Monday, August 24, 2009

Smart People

In a dimly lit garage, Franci and Chris sat. It was around one in the morning and something had to be done.
Out of all the ideas in the world that two junior high kids could have, this one sprang up:
"Let's go steal some cigarettes!" Chris said.
A fifteen minute walk later, they were across the street from the victim. Its name was QFC.
"Here's the deal, we go in separately and snag 'em. Then we'll meet back here." Chris said.
That was it. That was the plan. What creative minds. What smarts.
So, off they went; Francis first, Chris would enter later.
As Chris entered he noticed two great things: it seemed to be that only two men were working that night, and second - there were no customers.
As Chris walked, he had two contradictory thoughts running through his mind: the first was to not look suspicious, the second was to not look suspicious by trying not to look suspicious.
He looked suspicious.
The cigarettes were located up front, near the check outs. But on this glorious evening the checkers were doing whatever checkers do in aisles with those guns.
So, Chris sauntered towards the cigarettes and noticed Francis walking away. Chris then floundered for awhile and at last grabbed a pack of Newports.
Great job Chris, go for the gold.
Chris then ventured to find Francis who was by then over in produce.
Francis beamed a smile at Chris and patted his jacket.
"Three packs of Camels with free lighters in each." Francis said.
"I'm gonna buy a coke, you walkout while I'm getting rung up." The cigarettes were in Chris' pocket.
Francis was ignorant enough to put huge three-pack boxes of cigarettes in a flimsy Nike jacket. The cigarettes bulged out and beckoned "I'm stealing! I'm stealing!"
So, Chris went to the only open register and began the ritual of purchasing a good from a grocery store owned by a faceless company.
As Frances walked towards the door, the revelation of the century came to Chris.
"Hey, Francis! How ya doing?" Chris yelled.
"Hey, Chris - later."
"Wait!" The cashier screamed.
I'll stop here. What in God's name was Chris thinking by actually pointing his friend out? Here's what: It made it seem less like they came in together. Chris had by now made stupidity into somewhat of an art form.
Chris began running with the clerk at his heels and Francis in front.
"You better stop right there or your just gonna make it harder!" The clerk yelled.
"C'mon, Chris! Run!" Francis yelled.
Chris ran like a madman chasing the moon. He had no clue where he was going.
The clerk was behind him. Francis was out of sight. The thought that kep going through Chris' head was when he should stop running? He was way ahead of the clerk, but when would he know the clerk gave up? He couldn't look back.
Then it happened.
Chris had tripped over a bush. In the process he fucked up his arm. He lay on the street listening to the gradually increasing sound of the clerk's footfalls.
Chris was fucked.
Then, the only good idea of the whole night dawned on him: he took the cigarettes out of his pocket with his bad arm and threw.
They flew about a foot. Chris looked at the pack of smokes. They sat right next to him and seemed to be laughing. "Tee, hee, hee."
As the clerk came towards him, Chris began wailing to draw attention away from the Newports.
"I have no sympathy for you." The clerk said, then grabbed Chris by his good arm for the pilgrimage back to QFC.
They arrived at QFC. The police had already been called.
"Who's your friend?" Chris said nothing as he got frisked for anything he might have stolen.
"You didn't steal anything?" The clerk asked.
"No." Chris thought about the Newports n the street and held back laughter.
An older couple walked by and chastised Chris as he sat n the floor of QFC.
"Little bastard oughta be locked up!" The fat, beer-smelling man said and the woman who looked liked a five-cent hooker giggled.
To add insult to injury, two uniformed women came in. One was a cop, one was not. The latter was an Explorer cop. Now, Chris couldn't even sound cool when he told the story to the many parka-wearing "I wanna be in a gang" youths he hung out with.
Furthermore, she wasn't only an Explorer cop. She had gone to school and was friends with both Francis' and Chris' sisters. So, when they told her that Chris had called the boy Francis, she immediately knew who Francis was.
So, with his rights read to him and in the back seat of a police car, the cop and the half-a-cop drove to Francis' home.
All the while, Chris was thinking about how it was going to look when he got away and some how, magically, Francis got busted.
The search light on the top of the cop car beamed into the Layne living room where Francis' sister, Alice, was having a slumber party.
Luckily, for Chris, they didn't explore the house any further. Instead they drove Chris home.
After a bit of knocking, Chris mom opened the door to display the most outrageous afro on a white person that even Chris had seen.
The police briefed Chris' mom on what happened. Chris was never convicted of anything. Francis and Chris were separated by their parents for the duration of a month.
The next day, Chris went to the doctor for his arm. The doctor was located near the QFC.
Telling his mother, as they waited for the appointment, that he was going to stop in at the drug store, Chris meandered towards the bush which had blown the whole escapade.
Later, he smoke the Newports in his mother's room as he cleaned and listened to the new "Nirvana" group from Seattle.

I guess you can all guess who Chris really was. That's right - Alan Iverson.
Good night.

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