Posted tagged ‘The Wire’

Tales of the Wire: 5. Marlo

June 18, 2011

The legitimate businessman angle didn’t interest Marlo Stanfield. He would take another cut in the face to be at the head of a drug empire again. His days of supreme supremacy were over and there was a new King of sting on the block.

Nevertheless, Marlo was still rich beyond his wildest dreams. In many places he had taken his dirty money to be laundered. Material things -you could call it clutter- was Marlo’s new fixation. With a suitcase of money still reeking from the palms of previous owners -the desperate addicts of the street- he entered an auction house.

One painting caught his attention: The Triumph of Death by Pieter Brueghel.

A craving came upon him the likes of which he hadn’t felt since the Franklin Towers came down. This apocalyptic landscape was making him high. Bidding for the lot began and Marlo found himself in a two-horse race for the prize with an elderly gentleman. Not wanting to be outbid Marlo asked the man if he wanted to “step-to”.

The bidder stepped down and Marlo had his Triumph of Death. Cash, I always pay in cash said Marlo opening his suitcase. The auctioneer grimaced, the smell of sweat and degradation emanated from the dirty bills of the row houses. They wouldn’t be cleaned in this launderette.

Two burly security guards easily ejected the ex-drug baron from the hall and out into the street where he belonged. As he was led away he was screaming. “MY MONEY IS MY MONEY.”


Tales of the Wire: 4. Templeton

January 1, 2011

The editor of the magazine where I work sent me on a special assignment. After the recent success of the Baltimore Sun’s Scott Templeton with his superb collection of essays on the serial killing of tramps in Baltimore, I was given the order to go undercover with the underclass. No down and outs had been murdered in our city as far as I knew and my remit was simply to study their ways. The chief also told me not to fabricate any stories as some of Templeton’s tales are suspected to have been falsified.

Dressed in rags I ventured into the alleys and back passages of the deprived. Beside a brazier I saw eleven tramps in a huddle. I shuffled up to them with my eyes focused on the ground. This was when I spotted my first mistake. Although my attire was of the hobo my training shoes were as polished as a Not in Wisden article. Trying to scuff them a bit I approached the fire.

Even though I was a stranger in these parts I was welcomed with open arms. I couldn’t make out their grunts but it was clear that I had obtained membership of their church. One of the parish handed me an opened can of Super Lager. At this time I was feeling thirsty and unaware of their customs. I drained half the lager and handed the can back.
They turned on me.
Their grunts and groans got louder but I was unperturbed. I’d been called names before. Only when they produced sticks and stones from the ground did I scarper. I didn’t wait to find out if there were any potential Olympic Shot Putters or Javelin throwers amongst them. I was also thankful for the decent pair of runners on my feet.

For help in writing this article I contacted Scott Templeton. After all, he is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He was more than happy to help as long as he was given due credit. I asked why are the natives restless and why was I attacked? The following is Mr. Templeton’s eloquent prose.

Those that society has forgotten are in a land that Time magazine forgot. Luckily, I was on hand to sympathetically narrate the feelings and distrust of this under-privileged tribe of lost souls. Liquor and drugs are the footsie top two in their Bloomberg world. As these precious elements are rare they take an eternity to consume their intoxicant of choice. There’s no McCarthyism down in the dumps. Socialism is alive and kicking in this Marxist utopia as no one is allowed more than their fair share of beer in a can and they must be sluggish slow with their slugs. The rationale being the denizens don’t know where the next one is coming from.
That’s it, we’re done. I can’t reveal my sources. OK turn off the tape recorder and remember to plaster my name all over your piece.

Tales of The Wire: 3. Landsman

August 7, 2010

Detective Sergeant Jay Landsman may not have the highest rank in the Homicide Division but he was sure feeling High Society as the clearance rate for murders was good. Looking out the Penthouse window of his office he smiled and went back to his lunch. The standard Landsman dinner was a big Kahuna burger, fries and a litre of Coke. He took a large bite from his burger and surveyed his magazine.

The centrefold in Men Only winked at the big detective. Jay smiled and rotated the magazine180 degrees. The only thing he disliked about the glossies was the staples; always puncturing and obstructing a vital part of the anatomy; now that’s what you call murder.

His sausage fingers turned the well-thumbed pages that were sticky from some glue-like substance. Probably dropped mustard or ketchup from his meal, he reasoned and smiled again. Then he thought, not be long now to the Kelly Brook Playboy special hits the stands. The big man’s Southern hemisphere vibrated.

His explicit deliberations were curtailed by an interrupting Detective with the nickname of Bunk who excitedly ejaculated the following message.
“Jay, you gotta see this. This will pop your cork.”

Landsman with magazine and Coke still on his hand walks ungainly into the corridor. He stares at the murder board on the wall. Newly written up are eleven John Does.
“Oh nuts!”

“Eleven bodies found on the dock with their hands cut off and their teeth smashed with a blunt instrument. Maybe a Club.” explains Bunk.

Landsman drains his Coke with a straw until he is left sucking air; his container is empty.
“I need time to get my head round this. I’m off to the little boy’s room.”

Landsman tucks his glossy magazine under his arm and heads for the toilet.

Tales of The Wire: 2. Bodie

June 10, 2010

The old shopping trolley with the dodgy wheel rumbled out from the alley. Its owner, Bubbles, was trying to sell white T-shirts to the drug dealers on a west side corner. “Little” Kevin was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any in his size. The man-child in charge of this area was Preston “Bodie” Broadus and he chased off the old vagrant.

“Beat it, man. And don’t stick no hats on ‘anyone’s head ‘cos we don’t want no bugs.”

Bodie was having a bad day. He was born to be a corner boy and for years he’d worked these corners. But times were tough. He’d never had a day off, never snitched on anyone or robbed from a package and all he could see around him was an ineffectual team of poor ass muthas. They were worse than pawns.

“Little” Kevin pulled another cheeseburger from his pocket and was covered in ketchup making Bodie screw his eyes up in disgust. Oh, wherefore art thou Wallace. His number one runner, Namond, the boy responsible for where the stash is kept, could be seen from ten blocks away as his Afro hair wagged in the wind. If I had a pair of scissors, thought Bodie, I wouldn’t just cut his hair. And then things got worse.

“Fire in the hole! I mean, fire in the wire! No, I mean, fire in the alley.”

One of Bodie’s lieutenants came rushing out from the alley into the street.

“It must have been that old junkie. He’s dropped a smoke in the bin and it’s on fire.”

Bodie knew this would bring the Fire Department to his turf and then the Baltimore Police. He could do without this heat. Shaking his head he walked into the alley followed by his less than trusty crew.

“Ah’yt.” said Bodie.
“As I do everything on this corner I best fight the fire.”

With a minimum degree of effort Bodie expelled a large litre of saliva from out of the side of his face; the famous Bodie spit. It put the fire out.

Tales of The Wire: 1. Ziggy

April 3, 2010

The words hero and Ziggy Sobotka just didn’t look right in the same sentence. The car thieving, drug selling, manhood flashing, duck loving longshoreman was bereft of redeeming characteristics. He is a daft boy, that’s true, he is also a cold blooded murderer convicted for twenty years.

While doing his stretch, Ziggy swore to change his outlook on life. His impeccable behaviour behind bars resulted in a reduced sentence for his crime; the aforementioned murder. He wracked his brains to find a meaning, an outlet for his brand new taste for redemption.

He sought solace in a six string acoustic guitar and twanged away with his tattooed knuckles at a melody. Alas! Ziggy couldn’t play guitar. Discarding the guitar Ziggy vowed, no more will I be the village idiot, a comic strip goofball, I am going to be a legend. (more…)