by Billy Goat
Yesterday there was a shooting in the laundry room of an apartment building a couple blocks away.
A neighbor heard the news on a scanner, and called to tell me the shooter was on the loose. Cop cars with sirens came flying over the hill, and soon an ambulance went back the other way, also with sirens. Alas, the cop’s prognosis at the scene was that the guy was probably “10-45” – cop-speak for, “he’s a goner,” and in fact, the victim died. After not quite an hour, the sirens went silent, the scanner chatter quiet. It’s not clear if they caught the shooter, or if the trail had just gone cold.
I have very few facts about the shooting, and before I share my macabre musings, I will preface my comments by saying that they are in Extremely Poor Taste. Guns Aren’t Funny, shootings less so, and many of the wrong people seem to have guns, and use them with alarming abandon. We have too much senseless violence, and too many people turn to guns to settle their problems, a quick fix for a fast food culture.
Still, I just have to wonder what kind of fight ends up in a shoot-out in the laundry room. Come on guys, have some dignity, would you? Did you track someone to the laundry room, or did the fight start there? I can only imagine the ruckus. “Hey, I get next dibs on that dryer!” or maybe, “G-D it, put those quarters back, I have just enough!” Was it laundry gone wrong, like “Oh man, you didn’t separate the colors, your jeans stained my sheets & towels”? We haven’t had sweater weather, but shrinking a cashmere sweater would certainly inspire a tongue-lashing that could escalate.
I can also imagine the utter frustration of a broken coin machine, or the washing machine that takes your money but doesn’t work. If you’re facing a mountain of dirty laundry, who’s to say one of us wouldn’t snap at that moment? Good thing most of us aren’t packin’ in the laundry room.
But if it was just tracking someone to the laundry room, that’s just pitiful – and unfair. What’s the other guy gonna go, fight back with Oxi-Clean? “Put down that gun before I spray you with Fabreeze?” Whatever happened to the dignity of the duel at dawn, walking off 10 paces? Or how about the Old Western style of fighting, “This town isn’t big enough for the both of us,” a face-off on Main Street? How weird is it to be packin’ in the laundry room? I guess you’d hide the gun in your laundry basket, as detergent would mess up the gears.
Prohibition-era mobsters weren’t dignified, but at least they had creativity. Hiding guns in violin cases shows some flair, and the running boards on those old cars made for dramatic get-aways.
There have been shoot-outs at the OK Corral, and bank robber shoot-outs – but a shooting at the Happy Suds Fluff-n-Fold? That’s a new low. Make it a fair fight; don’t pick on a guy in the laundry room. And if you do want to shoot each other, take it outside, and far away, please. Plus, think of your future as a career criminal. How’s it gonna play at the Big House? “Yeah, I took the guy down – in the laundry room!” That has sissy written all over it, you’ll never get clean of that one.
Note: All opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin