Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm the step-fatherer!

It was about 5:15 when he stumbles up behind the horde of cameras and reporters, his tall Pompadour
balanced on the top of his head, and wiggling back and forth atop his noggin, like a sleepy cowboy, after a long horse back ride.  His hair would waggle, whenever he would emphasis each drunken syllable.  "I was the step-fatherer." He stammers as we interview an animated neighbor who is passionately complaining about all the traffic, and cars speeding down her street. "There's kids here 24-7!"  she shouts, with her fist raised up to her face, drawing tiny circles in the air with them, like an old-timey pugilist.

At about 4 PM, three girls, ages 9,11, and 14 where walking to a nearby swimming pool when a man who police say was texting on his phone hit all three of them.  The girls were all taken to the hospital, but are, as of today, in stable condition.

While Dianna tries, rather incompletely,  to paint the picture of a terrible accident that crashes nearly into her front yard, the Pompadour, inserts his slurry cocktail of disconnected words into the interview, "He weers Texting, when he hut them kidzzz, oh, he's dead!"  Dianna, stammers and stutters a bit, taken aback by the interruption then like a lawnmower with a fresh gallon of gas, she begins revving up her tale again.  The Pompadour, I guess certain that he should be the one in the dim television spotlight, announces loudly, "I'm was the step fatherer in the one of the kidzzz!"

That may have been true, but all the reporters silently and collectively decide that interviewing a dangerously intoxicated man would do little to help advance the sad story, so we simply ignored him.  Which doesn't go over well, "Well F*$k you!"  He spits, "F**k you!"  Dianna, slipping into neighborhood mom mode, figuratively slaps his hand, "you watch your mouth young man!" she blurts, "I'm the step sister...uh...fatherer, of**k you!" Dianna, folds her arm, and glares, "what did you say young man," (as an aside, I think it's important to note, that the general consensus among reporters is that Dianna might have been a tad tipsy as well) "I'm the dad, step dader...and F**k you B**tch!"

When I watch the video of the exchange later that night, I catch a glimpse of my face in the corner of the camera's lens.  It is a combination of shock, amusement, and a certain, gleeful curiosity about "where is this going next!"  When the Pompadour, begins slamming his two fists against the aging, rusty, chain link fence,  screaming, "I just wanna, needa, F**king ride, the hosssspitable!" I should have been concerned that this thing might have turn violent, but rather, I was somewhat taken in by the wiggly shelf of hair, bouncing and bobbing on top of his head.  One of the other reporters had had enough, and as I was hypnotized by the follicle ballet, Alex Cabrero from Ch. 5 chimes, in, "hey, what's your problem?"  Things might have gotten ugly if Lt. Justin Hoyal, of the Unified Police Department hadn't intervened and escorted the guy away.

At some point during the melee I had received a call from the station, I click the answer button but don't say anything, as I watch the human house fire burning in front of me.  After Hoyal escorts the man up the street,  I quickly answered the phone, "oh hello, I forgot you were there." On the other end of the line was the producer of the 10 PM news cast, "are you ok?  Do we need to send help?  Did you make someone mad?"  "Oh don't worry about me," I said, "He was just yelling at everyone."

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