Wired868 abandons satire to go straight for the forehead in this new series called: “An offbeat look at…”
Scene: A police station interrogation room. A young man wearing handcuffs looks across the table at a police sergeant and constable.
Young man: Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.
Sergeant: What? Oh… Officer, remove his handcuffs.
Young man: (rubbing his free wrists): Nah, man. I didn’t mean the handcuffs. I read that somewhere. Dais a heights, eh? You hear what I say? I think he talking about life on the whole man.
Sergeant: Listen, fellah, there is only way you tasting freedom again; and that is if you answer all our questions truthfully. You understand?
Young man: Freedom? You could give me freedom? How you could give me something you don’t have for yourself?
Sergeant: I know when my shift done, I going home. What about you? Where you will be? Eh? Trying to stop them fellahs from entering your exit? We will see who free.
Young man: But you have to come right back to the station tomorrow. And then the day after that. And the day after that. You free? Stay home for a week next week nah and see what happen. Or decide not to renew yuh car insurance.
Why you don’t forget to pay your child support?
Constable: Boy, hush yuh blasted mouth! Have some respect!
(The two lawmen glare at the young man)
Sergeant: Young fellah, there is only one reason you are here with us and not in a cell right now. You can help us with our investigation or you can go to Remand Yard and wait for your case to call. And you’re looking at five years easy.
So what you want to do, talk or go to jail?
Young man: You want me to snitch? To sell out?
Sergeant: We want to stop drug trafficking in your community. We want you to give us a name or two that can help us make a breakthrough.
Young man: And what will happen when I do that?
Sergeant: We will check them out and, if the information is good, we will let you go.
Young man: Just this one time?
Young man: Yeah. Sure. (He chuckles) A man told me that a few years ago; I still working for him today. (Another chuckle) But at least he pays me. What allyuh giving me? I come in here with one asshole boss and if I do what you say I will end up leaving with two. So how that making me better off?
Sergeant: Look, young man, we can help you out of a life of crime. In fact, we are your best chance to get off the streets safely.
Young man: But you in crime just like me. You feed off the things we does do on the streets; and you does contribute too…
Sergeant: You calling me crooked?
Young man: No. Crooked police don’t take prisoners. Crooked police fraid court like vampire fraid sunlight!
Sergeant: So how are we contributing to crime then?
Young man: Well, allyuh does keep down the number ah people who doing what we do. So that makes what I do profitable. If everybody was doing it, how I woulda eat? How we coulda ever get the streets manageable if anybody coulda get in this business with no problems? We need allyuh help to keep the supply chain small because we couldn’t get rid of all that competition by weself. If allyuh wasn’t doing that, all now I mighta be working ten days.
And what about allyuh charging extra to protect people’s business and party and thing? And taking money as security advisors? How that different to when we do it? The police is just another gang, star.
Constable: Don’t talk rubbish! We are taking criminals off the street. As much as we can… You and your friends selling death to your own brothers and sisters! All allyuh doing is killing poor people like yuhself!
Young man: So, tell me, Mister Policeman, when it have car accident, allyuh does question Neal and Massy? When somebody get lung cancer, allyuh does picket Du Maurier? If what I selling does kill people, I wouldn’t have no customers all now. What stupidness you trying to sell a big man?!
(A scuffle ensues as the constable lunges across the table; only to be quickly restrained by the sergeant.)
Young man: Cool yuhself nah, hoss.
Sergeant: People like you care nothing for your communities and your brothers and sisters. We are the ones sacrificing our lives here to clean up the streets and save you all from your own selves…
Young man: But, officer, how you could clean up the streets by arresting the suppliers when the buyers still out there with their cash in hand? Once somebody wants something and willing to pay for it, you don’t think somebody will take the selling wuk sooner or later? It don’t matter if is a car or a woman or drugs or whatever. If you have an itch and you have money, there will always be somebody you could pay to scratch it.
Sergeant: Thanks for the morality lessons, eh, young fellah. Yuh bright. Let’s see if you will still be bright in five years’ time. You ready to do five years? You think you could last that long in dey? You think anybody will miss you?
Young man: And if I help you, how long till people work out what happened? Eh? This will be a one-off or I have to snitch outside there too? Because them fellahs not going to put me in a cell with three square meals yuh know; is a coffin where I will end up!
Sergeant: But we can help you, put you in a witness protection programme, if you want.
Young man: (Sucks his teeth loudly). Where allyuh could hide me? What will happen to my family when I disappear? And all allyuh crooked police friend, allyuh don’t think they will find me eventually?
Sergeant: (Getting to his feet) Put the handcuffs back on him. We can’t help him. He wants to know what jail like! Let him find out.
Young man: You feel you better than me just because you have a pension? Because you have a uniform?! The only difference between me and you is that I know exactly what I doing and why.
Constable: Don’t drop the soap…
Young man: You could say whatever you want. Once people buying, we selling!