it is a police event that culminates in your backyard.
but i digress, let’s start from the very beginning. a very good place to start…
the night was last night, and the time was 1:30 a.m. the badger and i were soundly asleep and had been for sometime, seeing as it was 1:30 in the friggin' morning. i was awoken from my slumber by a loud crash. mind you, loud crashes are pretty common in northeast minneapolis, especially our block of northeast minneapolis. there is a stream of very active train tracks that run about three blocks past our house and you constantly hear the clammer and clang of the trains as they stop/start their journey to wherever it is that trains go these days. but at 1:30 a.m., this was a different kind of crash entirely - it sounded very metallic, and was quickly followed by a bunch of lights flooding through our bedroom windows and balcony door. yes, we have a balcony off of our bedroom. but don't get your hopes up - it's not the romantic kind of romeo & juliet balcony full of luscious plants, a table for two to sip their wine whilst gazing down upon the streets of paris or some picturesque waterway. it's more the kind that when we bought the house, the home inspector told us "you really need to tear this down". and the view is of the northeast minneapolis rail yards (a blue collar kind of romance, don't you think?) and the 5-foot 'berlin wall' of cement slab that we have running along the back 40 of our yard which was built for some unknown and ungodly reason by the previous owners. nevertheless, where were we?
1:30 a.m. loud crash. lots of light. i wake up. the badger does not. i stand up out of bed to gaze out our bedroom deck doors, and in that fuzzy confusion of just coming out of sleep and trying to figure out where you are and why you are awake, i notice that there are car headlights where there shouldn't be car headlights, pressed up against our property line.
in this fuzzy state of confusion, i tried to remember if the neighbors who share our property line have a driveway that borders our property line... nope.
did he decide, just for kicks and giggles, to park his car in his yard and shine the lights into our yard... nope.
instead what i see is that this vehicle, this SUV, has been driven up into our neighbors yard via his very narrow driveway, completely plowing through/over his chain link fence and is now pressed up against the chain link fence on our property line with the headlights shining very brightly into our yard. an orange kitty saunters through the streams of headlights, and then there is a flurry of activity. at this point, i decide to wake up the badger with "hey, honey? you wanna come see this?"
here's what happened next.
about 374 minneapolis po-po were instantly on the scene, circling our neighbors house with said SUV having plowed through his fence and now resting comfortably in his yard (engine idling, lights still on), and about two police cars pulled directly up into the vacant grassy lot behind our berlin wall. immediately following was the screeching of tires, screaming and yelling from the cops and something about a "stolen car" and someone being a "real piece of work". our neighbor with the SUV as his new piece of yard art, has now stumbled out of his house in his bathrobe. there is a brief period of silence, followed by the most persistent barking of dogs i've ever heard. the badger goes "woah, they got the canines on the job..."
the next thing we hear is "get on the f*cking ground. GET ON THE F*CKING GROUND NOW!!!" underscored by what sounded to be an entire pack of barking canines... "GET ON THE F*CKING GROUND NOW! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ENGLISH?! GET ON THE F*CKING GROUND! PUT THAT F*CKING CIGARETTE OUT AND GET ON THE F*CKING GROUND!!!"
i sincerely expected at any moment during this 20-degree frigid evening of excitement to see the cops start shooting at whoever/whatever it was that needed to get on the f*cking ground. welcome to northeast minneapolis, police state.
the cops continued to roll up in droves to the scene, but by now the perpetrator(s?) had been apprehended thanks to the GET ON THE F*CKING GROUND guy and the pack of wild dogs. i heard our neighbor say "well, i guess it's better that it's the fence and not the house..." and i recalled that he has two kids who live with him, a 6/7 year old boy and a 9/10 year old girl, and i thought how right he was to be grateful at such a time as this.
the badger and i retreated into our bedroom and he got back in bed. i, on the other hand, went and put on my bathrobe and a stocking cap. the badger properly asked me "honey, what are you doing?" and i said "i'm not done watching this. but if i'm gonna eavesdrop on a crime scene in 20 degree weather, i'm gonna be warm..." and i went back out on the balcony to listen in on the rest of the activity.
this episode of "northeast minneapolis! crime watch!" has been brought to you by the number 374 and the letter F.