Office Alex dishes on his dual dislikes, and the people who abuse them
Things that piss me off really piss me off. As you may imagine that’s an incredibly broad topic. I have a word count to abide here so for the sake of brevity, allow me to narrow that down to two specific things that piss me off.
The first is fairly straightforward and not exactly shocking: Handicap parking abuse.
Yes, yes, I’m aware of elder abuse, kidnapping, failure to signal intent to change lanes and all the other serious crimes the take place in this country every day, but people that park in a Handi Spot “for just a second” have a really special place in the maelstrom of cholesterol and caffeine that is my tiny (if not “bird-like”) heart.
People that do so are an amalgam of audacity, entitlement, and inconsideration that represent an almost benign moral cancer in our society, but a cancer all the same. My badge may as well be forged from spent fissile material because, despite my normally serene appearance in the face of lawlessness, on this topic I go full Fukushima-therapy on their asses.
Don’t feel clever because you obscured your tag with an AutoZone “tinted vanity plate cover,” and don’t think the speed with which you need a sack of carrots and a new toilet bowl brush exceeds the likelihood of someone handicapable needing the spot your physically (if not morally) corpulent ass has illegally occupied.
The other thing I hate? Heroin. (Practically the same thing as above, to me.)
Now I normally spend an embarrassing amount of time obsessing on a topic so that I can present facts, figures, and their sources to present an intelligent dialogue, but in this case I’m going to keep it simple and risk you just not believing me.
In 2010 I can’t remember hearing about heroin overdose, much less any heroin arrests. In fact, I did a cover story for this very fish wrapper called “The Price of Vice” around that time in which every drug dealer I interviewed (literally—even my customers love me) stated there was no heroin in town because the stable of dealers at that time would physically beat anyone violating that one rule.
Heroin was verboten.
In 2013, you could count overdoses and arrests using just your thumbs.
By April 2016? There has been an average of one fatal heroin overdose a week since the beginning of the new year. Not just an overdose; a death per week. Yet, like the inconvenient success of the Sanders presidential campaign, it’s hardly being discussed.
While I can’t speak to that phenomenon, I can point to another that seems to have a direct correlation on the return of what was once considered to be the polio of drugs: The death of pain management clinics through either criminal corruption or over-regulation
Opiates...powerful stuff. And when they can’t get them over the counter because they either cannot afford it or the counter has been physically removed by the State, it’s not a matter of taking off your jersey and leaving the stadium; it’s a matter of doing whatever you have to do to escape the chronic pain that usually leads to such an addiction, because opiates are like a child of divorce: The roots grow down to your very soul and are almost impossible to excise.
General Practitioners are in awfully short supply and many don’t even accept new patients anymore. For those that do, pain management patients require additional levels of supervision and skill many GP’s simply cannot afford to invest in. The remaining pain management clinics operate with the concentration you’d expect of one working at legislative gunpoint, and with this particular brand of addiction…tomorrow is a luxury patients do not consider, only the need to address the very real physical addiction now, consequences be damned.
I do not blame the State for the new slew of deaths of our very much physically addicted community members, only the law of unintended consequences…but now that we are aware of such, what’s the excuse? Just don’t talk about it and hope it fades like a fart in an elevator?
Handicap Spaces and Heroin: One caused by apathy and the other caused by denial. Let’s start the dialogue because another thing that pisses me off is ignoring a solvable problem. Break the cycle so they can break the cycle.
(Roll call ruminating is concluded.)
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.
Photo by Gabriel Doyle