Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon

“As it would certainly seem to seem as of late, not so many things are quite as dull as one would most likely prefer. Not here anyway.”
                             Robert Stanford answering any question posed.

There was a time, of course, that walking through the Airport District was a myriad of gunfire and dog barks/bites. Pepper spray was certainly a must have. A quick car and path to the Memorial Emergency Room for pit bull victims (always children). The Grand Am I had at the time, did the job well.

It did not take too much education to make this entire situation subside. Especially in consideration that for the entire County of Stanislaus, the Modesto Airport District had the highest amount of animals sent to the gulags of the Stanislaus County Animal Control (We don’t call it the “humane society” anymore, of course).

And then there was that time, not so long ago, that I lost a pit bull to a kidnapping and then it was used for training a fighting dog, all for the purpose of killing my dog. I think this was some sort of a gang assault against me, but the children that witnessed it said nothing about that per say. Of course, to avoid any legal entanglements like a possible 187 charge for either one of us, I just don’t go there. In any way.

Though I do often use my snitch abilities to report illegal dog breeding and fighting, but it is just not as satisfying as a sawed off shot gun would seem to be.

And of course that’s where it starts. Local feuds and fights over dogs and dog fights. That’s just life in the Modesto Airport District. For pit-bulls and those that love them or use them.

I did not raise mine to fight. But I guess that is all over now, what with the presumptuousness of the tweaked out natives of the Modesto Airport District and their dog-fighting heritage.

Why shouldn’t they have the right to steal my dog and use it for live training bait for a gun-powder fed, hard ran dog raised for nothing more than an illegal activity so many seem to overlook as an infraction here in Stanislaus County?

I was once mauled by four pit-bulls in the street, one morning. Like a pack of demons - lovingly cuddly and soft puppies came out of the middle of nowhere and seduced me into dropping to my knees to embrace them on the side of the road, with the foreboding thought on my mind, “Oh God, now they are all going to be following me.”

And then of course, there was that time I found myself on my knees once more, gently head butting a cat on the sidewalk. I turn my head to notice an MPD officer shaking his head and grinning at me. I would have waved, but that does not go over to well in the area. The affiliation with law enforcement is frowned upon by many, mostly the white residents, such as the multi-generational corn fed speed freaks that kidnapped my dog to feed it to theirs.

But there are enough of them that I have to work with, that I try to keep any type of a law enforcement affiliation on the “down low”. Now that I work out of a bail bonds company in the Modesto Airport District, this problem is fading as well as they are better able to peg me now, as opposed to before, when they were mostly overcome with confusion when I told them that I was not a social worker, but would not describe myself any further than using the words activist, advocate, sponsor, etc.

It’s also one of the primary defense points showing it’s true colors regarding Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy Investigator Kari Abbey’s falsely received assertions from fringe media, not even pervasive in the community, that under the color of law, she exercised unfair advantages over tenants that lived in this same area. This would be virtually impossible, and as an officer, herself, well known to her, that it would more than likely constitute recklessness to the point of suicide by gang if she was to openly flaunt to her tenants that she was affiliated with law enforcement. But like the rest of the general public, you may not have been aware of that.

I have had countless violent encounters with dogs in the Airport District, generally in the early hours of the morning. It did not take me long to learn that the trick to surviving an attack by an animal, is the ability to appear to that animal to be so menacing that they feel like they would have no chance, thereby running away from you, rather than you running away from them. That and a hot cup of coffee works pretty good too.

The Modesto Airport District as of 2004 through 2005 is mostly comprised of Mexicans now. A much healthier and positive culture than the red-necked corn fed NAZI speed freaks that previously dignified the primary demographic of the Modesto Airport District, no matter how humble their dust-bowl fashioned beginnings may seem to be by any, including myself.

But I still miss my dog.

Copyright 2011 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When it's Christmas out in Ho Chi Minh

Robert Stanford reporting live, from the Modesto Airport Business District.

Thus the story so far….

So the flower shop across the street has now disbarred me from boutiqing1, I am quite sure. It is a combination of the words “kidnapping” and “extortion” that they cannot seem to get past.

Either that, or the older man of the shop is quite shaken, scared and all the more offended, after I chased after him one day, in a performance designed to dissuade those that would defecate along the back doors of the office. Perhaps it was a mistaken identity, but either way, a shortcut to where again?

But that’s just what happens when you walk out onto the stage of that kind of a reality. You just don’t know what you will find. What you will face. Many assumptions will be made of involuntary necessity of survival. Depending on the situation of course. Or not.

And in the seemingly newly dedicated way, the “Mission District” has set about building up within their few city block domain. King of the homeless problem. Expanding the detox center - new life for good people. Well “Praise the Lord”.

I wanted to get some pictures, but the abatement crew that came to abate the asbestos in the building ruined my best shots. Who do I sue?

Interesting, the struggles the Modesto Union Gospel Mission has endured under the felinity and circumspect attacks of the La Loma Neighborhood Association’s assault upon the homeless in a Melville storyline manner with Mike Moradian at the helm. No matter, though. Just another contestant for the Robert Stanford Local Celebrity Death Pool.

I even have it figured out what I shall stamp in blood red letters across his apple pie face. I was going to use it for Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Kenneth Tam, but thought better to bite my tongue for the time being, in favor of coming back later for Tam with some interactive video of a rape scene from the movie Pulp Fiction. Therefore, I find it comforting and satisfying to use it to brand Mike Moradian’s portrait - FAGGOT.

It would seem that the Voice of Modesto's very own Less Nesman, Emerson Drake, has left the building, never to be heard from again? It’s all hush hush and on the Q-T - like that police report the publisher filed on his laptop and precinct lists. I certainly hope that when I am old and decrepit, that I do not see middle aged men as nothing more than a group of juvenile delinquents that neer do well, not paying attention to me in my poli-sci class. Mindy should really put him in a home now.

And of all days to day. I cannot get the thought out of my mind of carmen, standing there, with the Modesto Bee in one hand and holding his weenie in the other.

Probably because he will be sporting a hot-dog cart at his makeshift Italian diner hustling for votes with party poppers and kazoos - complete with a coned party hat that is just 10 sizes to small for him……’s his birthday after all. Today is the day2.

Of course what do I know, if I were still in the running for mayor, I would probably be selling out gay hot weenies at the Brave Bull trying to makes sure the marriage equality vote knew I was firmly in their corner. I figure they would just go along with the rest. Especially after those weenies. I know Kasey would let me do a Donna Summer DJ session if I showed up in drag. Or not.

Walking around the corner the other day, suddenly everything became unfamiliar and dark as the wind blew about handbills of announcement that only jimson root could tell. And an old lady with large hairs growing from her chin looked up from the cumbersome misused baby stroller and cackled, “How cum yoo not in jaaayle?”

I said nothing. I just kept trying to wake up and then I saw him. The old man that had once been so friendly now peeked up and over at me as he scurried inside to the safety of his building to be warm and protected from two words - “kidnapping” and “extortion”.

To get to the Vietnamese refugee camp or home, I have to cross in front of the Modesto Union Gospel Mission. Tempestuous it is. Once having to walk home from work crippled by my very shoes, I limped across the fresh tarmac, yet stopped midway. I looked down and took off the shoes that tortured me so. As I looked up and over, I saw a young man grinning at me. Or so I thought. I did not have my glasses and he was far too away for me to see. There may have not been anyone there at all.

“You’re quite an interesting character.” The youthfully beaming apparition said to me. Or not.

“Yeah, why is that?” I asked sharply, as though I had several cars to be lubing in Brooklyn, all the while, proceeding to take off my socks.

“You just are. You work at that bail bonds place, don’t you?”

“Why?”, I hissed. “What do you want?”

“Nothin, I just….”, and with that I briskly stormed away from him, unencumbered by ill fitting shoes as though I was born to walk through the Modesto Airport District without fear of neither needle, metal or glass.

Tonight the Brown Shirt NAZI guards of the Modesto Gospel Mission were even farther away. To me it looked as though they were rising up, preparing to shoot me down with .22 cal. pistols and then proceed to call animal control for a “pick up”. Or not.

Maybe they would whisk my body into the building and feed me to the homeless. One could only hope, considering the five million dollars they brought in for the year 2010, the gruel they currently serve those unfortunate enough to have to endure the sacrifice of their very Constitutional rights for a partial portion of a disgusting meal.

Here. You can have mine.

No, no. I’ll be allright (live longer). Cigarette?

Ducking into the safety of the Vietnamese refugee camp, it is in and of itself, the perfect camouflage. The perfect cover. The perfect disguise. Where everyone knows your name. Well, my name at least.

“Pollo. So they away take the man and the girl?”

“Everyone is out now. Yeah. But it’s all political. You know. Like in Vietnam.”

“I not joking now. You need be serious. I worry about you. You be careful.”

“It’s all political. Seriously. Everything is fine - they are lying in the newspaper”

“You want coffee Pollo?”

“Yes, please. You know, I would love some coffee. Some coffee would be great. Thank you. Yes. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee”

The Vietnamese Refugee camp is on the Yosemite Boulevard, which is just a fancy name for a short stretch of the 132 interstate.

And here, along that interstate in this God Forsaken valley is this place. A place where Vietnamese hospitality is taken advantage of as though it were franchised.

A refuge from the rain, the cold, your problems or the police.

Not from me though.

I saw her grinning twice as wide today, from in the back of the camp, in the kitchen. It was the Den Mother. “Hi Pollo!”. Obviously relieved that I was not arrested and taken to jail along with “the man and the girl”. “You OK?”

“It’s political. It’s all political. You know, like Vietnam.”

“Pollo!” The other one snapped, “We not from Vietnam. We Cambodian.”

“Same thing. I saw Apocolypse Now.” I said smugly, as though I was tossing imaginarily long locks of hair across my other shoulder.

“What? What Pollo?”

“It’s a movie. It’s about the war.”

“Oh, the war. I little girl then. That long time ago. You want donut, Pollo? I give to you.”

“He don’t need more donut. He get fat now!” The Den Mother said, upon coming across to the counter to join us. “You OK?”

“I’m fine. Really. And so are they. This is not what they tell you it is. It is totally different”

“You promise? You don’t want donut? I sorry for what I said. You not fat. You need more more donut!!!”

Our laughter chimed as a reminder to me that everything was meant to be the way it is today, despite how uncertain it might seem all too often. As though there is no use to resist and fight for the preservation of moments such as these. Right Here. Right Now - a refuge. A home. A place free from those that would enslave, imprison and kill us without any recourse to the law for us.

Just like Vietnam.

1. Sorry, it was unspellable.

2. Actually, I wrote that last week. So it’s really not his birthday today. And yes he is still alive. But I got fifty says he won’t make to election - ricket’s - they move fast.

Copyright 2011 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.