Friday, May 23, 2008

Scotty, beam me up.

I woke up this morning to talk radio, like I usually do. Farmer Dave of the Big 550 starts it out, then Vic Porcelli, the whining and death and destruction of rising gas prices, the economy, the state of things falling to %$#*. By the time I get out of bed my stomach hurts. It is no wonder things are the way they are. All you have to do is listen to the news. The news alerts us to how bad it is, just in case we don't know and we can then walk around all day thinking the end is coming soon. If we didn't know things were bad, would it be that way? Too much negative stuff has entered my world lately. I won't be manipulated. Too much bullshit.

It must be because I went to bed after watching three back to back episodes of A&E 48 hour reality crime shows. You know, the ones where they profile a group of detectives solving a murder. It starts with a gory murder scene. They go out and find the perps, usually a gang banger, interview them, catch them in lies and then put the hammer down in interrogation, leaving the perp weeping. The big tough gang banger ends up sitting alone in a cold room, t-shirt in his hands wiping his eyes, because he saw his mama cry outside in the waiting room. Off to prison, a tragedy unfolds, another life wasted. I like these shows because of their no bullshit quotient. There should be more of them and they should play on big screen tv's throughout the country in the cities and places where kids and bad guys can get exposed.

I heard the other day that a guy that I tried to help about 20 years ago, ended up back in prison. His name is Scott. I grew up with Scott in Columbia Mo, back in the 70's. Scotty had a gift, he was very well liked and knew how to charm people with his quick wit and charitable personality. If you were a smoker, and most of us were unfortunately, he would be the one lighting your cigarette. He was kind of like a little brother to everyone. Most people liked him.

His brother was a friend of mine, so when Scotty and his parents showed up one day at my place of employment, I gave them the time of day. This was 1987. Scotty had been in prison for credit card fraud and was recently released. The look on his mom and dads face indicated that he was in need of a leg up and asked me if I could find it in my heart to give him a job.

Hey, the restaurant business takes all kinds. I gladly took Scotty in and gave him a job as a cook at the popular restaurant, Houlihans, downtown at Union Station. Back then we didn't have to do background checks. I vouched for him, he was like family. Back in Columbia that was the way things were. We were homeboys, and we generally watched out for one another. Scotty needed a leg up and that is what he got. He was immediatly embraced by the chef and the rest of the staff. He was required to stay at a Halfway house at the Salvation Army for the first couple months, attend parole visits and all that stuff. I made sure that he kept his plate clean of much else other than work and clean living.

He quickly rose to the top of the kitchen hierarchy in this high volume restaurant. And upon his sixth month review, was given more responsibility and a raise. He was even considered for the culinary program, where he could train and become a salaried manager someday. He was coming up on the end of his probationary period and could move in to his own housing. So since I had a room available in my house, and he seemed to behave himself pretty well, I let him have it. Hell, I also had an old truck that I didn't use, I let him use it for a while until he could get a car of his own.

Things were going great, I had a good employee, a housemate that cleaned like a woman, he was getting his act together. I was feeling pretty good about this.

That was until one day when JW, my other roommate, came to me and said that he had gotten a bill for 700 bucks on his Government issued Diners Club Card. I said that he should quit dining out so much. He said that he never got the card in the mail. Then it occurred to me. One night when I came home from work, Scotty was in the kitchen with another employee of mine, whom I didn't care for. I jumped his ass for bringing the low life in to my house, told him that the dude was bad news, will wind up in jail himself. I asked Scotty if he knew who he was messing with.

There were other times. After Scottie got a car. I came home to find a young kid sitting and watching TV in the front room. There was nobody around, and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Until I heard the movement upstairs. When Scotty and the mother of the kid emerged from his room, I understood exactly what was going on. She was somebody Scotty had picked up and brought home, didn't even know her or the kid. She was a prostitute.

Needless to say I was livid and launched again into lecture, that which would surely convince him that the path he was headed was bad and that he needs to kept things straight. I told him to get the hell out. It wasn't but a few days later that JW figured out that Scotty had stolen the credit card and used it in Sauget, time and time again, for his own benefit. I fired ole Scotty and had to call his parents for the money so JW wouldn't call the cops and land the dude back in prison. They paid up and home came Scotty, back to Columbia, back to where he was before prison. It wasn't six months later that he got a ten year sentence for doing the same thing. He has been out for less than a year.

This time I heard it was him leaving the scene of an accident, drug use and probation. All I could think was that he wanted to go back to prison, hell, he must "be somebody" there. That is all I can figure. I think his mom will cry when she finds out, again.

Diesel is over 4 bucks a gallon. I sure am glad that is the worst thing I have to deal with.

1 comment:

Boz said...

Self-destruction is a passion too many people have. Watched it in my own father. It's their ticket out. Sad stuff.