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

'SHOOT-OUT IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM' have 12 comments

  1. March 30, 2015 @ 7:12 pm Anon

    What a tired wise-cracking routine that was. But, appropriate for this site. Keep your day job and only consider stand up comedy at the Empress on ‘open mike night’ as ‘the unknown comedian’


    • March 31, 2015 @ 7:47 am Billy Goat

      I suppose you’re right. I took a chance, and wrote something that was admittedly weird and also in dubious taste, so I’ll take my lumps.

      I could have just said, geez, how weird & how cowardly, a shoot-out in a laundry room. Not that drive-by shootings take any courage, or for that matter, most shootings. But a shooting in a laundry room does seem especially low. So, I said so in a weird way.

      You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take. I took a chance & missed. I could ask Marc to pull the piece, but I think it’s ok to stand, it’s just another POV in the big Vallejo conversation.


  2. March 31, 2015 @ 8:29 am Bong Hit

    Oh yes, very dangerous to talk about something like this. People being shot in their cars out in the Crest but unwilling to cooperate with the police. People being shot in welfare housing and being uncooperative with police. Yep, don’t discuss. We should all put our heads back in the sand and move along.


  3. April 2, 2015 @ 11:21 pm GW

    Billy Goat, why so glum?
    I thought your initial comment about an actual criminal act that ended with the death of the victim was right on center. A reporter could not have done a better job, you stated what you knew and the rest is personal opinion, a bit cynical with some salt sprinkled into the wound for a bit of a bite. A subtle gesture highly unusual for Vallejo where we usually deal with F bombs and descriptive body parts usually not mentioned in polite mixed company.
    You are obviously a thinker who explores the why’s and who would not do the same thing? I would be lying if I were to say that I did not have some personal thoughts about this whole thing culminating with how could someone actually hate another person enough to harm him while the victim attempted to come clean.
    Ahhh, I believe I better stop before I also receive a severe tongue lashing and the politically correct crowd runs me out of town on an imaginary rail!


  4. April 3, 2015 @ 9:00 am wharf rat

    @ GW —- yes and ditto ”this aint your everyday Goat” the Author juxtaposes the maudlin and ironic while stretching ”long” to make sense of another seemingly senseless murder while struggling with a confusing ”word picture” as Human nature is prone to do when dealing with
    imagery such as ”blood on a washroom floor” . Where wash is tumbled and agitated , as is a killer . So kudos to the ”Goat” to even try to word-paint a scene so conflicting and horrific takes real ”Goats” ………..


    • April 3, 2015 @ 6:37 pm Anon

      Rat, there is nothing “juxtaposed” (comparison) or ironic in his self described “macabre musing” (the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere. Macabre works emphasize the details and symbols of death.)
      Maybe “maudlin” (drunken) however.


  5. April 3, 2015 @ 6:40 pm Anon

    He did not word paint feces. Juxtapose that


  6. April 3, 2015 @ 10:14 pm Bong Hit

    I went to school with the black kids. Most of them I consider brothers and sisters. A few of them are are bone head savages.

    When you confront the Neanderthal people (savages), SMILE and make non-threatening gestures.

    Say, “what’s up?”.

    Wait for the response, SMILE and walk away.

    Music soothes the savage beast.


  7. April 4, 2015 @ 7:48 am wharf rat

    Throughout modern history the Neanderthal has been given a bad rap , this is due to assumptive science and a certain arrogance, promulgated by Academic ”rote”, some unchained thinkers have now concluded that in fact the Neanderthal was far more evolved than textbooks have proclaimed . Scientific bias is the ”root of modern evil” IMO , the Neanderthal was the Renaissance Man of the time , size and tool use alone substantiate this , never overpopulating and denuding their natural resources is another example of an advanced civilization or at least evolution via intelligence , something that seems to be lacking in modern Man . Shockley had it wrong while Darwin nailed it
    I think if Bong hit came across a tribe of Neanderthals they would take pity on him .


    • April 6, 2015 @ 9:01 am Anon

      Shockley was a physicist so who cares, what he thinks, about evolution. Darwin did not think that today’s modern man was a descendant of Neandrathals? Maybe Bong was using them metaphorically? Seeing as how Darwin thinks the Neandrathal became extinct they really did not have the time or tools to “overpopulated” or “denude” an area. If they were smarter they might have evolved to something moe human like?


    • April 6, 2015 @ 10:03 am Anon

      Have these “unchained thinkers” published anything or are you quoting from a blog?


    • April 6, 2015 @ 10:32 am Bong Hit

      Don’t know about the pity part but I can tell you they stole my lunch money on several occasions. Strong armed robbery seems to be their seminal evolutionary achievement.


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