Sunday, August 26, 2007

In The Ghetto

So you know how you can start to lose your credibility on a certain topic if bad things keep happening to disprove you? Like for example, if you keep insisting that you don't live in the ghetto, but then someone gets stabbed with a screwdriver a block away from your house? Like it or not, that kind of stuff just riddles your best defense.

In consequence of the screwdriver incident, I spent much of my Friday evening at a party trying to play down the ghetto card, and play up the "it's an up and coming neighborhood" card. I think I just about had everyone convinced. Which is good, because despite all appearances, I really don't think I live in the ghetto. It's just a neighborhood with some color. Vibrant, vibrant color.

It was important to really press the point because my friend Maria was planning on staying the night at my place (we were making an early start for the beach in the morning). I didn't want her to feel that coming to Silver Spring would be a life threatening experience. I really had my work cut out for me, because she already thinks I'm surrounded by crack-hos and gunslingers.

But to be fair, there is a precedent for her poor opinion. One time a bunch of us went to the movies at the theater down the street. When we came out of the theater and started walking back toward my house (and the parking lot where everyone had parked) we started to see a lot of police activity. Lights flashing, cops sitting in their cruisers, people milling around, and yards and yards of Caution Do Not Cross tape. When we got to the corner, what to our wondering eyes should appear? But a truck squashed underneath a tree. An ENTIRE TREE had fallen smack dab onto a moving truck and killed the driver. Talk about BAD LUCK.

Double bad luck, I'd say. Bad luck for the driver, but also bad luck for me. One wacko accident, and suddenly the entire neighborhood is never safe again. (I doubt the continual police presence in the downtown area has anything to do with the impression of safety that people are likely to get). To add insult to injury, I'm pretty sure Maria's car was behind the police tape and had some stray twigs and stuff on it. Now every time she parks at my place she's never sure what shape her car is going to be in when she comes back. I sort of feel her pain - there's a reason I pay through the nose to park in a covered garage.

So, you can imagine my disappointment at the waste of all of my hard work convincing people of Silver Spring's safety when I arrived home (with Maria in tow) to see those oh-so-familiar Police lights and caution tape strung around MY FRONT DOOR.

It appears that this time someone was shot on the front steps of MY VERY BUILDING!

This is the first time a shooting has occurred within zero feet of my residence (that I know of). I should probably be freaking out about it. In fact, I should probably be in line at the gun store to get myself one of those pearl handled purse pistols. But I have a long standing policy of not getting my feathers ruffled by things that ruffle other people's feathers. Thus I remain happily unruffled.

(However, I was not quite so sanguine about rampant crime and the consequential need for law enforcement when I was woken up at 6AM to the sound of a legion of squad cars running laps around my block for twenty minutes. With their sirens blaring. For TWENTY MINUTES. I was wishing I had a gun then, I'll tell you. I would have been doing some early morning shooting practice and the target would have been anything flashing.)

And call me stubborn, but I still don't think I live in the ghetto. I blame Maria, really. I mean, if she'd stop wearing that black cloak and carrying a scythe every time she came to Silver Spring we wouldn't be having these problems! I'm sure of it.


soundofstilhed said...

I remember the night the tree fell in the parking lot. That was a bit bizarre. I spent time telling friends that SS wasn't really as ghetto-tastic as they thought...then crazy people reminded me (constantly) that the town was filled with psychos and nutjobs and all manner of vermin! Let me tell you that it's worse downtown in DC though. Rest assured, the ghetto is around every corner in DC!...and it's great! I say move to the city as soon as you get a chance!

erin said...

so my feeling is this: if you call where i live the ghetto (which you have, btw) then your place is like compton. our most serious crimes are theft, certainly NOT murder. sorry honey, but if the yellow police tape fits, it's the ghetto. (and yes, i too remember the tree falling incident--fun times!)

Camie said...

I don't think you live in the ghetto. I think it WAS the ghetto and other people just haven't caught on yet. They don't realize they can't run around doing that kind of thing in SS anymore. I don't think buying a gun good idea, you'll loan it out, a murder will be commited with it, and you'll be blamed. I think you should stick with a bullet proof vest at this point.

nckuhn said...

Sorry Erin, but you are so wrong! Two words, Beltway Sniper! People world wide coule watch your apartment complex on CNN not because of theft, but, that's right, Murder.

lael said...

I don't understand why ghetto has to be so pejorative. It's YOUR Ghetto - embrace it! Oh, and since I'm not allowed to legally own firearms, can I borrow your pistol? It sounds so fancy.

Camie said...

Right on DK!

erin said...

i think camie is wrong. where they've updated SS, it's no longer ghetto, but where you are, even a few blocks from the recently-redone area, still a touch scary. and to you, daniel, you have to admit that time since last murder is almost five years in my hood. time in g's neighborhood since last murder? less than five days.

holly said...

yeah, that's SS for ya. even in posh-ish The Blair's, we still felt that right across the street feeling. but it's not that bad. embrace it, like a pp said!