Monday, February 05, 2007

Darkness On The Edge of Town

We are still in Lancaster, CA. (I know there's a Lancaster, PA. Never been, but I am sure it's a very different kind of place.) Big Dog thinks he's here to emotionally support his nearly 90-year-old father, but I know that being with the DogFather is as much for his own sake as it is for the father. Other members have their own families, and jobs, to keep them distracted. Sure, we could move on and start any one of a dozen different projects, but I know Big Dog needs the comfort of being with family more than the distraction of any project.

But if we could, we would take the DogFather out of this town in an instant.

We discovered a bullet hole in DogFather's garage door yesterday. A bullet hole!! You can't imagine what a strange and violent symbol this is to anyone from Japan. It pierced through two layers of metal. When? Why? Who? So far, we can't find any damage to the car that was parked there, though on immediate inspection, that seemed impossible. Later, Big Dog drove the car out and went to look for the bullet.

"Are there any latex gloves around here? Don't touch it with your hand," I warn him. I've watched way too many episodes of CSI.
But so has he. Not only was he aware of that, he started pulling a string through the 2 holes to find the direction of the shot. Later, other family members were suggesting the same thing. How sad, how insane that you can actually USE the things that you learn from a crime scene investigation drama!

A few years ago, Little Sister's son got a job at a burger shop and was held up. A guy came in, pointed a gun in his face, made him open the cash register. (The manager of the shop wanted to take the losses out of the son's pay check!) Of course, Little Sister made him quit immediately (as I am sure he would have done, anyway) but I told Big Dog that if anything like that happened to us, we would be on the next plane out of here and would never come back.

I am ready to whisk everyone away from here. It never ceases to amaze me what people will put up with. I suppose it's the old frog in the warm water syndrome. The water keeps getting hotter, but so gradually that by the time the frog realizes the water's too hot, it's too late. People in LA are numbed by the violence. They put up bars on their windows, install thousand dollar security systems, drive their kids to school. They just learn to deal with it because they don't know how abnormal this is, how this is not the way things are all over the world.

"They should be outraged! They should band together and get something done about it!" both Big Dog and I scream to anyone who might listen. But because the decline has been so gradual, they don't see the severity of their problem. And one day, like that poor frog, it will be too late.

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