal in toughness. It is weird, then, that you get out of the way my dog – sure he’s a shepherd mix, but so innocuous that squirrels don’t get out of his way. So squirrels are tougher than you,  yet you insist on trying to make eye contact with me. It’s kind of a weird gaze – hard, with your lips pursed. I think you think it looks tough, but it also sort of looks like someone asked you to add some two-digit numbers in your head.

The misunderstanding is this: I don’t want you to think that the raised eyebrow look I return is fear. I’m usually counting the number of guys you’re with: more than three guys standing around in identical sports jerseys without an actual sport going on nearby is probable cause in my book. I’ll be calling 911 in a second. Sometimes, we also exchange looks from our cars. In that case, the raised eyebrows are because I can’t believe you put a giant spoiler on a 94 Civic AND installed such a poor-quality subwoofer. I feel badly that some salesman so clearly took advantage of you, but I’m still calling the cops. Probable cause and all.

Sometimes, I’m just assessing how ridiculous you look. Given that you run so fast when I pull out my phone, do you really think you’ve dressed for a quick getaway?  I could see not tying your shoes OR the big pants OR the oversized baseball hat, but all three at the same time? It’s going to be hard to keep your street cred when you’re face-down on the sidewalk with your pants around the ankles even BEFORE the cops get you. I also wonder how much all that fake bling and brand name apparel costs. I know you didn’t pay for it – drug dealing pays so badly, you’re most likely supported by your mom. If you want to make no money selling stuff no one needs, why not give Herbalife a try?

What I’m saying is this: you’re stupid, ugly and your mom dresses you funny. You heard me. I’m not scared of you, but you should sure as hell be scared of me. I’ve had enough of the drug dealing, the tagging, the (failed) intimidation, and most of all the murdering. The murdering really gets to me. Especially the murdering of non-gang members, because you won’t dip into your clothing budget for some marksmanship training. I’m going to be up your nose, Punk, and you know who’s with me? THE WHOLE SYSTEM. And if we haven’t already, we’re going to make your life miserable.

Look at me. I’m a college-educated 39 year-old father of two. I often use polysyllabic words and something similar to proper grammar.  Cops don’t harass me. They ask me how it’s going. They give stuff to my kids and call me sir. Last year, I got pulled over. I didn’t have my insurance card, but the cop didn’t give me the ticket. He said he knew I had insurance. You hear that, punk? A cop gave me the benefit of the doubt! You know why? Because all the body panels on my car are the same color and there’s a child seat in the back. At no point during the traffic stop was I bent over the hood of a cruiser getting my junk poked with a baton. That happens to you just for being outside after 9.

Let’s put it another way: when they say Chicago is the city that works, they mean it works for ME.  Look at the mayor. Look at the last mayor. Look at most of the members of the city council and the Cook County Board. Do they have neck tattoos and call everyone “bro?” Or are they paunchy dads, like ME? And what’s the city council spending its time and money on? Ending police brutality or more education? Hell no. This is Rahm’s Chicago. We love two things: brutal police and closing schools. But I don’t care, because Rahm is also building more bike lanes and opening the city to food trucks. You know what has two thumbs and likes riding his vintage Schwinn to an old delivery van charging $9 for a hamburger? This guy. The only thing I love more than that is calling 911. I once called 911 because there was drunk guy passed out on the corner as I walked by with my kids. My son was so impressed! “You just call 911 and they come?!” Calling the cops for everything is now a family affair.

Let’s talk about tagging. Your tags are stupid. I can’t read them. Maybe you should’ve taken a graphic design class. I don’t need to tag buildings to show my territory. You know how you know it’s my territory? Because there’s a Starbucks and a Jamba Juice, and a boutique that sells nothing but vinegars and oils, and a bunch of mid priced practical late model Asian cars. You’re in my hood, bitch. The only thing we do in alleys is set out all the crap from Ikea we upgraded with crap from Pottery Barn. We like to think poor people will pick it up, because everyone has the right to crappy screw together furniture.

You can’t win. If you’re lucky, you’re going to prison. If you’re not lucky, the police are just going to keep harassing you, the rent on your mom’s place is just going to keep going up, and eventually we’re going to legalize pot and your paltry business will dry up. What are you going to do then? Turn to a life of crime?

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4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Local Thug

  1. Pride/Power/Flight says:

    I love this post because we really are taking back this city one Starbucks and Jamba Juice at a time! Power to the people!

  2. […] well-employed white people with relatively symmetrical faces. The whole American system is set-up for people like us – and if the Tea Party stays at it, only like us. My English-speaking […]

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