Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Protect and...Oh, Dear God!

Dear Penthouse;

I never thought this would happen to me, but...No, seriously, here is the story of why the police saw me naked when I was stone cold sober.

I was sitting in my living room, clad only in boxers, having breakfast preparatory to getting ready for work. It was about five in the morning. Mrs. R was awake in our bedroom at the far end of the apartment. Rimpy Jr. was awake in his bedroom, which is at the same end as our bedroom.

Suddenly two or three shots rang out, followed quickly by what sounded like a woman screaming. Now, we don't live in the greatest neighborhood, and gunfire is -sadly - common enough that we haven't before called 911, but I've always felt a little bad about that. But these shots were followed by screams, so I ran to the bedroom to find the phone. I asked my wife if she had heard anything, but she hadn't. Turns out Rimpy Jr. hadn't heard the shots or the screams either.

I called 911. From the questions the operator was asking me, I got the impression that I was not the first caller about this incident. The screams had stopped even before I called, and after I hung up all seemed quiet in the neighborhood.

My wife and I spent the next few minutes pondering the possible meaning of these sounds, until she said, "Why aren't we hearing any sirens?" A good question, I thought. I looked out the kitchen window and saw a police officer walk into our parking lot, headed for the front of our building. I thought he may wish to speak with me, so I rushed to put on a robe.

I should probably tell you a little about our building and some of our neighbors. It's a four unit building - two on the bottom, two on top. We are in one of the top units. On the other end of the distressingly small balcony are our neighbors, whom I shall call B and It. I don't want to go into too much detail about all the strange goings-on with that family (which has been reduced one way or another over the year-and-a-quarter we've lived here, to consisting of just the man and his pregnant wife, with a rotating cast of possible long-staying house guests), so just suffice it to say that they have problems. I half suspected that the shots and screams may have come from their apartment.

Underneath B and It lives a guy whose name I belatedly learned is Chuck. Before that we referred to him as Camaro Guy or Papa Bogan. Chuck's a pretty friendly guy, unless he's been drinking, which doesn't seem to have happened for quite a while now. Embarrassingly enough, I actually thought that there was a second adult male living in the apartment, possibly a brother of Chuck's. Turns out it was only ever Chuck, but sometimes he wears a baseball cap over his bald pate ringed with long, lank, greasy hair on the sides. It from upstairs seems to be on good terms with Chuck's loose-knit, ragtag family.

But back to arrival of the cop. After a few more minutes, no one had knocked. I decided I couldn't delay finishing getting ready for work, so I got in the shower. I had just finished up and was starting to dry off when the bathroom door opened up, and to my surprise I was looking at a member of College Town's Finest. I quickly hid my unmentionables behind my towel (which just had to be pink). He asked me my name, and then explained that they'd had a report of shots fired in or near the building and were checking all the units. My wife had let them in, but she probably didn't expect that they would barge into the bathroom while I was bathing.

For whatever reason, B and It wouldn't open their door to the officers' knocks. While I was hurrying to get dressed one policeman was standing in our open door, shining his super-bright flashlight on B's door, with the other hand at the ready on his holstered weapon. I couldn't get out of my apartment. I called work to tell them I might be a few minutes late, and why.

Then I heard one of the policmen say, "You have three seconds to open this door before we force it open." Three seconds later this statement was followed by the sound of the police doing just they said they would. Then there was a bit of clunking and banging around from inside the apartment.

When I made my escape, It was standing at the bottom of the stairway, Chuck was standing outside his door, and the police were still inside B and It's apartment, presumably with B.

Later I found out that Chuck also called 911 because he had heard the screams, and thought they were coming from B and It's aparment, and he had heard them arguing just before. I don't know if that was the source of the screams or not, and apparently the gun shots I heard were completely unrelated to our building.

When I got home that night, all neighbors were carrying on as if nothing had happened, and I know no more now than I did then, except that some poor cop had to see my penis.

1 comment:

  1. Yow! Things have changed since I lived in College Town. I don't remember any gun play back then, and the police certainly never came in to look at my wiener.