A couple of weeks back, I was assaulted by three pubescent miscreants who thought it would be a good idea to throw food out the windows of a moving vehicle at an innocent pedestrian. I told you in this space that I would, indeed, track down the motherless bastards who had badly stained a near-new London Fog winter coat with a chocolate milkshake, and by whatever-you-hold-holy, I have succeeded!
In a secret process that involved sacrificing a goat to Thor, God of Thunder, and the expenditure of about 25 minutes of stone-cold PC time, I was able to determine the address of the owner of the vehicle in question and made the arduous journey across Narnia...errr...Staten Island (it only looks like the White Witch is in charge around here) to the house in question.
I pretty much found what I expected to find; the typical, middle-class home of a mated pair of douchebags that barely graduated high school, and who would probably starve to death if left to their own devices without their high-pay/low-expectation "City" jobs, and their brain-damaged offspring; a girl and a boy, both apparently in need of a brain transplant...if only one could find an Irish Setter willing to part with one. I was prepared for this eventuality; I knew now that the most difficult part of my quest -- the repeated protestation that their kid was a fucking angel who would NEVER do such a nasty thing -- was ahead of me. The argument is merely a stall tactic to keep Daddy from having to reach into his wallet to part with the $18.50 for the dry cleaning bill. It always is; with any luck, he thinks, I'll get frustrated and just go away.
The doorbell is engaged. Norm from Cheers (only with garlic on his breath, a Guinea Tee, and a considerably-smaller vocabulary) answers the door. Battle is about to be joined; this is how you engage in the fine art of gentle persuasion on Staten Island.
"Can I help you?"
" I sure hope so. Are you (Name Withheld)? And do you own a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, a blue one, (license plate number)?
"Yeah, I do. What's it to you?"
"Do you also have a son, about 17 or 18?"
"Who the fuck are you?"
I'm the guy your son threw food at two weeks ago. You owe me $18.50.
What the fuck! I don't owe you shit! Get off my stoop!
Hey, Asshole! Your kid was driving that car, and him and his scumbag friends thought it would be funny to throw food at me, and stain my coat. You owe me $18.50, and if I don't get it, I'm calling the cops.
Norm's wife, who looks as if she once walked the streets for money...or maybe just bus fare, subway tokens, leftover food, pocket lint, whatever she could get from men with no standards or scruples...now arrives. She wants to know "Who the fuck are you talking to, Honey?" I introduce myself to her, repeating my complaint, and make a definite attempt to avoid eye contact, because it might turn me to stone. I now know just who the fuck it is that's keeping Jersey Shore on the air.
You must have made a mistake, Honey. Our Johnny would never do something like that. He's a good kid, and doesn't do that kind of stupid shit. He goes to Catholic School.
I explain that I didn't arrive on their doorstep accidentally. That I had tracked the license plate number. The daughter, who looks a prime candidate for both dropping out of high school and becoming a single mother at least 4 times before her 25th birthday, now watches from the window. She turns her head, obviously speaking to someone inside the house. My guess; it's my attacker, and she's probably asking him if he really did what I say he did.
Norm begins to beat his chest. This is where it starts to get good; he knows he's caught, and the thought of parting with $18.50, probably more than he makes in a hour, frightens him. This is where the false bravado kicks in.
Listen, Jerkoff, my kid is a good boy, and he don't do shit like this. Now you can get the fuck off my stoop, and shove your $18, and your coat, up your ass. Get outta here before I kick your ass.
Douchebag, I didn't come here by accident, and if I wanted to steal from you, I would have asked for more than $18.50. I'm telling you, your fucking kid and his friends threw food at me at a stop light, and then peeled off. Your kid was the driver.
He's supposed to drive and throw shit at the same time? Fuck you.
Somehow, Norm starts to believe that he's Isaac Newton trying to explain the basic premises of physics to the Village Idiot. He probably learned that bit of Forensics on CSI: Miami.
Fuck me? Right, I'll be back here with a cop. Don't go anywhere, Fuckface!
The Police are called. Due to the snow-blocked streets, it takes them 45 minutes to drive the seven blocks from the Precinct house. I begin to file a criminal complaint. Deputy Dog knocks on Norm's door, there's a heated exchange; I can tell it's heated because while I can't exactly hear what's being said, Norm is animated, and relapses into the Italian habit of talking with his hands. He bellows into the house, and Johnny presents himself for questioning.
And pussy that I knew he was, immediately cries like a bitch and rats his friends out under the first barrage of questions from the cop.
I could press charges, but I'll settle for the $18.50 in dry cleaning and an apology. I get both, and Sheriff Ricochet is visibly relieved that he will not have to be stuck at his word processor doing paperwork while the rest of the Precinct gets to Dunkin' Donuts on time for the last batch of Bavarian Cremes to come out of the oven over stupid shit like this.
Norm, who was a belligerent prick from the get-go, now suddenly wants to apologize and be best buddies. He's sorry, he says. He didn't know. How would you react if someone showed up on your doorstep and accused your kid of something, he asks. I know Norm well; I grew up with his kind, and have lived with them for the last 43 years; he's a fucking gasbag who knows just how good he has it in life, and how undeserving of it he is. He guards the trappings of this good life, in every aspect, like a rabid doberman. His first reaction to anything that threatens to pop his balloon, to hint that not all is hunky-fucking-dory in his little world, turns him into Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas".
I refused to shake his hand -- and then I told him to go fuck himself.