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American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
01-01-2015
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
01-11-2014
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
01-04-2014
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2014
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
10-01-2013
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
07-01-2013
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
04-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
10-01-2012
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-07-2012
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-04-2012
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
01-01-2012
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
01-10-2011
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
01-07-2011
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
01-04-2011
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
01-01-2011
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
10-01-2010
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
07-01-2010
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
04-01-2010
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
01-01-2010
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
Side Photo for The Big Stupid Review

Operation Scumbag

By Thor Garcia

I met up with the two cops at the Bun Boy Burrito stand, at the corner of Ramplegate and Sturgeon. It was Thursday, about 10:50 p.m. Wodgers and Banting were attached to the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit (SNEU). The idea was to go around with them as they made their nightly drug busts. Sernath had personally assigned it, calling it a "big chance" for me. It had taken a couple weeks to set up through the police Public Relations Office, and I had been forced to wait three more weeks while they did a fresh background check. According to a waiver I signed, revealing any "Classified Police Information" I might learn during the excursion could result in my prosecution. I was supposed to write it up as a human interest feature, focusing on the "human side" of the War Against Drugs. My first full byline piece.

They were sitting outside, coffees and a half-eaten plate of nachos and refried beans on the orange plastic table. Bugs hit the overhead light, bounced off, hit again. I walked up and introduced myself.

"How you doing, guy?" said Wodgers, extending a hand. He looked me over with bloodshot eyes, blew smoke out his nose, spat on the concrete. I caught mustache wax and hair grease, smoke breath and coffee fumes. "Bring your vest?"

Lt. Riley Wodgers exuded semi-entertained White Male Cop, self-impressed with making the undercover detail and intent on keeping his sense of humor intact. He was wearing a dark polyester green suit and black tie, a substantial pot-belly resting leisurely atop his knees.

"Vest?"

Banting, taller and thinner, laughed. "Bullet-proof vest, guy. This ain't a visit to grandma."

Sgt. Andre Banting sported cherry walnut-scented aftershave, a clean buzz fade-cut. He had on a blue Hawaiian shirt with green flowers, black jeans, brown penny loafers. Banting exuded Responsible Black Man, working hard to keep it hip.

Wodgers laughed, dipped a chip in gooey cheese, applied jalapeno, snapped it in his mouth.

"No, I didn't bring anything…"

"It's all right," said Wodgers. He blew smoke, chewed nacho, coughed into his fist. "We'll look out for your bee-hind."

"Let's get going, gentlemen," said Banting. "There's bad guys out there selling drugs to kids."

Banting crushed a nacho, mashed out his smoke, threw his Styrofoam coffee cup into the trash. We walked out to the parking lot. Wodgers clicked the doors of a tan Lexus Caprice.

"Listen, guy," said Wodgers, "we got to frisk you, just to make sure you don't got no listening devices or weapons. Not that we don't trust you. We respect members of the media, but we got to protect ourselves, understand? Trust—but squeeze every muthafucka's balls to see if he's wearing a wire. That's our motto." He looked over at Banting, who laughed.

"Sure," I said.

Wodgers patted me down.

"He's cleaner than my first girlfriend's behind."

"Sweet," said Banting, lighting a smoke. "Right on, Mr. Thor. You're riding with us. Get in. Let's go catch bad dudes."

I got in the back seat and we drove off in the direction of Six Points. Wodgers lighted a smoke, coughed and stomped the gas, hitting 60, 70. The streets got dimmer and dimmer as we drove in, bouncing over the potholes.

"It always seems so much darker out here," I said.

"It's 'cause the suckas shoot out the lights," said Banting. "They think we can't see 'em, but we can."

He dangled a pair of goggles.

"Night-vision?"

"Bet your behind," Wodgers said. "U.S. Army's finest."

We sped past chain-link fences and old industrial lots, liquor stores and warehouses, wood-shack neighborhoods. We blasted past too-dark parks and playgrounds, paper scraps whirling in our wake. Clumps of figures huddled on street corners, guys shuffled solo down empty boulevards. Lights blared yellowly in acres of decaying apartment blocks.

"Here's the deal, guy," said Wodgers. He looked over his shoulder at me as he drove, smoke spewing from his nostrils. "We got people and dogs on-location already. We got aircraft, what we call the 'Eyes in the Sky,' providing data streams in real-time. Sgt. Banting is in contact via the radio. People are sourcing us right now, so when something bing-bings, we move in, get it? We swoop, nail the perps, secure the evidence. What they call evidence is the A-number one primo. Gotta secure the evidence or the district attorney beefs."

"How many you got out there?"

"Can't tell you that," said Banting. "Say, more than ten and less than fifty. You can write, say, about twenty… And call 'em operatives, O.K.? Some of these jamfs work with us, but they're not police. But you can call them 'police operatives.' That way no one will know for sure."

I nodded and scribbled in my notebook.

Wodgers drummed his fingers on the steering wheel as we sat at a red light. "Ah, numb-nuts," he said. "I got nacho juice on my pants. My wife's gonna think I got a blowjob."

"I'll vouch for you, boss," said Banting.

Wodgers laughed, whirred down the window and spat. He pressed down one nostril and sneezed, then did the other nostril. He whirred the window up. His lighter clicked and he fired up a smoke.

Shapes darted in front of the car, flashed briefly in the headlights, disappeared on the other side. Wodgers turned down an alley. Shapes darted, scrambling behind dumpsters and cardboard boxes.

"Hey lookee lookee there," said Banting. "Watcha think of that. It's our good friend Toothless Jenny… Pull over, Riles. Maybe Walter Cronkite here wants the exclusive interview."

"Well lookee there," said Wodgers.

"Hey there, Jenny-Jenny," said Banting, whirring down the window. "Spare a minute of your time, sweetheart?"

Banting jumped out and slammed the door. He grabbed Jenny by the arm, led her around the back of the car and opened the other passenger door. Jenny climbed in next to me, a stench of urine and methane coming in with her. Under the car light, I saw brown and yellow splotches, three or four open, runny sores. A creased blue ribbon had been knotted into the stiff, scraggled hair. I saw flashes of a pink lace top, black plastic sheeting, dirty white boots with soggy fluff balls on the toes. Jenny moaned. She hit me with cloudy black eyes, opened a swollen, cracked blue cave in greeting. A number of brown stumps were sticking up from places where her teeth should have been. Some kind of thick, milky fluid was dripping out her nose.

Wodgers coughed, lit a smoke. "Ever see something like this, guy? Buyer beware, eh?"

"Mr. Thor, meet Jenny, our favorite neighborhood crack whore," said Banting.

"Nice to meet you, Jenny," I said.

The swollen blue cave opened slowly. "Yeth, yeeth," Jenny seemed to say.

Banting grinned, blew smoke.

"How many dicks you suck tonight so far, Jenny? You high as the sky right now? You high as the space shuttle?"

"Yuth, yeeth…"

Wodgers tapped the gas, easing the car down the alley.

Banting rubbed a 20-dollar between his fingers.

"Where Ricardo at, Jenny? We lookin' for Ricardo…"

"Yeeth…"

We rocked forward suddenly as Wodgers stomped the brake.

"Jenny," Wodgers said sternly, looking at her in the rearview mirror, "you tell Ricardo we lookin' for him. O.K., girl?"

Jenny moaned. "Yeth, yuth-yeeth…"

Wodgers tapped the car forward. Banting pushed his face an inch or so from Jenny's, raising the 20 dollars over her head.

"We gonna rack you up 'less you tell Ricardo. You hear? Rack your bony butt up good. Now, I know you don't want that. You tell Ricardo, hear?"

"Yuth, yeeth…"

"It's every good American's Constitutional duty to rat on his friends and family to save they own ass," said Banting. "Ain't that right, Mr. Thor?"

"Yes," I said.

"You hear Mr. Thor, Jenny? Mr. Thor knows that of which he be talkin'. You tell Ricardo we lookin' for him tomorrow. Tomorrow, you hear?"

Sores on Jenny's face shined. Her tongue came out and licked the the fluid oozing from her nose.

"Yuth-yuth…"

Wodgers drove to the end of the alley and stopped. Banting pulled Jenny out of the car, gave her a shove down the sidewalk. He went around the front of the car and got back in.

"You do drugs, Thor?" said Wodgers. "Little pot on the weekend? Your girlfriend digs it, yeah?"

"Hell, no."

"That's the answer, little buddy." He coughed, rolled down the window and spat. "Goddamn, I hate that drug shit. That shit makes me sick."

Banting lit a smoke and mumbled.

"Some things, you will not forget," Banting was saying.

We had retreated back to the Financial District and were smoking outside the Duckback Coffee Shop on Stanwyck.

"You still don't know how you feel, you just don't know…Mother's screaming outside, her hands are red. You come in. You see the first one…She's naked, her head is on the pillow next to her. You think, is that her head? She's about, say, four years. You see brown stuff all over. You realize it's blood. You go to the next room. Brown stuff all over. You see two more. Little boy, girl, laying there. You go up. Necks are cut almost all the way, but not cut off. The fuck couldn't even cut off their heads. He fucking gave up."

"Who did it?"

"Psycho scumbag did it…AKA filth of the earth."

"You caught him?"

"Murder dicks run him down about a week later. He was on trial for what was it, Riles—three years?"

Wodgers nodded. "Thing you got to understand, little buddy, the whole goddamn system favors the scumbag…And no, you can't quote me…They shoulda busted a cap on that fuck-butt when they caught him. End all our misery."

He put his hand on my shoulder. "Want to know how we solve the problem?"

He pointed his index finger, blew the tip.

"Shouldn't take more than three or four per day, at the beginning. Then, before you'd even know, it'd be all over. Crime-free streets like we got wet dreams of…And that's another non-quote for you."

We mashed out our smokes, went in to get the coffees.

"Shit," said Wodgers, dumping six sugars into his latte. "We should invade Mexico."

"Yeah?"

"Why the hell not? You ain't with them anti-war people, are ya?"

"Hell no," I said.

"God, I hate them crappy little shits. Everybody's got to drop everything and deal with it whenever they have one of their mealy-mouth protests. The real scumbags get away so we can drag some commie to jail…Where you live, little buddy?"

"Silvertown."

"Ain't that the shit," said Banting as we walked back out. "Damn, you a real man, jamf. You couldn't get me living in Silvertown if you gave me a million in salary every month. I got babies, man. I ain't crazy…I'll let you in on a secret, Mr. Thor. Wanna know how you get out of the ghetto? You get in the car and you drive out. Don't got a car? You get on the bus and go. You don't look back…Goddamn suckas act like they never heard such a thing."

Wodgers lit a smoke, spat, shrugged.

"Hell if I know a better way. They don't pay me enough. That's one part of the problem."

We were parked out somewhere in the darkness. Banting got back in the car, took off the cap and ejected the grille.

"It's on, gentlemen. They out there, and they is carrying."

"You ready, little buddy?" said Wodgers.

"I guess so," I said. "But isn't this breaking some law?"

"Not if you're working on behalf of the police," said Wodgers. "We've given you the official authorization. It's a law-enforcement matter."

"What do I say?"

"O.K.," said Banting, "Well, if I'm the scumbag, I'm looking at your clothes, your hair, the look on your face…Here's what you do: You go up and say, 'Hey yo, man, gimme summa dat yabba-doo stuff you got.'"

"Yabba-doo?"

"Yeah, yabba-doo. Just like that. Hey man, gimme summa dat yabba-yabba-doo stuff you got…He'll know what it means."

"Hey man, gimme summa that yabba-doo stuff you got. Like that?"

"Perfecto," said Wodgers. "Don't change nothin'."

"What if they attack me or something?"

"They won't attack you, guy," said Wodgers. "They're pussies. They want your money, that's what they care about. But if they do jump you, we got you covered on all sides. We'll send 'em home to mommy in a pizza box."

Wodgers gave me six 50-dollar bills from a leather pouch. Banting leaned over the seat and set a dark blue baseball cap backwards on my head. Then he twisted it, so the bill was jutting from my head at a right angle.

"There," he said, "you're set. You look like a right superfreak, Mr. Thor."

Banting slipped the night-goggles over his head.

"Go get 'em, little buddy," said Wodgers.

I was 95 percent sure I was going to die. I got out of the car and walked to the end of the alley, taking one step about every five seconds. I looked both ways, then crossed the road.

The two guys were standing by a dumpster, their backs to me. I took another slow step. I took a sideways step.

A light breeze shushed, twirling torn newspaper and plastic wrappers down the alley. An aluminum can tinkled, rolling along the asphalt.

They both turned.

"Ain't nobody here," said one.

Me: "Gimme summa dat yabba-doo stuff you got."

"Said ain't nobody here, bwoy…"

"Gimme summa dat yabba-doo, man…"

"You with the police, man."

I opened my arms, waved the cash. "Shoot, no…Come on, gimme summa dat yabba-doo you got…"

"Yeah. You with the police."

"No way, man…Come on, you crazy, man. The police? No way…"

They shuffled over. The one wearing a white Dallas Cowboys cap removed the money from my hand. The second, whose hair was in short braids, took my other hand in both of his. He had very warm hands.

When he moved away, I was holding a small package that felt like a plastic ball.

They took several backward steps, turned and jogged off into the darkness.

I walked back across the street. A helicopter whapped into view overhead, shining down a spotlight. Two unmarked cars whipped past.

Wodgers and Banting were standing in front of the Caprice.

"That's a good little buddy," said Wodgers, clapping me on the back.

"Right on, Mr. Thor."

Banting slapped me five and took the package. He pulled off several rubber bands and began to unwrap the ball. Wodgers shined a flashlight. Banting took off several layers of plastic, throwing them on to the car hood.

Finally it was unwrapped. Wodgers shined the light. We saw a number of broken rubber bands, some used paper matches, a cigarette butt.

Wodgers slammed his hands on the car hood.

Banting held up a hand as he listened to his earpiece.

"All right, they're rolled…Excellent work, Mr. Thor," he said, shaking my hand. "You've done a service to society. Your city thanks you very much."

"Let's go see the handiwork," said Wodgers.

We got back in the car, drove about four blocks to the south. Cop vans and SUVs had driven over the curb, sirens and headlights burning. A helicopter rotated in the sky, shooting down white beams, sending dust and trash swirling. Flatfoots holding shotguns had eight or nine skinny guys lined up against a chain-link fence. Three or four other guys were on the ground, coppers standing on on their backs.

UNDERCOVER POLICE NETWORK BUSTS DRUG GANGS
By Thor Garcia
CNS Staff Reporter
BAY CITY (CNS) – That drug addict you see down the block? He or she might not be what you think.
Each night in Bay City, undercover police operatives pose as drug addicts, loitering on street corners and pretending to look for a fix, as part of a campaign to smash the drug gangs that prey upon the metropolis.
No one will ever know their names.
The unknown operatives, working with Bay City's Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit (SNEU), scored big one recent weeknight.
An investigation in the Six Points area led to a series of operations in which 12 suspects, aged between 16 and 33, were arrested.
Officials said an estimated $200,000 worth of heroin and powdered and crack cocaine were seized, along with more than $10,000 in cash and three weapons, including an AK-47 automatic assault rifle.
Inspector Sgt. Riley Wodgers, who has been assigned to SNEU for the past two years, noted that the raids occurred not far from where seven people were found shot to death execution-style in a suspected drug-related massacre last March.
"These drug guys are smart and sophisticated, and we've got to be even smarter if we're going to catch them," said Wodgers, who pointed out that the suspects and their family members now face the seizure of their property, bank accounts, automobiles and other goods and artifacts under laws aimed at disabling drug networks.
Fellow Inspector Lt. Andre Banting said that in addition to undercover operatives, SNEU relies on a variety of listening devices and other surveillance tools to keep investigators one step ahead of the gangs.
Banting added that the impact of the undercover operatives could not be underestimated.
"These raids have changed the quality of life in these neighborhoods," he said. "Slowly but surely, we are making a difference."

This is an excerpt from the novel News Clown published by Equus Press

cover

© Thor Garcia 2012