Well, well, well...some of you didn't quite take your Hoodoo duty seriously last week, no?
I mean, yes, you are correct, our beloved Crimson Tide won said football game against the outmanned Cat-mounters from the hills of western Carolina. That much I will grant you.
But a touchdown on the opening drive, against our storied defense? Somebody went a little light on the Hoodoo sauce last week, no doubt about it.
Exhibit B is the slate of injuries that our boys suffered at the hands of the tiny-mites last Saturday. Seems like last week I made mention of such a possibility, and one of you heathens instructed me that nothing such as that had happened since the reign of one Sir Brodie Croyle of the Rainbow City Empire. Now, see what you've done? Just about every cotdang playmaker on our team got some type of injury, putting our boys at a less than optimal level heading into the critically important game with the bull inseminators this weekend.
So this week, I beg you...nay, implore you, GET'CHO COTDANG MIND RIGHT! and bring the strongest Hoodoo you can muster. For, if you can wander with me if you will back a year ago to that wretched little village on the Plains (Is that not the stupidest nickname for a city ever conceived?), you will recall that we were the mighty Crimson Tide, riding high upon the cresting wave of history, one regular season victory away from making a third consecutive appearance in the BCS Championship game. And how did that end up, folks, remember that one?
The Lee County Booger-Aficionados Association played a Hoodoo hand of their own, the second in as many weeks, and snatched victory from yon gap-toothed, meth-mouthed jaws of defeat. I don't want to recall the low-down and dirty details, as that wound is still laid raw in mine soul. But needless to say, the chicken-pluckers broke our crimson hearts, split them wide open like July watermelon. Sickenin', I tell ya what.
Now, as you all know, to quote Our Dark Lord, I hate these guys more than anybody (other than the butt-chuggers of the northern hills.) Our boys simply must beat them. Have to. No two ways about it, losing another game to those god-forsaken garishly-arrayed cult members will make life for those of us still in the Great State just plain unbearable. I may even have to (and I know this sounds extreme, but I will do it, I swear to you) move to Mississippi or something, just to avoid the sullen and arrogant glares of those color-blind tractor riders. They make me sick to my core, I'd rather chase a bottle of Drano with Montezuma tequila (for those of you familiar with this vile liquid, surely you know the nature of my sacrifice) than tolerate their illiterate smack-talk.
So bring the Hoodoo strong this week, people. This ain't no time to be playin'. In light of the seriousness of this particular edition of our weekly junket into Hoodooville, I'm going to bring two Hoodoos to yon ledger: one a brief but entertaining interlude into the proper way to aisle a child, and secondly, a tale of law enforcement intrigue.
First, I offer you this little ditty. As you, my faithful readers, know, I am the proud father of two wonderful children which comprise the focus of my life. They are the greatest gift I've ever received, my favorite people.
Now these children, my son is now about to enter teen-dom, and my daughter is seven, were raised on Alabama football, as is correct and proper. I instilled in them the proper level of hatred for foes of our Crimson Tide, but each child took a slightly different tack in the application of said disgust. The object of my Sith hate is typically hemmed up in the Auburnite and the Prison Workers. My son, well, he went straight to hatred of the Viles. Hates the color orange, doesn't like pumpkins. Doesn't trust fire because, well, it has orange in it. I can remember that when he'd see that orange "T" logo on a car or t-shirt, he'd immediately point and shout, even told one feller one day he felt sorry for him that God didn't love him enough to make him an Alabama fan. Funny stuff, to be sure.
But my daughter, a true diva, took it to another level. At the age of three, she heard a nearly constant stream of insults hurled by her father at the television set during that infamous year in the intertwined histories of the Alabama and F AU football programs. Twas a bad year, people, if you remember. I have chosen to block much of it from my memory, but I do remember many a cuss-filled tirade at the Boogs and their awful spokesperson whose name shall not be spoken in these hallowed pages.
My daughter and I had journeyed to a local Walmart on game day to acquire the proper accouterments of a football Saturday. As we rounded the chip aisle, a sweet looking young woman was heading towards us, herself looking for just the right chip to complete her game day celebration. Just so happens the color this woman was wearing was orange, and the letters across the chest spelled Auburn.
Now let me explain, my little girl was a Shirley Temple doppelganger, curly locks, porcelain features, just a beautiful little thing like her mama. People would stop us in the store wanting to take pictures of her darlin' ringlets, it was just something to which we had become accustomed. She is so soft spoken and sweet, a more gentle nature than the fiery rage that filled my son (takes after his old man.)
Imagine my horror when this little earth angel, before I realized what was going on, lit into the aforementioned member of the Auburnite. She pointed, horns emerging from beneath her tiny locks, and began to yell.
"CHEATER CHEATER CHEATER."
I mean, she was pulling no punches, y'all. She wouldn't shut up despite my protestations, pointed at the woman with a jabbing finger as we passed her by, turned and walked backwards so she could continue to yell at the woman all the way to the end of the salty snacks.
I was horrified. Surely the woman surmised that this child had overheard that somewhere. But alas, she was a Boog, so it matters not in the grand scheme. Concurrently one of the most embarrassing and gratifying things I've ever experienced.
Now, onto my tale of deep shame. As a newspaper writer in a small town, I was a young man with a tremendous amount of access to things that probably should not have been in the public eye. I had befriended the right people in the local PDs, and whenever something was going down, I'd generally get a head's up at the least, or an invitation to "come see" at best.
For a voyeuristic young soul like myself, it was a lot of fun. I got to go to crime scenes, I got to hear the first hand "dumb criminal" accounts that emerged from nights in small towns where the liquor was plentiful and the sources of entertainment few on a Saturday night. You'd be amazed at some of the things I've seen, people...at some point I'll compile them and share them with the world.
But for the purposes of this particular tale, you must know that I was good friends with the assistant chief of a small town department of about 40 officers. Not the smallest around, but nowhere as large as the army of boys in blue in Mobile. This chief was a birddog from the word go, and before I was married, he and I would hang out, drink coffee and smoke cigarettes while surveying the local scenery. He'd try to plow anything that would let him, despite the fact that he had an attractive and sweet wife at home. I usually frowned on such behavior, but this relationship was important to my craft, so I overlooked his philandering for career purposes. We formed a bond of trust that can only be fertilized by caffeine, nicotine, and poon-tang, close were we and much I derived from this particular relationship.
One day, I got a call from the PD. It was the chief, OG.
"Hey boy, got somethin' for ya...what would you say about doin' a little ride-along with the narcotics team this week, they're doin' a warrant sweep to clean out the trash."
"Well, hell yeah, Chief, I'm down with it." I was excited. I asked him a few questions, got my answers, and green-lighted the story, since I was both a writer and editor for the paper.
But he had a question for me. "Man, you carry don't ya?"
"Uh, yeah, I do. Why, should I bring my gun?" I said with a chuckle. I wasn't ready for his response.
"I'd feel a lot better if you did."
I was even more excited now. Never pass up a chance to deploy a firearm at my fellow man, that's just good stuff, I don't care who you are.
He gave me the remaining details. I was to meet the team of 35 officers, pulled from four local departments, at 3:30 a.m. at a narcotics team headquarters in a local housing project. They met early so as to attack the warrantees just as they finished their respective nights of debauchery and turned in before the sun came up. Shock and awe, you know.
It was all covert and shit, no one knew the house was the base for anti-drug operations in the area. Well, at least not until that morning, when I arrived to find about 30 marked cars parked along the roadside in this particular project. He informed me that there'd be breakfast as well, so I was stoked.
I walked in, making sure to explain to the officers at the door I was there at the behest of the assistant chief. They were agreeable, shook my hand, asked me if I had body armor. Luckily, I had remembered to bring my own, already properly fitted to my upper body. They were impressed.
I met the chief, who was standing over the coffee pot, a sausage biscuit clinched in his other hand.
"'Ay boy," he said, mouth half full of biscuit. "Com'on over here and get set-up."
I was issued a coffee cup and biscuit of my own, and the chief and I stepped outside to grab a smoke.
"You got your piece?" he asked with a subdued tone.
"Yep, wanna see it?"
I handed him my Glock 27, and he approved. Told him about my body armor, and he was cool with that too. "OWB, you all set!"
We finished our breakfast and the time arrived to roll out. First we traveled to the smallest of the towns, where I watched a SWAT team kick down the door of a serial ticket avoider, pulled him out in cuffs and chucked him in the paddy wagon. Pretty cool.
Next, they hit a chick's house who had skipped out on probation. She got loud and mouthy, which was entertaining and all. She resisted, latched on to the handrail of her stairs like a cotdang spider monkey as they pulled her out of the home. That, of course, resulted in her immediately pepper-spraying, which delighted everyone in attendance, especially the "dumb sumbitches" and "assholes whose mothers don't love ‘em" who were escorting this flower of the south Alabama wilderness from her home in shackles.
I was amused, to be sure, but I had expected some "Cops" typa action out there, you know, a little gun play, some pursuits. Yes, these were sleepy little towns and this was basically a warrant sweep, but still, couldn't somebody at least rack off a few rounds or something?
As the sun rose, the chief informed me of our next destination. "Boy, this next'un is why I wanted you armed, we goin' to The Village."
"The Village? You gotta be shittin' me." I knew all about Alabama Village, a little housing community wedged between Prichard (P.A. ALL DAY E'RYDAY!) and Chickasaw. It was notorious as the roughest community in Mobile County...ambulances wouldn't even respond to calls in there. If you had a heart attack and you lived in The Village, you better damn well hope you had enough go-juice left in ya to walk to Highway 43 where the EMTs would meet you. Gunshots were constant, no grass, people always in the yard, engine blocks hanging from various trees by chains.
Granted, I come from a rough neighborhood, but it's cotdang Mountainbrook compared to The Village.
Bear in mind, by this time, I had consumed about 14 cups of coffee. I'm not a morning person at all, and a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call was an unreasonable request for my mind to make of my body. I was on caffeinated autopilot. I had been in the chief's car all morning, and we hadn't docked for a pisser, even once. My bladder felt swelled up like a Camelbak pouch, I could feel the burning pressure as I tried to pinch my urethra and seal that tinted liquid up inside me cockpiece.
I tried to make small talk to take my mind of the impending gusher I had to release. On the way to The Village, we took a circuitous route, and the road maintenance in the area is lackadaisical at best, neglectful at worst. Hell, I don't blame the maintenance crews for not wanting to go there, as I doubt very seriously the city gives the asphalt-toters combat pay.
Every bump registered as a sharp, tight vibration in the water balloon in my lower abdomen. Finally, I had to say something.
"Chief, I gotta take a bio-break, mind if we make a stop?"
"Sure man, after we hit this one we will."
Great, one more stop. I seriously didn't know if I'd make it, I was almost to the point of physically pinchin' the tip of my peelinus to physically hold the urine in. You guys know what I'm walkin' about, you've been there before.
More bumps. Jesus, why didn't we stay on the highway? At least it'd have been a smoother ride.
We arrived at the hell-mouth of The Village, and the officers posse'd up. Even they didn't go in without back-up, as the residents were not afraid to pop shots at the po-po. The caravan mounted up and began to enter the development (and I use that term loosely, as nothin' had been developed in The Village since the ‘50s, other than the crack trade, that is.)
More potholes. I wasn't going to make it, the urge to piss was overcoming my desire to not be embarrassed. IT was painful.
That's when it happened. We rounded a corner, and from behind a nearby brick-box house, there came a burst of automatic gunfire, just ripped off like someone unzipping an explosive zipper.
"LEAN DOWN, HELL!" Chief pushed me low, as if the bullets weren't going to rip through damn door anyway.
His instinctive maneuver bent me at the waist as I leaned forward...but there was an unintended side effect. The quick burst of pressure, combined with the fact that I was not accustomed to BEING FIRED UPON WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, hit the release valve on ye olde bladder.
I pissed a damn river on that chief's front seat. Once it started I didn't even try to stop it, just let that stream flow like the cotdang Nile during flood season. He stared down at the growing wet mark on my britches and his car seat in semi-disgust, that look you get when your dog pisses on the carpet and you know it's your fault because you forgot to take him out.
"Well...dayum boy, you DID have to go." Then he started laughing. "You gonna clean that up, ain't ya?...Am I ‘sposed to push your nose in it so you won't do it again?" More laughter.
I was not pleased. Why couldn't we just have stopped? In the fraternity of law enforcers, I knew this story would be shared, and I'd be further shamed. Dammit. At least he carried me directly back to my car without exposing me to the disgrace of the post-op meeting, so I guess I have to thank him for that. But dammit, would a quick piss stop have really stopped the wheels of justice from turnin'?
Cops. God love ‘em.
Roll Tide. Burn the Barn to the mffkn ground.