Monday, August 7, 2017

Criminal Mastermind

“You’re doing it wrong.”  What?  Who said that?  And how could they possibly know?

When I got up this morning, I knew today was going to be different.  I wanted … something.  I wanted to be bad.  I wanted to do crimes.  Yeah.  You know why?  Because I’m mister goody-two-shoes.  I’m the guy who follows the rules, does his homework, tells the truth, doesn’t drink or do drugs, doesn’t sleep around.
                But not today.  Today, I was going to be bad.  Bad ass.  So, like any criminal mastermind, I came up with a plan.  I’d start small, and work my way up.  The grocery store.  First up: a grape.  Yeah.  And it wasn’t a sample it to see if I wanted to buy the whole bunch.  I just took one and ate it.  Ahhh, the sweet taste of crime!  Actually, it’s a little sour.  But still!  Next up: a baby carrot.  Oh, yeah!  Crunched that little sucker!  Bad ass.  Time to step it up.  An apple.  Red delicious.  Delicious like a fox!  I’m gonna munch this guy all over the store.  Except … hmm.  There is a security camera there.  I’ve probably spent too much time in produce.

Canned goods.  Now we’re talking.  I look both ways, eyes darting furtively, then pick up a can of pineapple chunks.
                “You’re doing it wrong.”  A voice.  Talking to me.  Sounds exasperated.  I look around and spot him.  Strange little man with a bulky coat.
                “Excuse me?”
                “You’re doing it wrong.  First rule of shoplifting, act normal.  Ya’ gotta cool it with the shifty eyes and looking all around.  You wouldn’t do that if you were shopping normally, wouldja?”
                “I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
                “Sure.”  He rolls his eyes. “Go ahead.  Play it your way.”
                Not knowing what else to say, I put the pineapple back and walk away.  He rolls his eyes again as I pass him.
                “At least get a shopping cart!  You stand out like a sore thumb!”

                The store is hot.  I have to get out of there.  So, what next?  Starbucks across the street.  Perfect.  I jaywalk, of course.  Bad ass.  Inside, I scope out the scene and come up with the perfect plan.  I hang out by the little side area where they put the drinks when they’re ready … and wait.
                “Chai latte for Bob!”  I wait.  Don’t act too fast.  Bob must be on his phone.  I reach for the cup.
                “Excuse, me, is that a chai latte?  I think that’s for me.”
                “No, I ordered a chai latte.” I stammer.
                “I think this one’s mine, though.  See?  Bob.”  He indicates the name on the side.
                “Huh?  Oh!  Oh, sorry.” 
                “No worries.  I’m sure yours is coming up next.”

I’ve been made.  Have to get out of there.  I stuff my pockets full of sugar packets, then make my way back to the grocery store parking lot, using the crosswalk this time (no need to press my luck) and get in my car.  Where to?  Let’s see.  I’ve stolen.  I’ve lied.  It’s time to get liquored up.  I look up bars on my phone.  Good thing I had full bars on my phone, so I could … you know.  Heh heh.  There was one nearby.

                I belly up to the bar and order a beer.  I actually don’t care for alcohol, as there’s something in it that tastes bitter to me.  I’m a ‘supertaster’.  It’s a whole thing.  But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right?  So beer me.  Yeah.  Bad ass.
I look around, taking in the seedy surroundings of the sports bar.  Not a lot of people here at eleven in the morning.  There are a couple of ladies near me, though, and the Asian one is pretty attractive.  I slip my hand in my pocket while trying to think of a good opening line and pull out – an apple?
“Nice apple.”  The Asian woman is talking to me.  Her friend must have gone to the little girl’s room or something.  I look at her.  She’s pretty.  She has a warm vibe to her.  The kind of girl you feel like you could really talk to.  And she’s smiling.  At me.  Say something.  Anything.  Just open your mouth and talk.
“Is that a red delicious?”
“Uh, yeah.”
“Those are my favorite.”
“Mine, too.”
And … back to silence.  Not talking.  Awkward.  Man, I wish I could talk to women.  But I never know how to get a conversation going.  If only I had an opening line!
“Gee, I’m thirsty!” she says, looking at her empty glass.
“Well, good thing we’re in a bar.”  Just need an opening.  Something clever.  Or compliment her?  Tell her she has a pretty mouth?  No, that sounds creepy.  Her eyes?  Or is that too forward?  Don’t want to come across as a stalker.  Wait.  Thirsty.  She’s thirsty!  I can offer to buy her a drink!  That’s a thing people do -
“Well, see ya’.”  Her friend has returned and they’re walking out.  I nod back glumly.  I sit for a few minutes, contemplating my next move.
“Say, barkeep,” I query, “ever get any fights in here?”
“Uh, no …”  He looks at me like it was a weird question.  “Maybe some shouting when a game is on.”
Yeah, figures.  Alright, so no barfight.  And I don’t feel like nursing the bitter beer anymore.  So I leave.  

But driving down the street, what do I see?  A construction site.  I park the car and stroll onto the lot like I own the place.
“Hey, buddy!  You can’t be here!  It’s not safe!” yells a construction worker.  Big guy.  Hard hat.
“Yeah, yeah, sorry.”  I back out of the site and jog back to the car, pumped up.
Trespassing?  Check.  Still bummed about not getting into a fight, though.  Still, upward and onward.  

I get on the highway and head towards the other side of town.  I would go over the speed limit, but the traffic makes that impossible.  I exit and wind my way to a poor area.  My next mission?  Buy drugs.  Yeah.  Bad ass.  I might even do drugs, but one step at a time.  I drive around a bit, looking for one of those corners you hear about.  There.  I pull up to the curb.
“Whatchu want?” asks the fourteen year old Hispanic kid, leaning in my window.
“What have you got?”
“You want some H?”
“Wh-what is H?”
“H, man?”  He smirks at me.  “Heroin?”
“What?  Oh, god no.  Um.  You got weed?”
“Sure.  How much you want?”
“Um.  What’s the least amount I can buy?”
That smirk again.  “You want just one joint?”
“Yeah.  Yeah, that would be perfect.”
He cracks a grin and flips me a joint.  “On the house, man.  Enjoy.”
I look around, confused, but he’s already walking away, shaking his head.  So off I go, with my ill-gotten gain.  I’ve done it.  I’ve bought drugs.  Well, I’ve obtained drugs.  And, I remember, marijuana is legal now.  But still.  Still counts.  Bad ass.

I drive home.  Get some wooden matches from the kitchen utility drawer.  I go in the bathroom, so the smoke will be contained.  Light the match.  Hold up the joint.  Which end do you light?  Probably doesn’t matter.  I pick an end, hold it up, light it.  Put the other end to my mouth.  Try inhaling.  Nothing.  I look.  The lit end has gone out.  I light another match, hold up the joint and light it again.  It lights for a second, then goes out.  Try sucking again.  Nothing.  I pull up a video on youtube on how to light a joint.  Ah.  Apparently, you have to hold the match there for a while.  Okay.  Another match.  Holding it up.  Sound of front door – oh, crap!  My roommate’s home!  And … I’ve dropped the joint in the toilet.  Perfect.  That’s okay.  I still got the drugs, so still counts.

So, what’s left?  Well … there’s the big one.  Take care of ‘the big V’.  That’s right.  I’m gonna whore it up good!  Wait.  Is it just the hooker that whores it up, or can the ‘john’ say that, too?  Whatever.  I’m going to a prostitute.
Go on the internet, do some proper research.  Why are so many named Trixie or Cherry or Candy?  Why do parents name their kids like this?  Find a young lady that looks pleasant.  And not too expensive.  And not too young.  ‘Cuz, creepy.  I call and set up an appointment.  And off I go.

I sit in my car.  Shaking.  Like I’m freezing, but it’s not cold.  Guess it’s just nerves.  Chill out, man.  You can do this.  I make my way to her door and knock.
“Hey there.  Come on in.”  She gives me a hug.  That’s nice.  We sit on the couch and she asks me some questions … what am I interested in, have I done this before?  Then she pauses.
“Are you okay?” she asks.  “Because you look really nervous, and we can just sit and talk for a while, if you like.”
“Yeah.  Yeah, that would be nice.”  And that’s what we do.  We talk about all kinds of stuff.  She’s really nice.  I tell her about my day of being bad.  And she listens.  And she helps me realize that I really just want some attention.
We hug at the end.  I still pay her, and I give her a big tip.  Didn’t have sex, but still paid for it.  Still counts.  Walk back to my car.  Where I find a parking ticket.  One hour zone, and I’ve been there around ninety minutes.  Law broken?  Check.  Bad ass.

So that’s my day as a criminal mastermind.  The next day I slip back into Starbucks and return the sugar packets.  And I go to the grocery store and pay with an extra dollar.  The checker tries to give it back, but I say it isn’t mine.  She looks at me weird, then keeps it.  Got away with it.  Bad ass.