The woman in the next cubicle, in an apparent effort to to torture me in exchange for smelling my shoes all night, says I should look at a graphic.
It maps out gang-related drive-by shootings in our city.
The bad news: We have a lot of them.
The good news: They’re limited to a small area of town.
The bad news: The small area of town appears to be the square mile in which our building is located.
I am thinking of this as I drive home at midnight. My drive is spectacular, a road that goes along the bay, offering an amazing view and a feeling of peacefulness that comes as a much-needed respite after a stressful night.
Up ahead, traffic in the right lane is moving along at about 20 mph. I come from the land of 100-year-old drivers, so that’s nothing unusual. What IS unusual is that a car speeds around me in the left lane, then swoops into the back of the 20 mph procession. The car has a huge decal on the back window that sounds like a gang name.
I move into the left lane, preparing to speed around the procession, when I see that all the cars have the same label on their cars. They are moving in a manner that reminds me of funeral lines back in San Angelo. Nobody is passing them. The other cars on the street are all hanging back.
What’s the etiquette? I don’t want to drive behind them and look like I’m a gang wannabe. I don’t want to pass them in a sign of disrespect and become another dot on the drive-by map. What are the rules of Saturday night gang processions?
In the end, I pull over into the Super 8 parking lot and pretend to scrutinize their establishment for five minutes. Luckily the Super 8 desk people appear not to have formed a gang.
I’m pretty sure it’s just guys out cruising the same way we did when we were young. But I just saw “Gran Torino” and I’m no Clint Eastwood. More of a Pee-Wee Herman.
In either case, I think I’ll just take the back roads home tonight …