Soon as they took out pay phones, I knowed there was a war on the poor. It’s symbolic.
Take the cops. It’s like whatever rules held them back in the old days is gone. In them times, a cop might roust a brother for sleeping where he ain’t supposed to. Maybe even they arrest you for vag and take you downtown. Depending on the time of day, you might even get a meal if you was sober enough to eat.
Not no more. Nowadays they curse you, hit you with them batons, maybe even shock you with them stun guns.
“You bought a Hitler Car? You can’t be serious.”
“You should feel the air conditioning. Like a movie theater.”
“Chryslers have air conditioning. Volvos.”
“The cars are terrible. Read your Consumer’s Reporting.”
“So it doesn’t matter with you that this company made machines that killed my entire family? This is nothing?”
“I knew you would be this way. Remember the Bayer aspirin? When we were courting?”
“That was different! They conducted medical experiments! They killed thousands for their science!”
“Yes, they did. I am not denying they did. But these are different people now.”
“I will never ride in it.”
“You have a lot of nerve,” I said. “Showing up now. After.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said in her snide tone. “I got here as soon as I heard.”
“As soon as you heard,” I said. “Right. What about before?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said again.
“Sure you don’t.” I said. “She’s been sick for what, five years? Six?”
She didn’t say anything.
“Let me ask you,” I said. “How many times did you come up here then? How many visits?”
“You know how it was,” she said.
“Still is,” I said.
Oh, Cropper was inventive. He had these little touches made him unforgettable. One job, he had the bloke cuffed to his desk when he noticed a cup of pried-out staples sitting there. A bloody cupful! So Cropper asks him, “How many’s in there?” The poor bastard says he don’t know. Cropper takes out his gun and points at the bugger’s head. “Guess,” says he. But before the poor sod can, Cropper tells him that he’s gonna count them after. Every staple unaccounted for, over or under, he’s going to make the bugger swallow! I tell you, Cropper was a genius.