Monday, September 15, 2008

Skateboard Bully

Who's the bully in this tale, me or the skateboard punk?

I lived 75 miles from my job and it was the worst job I ever had. I was wholesale live fish wrangler for 500 smelly fish tanks. One day after work at the end of the long drive home I came to a traffic jam in the small town I lived in. Finding a traffic jam in a town of 250 people didn't surprise me as I thought a farmer was driving a tractor through town.

There was 15 cars ahead of me going into town and I thought to myself; This is slow even for a tractor. For crying out loud I was only going under 10 miles a hour! I turned into the town from the highway and when I got home going down Arctic Street I saw what was holding up traffic.

Two kids on skateboards where taking there sweet time going down the highway and holding up traffic. No one honked at them or anything. I got out of my car and started yelling at them.
The dark hair boy of the two started calling me every curse word known to man.
My response is not something I'm proud of saying.

"When you turn 18, it would be better that you never find yourself alone on the same street with me."

As I walked into the house I thought; "I shouldn't have said that, he's a punk kid of 13 or 14."

Directly behind my house was a large parking lot (Large by Kingsville's standards) where the two skateboarders were heading towards when they rolled down the highway. For years the bank parking lot had been used as a hangout for teenagers and young adults to drink beer, do drugs and have sex. I never understood why the bank put up with it. Still don't but it had drove me crazy to the point I did some very extreme things to stop these in town underage parties.

Nothing worked and I only made myself the town fool in the process. I had a vision of a kid getting cut in the parking lot and thought I could change that but for all my trouble it still happened. My father's best friend oldest son got his chest cut up in the parking lot of the bank.
The boy that cut his chest loved dogs and Bobby had thrown rocks at his dog. The boy got him drunk and cut his chest after he passed out. For ten years this put an end to the parking lot parties. The boy went to jail and Bobby went to the hospital.

The day ended and night fell and the parties came back because of me. Because I threatened a young teenage boy. I would have just taken the abuse since I had some of that coming to me but when they threaten my then wife and mother that was too much. I call the Johnson County Missouri Police Department and they sent a police car out with sirens on. Before I heard the sirens the parking lot thugs drove off. The police found an empty parking lot.

An hour after the police left the parking lot filled up with the drunken punks. I looked at the gang of fools from my back yard. One of them yelled out.

"Hey Vollrath! Do you know what a police scanner is?"

Night after night the same thing happened until finally the police quit coming. It was easier to say I was a liar than to solve the problem. I asked the police not to call it in to a police car but to send one directly from the station. I asked them not to use the siren when they came but the police didn't want to know the truth. We did have a town sheriff but I had a low opinion of him.

Ray with his wife had beat up the man who would be my Brother-in -Law because they believed him to the father of their Grandson. Jeff my wife's brother didn't deserve to be beaten up by the town sheriff and his equally mean wife because my friend Tim was the man that got their daughter pregnant. Sheriff Ray's Grandson was the skateboard punk that cursed me and had rode his board down 58 highway. I didn't know that at the time.

I had a chance meeting with Sheriff Ray and his friend City Councilman Gene at the post office.
I asked them to stop what was going on at the bank parking lot.

"It can't be stopped and you're making a big deal out of nothing."

Said the dumbest Sheriff I ever knew. At that I remember that I saw this town sheriff wear his shoulder holster with gun in place at a high school basketball game. The shoulder holster was on backwards over a dress shirt. Why was I talking to this stupid criminal that beat up Jeff?

Then Gene piped up.

"You can't stop teenagers from being teenagers!"

My anger boiled up and I exploded in rant of words at the two men.

"My wife and mother are being threaten with rape and murder! I'm being threaten with murder! Cowards like you two shouldn't be part of city government! You know I'm getting death threats from people on bank property, so I'll just call the FBI and name names next time it happens!"

It never happen again. There was no more bank beer parties.

Work in progress. My in draft save isn't working all the time so I'm posting this unfinished version of the story and will hand write a version to work off of. This is half the story and it gets more complex in the second half.

Years later I was doing some artwork for a movie. Simple little job, all I had to do was draw a tattoo with washable ink on an actors arm. The script called for a primitive sub-human creature that embodied rage. The actor was a nervous wreak and keep looking at me with fear.

"Don't worry this tattoo isn't really possessed. I'm the only one possessed around here."

He looked at me like I was going to kill him.

I know it was a bad joke but I was just trying to lighten things up. I was in a barber shop and everyone was quiet as I finished the drawing on the young man's arm. I told the director goodbye and walked out.

That night I got a call from Eric the Director about Chris the actor, the man I drew the fake tattoo on.

"Chris told me to apologies to you."

"For what?"

"For all those death threats that small town gang made against you when he was a kid and he said something about you were almost his uncle. What does that mean?"

I didn't reconizes Chris as a man. A flood of memories came back to me. I remembered the first time I saw Chris. A four month old baby boy and he looked like a little version of his father Tim. A week later I was trying to talk my Brother-in-Law Jeff into signing a form so baby Chris could have his last name changed.

"I'm not leaving your apartment till you sign this Jeff! That is not your child."

Jeff finally signed it and I gave the paperwork to Jackie my then wife and Jeff's little sister.
Jackie gave the paperwork to Chris's mom.

It was Chis that I yelled at for being such a skateboard punk.

I told Eric the long story. Eric said that Chris was willing to apologies in person.

"No, what he said to you is all the apology I need. My revenge was how nervous he was in that barber's chair as I drew on his arm."

I hung up the phone and laughed.

Chris and I had only meet three times in our lives. How we had changed each others lives in those three visits.

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