Oh me, oh my. I live in a safe neighborhood. What to do?
My mailbox is flooded with campaign brochures promising more police on every street, all kinds of victims’ rights and to put those bad guys away forever. All I have to do is vote for the incumbent, or maybe the challenger, depending on which one’s Republican. We all know Democrats actually like crime, right?
Hooray for me, I already have two police officers living on my tiny cul-de-sac. Serious eye candy, those boys. One’s a motorcycle cop who certainly fills out his uniform. Va-room va-room, if you know what I mean. Raises my property values just looking at him.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, crime. There isn’t any around here. My bland little burg sends out a newsletter every quarter and in it’s a map of the city with crime stats. My area: zilch. Not a single break-in or car theft. Even in the worst parts of the city, for the wretched refuse stuck near railroad tracks and behind strip malls, it’s rare to see even a dozen property crimes a quarter.
No homicides, no rapes, no arsons, no muggings. Even the high school can’t be counted on for the occasional drug bust.
Our mayor, who is running for re-election and therefore feels obligated to put the size of his testicles on display, credits himself for this squeaky clean state. Never mind that stats haven’t changed since before he took office.
I figure the real reason has to do with our roads.
Anyone who’s been to Paris has seen how streets in the oldest parts of town zigzag, meander, cut this way and that, up and down and sideways. I always thought city planners were having some fun with the town drunks.
But no, they wanted to get medieval on invaders, see. If the city walls ever fell, an army had to navigate those crazy alleyways while the locals took to the rooftops and dumped boiling hot tar and fun things like that.
So, apply that to suburbia today and the weird layout of cul-de-sacs and electronic gates that work only half the time, speed bumps and humps and unsynchronized stop lights. What do you get? A landscape only MapQuest could love.
Criminals can’t find us. And even if they did, they probably can’t remember which numbingly beige house they staked out the night before. Was it the one with the oleander hedge or the roses? The ecru stucco or the eggshell? In the dark, who can tell?
When Plosh’s car was stolen out of our driveway a few years ago, the police assured us the thugs probably thought his Acura Integra was hot and followed him home late that night. What a relief! Imagine car thieves smart enough to find us on their own. We’d all be in trouble.
The car was found a few days later, partly stripped and abandoned on another cul-de-sac in the next town. Probably the thieves figured any dead end would do. Well, we got the car back, but bumped up the neighborhood Grand Theft Auto rate 100% for the quarter, which didn’t make the homeowners’ association too happy.
Life got back to normal quickly, real estate prices continued their skyward reach and another election has now rolled around. Which means I need to get scared again about crime. The mayor tells me so, in big, capital letters: PUT MORE COPS ON OUR STREETS.
Then again, who am I to argue?
Va-room, va-room, if you know what I mean.