Greetings, loyal readers! You may remember my last month's series of posts about ways you know you have been in prison too long. This story actually happened way before I thought up that list, but it is a good illustration of becoming institutionalized, but on the staff side.
The other day I was getting ready to go to work when I just happened to glance out my apartment window and what did I see but two men dressed in camo with big guns. Now, most people would see that sight and think, "HOLY $*#&! WTF IS THAT?!?!?!?" But not me. Having been in prison for five years, I have become accustomed to the sight of men in camo with big guns because whenever the Emergency Response Team shows up to help out with shakedowns, that is what they wear.
When I saw them, my first thought was actually, "I bet they are going down by the creek to play paintball." Now, with hindsight I know this is completely ridiculous because paintball guns DO NOT look like that. But, my mind was rationalizing the uncommon-outside-of-prison scene that was playing out in front of it, so that's what it went with. I picked up my phone because I had just set it down to walk out the door but as I was looking at it I thought "Who am I really going to call? HB and tell him...what? 911 and tell them there are guys with guns outside? Ha! Yeah right." So I set my phone back down, looked back out the window, didn't see anyone and proceeded to walk out to my garage.
As I was walking out to my car, I heard some squirrels making quite a racket for squirrels on the roof of my garage. When I looked up to investigate, I saw the two guys with guns on the roof all commando style POINTING THEIR GUNS RIGHT AT MY APARTMENT BUILDING. The thoughts that went through my head happened in this exact order:
2. Do NOT ask them what they are doing, in case the answer is "We're shooting YOU!"
3. Don't turn around to go back inside, because then you will make yourself a perfect target
4. Just get in the car and drive away as erratically as you can so they will have a harder time aiming at you.
So that's exactly what I did, and luckily I did not have to dodge any bullets whizzing by my head as I made my frantic escape.
After safely getting out of the parking lot, I plotted my next move. I had seen a sheriff's office up the road a bit so I decided to stop by there and let them know that there were snipers at my house. When I got there, there were no officers, but there was one employee from the country club across the street who was annoyed because all the sheriffs had parked their cars in the way of his maintenance equipment. I asked him if he knew if anyone worked there, and he said no, it was just where they parked their cars, but that he had seen a bunch of people in camo leave a little bit ago. I felt a little better after hearing that, and then he gave me the non-emergency phone number so I could call when I got to work.
Once I arrived at work, I immediately called the dispatcher and asked what the heck was going on and did they know there were GUYS WITH BIG GUNS ON MY ROOF. She calmly confirmed that she did, and when I asked "WELL WHAT ARE THEY DOING THERE??" she replied that they were serving a warrant.
Dumbfounded, I hung up the phone without asking the million dollar question: "WHAT THE HECK KIND OF WARRANT ARE YOU SERVING AT MY APARTMENT COMPLEX THAT NEEDS SNIPER COVERAGE?!?!?!?!?"
Needless to say, when I got home I saw the aftermath of the whatever the heck it was. The neighbor one floor down and two apartments over had his windows shot out and boarded up, and from what I could see through the windows it looked like someone had tried to barricade the window with a mattress. I was extremely glad that I decided to go to work and not stick around and see the shoot out. I never did find out what happened with that neighbor, but the next day the family members came to move all the furniture out of the apartment and I was very surprised my gangster radar hadn't gone off previously, because they were all definitely gangster-looking with copious amounts of neck tattoos.
Anyway, the moral of this story, future prison librarians, is that when you see people with big guns outside of prison, that is definitely NOT normal, so don't try to rationalize it away and do call some sort of authorities, justincase the guys with guns are not authorities.
Until next time!