Monday, December 12, 2011

What the hell Columbus. . .

Well, the clutch system on my 300zx decided to start acting up on me. . . two weeks after getting it put together and running great. Looks like I will be replacing the master cylinder tomorrow and subing a 280zx brake hose for the clutch damper. Hopefully that will take care of all the problems. Right now the pedal starts sticking after a few miles of driving. We will see.

But anyway, I went to Advance Auto on Victory Drive this morning to order the brake hose. As I am heading in the store I see this guy running across the street towards Advance Auto, making eye contact with me. I double check to make sure my door is locked and head into the store. As the CSR is looking up my parts the same dude comes into the store, still in a hurried fashion. I keep an eye on him as he enters. He's dressed in blue jeans that have seen better days and a hoodie pulled over his head, he's a white guy, probably late twenties, and his skin looks like he sees too much sun. But faster than I take in his description I recognize him for what he is - a damn crackhead.

He starts hollering at the CSR, "Patrick, Patrick! Can I look at that part?" And points to something behind the counter.

Patrick the CSR replies, "No," with a sarcastic laugh. Then pauses "what part?" Crackhead points, and Patrick the CSR oks him to go and look at it.

As Mr. Crackhead is headed to look at his part he comes uncomfortably close to me and asks, "Do you need any help today?"

I give him an appropriate fuck off look and simply reply "no" and he proceeds about his crackhead business.

But I brush him off, as long as he keeps his distance and goes about his own business he doesn't bother me much. After all, working at a pawn shop, I am more than used to dealing with crackheads.

So, I order my part and go back home. A few hours later Billie, Julia, and myself head out to go buy some supplies for the new mouse tank. (More on that later.) But first I go to Autozone to pick up a new clutch master cylinder for the 300zx. I take Marathon from South Lumpkin Road to Victory Drive and drive right by O'reilly's. In the parking lot of O'reilly's is an obvious crackwhore waiting for someone to come and pick her up. She gives all the cars going bye the eye. She's obviously cold, but waiting for some money to come in the parking lot.

I was unaware you could go to O'reilly's for brake fluid and a blow job.

And it is not like the people working in O'reilly's don't know she's turning tricks in their parking lot. This isn't the first time I have seen her loitering there. Anyway, I go to Autozone and get my part. Everything goes smooth and I proceed to Petco to get the supplies for my mice. On the way back home, I stop by Advance Auto, who by this time will have my brake hose in for the 300zx. Pulling into the parking lot, I see the same cracked out white dude, again running across Victory Drive, this time away from Advance. He is heading towards another crackwhore walking Victory Drive. This time I pay more attention, they debate back and forth a few minutes and he comes running back across the roads to Advance and towards a black guy walking into the parking lot. I shake my head and go into the store to get my part. However, Billie and Julia are still sitting inside the locked Jeep outside so I keep an eye out the window, what with the crackhead running around and all.

Well, a few minutes later I watch as he heads towards one of the Advance Auto CSRs, a black female this time, pulling into the store in one of their delivery trucks. They exchange a few words and SHE PROCEEDS TO BUY CRACK OR METH FROM HIM. I don't know my drugs from a distance, but it wasn't green. No way of doubting the exchange - money and drugs switch hands right out in midday. He knows no one is going to bust him today, and that the store has nothing against him dealing there. He then runs inside the store with her and runs behind the counter and picks up a few bags of something looking like cat litter and carries them out to the truck for her. She drives off and he approaches a black fellow entering the store. The fellow promptly tells him to fuck off and he resumes his post RIGHT BY THE ADVANCE AUTO FRONT DOOR.

I get my part and leave Advance Auto, keeping an eye on him in the rear view mirror. He maintains his spot right outside of Advance Auto.

Now, I do my civic duty and call the police and report a crack dealer loitering in the Advance Auto parking lot. But I know it will do no good. For one thing, the police response in South Columbus is horrible. Even though there is a South Columbus Precinct, not 10 miles away from every place I have ever needed the police in South Columbus.

Now in the past I have argued that South Columbus really isn't as bad as some people think, that it has been cleaned up and is still being cleaned up. But today, I realized how mistaken I am. Obviously Advance Auto endorses drug dealing and O'reilly's endorses prostitution. I can say that I will no long be doing business simply out of pure disgust with either of these auto parts dealers on Victory Drive. I will drive the extra fifteen minutes across town.

I know that crime is essentially a sad fact of life, and I know prostitution is the oldest profession there is. But, all of this is so out in the open on this side of town, and to my eyes no one really cares. Any given day I see more police in North or Central Columbus than I do in South Columbus.

But what the hell Columbus? How long are you going to turn a blind eye to the crack dealings and prostitution right out in the open? Will it forever take police thirty minutes or more to respond to a call in South Columbus? Today I lost a lot of hope in Columbus.

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