Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mall Cop

I'm naked and listening to Tusk by Fleetwood Mac, like any sophisticated person would do on a Friday Evening.
Suddenly there is a banging on the barn doors of my van. WTF?
"COULD YOU COME OUTSIDE, SIR!"
"Hold on, hold on," I say with annoyance and grief in my tone. I slowly get dressed, slowly put my Batman underoos on and my shorts. I figure that's dressed so I sit by the window (the curtains are all covering the windows) until the guy bangs on the side of the van again.
"SIR! CAN I HAVE A WORD WITH YOU."
"Just a minute!"
At this point I should've gotten the camera out because what followed was a classic encounter with the Target Mall Cops. I'm stalling to make sure he regrets every minute he wasted before he dropped out of Community College.



I push aside the curtains and open the screen window. It's a punk ass mall cop with buttoned up white shirt and fake badge. The absolute scum of the earth. I swear Paparazzi will be allowed into Heaven before Mall Cops. Every corporate entity now employs an army of unarmed losers to drive around in circles and be parking lot Nazis. His orange lights flashing on his company SUV. He drives in circles all night long and takes pictures of check point symbols on light poles to prove he is doing something for his $7.50/hr. This is the most excitement he's had in weeks so I intend to make the most of it.

"Sorry it took me so long, I was in the master bedroom. Can I help you?"
The tone I use saying this is absolutely priceless considering the circumstances. I'm half naked, in a van, listening to music with a DC powered fan blowing my gray chest hair around. It's 11 PM. Curtains made of surfing shorts hide the entire inside of my van. I'm in the corporate/neon heart of Corpus Christi, Texas with a Chuck e Cheese's, Target, Hobby Loggy, GNC, Brake Check, Burger King all within sight. The tone I use is one of pure perplexity, like I have no idea why I'm being bothered, like he's found me in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness to bang on my van.
"Step outside, Sir."
"I can hear you just fine. Can you hear me? When I say 'Bingo' you repeat it as fast as you can. That way we'll know...ready?"
"Sir..."
"Naw. I'd have to go all the way back to get my shoes."
He gives up but keeps his cool. My tone has him flustered but he's mostly surrendered any individuality or self-determination so he doesn't crack a smile. This is a professional Mall Cop with no aspiration for anything more that being a corporate dirtbag. He's a grown man, an adult, and he bangs on vans and says...
"Sir, you can not sleep here."
"Sleep? I was playing strip chess [indicates my naked chest]...obviously. Losing. Again."
"You've been parked here since 7PM."
"I'm a customer. I'm a VIP. They didn't tell you? It says so right on the bag they gave me. "
I pretend to hunt around for the plastic bag with the tired marketing slogan.
"That doesn't mean you can stay the night here."
"Wha? Since when? I want to talk to the person in charge."
"I'll call the police, if you prefer."
"There's no need to get them involved. Listen, I'll go pick up some trash to earn my keep."
"No."
"I'm pretty handy. I can fix that sign that says, 'Asia uffet'"
"No."
"Alright, I'll get my paint gun and touch up the parking space lines."
"No, Sir."
"You drive a hard bargain...."
And here I actually am the first to break character because the image of what I'm about to say flashes across my brain before I say it and I half laugh the words...
"Ok, I'll get my hair net and restock the meat freezer."
There's no law that says you can't verbally fuck with telemarketers or Mall Cops. I do both whenever I get the chance. But the Mall Cop doesn't laugh. Nothing can break his withered soul. Not even the fact he's chatting with a half naked gyspy through a window that has "1969" painted in stained glass paint on it. But he's gone completely to the Dark Side and although I am the antithesis of Corporate Paradigm he only sees me as an enemy. Another fat fuckwad rolls up on his pathetic Segway with a bicycle helmet. The dude has more of a chance of hurting himself riding that thing than actually combating crime.
"Blah blah blah, since 7 PM, Blah blah blah...." says the Mall Cop.
"Blah blah blah.. Police...blah blah..." says the other Mall Cop.

I've heard it many times before and I shrug. In Labrador people were interested in each other. In Maine they banged on the window and told me to get off the street because they needed the parking space. In Missouri they put hateful notes on my windshield. In Texas they call the police who will try to charge me with some cold case abduction and murder. My license plate says, "Live Free or Die" and I take it seriously. I'll eventually do both.

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.