I remember the night I decided to become a repo man... You know, a legal car thief. Of course, the circumstances that lead up to what many would call destiny cannot always be appreciated--- ESPECIALLY when you're young. That silly decision began with another one...
I landed a job as a Club Bouncer working the seedier side of town. The gun cord I wore cut into my armpit something fierce; enough to make small doubts grow bigger. Because of the hardware (which was little more than a .38), I was forced to work the parking lot--- y'know, make sure the ladies get to the front door without incident ( hey, I was young ). I also wore a headset walkie which to communicate with the front door. After the first 3 hours, I thought I was on easy street making easy money ( young... And very stupid ).
Little did I know--- during the early 90's, the beeper handgun was the new thing ( a custom made bumper containing 3-4 .22 longshells encased in a pager shell with a firing pin built-in. Press the button and bang ), and when I caught wind that the front door had confiscated four of them, I started thinking if I could get my money early. Okay, here's what I didn't know---
While I was doing my 'bodyguard' thing for a group of girls driving a cheap Toyota in the back of the building, a caravan of cars, lead by a custom painted gold BMW, were coming in through the front entranceway, blocking traffic. The BMW contained 4 very blunted out Jamaicans, determined to show a caravan, 15 cars strong, a good time. Each Jamaican carried --- you guessed it--- a beeper handgun.
At the time, my attention was focusing on an unassuming white guy who circled endlessly around the parking lot via sidestreets and backalley shortcuts... Of course, once out of sight, out of mind.
What would take place less than 20 minutes later will forever haunt me--- not for what I didn't see, but what I heard. The walkie sounded like this:
KKKSSSSSHHH!--- (Random screaming) Hey! (glass breaking) Who's on outside?!
BZZT!! Rodney? KSSSSHHH! Rodney?! Are you out there?!!!
I reluctantly answered.
( Screaming getting louder) Hey, yo!! The Rastas---!! ( More breaking sounds) --- went shell---!! WHATEVAH YOU DO, DO NOT LET'EM GET DUG IN THEIR CAR!!! KKKSSSHHHT! ( the line cuts to continuous hash)
At the time, I was rushing towards the front of the building as the crowds began to spew out. I was so focused on the front door, I hadn't even realized I was leaning against a tricked out gold primered Beamer. " 'Ey, Rasclaht--- getoff ma' cahr!!!" was the next clue that I had found the right people. With .38 drawn and tucked low behind my sleeve, I braced my nerves and ignored the urge to lose my bladder where I stood.
Suddenly, I look back to notice the unassuming white guy standing on the other side of the car, looking like a deer caught in headlights! Unfortunately, I looked back long enough for the Jamaican to stab me in the arm with a jagged piece of glass he found on the ground! Everything happened so fast--- The fear... The searing burn that lit up my arm... The jolt of the .38 as I fired two rounds... The sudden fear that I may have killed my attacker... I think maybe the biggest scare of all was the fact that I neglected to let anyone know that I had no papers for the piece under my arm in the first place! Luckily for me that no one else put up a fight after that.
As it turns out, the white guy turned out to be a repo man following up a repossession order for a 1989 BMW about to be written off by the insurance company. Apparently, this guy takes on the case files that other agents don't like to touch. After the police arrived, they opened the trunk of the car to reveal several 12 gauge pumps, an AK-47 ( well, a Chinese knockoff Type 6), a few automatic handguns of varying caliber, and a short barrelled Uzi. It was here that those words of ' Don't let them get in their car' took on a whole new meaning.
By night's end, I would be cleared of the shooting; being declared as self-defense under extreme circumstances, the men with the weapons payload would be carted off to jail, I gave up the nightlife job that night ( as the future would have it, I would know this life again), and accepted a new one: learning to skip-trace hard-to-find auto's and turn a big profit.
Oh yeah, the repo-man, known only as Mr. Smith, would later be on the highway at daybreak, driving a gold BMW, and tucking ' his .38 revolver' into the glove box of the car.
Funny how those kinda things work themselves out, right?