M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, June 14, 2002  

I kind of have a problem with authority. It’s not that I rebel against it; quite the opposite, in fact. I’m one of those guys who pulls over to the side of the road whenever a police car goes screaming by with its siren blaring. That’s not unusual, but I do the same thing when I see an empty cop-mobile in a parking lot.

When I saw Star Wars in 1997, for the first time as a responsible, law-abiding adult, I found it jarring that Han Solo shot his way out of Mos Eisley spaceport. To me, that was like some guy at the docks taking on a couple of shady passengers offering a suspiciously high fare, then blazing away without hesitation when the Port Authority showed up to nab them. What he should have done was simply hand them over and pocket the two grand. But no, paying off Jabba was worth killing a few guys in uniform because he fully expected to get away with it. Just as he expected to get away with shooting down TIE fighters later on. Can you imagine a modern-day drug runner climbing into a gun turret and sinking three or four pursuing Coast Guard vessels? The Emperor may have ruled the galaxy with an iron fist, but it was a fist fashioned from an iron colander.

They say that everyone has a price. Perhaps everyone also has a point at which they think it’s a good idea to engage in a shootout with the authorities. I don’t know where that point would be for me, and I hope I never find out. I just know that point is very, very, very far away, and would require a catastrophic breakdown of either my psyche or the existing societal structure, and possibly both. For some people, like Branch Davidians or Han Solo, that point is a little closer. Others, as I learned yesterday, are pretty much already there.

Like these guys. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, let me sum up: some guys stole some DiGiorno™ frozen pizzas out of a parked delivery truck and walked into their house with them. A couple of cops who were doing surveillance in an unrelated investigation followed the pizza thieves to the house, displayed their badges, and identified themselves. Whereupon six guys from the house proceeded to start beating the hell out of them and trying to take the officers’ guns out of their holsters.

So I’m wondering, what was the next phase of their master plan? Were they going to have a little party in the back yard complete with a frozen pizza feast, shooting empty beer cans with their newly acquired police service revolvers? Did they expect the cops to bang impotently on the front door, whining “You guys, come oooooon” until they got bored enough to slink back to headquarters with their tails between their legs, asking the chief if they could have some new guns, please? Or did they figure they could just shoot a couple of police officers on the front steps of THEIR OWN HOUSE and the Police Department and the city and the Mayor would chuckle ruefully and say, “boy, they sure got us good this time, but if they fail to observe the speed limit, they just better look out.” They must have realized that the cops were going to strenuously resist either scenario. What positive outcome could they have possibly foreseen for themselves?

I realize I’m ascribing this behavior to stupidity, when it was more likely a combination of panic, rage, and desperation. It usually is in cases like this, which is what makes those police chase videos such gonzo TV. It’s one thing to see some poor sap trying to drive a ’73 Pinto a hundred and twenty miles an hour across a swamp on its brake drums because he has a pissed-off parole officer and a grocery bag full of stolen cash. This is different. I don’t care how much you like pizza. It’s not worth getting shot over.

But shot they were, and today two guys are in the hospital with new holes in them because those puny little Totino’s Party Pizzas™ weren’t cutting it for them any more. DiGiorno’s™ commercials claim that their pizza is so good, it’s indistinguishable from delivery pizza. “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno™,” they say. Maybe these guys saw the truck parked across the street and figured they could have it both ways. In any case, I’d love to see DiGiorno try to incorporate this incident into their ad campaign.

It would be even better if it was a different brand, though. I can just see a somber trauma surgeon in the Critical Care Unit standing over an operating table, shaking his head helplessly at the perp’s bullet-riddled body and asking him: “What do you want on your Tombstone™?”

posted by M. Giant 3:01 PM 0 comments


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