Friday, September 9, 2011

The Dispatcher


"I can't stress this enough – do not bring a loaded weapon."
"Got it. Don't load gun." Victor smiled at James.
"Not a joke. For one, you can say that you had no intention of killing anyone. For two, you won't kill anyone. Because that's what we want, right? Nice little bank job, nobody dies, you run out of there with money, so forth, so on."
"Got it. Don't kill. Run out with money." Victor slapped James on the knee.
"You're a funny guy."
"I am a funny guy."
Victor and James were inside James' shop in the back of his house. The shop was a hobby room for James who planned capers and sold drugs. James was a hobbyist.
"Now look, go for the drawers and leave. You don't need the safe, the deposit boxes or any of that shit. You just want the few grand lying around. You're gonna make your money on frequency, not quality of the job."
"I get it. But that just means I add up the risk ratio."
"Not really. In and out robbers always leave the bank. You will always leave a bank. You just have to worry about the aftermath. But since there isn't going to be an aftermath, you've got nothing to worry about." James knew little to nothing about what he was talking about. But if Victor was able to score the small amount of money James had in mind, James would be able to pay down some of his credit card debt, and that made sense to James who had no risk whatsoever involved in the current project he was discussing.
"I guess that makes sense." Victor was an idiot.
To be fair, Victor was a junky. And a junky will do anything for a fix.
"So, tomorrow around one, you enter the bank. Then what?"
"I pull out the gun and yell 'No one fucking move, this is a robbery!'"
"Just like in Pulp Fiction."
"Just like in Pulp Fiction. How much money exactly are we talking about?"
"Few thousand. You keep three, I keep two."
"Yeah, but you're not really doing anything." James winced to himself. He was fairly certain Victor was dumb enough to go along, but there were these little breaks in his personality that expelled some thought processes that James wasn't initially aware of.
"Victor – would you be doing this if it wasn't for me?"
"And was this my idea?"
"Alright then."
The two said goodbye and Victor walked through the yard and through the house.
James' wife was inside cooking.
"Something smells good."
"That's pot roast. We're having it for dinner – would you like to stay?"
"Can't. I have to get up early and rob a bank." Victor then walked out of the house and into his car and drove home.

"Why did Victor say he was going to rob a bank?" Joyce was in the shop with a carrot in one hand and a piece of celery pointed at James.
"He's just joking."
"Victor's too stupid to make jokes."
"He made a few just now."
"What kind of jokes?"
"What do you mean what kind of jokes?"
"I mean, WHAT kind of jokes?"
"Like, just like…he was joking."
"Are you robbing a bank?"
James winced. "No, no. Victor is robbing the bank."
"And you have nothing to do with it, besides knowing about it, which makes you an accomplice."
"Yes. I know about it. But the guy's gonna do what he's gonna do. He's a junky. Junky's do dumb things – am I responsible for him buying junk, just because I know he's going to buy junk?"
"Don't play dumb."
"I'm playing smart. By juxtaposing his junk buying with his bank robbering, I'm proving a point that I'm innocent of being an accomplice. That's playing smart."
"Then you're a dumb shit."
"I was smart enough not to rob the bank."
"And I'm smart enough not to try to call someone with this carrot. That don't make me smart."
"Not like in the biblical sense."
"That doesn't make sense."
"Yeah it does."
"No it doesn't."
James grabbed Joyce by the waist and pulled her to him. "Look, let's just go inside, have some sex and –"
"This ain't a movie!" Joyce slapped James across the face with the carrot. "You are going to" she continued to slap him with the carrot "call the police and tell them" the carrot flew out of her hand and then she started in with the celery "that your dumb shit friend, Victor, is going to rob a bank and you want no part of it!"
James was on the floor now, shielding his face from the celery. "OK. OK. I'm just – quit hitting me with the celery!"
"Fuck you, call the police."
"K, just stop it."

James called 911 as Joyce continued yelling at him.

POLICE: Hello, 911.
JAMES: I'd like to report
JOYCE: He'd like to report a fucking idiot
JAMES: Cool it, baby. I'd like to report a robbery.
POLICE: Are you at the scene of the robbery?
JAMES: No. It hasn't happened yet.
JOYCE: Why don’t you just tell him not to do it.
JAMES: Because you told me to call the police!
JOYCE: Well, you shoulda called Victor first, you dumb shit!
JAMES: What the – what do you –
POLICE: Sir, where is the robbery going to take place.
JAMES: Bank of America. Gilman. Issaquah. One tomorrow.
POLICE: Do you know the person who is robbing the bank?
JAMES: I don’t know now. Can I change my mind? Do you tape these calls? Do you track me?
JOYCE: You stupid fuck! Here I'm making
POLICE: Yes, sir. We are taping this conversation and we have you at 56th Street in Renton.
JAMES: Fuck.
JOYCE: You dumb fuck! Fucking making a roast for a dumb fuck!
POLICE: What is the full name of the person robbing the bank, sir?
JAMES: Look, if I tell you, I'm not going to be in any trouble am I?
POLICE: Sir, I can't answer that, I'm only a 911 dispatcher.
JAMES: You aren't the police?
JAMES: Can I talk to like a detective or something.
DISPATCHER: Sure, sir.
JAMES: Thank you.
DISPATCHER: Before I transfer you, I'd like know if I provided useful information and help during your time of emergency?
JAMES: Well, that's nice. You did a great job.
JOYCE: What the fuck are you talking about?
DISPATCHER: Thank you, sir. It's my job to help. I'm transferring you over to the Issaquah police station.
JAMES: Thanks.
JAMES: You really just…I mean, "Hello, police" – that's nice.
POLICE: Can I help you, sir?
JAMES: Sure, I've never really talked to a police officer on the phone before.
POLICE: What's your problem, sir?
JAMES: Well, I have this friend.
POLICE: Legal.
JAMES: And he's a junky.
POLICE: Illegal.
JAMES: And he's going to rob a bank.
POLICE: Really illegal.
JAMES: Are you really the police?
POLICE: What did I say when I answered the phone, silly?
JAMES: You don't sound like the police?
POLICE: What? Am I supposed to be all gruff and like Hello, this is the police, we have guns.?
JAMES: No, you just sound…
JAMES: Well, you're putting words in my mouth now.
POLICE: I am gay. You have a problem with that?
JAMES: Police can be gay?
POLICE: Yea - us!
JAMES: But I thought there was that don't ask and snitch.
POLICE: Don’t ask, don't tell?
JAMES: Yes. I thought there was…that.
POLICE: That's the army, dummy.
JOYCE: Are you talking to a fag policeman?
JAMES: Cool it, Joyce.
POLICE: You better check that bitch.
JAMES: What?
POLICE: You heard me.
JAMES: You can't talk to me like that!
POLICE: Hello? I'm the police and I'm gay, I can do anything I want.
JAMES: What? What the fuck?
JOYCE: Tell that fag to fuck off!
POLICE: If you don’t tell your wife to cool out –
JAMES: Honey, cool off. Now look, is there someone else I can talk to?
POLICE: Nope, the buck stops at gay.
JAMES: OK, so this guy's gonna – this isn't a joke right? You are the police?

"He hung up on me." James scratched his head.
Joyce was trying to fit the pot roast in the microwave after several attempts at giving a fuck about it.
"Gay policeman. What's this world coming to?"
"Fuck that. What do I do now? I'm an accomplice. I reported the crime…but they don’t have my name. Do I call back?"
"You ain't calling that gay policeman back. Uh uh. No way. That's just bad luck right there."
"Gay police are bad luck?"
Joyce closed the door on the microwave, then used her shoulder to latch it. "You hear of a gay policeman before?"
"Then something's fishy. Someone's fucking with you. Call nine eleven again."
"Nine eleven. Never forget."
Both of them became silent and bowed their heads.
In unison: "Never forget."

DISPATCHER: 911, what's your emergency?
JAMES: Hi. I called back about ten minutes ago and I was reporting a robbery.
DISPATCHER: Yeah, I remember you.
JAMES: Oh, you're the same guy?
DISPATCHER: No, but we all listen to the calls when we're bored.
DISPATCHER: Yeah. So what seems to be your problem now? Didn't Issaquah help you out?
JAMES: Um…are you gay?
JAMES: OK. Well, this gay guy answered at the police station and I think maybe you guys transferred to the wrong number or something, because I know there's no gay policemen.
DISPATCHER: There are plenty of gay policemen – haven't you seen the Village People?
JAMES: Is that a TV show?
JAMES: Hmmm…doesn't ring a bell.
DISPATCHER: They were a group of gay men that dressed as laborers. One was an Indian.
JAMES: Don't they call them Native Americans now?
DISPATCHER: Are you black?
JAMES: What the fuck?
DISPATCHER: No. I'm just saying, do you call yourselves African Americans?
JAMES: Only in front of white people.
DISPATCHER: OK, well, I'm 1/18th Indian and we don't call ourselves Native Americans.
JAMES: 1/18th? You're barely Indian. I have more Indian in my…what's that one corn starch that –
JAMES: I have more Indian in my Argo.
JAMES: I don’t even remember what we were talking about. Wait- so, that gay guy hung up on me.
DISPATCHER: Wonder why.
JAMES: Look, this isn't a joke. I want to report a crime, get put down as not an accomplice, and –
DISPATCHER: Are you making demands?
JAMES: No. I'm just…trying to call nine eleven.
DISPATCHER: Never forget.
JAMES: Never forget.
DISPATCHER: Well, I can put you through again, but I would imagine the same police officer will answer the phone.
JAMES: That's fine.
DISPATCHER: Maybe be nicer this time?
JAMES: K. Fine.

POLICE: Hello, police again.
JAMES: Fuck.
POLICE: It's me, cutey!
JAMES: Look, lets start over. I want to report a robbery that hasn't taken place yet.
POLICE: You're just all kinds of psycho.
JAMES: I'm not psycho. I'm just trying to report a robbery, so that I don’t get listed as an accomplice.
POLICE: Oh, you can still get in trouble.
JAMES: Really?
POLICE: Sure, if you plotted with the robber.
JAMES: What if I stop him?
POLICE: We'll still investigate.
JAMES: K. If I stop him from robbing the bank, is there anyway I can get into trouble?
POLICE: Are you black?
JAMES: The fuck?
POLICE: Just joking. No. If you stop him, then we can't prove that you ever really intended to rob the bank. Or something. I'm new here.
JAMES: Can someone just tell me what to do?
POLICE: Calm down, sir. Just stop your friend from robbing the bank.
JAMES: OK. OK. Thank you.
POLICE: Stay sweet.
JAMES: Sure.

"He's not answering his phone." James was trying to eat the rubber roast his wife had just served him.
"Go over there." Joyce was trying to eat the roast too, but was trying harder as she had to act like it was delicious.
"This is good roast."
"Thank you, sweetheart." Joyce wondered if James had gone insane.
"OK. I'll go over there. Do you mind if I save the rest of this for tomorrow? I should probably get over there now."
Joyce lifted a brow. "You don't like the roast, do you?"
"I love the roast, I just need to stop Victor from robbing the bank, like the gay cop said."
"Don't they prefer homosexual?"
"I don't know. I'll be back soon." James got up from the table and grabbed his coat.
"I'll leave the roast in the oven for you."
"The real oven?"
"No, the microwave."
"You cooked this in the microwave?"
"Is there a problem with that?"
"No – yes, that's why it tastes so bad!"
"So, you didn't like it? Is that it? You talk to a gay dude on the phone and you decide that you are cultured now? Throwing on airs!?"
"What are you talking about? And why do you keep bringing up the gay – homosexual cop?"
"I didn't. You did." Joyce raised an eyebrow that would lead to all sorts of bad, like the fabled butterfly.
"Why'd you raise your eyebrow?"
"You think I'm gay?"
"I'm just saying you didn't like the pot roast."
"That makes me gay?"
"No, that makes you a dumb shit! This pot roast is breathtaking." Joyce managed to swallow another wad of rubber.
"I didn't say I didn't like it. I just said…you cooked it in the microwave. It would have been a lot better if you cooked it in the oven."
"Then why aren't you finishing it?"
"Cuz I got to go stop Victor."
"Finish first."
"Fine!" James threw the coat on the floor, sat down and forked a large piece of meat into his mouth and began chewing. The meat was like silly putty.
And then in the total silence that followed came the eyebrow again. "So, you gonna call your little cop friend back?"
James rose from his chair, pointed a finger at Joyce and

DISPATCHER: This is 911, what's your emergency?
JOYCE: My husband is choking!
DISPATCHER: Is this the African American man who called earlier about the homosexual policeman?
JOYCE: How'd you know all – he's turning blue!
DISPATCHER: OK, calm down – you need to Heimlich him.
JOYCE: Is that a gay thing?
DISPATCHER: No. You need to wrap your arms around him from behind –
JOYCE: That's a gay thing! You all is gay!
DISPATCHER: Mrs.! You need to wrap your arms around him, and then exert pressure on his sternum.
JOYCE: I ain't doing that!
DISPATCHER: Please, Mrs., this is not a gay thing.
JOYCE: Tell me again? Wait, he's not breathing. He's not breathing!
DISPATCHER: An ambulance is on the way.
JOYCE: Oh, God. He's not breathing!
DISPATCHER: Wrap your arms –
JOYCE: No more gay shit! This is for real!

And with that, James died.

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