Monday, November 30, 2009

Fucking people with sick kids

As I type, I am surrounded by snotrags, a half empty bottle of NyQuill, and cough drops, mostly mine but a growing number belonging to the husband who took a little longer to come down with it. I can thank my newly added decor and screaming sinus headache to the parents of some sickass kids who just HAD to be brought to Thankgsiving dinner. Of course, they assured us it was ok because "They're on antibiotics!". Because you know, if the kids are on antibiotics, the rest of us will be immune to their plague. Morons. Both kids had a terrible time. They screamed and cried a solid 4 hours, all the while covered in boogers. I'm sure mom and dad had a good time though, and that's what counts, right? Can't have mom and dad left at home while fun things are happening elsewhere!

If you have kids, and they are sick, leave them the fuck home. No one wants to share in whatever nasty, snot inducing viral infection they're carrying. Taking them along to public functions only tells the rest of the world what a selfish fuck you really are. Trust me, your kids are not so entertaining that they're worth suffering a 102 degree fever for 2 days over. Stay home. We'll send a sacrificial lamb over with some food.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Cardinal Sins of Crime

When setting upon the path that ain't so straight and narrow, there are a million things one must keep in mind in order to avoid capture. However, when it comes to deadly sins, there are but a few rules that should be carved in stone.

Stay Alert
By stay alert, I mean, stay off the shit. Don't commit crimes while drunk or high. It's not only stupid, it adds to the bust should you get caught. Taking a shot of Jack to settle your nerves is fine. Drinking half a keg before vandalizing someone's car is just fucking ignorant. You'll be sloppy and loud for starters, and should you puke all over the tires in the process, you've just left a bucketfull of DNA behind should the cops care to take it that far. (probably not, but you never know) As for toking up first, do you really need to add to your paranoia? Crack, coke, meth, etc will ramp you up too much to be of any use. You need to be alert and fairly calm, not climbing the fucking walls while picking at your zits. I know plenty of shit is done by tweakers, but those guys don't give a shit if they get caught. They're only looking to score. You, OTOH, would prefer to run amok without having disco lights flashing in your rear view. Right?

Tell No One
The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead. No matter how much your friend swears they'll take it to the grave, what they really mean is they'll take it to bed. Whoever they're sleeping with will be the next person to find out. Then that person will tell their best friend, who will tell whoever he's banging, and before you know it, it's all over town.

This is just human nature. Assumming you've already screwed up and let those around you become wise to your little pasttime, you'll have two sorts of friends at this point; those who think you're bad shit and admire you for it, and those who think you're bad shit and are afraid of you. The latter may keep their mouth shut for fear of retribution, but they may also roll to the cops in hopes you'll wind up in jail far away from them. The former, however, is the worst. Proud of your accomplishments, and even more proud they're hanging with you, they'll awe their own flunkies with tales of all the things "we" did. Never mind they weren't with you, they'll claim they were... until the cops come knocking. Do not doubt they will come knocking, because that sort of friend just can't shut up. Sooner or later, the story hits the wrong ears, and the cops will start taking a keen interest in you. Then they'll roll over on you faster than you can say narc.

Revenge Is Best Served Cold
Every time that Carrie Underwood song "Last Time He Cheats" plays, I have to laugh at that stupid bitch. Why the fuck would you carve your OWN name into his seat? Why not just leave a business card while you're at it? Better to carve the name of some other girl, at least it'd throw the po po off your scent for a bit.

Any crime you commit that is personal in nature, such as vandalism, arson, or assault, will immediately come back on you if the cops can find a strong motive for you to commit it. If you and your boyfriend have a massive blow out after you caught him getting a blow job from your best friend, and his house suddenly burns to the ground, guess who the cops will be visiting first? I don't care if half your friends swear you were at the movies that night with them, the cops will be convinced it was you... and some cops will make the case with or without the evidence.

If someone fucks you over so badly that you are determined to reap vengeance, wait at least a year. I can hear you now. WTF a fucking year?? Yep, a year. Reason being, most people will have long moved on after that much time has passed, and more than likely your victim will have made new enemies since you. I have delivered some pretty painful smackdowns several years after having no contact, and not once did I hear any mention of my name as a possibility for the hand that dealt. Just another unsolved crime. A bonus is that after that much time has passed, you probably won't even care any more. Rather than crying and cursing while you scheme, you'll find the whole thing hilarious and it will make you that much more twisted in your revenge. Plus, you'll be clear eyed about it enough to pay attention to detail and not make stupid mistakes.

Nothing To See, Move Along
If you watch any crime shows at all, you should be familiar with the tendancy of criminals to revisit the scenes of their crimes. Make no mistake, this is not just some hoohaw used by writers and directors to help bust the bad guys. People who do bad things tend to want to relive the moment. Maybe it's to reconnect with the rush they got at the time, or maybe it's just to convince themselves they really did it. Maybe you'll want to see just how pissed off the victim is. Whatever the reason, don't. Your new motto is "Nothing to see folks, move along", and for crip's sake don't be one of those stupid fucks who goes to the cops trying to offer assistance in hopes of feeling important and finding out what the cops know. You might as well wear a shirt that says "I'm Stupid and I Did It" while you're at it. Cops know damn well that the most gung ho individual in the search party is usually the one who whacked the kid.

See how easy it is?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Make Your Home Ugly (to burglars)

Have you ever watched that most awesome show TLC used to have, called "It Takes A Thief"? Two ex burglars case a neighborhood, then break in and rob the house. Of course, it's all legit now so they first get the homeowner's permission, wire the house with cameras, and then give the shit back afterwards. Aside from that, it's something every homeowner should watch. Jon's ability to seemingly climb up vertical surfaces is astounding, but hardly unique to him. Your average crackhead looking to score a TV he can flip for some rock may be too stupid to do anything more creative than break a window or try to kick in a door, but a serious burglar will be alert, agile, and above all, intelligent.

As an aside, I'm always amused by the homeowners who get all mad at him. Hello? You fucking agreed to have him do it, remember? Idiots.

The first thing you have to know is, if someone wants in your house, I mean REALLY wants in your house, he's getting in. No security system, no dog, no hedge, will keep him out. However, these sorts of burglaries are not the norm, generally a product of a personal grudge. With that in mind, it would be to your advantage to avoid pissing off crazy fucks and people who associate with crazy fucks.

A good burglar will carefully case the neighborhood before selecting the house he wants to hit. Much like the two campers who, upon seeing a bear, begin to run and the one camper says, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you!", your goal is to make your house look less appealing than those around you. This means using a number of defenses, rather than just sticking an ADT sign in your front yard and calling it good.

Take A Look Around

Take a good long look at your house. What do you see? Are the windows low to the ground, allowing for easy entry? Is the wood around your doors and windows solid, or rotted with peeling paint? Are the shrubs and trees obscuring windows or doors? Now walk up to the front door and stand there. Can you see the window locks from there? Are they unlocked? Head around to the back, where your meters are. How's the access from there look? Is there a nice high privacy fence to keep neighbors from seeing what's going on in the back yard? You may realize your house looks a lot more vulnerable than you realized, and remember that you don't even know what you're looking for. An experienced burglar will spy access points you didn't even think of.

Landscaping For Protection

One of the most cost effective things you can do to deter burglars from your home is to use landscaping effectively. A good landscape job will not only make them frown, but will increase the value of your home. There are a myriad of plants and shrubs that are beautiful to look at, and very painful to touch. For shrubs, check into Barberry, an attractive shrub with a bazillion evil thorns that will shred your legs should you choose to walk through them. Of the hollies, Chinese holly is a killer. All roses have thorns, but some have an ungodly amount of them. Russian Olive is a beautiful grey green, thorned shrub that can be tree formed. Leatherleaf Mahonia is an unusual shrub that has leaves similar to the Chinese holly. Use these nasty plants around all low windows to discourage easy breaking and entering via the window. Also consider making a nice patch of them along the inside of your back fence, to give fencing jumping thieves something "soft" to land in.

Security System

Even if you can't afford one, get a sign for one and stick it somewhere it can be seen from the road. While most burglars can be in and out before the cops arrive, when given the choice between a house with a system and one without, they'll take the later every time.

Dog Doors

Most people think that a dog will protect their house while they're not home. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of dogs will allow the burglar to do whatever he pleases, so long as you're not home. Their protective instincts kick in only around you, their food, bed, and toys. I never once worried about a dog. The 2 who did cause me a degree of concern were easily handled with a cheap piece of steak I brought along. I tossed it into another room, let them run in after it, and shut the door. Dog problem solved. You can humph and say "well you didn't meet my PIT/DOBIE/ROTTIE/MASTIFF/whatever. All I can say is, no matter how bad your dog is, a bullet in his head will end the threat. Don't count on your dog stopping a burglar. Your best hope is that he deters them from entering in the first place.

Barking won't do a damn thing, because your neighbors learned to tune out that annoying racket a long time ago. I've also found that the dogs you have to watch out for aren't the ones talking all the shit, but the ones who never take their eyes off of you. Back to the dog door though, lot of burglars of a certain ethnicity harbour a deep fear of dogs, so you're better off making them think you have a big one. I don't care if you have a Chihuahua, put in a dog door big enough for a Rottie. Even if they don't see it, they'll assume he's huge, mean, and waiting for them inside. If you're worried about someone coming in through that dog door (a valid concern), just make a dummy door. Board over the backside, and use screws so it can't be easily kicked in. Don't laugh. I knew a very talented burglar who refused to go anywhere near a house with a dog door big enough for a Labrador to go through.

Use Your Locks

Too many people are guilty of leaving doors and windows unlocked, particularly famblies with kids. This is why some burglars target houses with obvious signs of kids living there (cheerleading/football signs, cheap plastic toys in the yard). Everyone knows kids are bad for leaving everything wide open, plus a house full of kids often means a house loaded to the gills with electronics and gaming systems. Those locks aren't there for decoration. Use them, and teach your kids to use them too. Tell them a child rapist got out of prison and is in the area if you have to, but make the little bastards learn to lock the doors. And on that note....

Clean Up Your Fuckin Yard

Keep the bikes and all that plastic kiddie crap in the damn back yard, out of sight. It's cheap, ugly, and your neighbors don't want to see it strewn all over the place every time they drive past. Also, no one gives a shit that your daughter is a Bulldog Cheerleader, or your son is #44 on the JV team. All that shit is nothing more than a calling card for burglars. Busy parents + irresponsible kids = unlocked house, and kids nearly always equal computers, laptops, dozens of expensive and easy to flip games, plus TVs, blue ray dvd players, blackberries, and Wii. Teenage girl? Good chance to score some designer stuff ... and most burglars tend to be male. Male thieves have girlfriends who would love to have your daughter's new Fendi bag and DG shades. For that matter, female burglars might enjoy those items themselves...

Shut The Garage

You'd be amazed at how many snatch and grabs occur in broad daylight, through open garage doors. Kids wander by and grab a bike out of the garage, while more aggressive thieves will slip inside to see if you leave the keys in your ignition. Some may even take a second to peek inside, in case you keep the car and house keys all on a hook beside the door to the garage. And others still may decide to come on inside and see if there's anything, or anyone, inside of interest. It takes one second to hit that button, so shut the garage door already.

Don't Be A Dick

Make friends with your neighbors. It isn't hard to do, and it may save your ass someday. I grew up in a wealthy suburb, in a nice neighborhood, and we were not friends with any of our neighbors. I played with the kids on the block, but our parents did not socialize. If a car appeared in front of someone's house, we just assumed it belonged there. Why was that? I guess we just didn't care... and no one else seemed to either. Minor crimes were common, mostly vandalism, theft out of garages, items stolen from unlocked vehicles. A few break ins. I suspect all were committed by someone living in the area, something that might have been prevented if we'd all been on good terms with each other. I now live in a small community where we all know one another, and we make an effort to stay in contact. Crime is nonexistant... and even if I were not retired, I would never take a chance on a B&E around here. Someone would notice.

Take some time this weekend to make a batch of brownies, or cookies... or buy them if you can't cook... and go visit your neighbors. Ask them how they're doing, compliment them on their home or whatever, but make friends. Your friends will watch out for you long after your unknown neighbors draw the curtains and walk away.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Basics of Shoplifting

Having been both the shoplifter and the retail employee, I've become something of an expert on the differences between a successful shoplifter, and an idiot facing 2 years probation and $1500 in fines over a couple of CDs. If you are contemplating leaving your debit card at home the next time you go shopping, then it would be to your benefit to pay attention. Some of this will seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but you'd be amazed at how many would be thieves get tripped up on them. The following advice is for those of you just getting your fingers wet, but much of it is good advice regardless of how long you've been "discount shopping".

Be Clean & Presentable
Do not go into a store wearing pajama bottoms and your hair a hot mess. The employees will take note of your trashy ass, if for no other reason than to make fun of you. You cannot steal shit if the employees are watching you, at least not while you're still getting your chops. Likewise, do not show up in ultra low rise jeans that remove all speculation about your shaving habits, or with a purple mohawk. Anything that draws attention to you is a big no no. Save the sexy clothes or the 20 piercings for people whose opinion you actually give a shit about. For shoplifting, you want to be clean and modestly dressed. Boring and unremarkable, in other words, the sort the employees will notice and immediately dismiss as not hot enough to flirt with nor ugly enough to laugh at.

Ignore Store Employees
Retail employees all know that shoppers only make direct eye contact when they want to be helped. Otherwise, shoppers tend to ignore staff, or even outright avoid them. Unless you want that employee to start staring back, avoid the urge to constantly sneak peeks at him. If you must keep an eye on the employees, learn to use the store mirrors if they have them, or your peripheral vision if they don't. Better yet, mark their position in the store, and then ignore them. After their initial interest in you wanes, they'll return the favor.

Be White, or Shop With White Friends
Oh shut the fuck up. You know I'm right. Employees will watch black and hispanic shoppers WAY more than they will white. It doesn't matter if you're well dressed and carrying a dozen platinum cards, they'll still watch you. I've had black co-workers drop everything to eyeball young black males coming into the stores, and they've been quick to tell me to keep my eye on the brothas as well. However, if you have some like minded white friends who can play the game, (and I don't mean a pack of head bobbing wiggers either) they'll go a long way towards assuring the retail staff that you're an oreo and therefore ok. Better still, be Asian and in the midwest! Everyone has this image of hard working, family honor upholding Asians in the midwest. Go ask the employee something in horribly broken English if you really want to make sure they avoid you. For the rest of you who are white... don't shoplift with your black or hispanic friends. While your presence will help deflect some of the attention they'd normally receive, it increases that directed at you substantially!

No Hams Between Your Thighs!
We've all heard the stories about hugely fat women who stuck hams, turkeys, and even TVs between their gargantuan thighs and walked out unaccosted. However, I strongly advise against doing anything that will affect the way you walk. This also goes for the fake preggo belly that people stash shit in. This is something for the pros, mainly because it's not easy to slip shit up under your dress or shirt and into that fake belly without a lot of practice, and it's nigh impossible to walk normally with anything clenched between your thighs. If you go waddling towards the door looking like you're about to shit yourself, it's going to attract attention, and if you have to make a run for it you will certainly lose your prize. Sliding a pack of ribeye steaks into your waistband and under your shirt is fairly simple and will go unnoticed as long as your shirt isn't form fitting. It also has the added benefit of being unlikely to fall to the ground at the worst possible moment.

Get Those Tags OFF!
If you are shoplifting in a store with security tags, be sure to peel off anything that can possibly be scanned, including price tags with bar codes. Don't be fooled into thinking there is only one per item. I got busted at Hastings for stealing a damn cassette (Derek & The Dominos, original Layla version) because while I did peel off the plastic wrap with the security thing on it, I didn't think to open the cassette and look for more... and apparently there was something in that damn thing because it set off the detectors. I still would have pulled it off, had it not been for my idiot boyfriend, and it was his idea to swipe the damn thing in the first place! I had $800 cash on me at the time. Rather than make a mad dash for the residential neighborhood just across the parking lot where we could have quickly vanished, that dumb fuck refused to break from a slow walk. This brings me to the next point.

Shop Alone
In my original draft, I gave advice on how to successfully steal in packs. A few hours after publishing it though, I realized that regardless of how tempting it may be to bring your friends on board, you're better off keeping your new found hobby under your jacket, so to speak. There are a number of reasons why, one of which is that it's difficult to coordinate actions/reactions with a group, thereby increasing the risk of a bust. My idiot boyfriend got me caught because he refused to accept we were busted when the detectors went off. His lack of reaction meant the store employees, who were fucking off in the very back of the store, had plenty of time to chase us down and get a hand on my purse. Had he run... or had I been smart enough to take off and leave his stupid ass... they probably would have lost all interest by the time they hit the doors. Then again, how many of us are willing to run off and leave our friends behind to take the heat?

Another, possibly more important reason, and certainly one that has led to many regrets for me, is the erosion of friendships. Shoplifting is contagious, perhaps because it's often viewed as a victimless crime. Many of your friends will join in, regardless of their personal feelings about the ethics of such things. Sooner or later though, they will stop viewing it as fun and exciting, and start looking at you in a different light. They'll begin to distance themselves from you, partly to protect themselves from developing the reputation of a thief, but also because they're starting to see the real you and wondering just how deep the rabbit hole really goes. It may not matter to you now, but years from now you'll look back and wonder, why did we stop hanging out? The moral of this is that if you intend to shoplift, or steal things in general, resist the urge to share your activities with those around you. Getting them to join in the fun does not validate what you're doing, and it will only cause problems later on.

Stick (it) to Corporate America
Keep your thieving to corporate businesses. Leave the mom & pops alone. Small, independently owned businesses are what built this country. Walmart, however, can go fuck itself, just like it does it's employees. I extend that sentiment to ALL big box stores and chains. The added bonus is that most employees of corporate owned businesses are FORBIDDEN to interfere with your nefarious activities, because corporate is terrified you'll sue them for racism or assault or some other nonsensical reason. If that's not enough, half of them don't give a shit anyway... because they're busy stealing out of the stock room.

Keep it under 20 for starters
For those just now entering the world of shoplifting, keep in mind that theft under $20 is a Class C misdemeanor, generally resulting in the cop writing you a ticket similar to a traffic ticket, rather than actually arresting you. If you're just boosting for kicks, or not yet comfortable with your shenanigans, keep your thievery to items under $20 total. The fine will FAR outweigh what that CD was worth (up to $1500 in some states), but it beats being arrested, finger printed, photographed, and subsequently bailed out. Plus, you can occasionally talk your way out of the store calling the cops at all for such a petty crime, especially if you're a good looking girl caught by guys, and you cry about how you've never done it before and you're sorry and you just wanted it so badly. Your first bust will pretty much determine if you like shoplifting enough to continue, despite the consequences. No sense in it coming with a $10,000 fine and 10 years probation.

Follow Your Instincts
This is the most important rule of all. If you listen to nothing else I say, listen to your gut. If you are walking along in a store, your purse stuffed to the gills with odds and ends, your pockets full of stolen treats, and all of the sudden that little voice in your head pipes up and says "Um, dude, something is wrong", listen to it. Humans are born with a strong survival instinct, but most ignore it because it's easier to pretend everything will be ok. This is why little kids get into vans with strangers, and girls go home with creepy guys. Learn to listen to your gut. Even though you don't realize it, on a subconscious level you may have noticed a guy following you around the store, or caught the whispers and glances passed between two employees as they looked your way. Your first few attempts at shoplifting will result in your instincts screaming "DON'T DO IT! WE'LL BE CAUGHT" no matter what, but as you get more comfortable with your techniques and surroundings, that will go away. After that point, listen to it should it reappear. Before I ever hit those detectors at Hastings, that voice was in high gear. "NO GOOD NO GOOD" it kept saying, and I actually stopped and calmly told my boyfriend, hey we need to go look at such and such real quick, thinking I could ditch the cassettes in one of the aisles. He ignored me and headed on out, and so I ignored my instincts and fell in line... right through the squalling detectors.

As a side note, you may be thinking that boyfriend wanted me to get caught. Perhaps, but I can't imagine why. He took to thieving with gusto, even pushing me to new limits, taking me out of the misdemeanor range and well into the felony one. He was also a cop... and one of many corrupt cops I've known over my lifetime. On two occasions that was what kept us both out of jail, as the first cop on the scene quickly let us go rather than bust one of their own. Perhaps one of my "basics" should include finding a dirty cop and making him your new best friend.

There's a lot more to being a successful shoplifter than what I've outlined, but this is enough to get you a good start. Dress conservative, ignore employees, shop alone, remove ALL security tags, stick to stores full of employees that don't give a shit, and listen to your instincts. Should you do all this, and still find yourself being followed through the aisles, ditch the merchandise. After all, it isn't theft if you haven't left the store with it.

Disclaimer. The preceding is intended for "entertainment purposes" only. It is not intended to set you on your road to a life of crime. If you get busted for stealing, don't even think you can use this article to get the judge off your ass. He'll just laugh at you, and I'll laugh at you for being such a fucking ignorant pussy.