Everywhere That the City Is.

If you’ve ever followed crime statistics and stuff, well, I’m sorry. Then  you think a whole lotta things that don’t mean anything. Statistics are just math, and life aint math. Crime aint math. It’s too messy.

But a statistic you hear a lot is about crime and the inner city. Fits the genre, I guess. Tall buildings, neon lights, dramatic streetlights, dark alleys, fire escapes, all stuff you find in the inner city. That’s fair enough. But that’s not crime, that’s just the window dressing. What crime comes from is people.

And the city aint the only place that has those.

Oh no, two collumns of obsessive-compulsive army ants!

Everyone’s standing around staring like it’s Chernobyl, but to me this is nothing. So I guess there are some differences between the city and the suburbs. These folks just aren’t accustomed to noticing how few differences there are.

“Max, get some pictues of the tire tread and the paint scrapings, and grab that license plate. This isn’t gonna be hard.” Assuming he was in his own car, that is. “I’ll see if I can rustle up a witness or three.” But it turns out that while there were plenty of witnesses, not a one of em is particularly helpful.

Yus, ah sawr dat car go tru heah, the shut-elephant drawls, it was red. Which I already knew from the paint scrapings.

Yeah mister, it was awesome! The car smashed everything! says the disturbingly enthusiastic rabbit kid, I got the license plate number, if you want! No, kid, I don’t want, I got the plate.

He wuz a MANIAC officer he wux drivin so WILD and I tought my time had COME and mercy ME if he’d had KILT me who would look after MAH BABY?! WHO WOULD HAVE LOOKED AFTER MAH BABY?!

I glance at down at the baby in question. It seems singularly unconcerned about the issue. “I don’t know ma’am, I’m only here to ask if you saw anything that might help identify the driver.”

She glances back and forth conspiratorially, and just when I start hoping I’m going to get something, she whispers He wuz driving VERY badly so I think he mighta bin DRUNK. Then after a significant nod she hustles inside.

Hell, it aint a total loss. We’ve got the hard evidence, should be able to wring a conviction out of that. We can find the car, it’s just a matter of hoping the owner of the car was the one driving it.

Wait dough, Sly. You aint asked da guy in da sewah yet.

“Guy in the sewer, Max, have you been sniffing glue?”

When I wuz lookin at dah paint scratches, dere wuz some goon down in dah storm drain talking bout almost bein run over. Den he said could I please hlep him get out cause dah manhole cover wuz stuck.

“…did you help him?”

Course not, I wuz gatherin evidence!

So when I pry up the manhole cover he’s still there, and looking pretty relieved.

Hey thanks man you have no idea how bad it stunk down there man.

“I’ve about reached my ‘witnesses talking about unrelated stuff’ quota for the day, so I’d be real grateful if you could get to the point: can you tell me anything about what happened?”

Well ok man I was just chilling and then I get call and it’s the guy across the street you know man?

“No, I do not know the guy across the street.”

Oh well ok man hes a total speciest like what do you call em a flight supremacist? So he calls and tell me the manhole cover’s open and it’s like somehow my fault cause it’s in front of my house? And if don’t go out and close it he’s calling the cops, man . He looks at me funny, like he’s trying to figure out if he ought to have said that last part. I nod at him to go on. So as soon as I get out here there’s the sound of tires squeeling and this truck is barreling along right at me! I just have time to jump down the manhole or I’d have been pancaked! Course then I got stuck down there thanks for letting me out man.

“Have you had trouble with this neighbor before?”

Oh all the time man he’s really got  a hate on for reptiles. Skinny little dude, like I think a kiwi? Always dressed real posh man.

I remember. Saw someone like that watching the wreckage, but he was gone by the time I started taking statements. Funny, everyone else looked shocked at the destruction, but not him. Like he’d been-

-expecting it.

It takes a lot of knocking to bring him to the door, but I suppose if I were in his situation I wouldn’t want to answer the door either. When he finally does open the door a crack, I just manage to get my foot in.

I say! What on earth is the meaning of this, you filthy mongrel?!

“Ok, not the best way to start your interrogation, because I’m arresting you for conspiracy to commit murder. It’ll go a lot easier on you if you tell who you hired.”

What? What nonsense! I despise that filthy reptile across the street, as would all right-thinking birds, but I wouldn’t murder him!

“Oh?” I pull out the cuffs, “then how did you know he was the one that someone tried to kill? I didn’t get to telling you that part.”

You don’t understand! He gripes as I stuff him in the back of the car. It was self defense! Reptiles hate birds, it was only a matter of time before he came for me!

“So you’re not a specist, because you hate all reptiles for being specist?”


“What is it, exactly, that all these reptiles have against birds?”

Why, he blinks like he’s saying something so obvious it shouldn’t need to be asked, they hate us because they know we’re not going to stand for them taking what’s rightfully ours, of course!

“Max, did I forget to read this guy his rights?”

Dunno Sly, wuzn’t payin attention when-

“Because he seems to have missed the part where he has the right to remain silent because anything he says can be used against him.”

We get most of the way back to the station in silence, and then Max pipes up. Ya wouldn tink ta see race crimes like dat out in da suboibs, wouldja?

I shrug. “Hey, anywhere there’s people, there’s gonna be crime.

Dat’s phillysofical.

“Shut up Max.”


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