Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pulp Non-Fiction: Muttonchop City II

Another chapter in the real true story of the Vertical Trailer Park where we live, *Muttonchop City:"I wouldn't be telling you this if you weren't Jewish, but people here want to crush your skull." The comradely concern of the messenger, Mr. *Blatz, (profession: taxi driver. Rumored favorite sleeping companion: his gun) was only outweighed by the hatred radiating from his sunken, bloodshot eyes. Oh, I am corrected here by Mr. P; Mr. Blatz actually said people wanted him to have an accident in the elevator. Like decapitation. Mr. P and I aren't everybody's best friends here in *Muttonchop City ever since Mr. P helped start the *Kooperators for Fernando-Lamas And Against Greediness*.

Let's call the other movement here *Monetizers, (It's actually "Priv"--oops! Avoiding the search engines, you know. But you can figure it out---ends in "atizers") and their group *Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated. They wish to sell their you-the-taxpayer-subsidized *kooperatives for market rate, much more than they agreed to when they moved here. *Muttonchop City's a complex built in the 70's under the*Fernando Lamas program. The intent was to help out middle class city people facing a housing crunch. Mr. Fernando and Mr. Lamas didn't foresee the crunch getting---crunchier. Now, loopholes subsequently added to their legislation allow Fernando-Lamas kooperatives to vote themselves out of the program and into the market---at the expense of losing the special tax umbrella, and barring other middle-income people from being able to move in, forever.

Never, ever tell Muttonchop City residents they're subsidized. No, they're compensated for moving here--this neighborhood was nothing, they made this neighborhood! So they're entitled to reap the profits from selling out. The unending toil of living in a high-rise apartment with a balcony needs to be rewarded.

Even some of the people in our own group can't admit their homes are subsidized. "Oh no," intoned our eminence gris *Vincent Piano. "Not subsidized--we get tax benefits, but so do many buildings." Indeed---but they don't get nine-tenths of their property tax forgiven, by law, every year. Costing the rest of you-the-taxpayers. This tax break is the continuing glory of the *Fernando Lamas program. It's why Mr. P and I paid less for our balcony and our view than a Tennessee resident would pay for a double-wide.

The titular head of Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated, is a personal injury lawyer, *Toby Mugg, Esq. That's almost condemnation enough right there. Peace, trial lawyers, you know some of your colleagues make you cringe. Lawyer Mugg is one of them. His skills are unquestionably excellent for what Muttonchop Rights, Inc. needs to do: encourage the mar---I mean client, to feel injured. Imagine all of Muttonchop City wearing a giant whiplash collar.

But the real brains of the outfit is a quiet man who'd have been good in espionage work: *Will Wascoal.
He's an administrator. He's also President of the Board. Note his shell-pink ear is ideally formed for rumor collection. Then his pearly white brain cognites upon what he hears, and his spidery fingers pull the Muttonchop City strings.

One of his continual headaches, or two perhaps, are the *Anglers, Lonnie and her criminal lawyer husband Donald. Donnie, a ringer for Jerry Lewis' Nutty Professor, specializes in frivolous lawsuits: he once sued a 91 year-old lady for slander.
She had complained to the Board that he threatened her. Muttonchop Rights' titular head, Toby Mugg, was his attorney.

The suit was laughed out of court. Mr. Mugg and Mr. Angler parted company thereafter. The Anglers' temprements don't lend themselves to direction, so they are now independent Monetizers, running their own third-party candidate every year, assuring that one of Muttonchop Rights' candidates loses to one of ours.

While Donnie terrorizes 91 year olds, his spouse handles the rest of the world: almost anybody is subject to Lonnie's outbreaks of bizarre, hostile behavior. She once tried to snatch a paper out of the hands of one of our group at a meeting, and the two women had to be separated. She sneered,"Sit down, old woman," at another target, and, to a third, "Everybody laughs at you--you deserve to be laughed at."

She once actually, touchingly, prepared an exhibit for Mr. Polly: she approached him with an article about the resurgence of his old, outer-borough neighborhood. "You should move back," she told him. "You're a miserable man who likes making everybody else unhappy."

"Lonnie, I've heard a lot about you, and may I say you've lived up to your reputation," Mr. Polly replied.

Lonnie stomped off and found her husband. Observers in the field (at a safe distance) later reported lip reading," are you going to let him talk to me that way?"

Shortly thereafter, Donnie Angler approached Mr. Polly: "Well, well, I've heard a lot about you too!" he sputtered, "and you live up to everything I've heard about you!"

"Thank you." said Mr. Polly. Lonnie has been giving him a wide berth since then.

After Mr. Blatz conveyed his message to Mr. Polly, I began to carry pepper spray. I wondered if this was enough. I considered what other weaponry might be legal, effective, and available.
A nail gun. On his show, Keith Olbermann had shown a montage : X-rays of the otherwise empty skulls pierced by home depot's best: real friendly fire.
Sad to say, nail guns aren't good to use as concealed weapons. They're large, they have to be pressed against the targeted surface, usually, and the ones with the real fire power require air compressors. I couldn't very well ask our home intruder to wait while I plugged in the air compressor.
We finally divulged to Vincent Piano that Mr. Polly had been threatened. "Ohh, that," said Mr. Piano. "We've ALL been threatened! It's a rite of passage. You get used to it."
Not so far.
*Names, keywords, and appearances changed to protect Mr. and Mrs. Polly. Actually, the portraits aren't technically accurate, but spiritually, oh yes.

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