Be glad, Basalt
September 3, 2009
Regarding recent Bistro belligerence (“Cops’ and critic’s perspectives differ on incident at bar,” Aug. 31, 2009, The Aspen Times) it seems to me that we have a situation that further shows the town of Basalt to actually be a fairly calm, mellow place, give or take an AK-47 attack on the Sev.
For example, here in the Central Valley of California, where I have somehow washed up as some tide-spat economic detritus, the 5-0 (cops, in Colorado-speak) would never come into a bar without a prison riot squad leading the way, and for good reason.
The Surenos and Nortenos have displaced the Crips and Bloods as the Gang de Jour out here, and they’ve set up shop at every dingy speak easy from Gilroy to Paso Robles. The other night I went to play bingo at my neighborhood pub, Mortimer’s, and witnessed no less than 20 felony acts of hooliganism, including the unfortunate rape of an innocent artichoke.
Here, the heat knows that the concept of community policing went out the door the minute that teenagers started turning up shot through with more holes than the Bronco’s D-line. The gangs here are sadists, unreasonable killers of man who would just as soon wave to a cop walking through his bar as he would shoot him, and everyone else in it.
So be glad, Basalt. Be glad that your cops ride bikes and wear slacks and not tactical battle armor to do their mellow rounds. Old Lou down at the Colorado gate can tackle the highway trash with his tanks and artillery platoons. But beware the creep of these southern gangs. They make the fool who took offense to Bruno’s truck stop Border Patrol hat look like the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.
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And for you, Guy Who Sat at the Bar Howling at the Cops About Some Rancid Old Beef: Bravo! It is a free country yet, and there is no better box from which to lather your deepest protestations than a barstool … especially one with hot trout nearby. (Which, by the way, as this gent proved, also serves as your last anchor in times of real trouble. Never give up your stool freely – even if the brutes are smacking hell out of your weary armpits.)