Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Odd Encounter of the Week: gankage

My friend at work likes to tell me I live "in the 'hood." He does so jokingly, as I live in the Southeast part of Charlotte known for its "young professionals," to put it euphemismingly. If these people knew someone had called their area such a derrogatory name, they would undoubtedly run one over in their SUV's or pour a scalding latte over one's head or pummel one with soccer balls. As a tangent, these people as a whole also form a primary reason why I'm fleeing to New Hampshire next year. But I digress. . . .

Anyways, my friend likes to pretend he lives in the 'hood, but he really does not either, despite the fact that he lives off of Charlotte's (Dirty) South Blvd. On Friday, I got to finally prove to him that I do, in fact, live in the 'hood. Ha!

I left my apartment at 7:15am that morning to go to work. Approaching my Nissan Sentra, I noticed the driver-side door was slightly open, as if a three-year old had attempted to shut it but lacked sufficient strength to make it flush. "Hmm, I need to hit the gym," I thought. As I opened the back door to toss my peanut butter sandwich in, I noticed that the passenger side window sat shattered in the passenger side seat as if a 25-year old bouncer had shut it but with too much force to keep the glass in one piece. "Man, I must be one buff stud," I thought.

Lost in thoughts of muscles, I looked forward and discovered a gaping hole in my dashboard where my stereo had formerly been. Apparently, the door and the window had nothing to do with my brute strength - or lack thereof.

My stereo had been stolen, or lifted, or ganked, depending on how old you are and which coolness caste you belong to (or pretend to belong to). Now if you, beloved reader, decided to rob someone, I would stand as the last person you would choose as a victim. I buy my clothes at Kohl's. I grocery shop at Bi-Lo. I work at Borders. Needless to say, I do not own many nice things, surely not enough to risk incarceration. The stereo these folks ganked (note the coolness caste which I claim) cost $100. . . . three years ago when I bought it. I doubt the pawn shop that now has my stereo gave the perp enough money to feed his/her family even one meal, which undoubtedly he/she did with the booty.

After calling the police and my insurance company, I returned to my car to drive to work. I was going to put a trashbag up for a window. I had always wanted to do this. Entering the parking lot, I encountered my neighbor who was looking for her car. That's right, looking for it. Apparently, the male of the household had returned from bowling around midnight the previous night, potentially in some sort of stupor. He thought he had left the car two spaces from mine but was not sure. During our search, we stumbled upon other neighbors, turns out to be ten others, who had had their cars broken into as well. Stereos and electronics stolen.

As the police sergeant said later, it seemed the perps had used the bowler's car to haul all the stuff away. Honda Accords are easy to steal and easy to sell, he said.

I met a lot of my neighbors that morning. Given the circumstances, everyone seemed in good spirits. I know I was; I got to go into work two hours late! It was like missing class without the make-up work except it cost me a couple hundred bucks. Maybe this is a commentary on my job. Regardless, the news came out and interviewed a couple of us. We thought we were hot stuff. Famous! Nevermind the reason was because we got our stuff ganked. It is still a more legitimate reason to be famous than being on a reality television show, which is widely viewed as socially acceptable.

Jesus once told us to love our enemies. I really do not have many enemies, besides the obvious like Osama Bin Laden who I believe would murder me right now without hesitation if given the chance. These folks who ganked my stereo qualify, I guess. So thanks to them for giving me enemies for whom to pray.

And thanks also to them for giving me quiet, music-less car rides during which to do it.

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