#747 AUGUST 30, 2013
Copyright 2013 FRANCIS DIMENNO
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER EIGHT: PART SEVEN: THE FALL
Now, Tom Aston was a jolly well bent copper all right, just like most of the breed–a known jelly-fish in the presence of men bigger than he himself but had powerful heaps of silver to work his will. He was a slobby, fat red-faced man—known boozer—always talked like the sort of loudmouth you’d hear in a whiskey bar–and his left profile resembled the Rock of Gibraltar—and his right profile had that gashly scar all up and down his cheek–and he wore an Elk tooth on a gold chain and let me tell you this–he shore did like to see his pitcher in the papers. He also like nothing better than to use his big fists to pound weakfish into jelly down t’ the station house–at about two in the morning you could hear their screams and the bluff old devil shouting Talk, Talk Damn Ye Talk until his voice was a weary croak, and th’ Looie took over with the sandbag and the rubber glove with lead pellets in the fingers and other nifty tricks the bulls used to get only the answers they want to hear and you could hear the whimpers and dyin’ wails of the unfortunate “suspect” a-ringin’ in your ears for days if you was unfortunate enough to be in the calaboose warming up the cell next to his’n. I can still hear the lyin’ rogue shoutin’ “Don’t you know it’s a federal offense to lie to a police officer? You’re a three time loser—we got the goods on ye this time, Boyo–we can make this charge stick—it’s up the Salt River for you—could mean twenty years in the Bridewell—how do ye like them apples?”
Now, this manner of treatment was usually reserved only for those known yekkmen as worked free-lance and refused to split the loot or make with the filthy lucre when the bulls hauled them in on trumped up charges.
Cap’n Aston was a good sight gentler with civilians—handed them the old gay patter about Good Citizens Always Cooperatin’ With The Police Who Are Only There to Protect Fine Upstandin’ Pillars of the Community Such As Yourself. “You do want to help us out, don’t you? Just answer a few questions and we’ll have you back in your nice warm house in less than half an hour and your neighbors none the wiser. By the way–I know your Boss—he’s a big man in the Elks—tell him I said Hello—and so on and on.”
Usually the white-faced Feeb—who never has sense enough to holler for a mouthpiece and then just clam the hell up—he’ll blurt out everything he ever done since the day he stole an apple from a Dago fruit stand at the age of seven back in 1877, thinking that the nice policeman will appreciate his honesty, not knowin’ that police usually see that sort of behavior as a sign of sheer stupidity—the sign of a man who can be pushed around and will confess to practically anything.
But Aston would be well-chuffed when a Greenie started spilling the beans—he valued his reputation as an interrogator.
Tom Aston was most of all a proud man. I heerd him brag on more than one occasion that he could break a suspect in nothing flat—get him to sing like a canary—get him so he’d give away secrets he didn’t even know he had—without the cosh or the sandbag—but just with his patented line of soothing bullshit, doubletalk, and bafflegab.
Meanwhile, if you was a bad one and shrewd enough to play to his sense of pride, you could confess to being a mere recreant without actually incriminatin’ yourself for any actual act of wrongdoing. Then you could usually waltz off with a C-note and a warning. Aston did not give a good God damn what you might of done—just so long as he saw green, he would never see red, even if it was the very blood of the martyred Savior His own self.
He played a pretty swell shakedown racket on his lonesome, did Cap’n Aston, ‘specially whenever he felt his wallet was lookin’ puny after a night out on the town. Early in the morning he’d cast his glims over the police blotter and the pictures in the rogue’s gallery, just to refresh his memory. Then he’d hit the Central Depot station at about eight in the morning—just when ambitious pickpockets would start their day. He’d make a pinch and the routine would go something like this.
“All right Boyo—take off your jacket.” Aston would feel the lining for any hidden bills, and many’s the time he would rip the seam open with his enormous paw and take the hidden money in broad daylight. The pickpockets couldn’t squawk. They knew it was the price of doing business. They’d just have to work that much harder and order to make up for losing their fall money. That was the beauty of catching them in the morning—Aston knew that they knew that if he took ‘em off to jail they’d lose a whole day’s work. So he’d rob ‘em, and he’d let ‘em fly the coop. If they didn’t have no money, or if it was too well hid, then Aston would ask for the names of other pickpockets working the area. And woe betide the grifter who wouldn’t give up his confederate, or some other crook. “Hwat’s that ye say? When it comes to bein’ a rat, you no spicka da language, huh? Well, here’s…some…language…ye…can…understand,” and he’d punctuate each word with a blow from a sap full of sand and lead shot.
How do I know all this?
Listen, Yob–you ever hear that fine old song?
The devil shit a monkey
The monkey shit a flea,
The flea shit a copper,
And the copper’s chasing me.
Story of my life, Yob.
Anyway, mostly, the bulls in Noxtown was so stupid they would of never solved any crimes, only for the fact that they maintained a network of spies everywhere in the city limits—from Treasure Island to Uptown; from Old Town to Gleason’s Corners. They padded the payroll with all manner of low lifes and scoundrels: washed-up jockeys, crippled-up numbers runners, masters of the short con, “reformed” pool-hall sharks, punchy ex-pugs, morphine-addled Spanish War Vets, and other grifters and lammisters. Otherwise, the police force was a disgrace–a mare’s nest of former schoolyard bullies, drunken firemen, and part-time baseball players as took too many beanballs to the ole noggin, not to mention old-timers too feeble to heft a newspaper, let alone swing a lead-filled sap. The old-timers and then other loafers spent most of the winter time huddled by the wood-burnin’ stove, swappin’ yarns and dingin’ spittoons, and the young bulls went on the hunt for filthy lucre and fresh pussy, and not always in that order.
As for the latter—young gals—fresh fish—greenie twat—Tom Aston’s good friend and sworn confederate Mr. Beauregard Nash was more’n happy to oblige. More about him, later. (1188)
IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO
OGNIR AND THE NITE PEOPLE
I FOUND A NEW LOVE
HOW MANY BRAND LOGOS CAN YOU IDENTIFY AT ONE GLANCE?
GONE AND FORGOTTEN
I have always been fascinated and repelled by the Sad Sack spin-off GABBY GOB. BTW, it was only years later that i discovered that Sad Sack is short for Sad Sack of Shit.
THE STRANGE SAVAGE WORLD OF THE CUCKOO BIRD
Note how Gramps maniacally responds to Sonny’s lousy joke with “Oh Yeah?!” and hands the hapless addict a box of the Cocaine Puffs (for such they must surely be). Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbcurio/4951408261/
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
THE AFTERLIFE OF ANDY KAUFMAN
6* DAILY UTILITY
CREATIVE PEOPLE SAY ‘NO’
THE CHARLTON COMICS READING LIBRARY
No, Animal Planet, mermaids do not exist. Also, your documentaries are worthless: http://slate.me/10KTJXe
WHY WE TRUST CERTAIN FACES AND DISTRUST OTHERS
It is the epitome of middlebrow to try to take intellectual shortcuts to knowledge which, by rights, can only be gained via training practically from birth.
Read this if you really want to have your mind blown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Distinction
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
ALL ENTERTAINMENT IS PROPAGANDA
Lobbyists and their PR stooges have made it so that ‘anything goes’ and everything is either bought, sold, or privatized.
“The simplest method of securing a silent weapon and gaining control of the public is to…[keep] them confused, disorganized, and distracted with matters of no real importance….”
Distraction can work wonders, as any mother of a toddler will tell you. Throw them a white hat and call it “The American Dream”. The military-industrial-university-prison-entertainment complex means bread and circuses for all! Teach our children to get rich quick by someday finding a job selling poison toys to babies. Or to become gladiators. Professional sports as a refinement of genocidal warfare.
And while the rest of us are off chimping it up among the heckling mob, moguls are sittin’ in clover, finger-finessing supermodels, and chortling hordes of chattering comfort women in their g-spots. How do the solons rule? By sending the working class to war. By indulging in the kind of rhetoric designed to keep people frightened and ignorant of what’s really going on. By kowtowing to radical lobbying groups. And worst of all, by selling this fucking country down to river to corporate creeps of the variety that would make Satan himself involuntarily cringe.
Read a newspaper on any given day, and you’ll learn the following important facts:
MOM DECRIES SEX AND VIOLENCE IN MEDIA
METAL GARBAGE CANS FOIL FERAL DOGS
POLICE CONCERNED REGARDING TEEN DRINKING
ELDERLY MAN TURNS TO GOD
LOCAL YOUTH WINS AREA SPELLING BEE
POLL: VOTERS TIRED OF NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS
FANS SHOW TEAM COLORS
RESTAURANT GIVEAWAY SEES LINES AROUND BLOCK
SURVIVORS MOURN ON ANNIVERSARY OF TRAGEDY
AREA MAN HARVESTS RECORD-BREAKING PUMPKIN
ICEBERGS A THREAT TO MERCHANT MARINE
Now, if I owned a newspaper, the headlines would be something like this:
MASSES LIVE IN FEAR OF UNDEFINED FOES
MEDIA GLORIFIES DEAD-END ‘GANGSTA’ SCRIPT
GANG MEMBERS DIE DEFENDING WORTHLESS TURF
MEDICAL LOBBY IN 70-YEAR FIGHT TO HALT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
SPORTS: STUPEFYING PALLIATIVE FOR BUM ECONOMY
TALK-RADIO SHOWS PREACH TO THE CONVERTED
MISFITS AND CRANKS EXCHANGE MEANINGLESS BANTER IN TAVERNS
BITTER KOOKS AND RECLUSES FIND SATISFACTION IN CURSING MINORITIES
VIOLENCE SEEN AS CURE-ALL BY DRUNKS AND LOUTS
SPY AND SPACE OPERAS KOWTOW TO MILITARY SOLUTIONS
ACTORS, H’WOOD PRODUCERS IN THRALL TO MILITARY-CIA
CONDENSED TV NEWS DISTORTS REALITY
PRO-GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA PERVADES TELEVISED MEDIA
HEIROPHANTS GIVE PEOPLE ‘WHAT THEY WANT’: DOMINATION
Even Crossword puzzles are not exempt. The ones geared to the masses are rife with subliminal messages: CELEBRITIES ARE IMPORTANT; PATRIOTISM IS COOL.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 702.
Why are we so upset by oldsters on the Rock and Roll Revival Circuit? These toothless gummers feel the need to bask in the applause of the clueless, but why should it bother us? If it keeps the dull and easily entertained off the streets, I’m all for it. It’s not like they’re going to spend any of their fuck-you money going to shady venues where overpriced drinks are sold to showboating hipsters.
However, I will confess that nowadays I summon up my twelve-year old self and pat him on the head and say, “Some day you will forget that Mike Love and Sha Na Na ever existed.”