Buddy, Can You Spare A Dimebag?
Eastside residents have been complaining about panhandlers for years, although little has been done to curb the problem. It’s one thing to be accosted by bums on trips to the grocery store or car wash and quite another to have scam artists banging on your front door late at night.
Imagine being all warm and cozy in your recliner, watching the 10 o’clock news out of one eye, trying to stay conscious just long enough to catch sports and weather, when suddenly you’re slapped awake by a loud knocking. You stumble to your feet, open the front door, and find a frantic person breathlessly describing an emergency situation and asking for money. The situations vary: “I live down the street, and my mother just had a heart attack, and I need money for gas to take her to the hospital!” or “My wife is having a baby, and I need gas money to get her to the hospital!” or “I’m a home care assistant for an elderly woman down the street, and I was supposed to get paid today but …” and yada yada yada.
Although Eastsiders report a growing number of these encounters, the problem has been reported in other parts of the city as well. Skeptics such as Static see through these con artists’ faked tales of woe, but senior citizens and wide-eyed softies respond with hand-outs, not realizing their money is most likely paying for crack and a 40-ounce beer.
“We’ve brought this problem up at the police forums and with the neighborhood police officers,” Eastside activist Mike Phipps said. “But it’s not [going away], it’s increasing.”
Police tell residents to call 911, but “we do, and it’s a low-priority call, and once the police get on location” the beggars are gone, he said.
He thinks fewer residents will be suckered if they understand the con. So, consider yourselves warned, suckers and softies.
Driving to work on Monday, Static passed a buck lying dead on the side of Jacksboro Highway — a beautiful young six-point whitetail. Sad. But, alas, a deer’s life is fraught with danger — starvation, disease, bullets, passing cars, kidnappers … kidnappers?
Yep, on Nov. 24, a Texan was sentenced to spend 18 months in federal prison and pay a $50,000 fine for transporting illegally captured deer from Minnesota across state lines. Robert Eichenour, owner of Circle E Ranch near Huntsville, was using the deer-napped animals to stock his exotic game ranch there for canned trophy hunts.
For those unfamiliar with canned hunts, imagine businessmen flying in from New York or Houston and being taken in golf carts across high-fenced ranches to spots where deer have learned they can find corn from feeders, and then blasting them with high-powered rifles, hanging the resulting mounted heads on their walls, and, during cocktail parties, saying crap like, “And there I was deep in the Texas wild, when I breached my final shell and lowered my weapon as the mad buck charged at me … .”
Looks like the target may be on the other backside for a while.
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