Friday, August 19, 2005
The Blue And The Red
Some of you no doubt will be crushed to see there will be no Movies I Have No Intention of Seeing entry this week.

Please, don't be mad. Please? If you'll just let me explain.

See, it will be my eighth wedding anniversary next week, which means there is a high, high probability that I will have the opportunity to actually go and see a movie in the next 7-14 days.

You're laughing, I know. I'm tempting fate. There are a thousand potential complicating factors. One of the kids could get sick. Babysitting might become magically unavailable. An earthquake could strike us all dead. The theater could burn down. I could get caught in a crossfire when I go and visit my dealer.*

And of course I'm always living under the constant threat of being called up to go to war.

No no, not the actual war (and let me take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Pops again for talking me out of joining the Reserves back in 2000), I mean the "war" I fight every couple of months with my pals in our re-enactment unit.

I know, you're thinking a bunch of pasty white saddos running around a vacant lot waving swords or muzzle-loading blank-firing muskets (depending on the time-period of their obsession) shouting out in modern-accented archaic English ("Avaunt! Charge, dudes!") and then sitting around a campfire at night screaming obscenities at one another over whether or not someone's belt-buckle is really period-authentic.

But no, that's not for me. I live in California, a designated History-Free Zone. Unless I want to join a group re-enacting a pack of Indians sitting around and coughing to death from tuberculosis, there isn't a lot of regional history to draw from.

So what we do is we re-enact the Los Angeles Gang Wars of the late 1980s. People see me coming with my white-boy high-top fade and they wonder what it's all about. Well, now you know. Gotta stay in character. Just like the Civil War guys with their handle-bar mustaches and crazy mutton-chops, we strive for period authenticity.

We arrange ourselves into units called "hoods", which are evenly divided between Crips and Bloods. I run with the Lily Court Homeyz. I know it's not a very good name, but our comptroller lives on Lily Court in Yorba Linda and he's the only one with a full-size van.

So about once a month or so we put on our white t-shirts, our blue plaid flannel button-ups, our black jeans, Raiders hats, our gold, get strapped with our custom Glocks (my homeboy reenacter Maurice "Mo-Money" Abramowitz does the taxes for a guy who does movie props, so it's all safe) and we roll.

We do all the famous battles. Last month it was the Battle of That Time We Shot That Dude In the Alley Behind Kwan's Liquor Store. This month someone is borrowing a friend's '64 Impala and we're going to do the Battle of That Time We All Got Fucked Up On Bacardi And Shot Up The Wrong Birthday Party By Accident. Drive-by style, muthafucka. My niece is going to play the 8-year-old girl who got killed in the crossfire. She's 9, but she looks young. I can't wait. It's going to be bad-ass.

For real authenticity, the best thing is to go to the actual battle-sites for the re-eneactments, but that hasn't gone well in the past. One time we went into Compton and my homeboy Ernie "E-Ticket" Messerschmidt got shot in the hip by an actual gang member. It was kind of cool in a way, but there was a lot of blood and E-Ticket was kind of a crybaby about the whole thing. Then there was that one time we rolled through Gardena and got pulled over by the cops. At first they laughed at us, even though my Kenwood was blastin' NWA "Fuck Tha Police" at the time. It took, like, a half an hour to convince them to hit one of us in the head with a maglite, just like they would do with real gangstas, but we finally talked them into it. Larry "Killa" Artola got the honors. Homeboy ain't been right since.

The only place we draw the line is that we won't, under any circumstances, use the N-word, even in reference to each other. None of us are comfortable with it. Instead, we substitute the word "ninja". It sounds reasonably like it and still has a kind of bad-ass ring to it because ninjas are, you know, all deadly and stuff.

We've got the patois down just about right. We be all like:

"Yo, what up, ninja?"
"Just chillin'. Hey, you seen T-Bird?"
"Naw, I ain't seen that ninja around this muthafucka in ages."
"You know, a long-ass muthafuckin' time, ninja. Shit."
"Excuse the fuck out of me, ninja, that just didn't sound like you was keepin' it real. Shit."
"Ninja, please."
"Yo, you seen seen T-Bird or ain't you?"
"I told you that ninja ain't been around here."
"Damn! That ninja still has my copy of Chariots of Fire on DVD too. Damn, ninja, what you smokin'?"
"Raspberry flavored tobacco. My daughter brought this shit home from college last month. You want a hit?"
"Ninja, please."

Anyone interested in joining can e-mail me. But please, if it's 'hood business, you must refer to me by my street name, "Aristophanes".


This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.7


*= my rare stamps and coins dealer. She's actually located in a pretty nice neighborhood, but she'll still fire the occasional warning shot as you walk in the shop. Better safe then sorry, I guess.


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