Tuesday, June 12

Mayberry we're not.

This is the biggest town I've ever lived in.

It was once a very scary place, with shootings in the mall, and crazy drive-bys. It has settled down in the last fifteen years or so, and I appreciate that, since I have lived here for the last ten. We are still consistently in top five cities nationwide for car theft, but hey, it's almost a point of pride that we can beat Oakland.

My initial wild eyed terror and twitchy hyper-awareness of my surroundings has been replaced by a common-sense based resignation/fatalism. If they REALLY want it, I'll probably fork it over but as long as I stay out of the truly BAD areas, I'll be okay until Murphy's law calls my name--and really, at that point, I'll be screwed either way.

It can really be a lovely town to live in, but it's gentle veneer can wear thin at any time. This weekend, after Tee-ball, I took Little O to the Flea Market held at the local Community College. We wandered the aisles looking at craptastic wares manufactured in Mexico, or China, and almost bought a bitchin' pair of fake Vans for my Tee ball superstar (always out of the size I need, Damn you, Murphy!).

Then we came upon my favorite vendor in the place. I wish I'd had my camera, but it's probably better that I didn't. Two guys in their early twenties had a couple of rubbermaid tubs full of dirty wires bundled together, and a table full of car stereos.

Oh, you mean the fake Kenwoo and JBC manufactured in Korea? no no. Just a banquet table filled with the stereos that had been ripped out of dashboards all over town. Wires still hangin' from 'em. It was such a Stockton moment.

The only thing that topped it was reading the crime report in the newspaper today. Two guys tried to rob an ice cream vendor pushing a cart in one of the parks nestled in a residential neighborhood in north Stockton. They pulled a knife on him, and must have been dreaming of the cold hard cash they'd be getting from him. Instead the crazy bastard chased them away with a machete. Rock on, Crazy Ice Cream Man.

Note to self: Don't bitch about the incorrect change any more when we go to the park.


crse said...

Oh my GOD, we live in twin towns too! My friend's dad was a cop in the 80s. He has memories of going to get his winter coat every year....his dad would take him to a bar into the back. He would climb into the trailer of a truck and pick out his coat. See? if you ever come visit, you will feel right at home!

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual said...

I don't know what's better - the freshly stolen for-sale stereos or the machete-wielding ice cream guy!

Ash said...

Please don't hate me, You've been tagged. See da blog for details.
also, it's funny, but the word for verifacation is uashle, is blogger trying to get me or something? LOL.

Mert said...

Rock on Crazy Ice Cream Man! ROFL! I love that, and mustb use it the first chance I get. ;)

I hear ya about Stockton I never really shopped out that far... but Hayward I have heard has gotten a lot worse since we left. I have a best friend who lives in Tracy.

ZigZagMan said...

I wonder what the guy pushing the hot dog cart is packing??? You go Ice cream guy!!!! :)