“I was at the car wash across from the grocery store,” he began. My eyes widened. That was the car wash and grocery store that I always go to.
“I was vacuuming out my truck and had both doors open. This man gets in and sits in the passenger seat. I thought maybe he wanted a ride or something. Then he punched me in the face. He broke my nose and blood was going all over the place. Then, he took my wallet, cash and cell phone and ran off. I drove myself to the hospital.”
I asked him what time of day this happened, and he said at about 10:30 in the morning.
The other day, the news reported a young mother had pushed her 2 year old out of her car and drove off. This happened in downtown Little Rock, on a busy street. One witness thought the little boy had been run over, but he wasn’t.
Another story was about a young couple barely 20 that had left their 6 month old baby in the car for over 40 minutes while they played a video game in a convenience store. It was 32 degrees out that day, and it took the store owner’s quick thinking to bring the baby inside and warm it up in front of the pizza oven to save the baby’s life.
Yesterday, the top news of the day was about a mother who went into her the grade school to solicit “clean urine” from her daughter’s classmates to give to her boyfriend.
A local police officer, one who was also a resource officer at the junior high school, was arrested for sexual assault. The state police caught him in the bedroom of a 16 year old girl at 1:00 a.m.
Based on yesterday’s news reports, popular items to steal nowadays are license plates, car parts, 4-wheelers and flat screen TVs. The killer drugs of choice are methamphetamine, prescription pain killers and cough syrup.
The pattern appears to be surfacing. From the very young to the barely adult, the impact of this poor economic situation has increased the risk for the most vulnerable. By summer, when school aged kids are out of public view, I suspect things will get much worse.
From what I’ve seen, more people are carrying handguns.
The politicians remain absorbed in their own world of delusion. Businesses keep firing workers for ridiculous, imagined infractions, never to be replaced since productivity and output increase as the remaining workers struggle to keep their jobs. I seriously question just how long people can continue to live under the stress of these conditions.
What is a black eye now will become a gaping wound. One out of 10 are unemployed. Even more have already dropped off the list, their benefits exhausted. There are no jobs to be found; not even the minimum wage ones. The unemployed are no longer “them,” but are now neighbors, friends and family.
Signs of the mounting desperation are prevalent. Closer and closer is that line that separates us from total chaos.
Will society become like that of a hungry pack of wolves fighting over a tiny rabbit carcass?