For the newsletter of the Florida Association of Asian Crime Investigators
The Reminisces of an Old Fart, well past his prime:
On the Beauty of Being a Nice Guy
Working with the Violent Gang Task Force, and being seconded the Immigration and Naturalization Service, had its points. One of them was the chance to work the streets with all sorts of officers and Federal Agents. My partner was an agent.
One warm evening in Eastern New Orleans, we stopped an ethnic Vietnamese, a known drug dealer. Due to the fact he had oodles of money and was driving a new car, but said he was unemployed and had not worked in years,. We confiscated his money and auto then called in the I.R.S., as well as the Financial Crimes guys from the New Orleans Police Department. While waiting for these worthies to show up we chatted with our suspect, after of course reading him his rights seventy-three times and giving him a Xeroxed copy of the Constitution.
He was wearing, if you can believe it, a boat necked pull over shirt, color blue, with horizontal white stripes and blue beach pants with vertical white stripes. I called him over and, after first giving him the “Clothing Warning” as required by the above mentioned Constitution, I took it upon myself to counsel him. “My friend,” I said, “that shirt and those pants look simply awful” His poor little face fell, believing as he did that he was a paragon of sartorial splendor
He asked, “What do you mean?”
“It’s that shirt,” I told him. “You know the button down blue shirts I often wear when I’m in your neighborhood, fighting crime and suppressing evil?”
He replied he was indeed familiar with my usual attire.
“Well, a linen shirt like that with those pants and perhaps a pair of white boat shoes, would look great.”
He sincerely thanked me and said he appreciated my interest in his welfare.
My Federal Agent partner took this opportunity to come over and try also, to be his pal. His overtures of friendship were greeted with this statement. “You? You an asshole.”
“Me?” said the shocked the Federal employee. “Jack is the one taking all of your money and your car, and making fun of your clothes.”
“You don’t understand,” the criminal said. “Mr. Jack is our friend. He puts us in jail and shoots at us because it’s his job, but he really likes us and helps us out all the time. You? You just another federal asshole.”
The moral of this short monograph: If you want to be popular, and not get shot at too much, teach criminals how to dress.
Lieutenant Jack Willoughby