Originally posted June 2, 2010
The monthly crime report is here and Atlanta criminals are up to their old shenanigans again. We got your gang shootings, drive-by shootings, random shootings, school shootings, workplace shootings, nightclub shootings, rapper shootings, pro athlete shootings. No shortage of domestic violence, assault and battery, grand larceny, arson, breaking and entering, and the mother of all crimes, road rage.
For several years now Atlanta has been steadily moving up on the list of the top 20 most violent cities in the nation, apparently under the misguided impression that there’s a competition among major cities to reach the #1 spot. As is typical in our city we thrive on healthy competition. We’re in a perpetual race to have the biggest house, most expensive car, enroll our kids in the best private schools, join the most elite country club, and wear the highest stilettos. We never simply keep up with the Jones’s, we annihilate them in a dog-eat-dog tournament where those with the highest credit card limits and best injectable facial wrinkle fillers dominate. Unfortunately our cup of competitive spirit has tipped over on us and it’s time someone woke up and realized that being in the #1 spot of most violent cities in the nation isn’t necessarily as worthy a prize as a great pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or a Dolce and Gabana handbag.
But hidden in the barrage of illegal incidents in the crime report I can always find something that makes me go “huh?” Colorful episodes that restore my faith in the absurdity of humanity. Misbehavior that makes my own life seem strangely normal.
For instance, consider the man on Hammond Drive who “called the police and said he wanted his ex-girlfriend put out of his apartment. The girlfriend has lived with him for three years. The man wanted it documented that his ex was being rude to him.”
Really? Rude to him?!? I had no idea that being rude to your significant other was a crime. I actually considered it part of my wifely duties and as such, I have nurtured the art of rudiciousness. I make it a habit to use terms of endearment like “you’re an idiot”, “don’t even think you’re funny”, and “Why would you actually have to DO anything? Don’t you just SHOW UP for the party?” several times a week so that Ric knows how much I love and support him. I think every successful man needs a sarcastic woman who can keep him grounded, humble and at a safe distance from pride and the proverbial fall.
Well this new revelation changes everything. Now I have a menacing cloud over my head. Could Ric one day betray our love and turn me in to the authorities? They’d need a forklift to transport the rap sheet to court! And what’s the punishment for Spousal Rudiciousness? Anger Management therapy? An ankle bracelet? THE DREADED HAND SANITIZER PUNISHMENT?!?
Laugh if you must but odds are your significant other is storing up evidence as well. Fortunately, I have a secret weapon. A card I’ll play only if I have no other options. A little known fact is that my husband is a rare form of Lycan, transforming from blazin’ hot into quantum creepy when he puts on a water ski.
He starts out all smiling and cute, bobbing in the water in anticipation of all the fun he’s about to have. The engine revs up. He yells “hit it!” . . . . and the rope is yanked from his hands. He shakes his head, gives me a “Whew” and a grimace, thereby communicating his intense fatigue from skiing and wakeboarding the previous day. “You pulled me out to slowly,” he screams over the roar of the engine.
Second try, engine revs up. He yells “Hit it!”. He’s up, up, up and . . . . . face plants into the wake. Again with the grimace and he adds a little shake of his exhausted head to the left. He fidgets in the water, adjusting the ski and furrows his brow at the annoyance caused by the obviously inferior product. “You didn’t cut back the speed quick enough!!!” I barely hear because I’m 50 feet away.
Number 3 . . . engine . . hit it . . . up, up, up . . . ski goes right, he goes left. He gets a little fidgety, tightening up the “crappy” ski gloves I bought that are hindering his success. I think I hear my name and see a rude hand gesture but the engine is too loud and I’m too far away to accuse with 100% certainty. At this point, I pretend I don’t hear him anymore anyway, letting him bark his inane instructions at 3 mother ducks and 2 catfish swimming by.
Number 4 . . .engine . . hit it . . . up, up, up . . . .rope is yanked from his hands . . again. And at that instant the transformation is executed. HIs eyes turn red, his teeth elongate and spittle flies from his mouth as he invents 4-letter words too sinister for release to the general public. He launches insults at the innocent driver of the boat, accusing her of poor driving skills and frightening unsuspecting bystanders.
I head back toward my floating target with the rope in tow and purpose in my heart. I circle around him just fast enough to ensure that he can’t possibly catch hold of the rope. Oops. Circling again, the rope is just inches from his outstretched arm. Newman! And around we go again. The rope lands in his hand as the boat continues it’s slow progression, dragging him like a tin can tied to an F150 bumper.
And just for good measure, I circle one more time effortlessly dropping the rope in his hand. The boat makes a quick sharp turn and an immediate stop creating a wake of “The Perfect Storm” proportion. The little bobbing head is tossed a** over ears in every direction until he finally comes to rest, spitting lake water and minnows, with a fresh new attitude.
The engine revs, he yells “Hit it!, and, new perspective in tow, he’s up, up, up and slicing through the water at breakneck speed, grinning from ear to ear, no sign of monster teeth, saliva or bloodshot eyes. The ski ends. Our friends, who have been hiding on the floor of the boat watching the spectacle, slowly emerge in fear and confusion as Ric and I slap each other a high five, do a belly bump and regale each other with tales of the perfect ski. It’s the best day ever.
And quietly I frame my defense . . . . .