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I Know That's Right!
Gorilla Wall Paul in the Ghetto
© 2012 James LaFond
This past Saturday, the 27th of October 2012, I called my West Baltimore ghetto connection, Big Gus, to get the skinny on the west side of the city. Gus is the big dude throwing me around the supermarket stockroom in the Logic of Force photos. I cringed when he mentioned Paul, the ill-fated janitor/parcel pickup guy who got stomped out by four Harm City hood rats behind the gorilla wall back at the end of winter this year [See Stoning Baboons]. But, when Gus told me that Paul was the viewpoint-smartass-social-commentator [my perennial gig] for this short tale, I glowed with biographical zeal as I took notes and grinned at the gathered slothful at the trash-covered bus stop...
Gus had been doing his chivalrous duty, looking in on Miss Ezz. Miss Ezz is a curvaceous HBI [Hebrew-by-Injection] who is of course in need of Big Gus’ protection, particularly when ‘The Man’ is away at a manager’s conference. Well, during the course of interviewing Miss Ezz, and making certain that she was safe, and free of all threats, Gus, highly trained security professional that he is, inquired as to the state of security outside, on the storefront, where Miss Ezz had just returned from her smoke break. Below is the brief tale she related to Gus. I thought that this little story offered a nice atmosphere piece, a look at the lighter side of Harm City strife…
Miss Ezz was sitting on the metal railing while the soft drink truck pulled up beside her at its regular time. It has been postulated by certain urban scholars that the soft-drink driver synchronizes his delivery to Cheap Guys are Us to coincide with Miss Ezz’s appearance on the storefront. Paul, in charge of keeping the storefront tidy, happened to be sweeping around the shopping carts, oblivious to the reason for the soft-drink driver’s leaning out the window or Big Gus’ otherwise uncharacteristic security concerns.
Miss Ezz noticed that two denizens of the Hood were enjoying the Indian Summer sun, having set up a set of lawn chairs on the grass at the edge of the parking lot, as if this corner of the ghetto, scoured by windblown trash, were a Bahamian beach…
As Miss Ezz wondered at the odd vacation she was witnessing, a large, heavyset, middle-aged shoplifter burst out through the exit and lumbered by Paul. Looking up to see that the man was fleeing from the on-duty, uniformed Baltimore City Police officer, Paul quipped at the footslogging shoplifter, “You betta run, Fat Man!”
Then the heavyset, middle-aged cop lumbered laboriously by Paul, and he quipped with a sneer, “You betta run fasta, Fat Cop!”
Miss Ezz stood up besides Paul for a second or two, and then realized that ‘The Man’ would be wanting his inventory report soon, “Well Paul, let me get up in here. The Man sure knows how ta work a sista!”
Paul sagely commented, as he continued to sweep and critique the incompetent chase from a distance, “I know that’s right, Miss Ezz—I know that’s right!”
If I were mayor, even if only for a day, Paul would be my spokesman.
Thanks Big Gus.
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