The Right Coast

January 08, 2004
Brits unarmed
By Tom Smith

Those poor Brits. Mark Steyn on their predicament versus us well-armed Amuricins.

Just by way of contrast, here how's things work in my neighborhood. I would be the first to admit it is not normal. Behind the house we used to live in (in the same development) is the abandoned Peg Leg Mine. It was the classic attractive nuisance, if you can call a hole in a mountain surrounded by broken glass and empty beer bottles attractive. All manner of strange people were drawn to the mine. Frequently they discovered the short cut up our long driveway. One day a truck straight out the Beverly Hillbillies drove up the drive. Out poured at least a dozen people. How do I put this. They each looked like Crumb or some other nasty underground cartoonist decided to draw unflattering stereotypes of every sort of person from the lower depths. I had never seen so many canted teeth and unusual ears in my life. Every racial group was represented and represented badly. They parked on our property. They walked up to the mine, leaving the wimin behind. I told them to leave. She said "Go ahead and call the sheriff. It won't be the first time." They were, as my 7 year old would put it, weally scawy.

I did not call the sheriff. A story on why I did not call the sheriff some other time. Suffice it to say the worry with calling the San Diego Sheriff's Department is that a deputy will give himself a heart attack attempting to exit the vehicle. So I called my landlord, who lived next door. Former rock and pro sports promoter and now expatriate, Gary as I will call him (that being his name) soon appeared in my driveway armed with several of his many dogs, a shotgun, and two pistols. He looked worse than his usual ten miles of bad road. Their conversation went like this; "Whaddiya doin' here?" "Lookin' at the mine." "Well you know better than that. Now git." They got, with remarkable alacrity. Pretty good for a man who was too to cheap fix a screen. When I told him, "Gary, the garage is full of rats," he said "My garage is full of rats. Rats are no big deal. My Rolls is full of rats." He had a Rolls Royce. Nice, but for a dented door he was too cheap to fix. Its heavily insulated body was full of rats. We finally moved out and bought a house only a few doors away.

OK, one more bit. The last big event at Gary's house happened one morning when I awoke to a loud voice saying "Come out with your hands up, we have a search warrant!" Groggy with sleep, I assumed the kids had turned on the TV downstairs on a school morning, strictly forbidden, and went downstairs, fuming. The TV was off. The voice was coming from outside. Like any good homeowner, I wandered out to the driveway in my boxer shorts, and there on Gary's hill was parked a big black SWAT van, along with at least 6 officers in full combat gear, M-16s, black fatigues, the whole bit. Buff young people wearing DEA flack jackets milled around on my street. Some loud noises, maybe a door being broken down, followed. A man in his shorts who needed to read Dr. Atkins stumbled out of Gary's house and was thrown to the ground. I put on some clothes and went down to chat up the DEA. They treated me like the nosy civilian I was, and would tell me nothing, except to watch the news that night. One agent said "These houses are nice. How much do they go for?" "About $50,000 less than they did an hour ago." The news that night announced that several big busts had been made in San Diego as part of a nationwide crackdown on internet sellers of date rape drugs. I hope Gary had nothing to do with it. He had rented out his big house and was living in the Philippines.