Category Archives: THE CRAB DIARIES (Maryland)

Life experiences from our time while living in, and anything while associated in Maryland. Posted every calendar scheduled full moon as of March 2016.

THE CRAB DIARIES: PRE-BASIC TRAINING

Baltimore-Annapolis Metro Area

I graduated Largo High School in June of 1997, and most of the people I graduated with went to college the following fall.  For me, I just didn’t have the desire to keep going to school after I just finished high school, so I took a year off to figure out exactly what I wanted to do.  The one thing that I was definitely positive about was joining the Maryland Army National Guard and begin my law enforcement career with the 290TH Military Police Company.  Unfortunately, I was not able to join the armed forces until March 1998 when it wasn’t necessary to have parental consent.  The previous year of my life after high school was just pure hell in trying to my father to sign for me to go into the army, but constantly pushed for the U.S. Coast Guard.  Well, all that finally came to a head with my mother and I will just leave it at that for now.

While that was going on, my mother discovered a school called Fleet Business School, based out of Annapolis, Maryland, that had a legal secretary program and that it ran all year round (January 1998 – January 1999).  I went through the financial aid portion of the application, and fulfilled all the necessary requirements to be accepted.  Although it was not the normal four-year institution that most of my high school classmates were doing, it fit perfectly into my lifestyle.  I’m glad I didn’t force myself to attend a four-year institution because I might’ve quit after the first year and not completed my education as I am now doing.  I don’t regret that decision at all!  However, while going to school, I believe it was my uncle and dad, that purchased a late 1970’s Dodge Dart for $300, pea green exterior and interior, slant six motor with a carburetor.  I’ll admit when I first saw it I wasn’t all that impressed, but slowly I began to accept it.

To be quite honest I don’t quite remember if it was the Dodge Dart I had or the Plymouth Valore, but I’m almost positive it was the Dodge Dart I had.  Well, one morning while I was on my way to school, running late during the fall-winter season, I was hauling ass down U.S. Route 50 heading towards Annapolis.  Since the car had no workable heat, I only got warm by opening up the vents and allow the engine heat to come through, which at times took a long time to warm inside the cabin.  Also, my car had issues of keeping oil in the engine and I had to make sure that I refilled it every week so the engine wouldn’t seize up or give me major problems.  Apparently, this particular time after I had checked the engine stick, and although it showed sufficient amount of oil in the engine, I should’ve checked it again to make sure a couple days later.  As I am about ten minutes outside of Annapolis, near the Prince Frederick exit on U.S. Route 50, suddenly the radio stopped working.

Then I started to feel the car slow down, and as I stepped on the gas pedal it wasn’t increasing in speed; everything got suddenly quite.  So I quickly pulled over on the right shoulder and stopped when I thought it was safe to do so.  Got out and opened the hood and didn’t notice a hole through the gasket and hood until I had it opened.  It was at that point I realized that I had just lost a piston and had no clue where it went and where it might’ve landed.  I was just hoping that it didn’t land on someone driving behind me causing them damage, but I never heard anything.  So, of course, I called my dad and told him about the situation and shortly afterwards I called the school and explained to them about my situation; obviously they knew at that point that I wasn’t going to make it.  Hours later, my father and tow truck showed up, or just the tow truck, but either way I had to have it towed back home, which my father ended up paying for.  I was just a broke college student and couldn’t pay for a tow that last nearly 50 miles.  Once we got the car home, maybe days later, we took a look at it and quickly discovered that it could be fixed, but the money to fix we didn’t have.

So, now once again I am without a car and in order to get to school dad had to take me, and I had a nice lady friend, name Veronica, who lived in Bowie, would drive me home in the evenings.  Nearly every evening of school she would drive pass her home, take me to my parents house, in Largo, and drive back to Bowie.  I offered her gas money numerous times and she denied.  At one point I either attempted to get with her, but she didn’t want me, however, when the tables turned weeks later, I was the one turning her away.  Once we all graduated from school, I lost contact with every single one of them when I got shipped off to basic training in February 1999.  Graduation from Fleet Business School was in August 1999 and I don’t know what happened after that.  Oh well, I suppose if it is meant for me to see them again I will; providing that they are still alive on this earth.  Sometime later after my Dodge Dart issue, I was given a 1979 Plymouth Volare, another pea green interior and exterior, for $450, from my brother-in-law.  Another story will include the things that car and me did, which lasted a lot longer than the Dart.  Needless to say it was an interesting period from high school graduation, June 1997, to the beginning of basic training, February 1999. Maybe another crab diary will fulfill that time period.

Henry Scott

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THE CRAB DIARIES: 300

SOMEWHERE IN THE D.C. METRO AREA

Throughout my four years in high school, the first two years, I worked every weekend, all year round, as a plumber apprentice and nearly everyday my last two years during summer vacation.  At first I began this job only as a means of supporting myself financially, but it slowly became more than just any ordinary job.  I began to enjoy myself digging underground, into ceilings, digging up people’s floors and walls, but the part that sucked was repairing all of it.  However, I got to learn a lot about the job and until this day I can get around simple and some complicated repairs, but lack the tools and machinery to complete certain jobs.  Hey, at least I can save my family and household some dollars to a certain point, but I hopefully to be able to do more.  I’m sure that day is coming when it is suppose to come.

However, on this particular topic, I had a best friend, named Trey, and his father Rozier Sr., who we were both working for since Rozier had his own plumbing business.  I’ll admit dealing with measuring in fractions and certain mathematics just stumped me over and over and made me hate the work sometimes.  I definitely understood the frustration by my boss at times, but he didn’t have a lot of patience in teaching you math on the job so I often times would guess, and I would be right less than 50% of the time.  He easily caught on would often ask me if I was either guessing or did I know the answer.  Another frustration was that if I was right I often didn’t know if I was and I think that would make me doubt my ability at times.  Nevertheless, he kept me on for four years, and he had his own frustrations with his son, which he called us both knuckleheads quite often.

Well, one day all three of us had to work well together to complete on mission of the day, carry a 300 pound cast iron tub to the second floor.  One of the challenges to completing this was that there was not permanent set of stairs going up.  Someone made a make-shift set of steps that we leaning, some steps were not equally separated and to make it worse no handrails/banister was on either side of the stairs.  So when you are going up the steps you had nothing to hold on to, and if you looked straight down to the floor below, you could see a huge hole cut out of the floor, and looking through the hole you could see the gravel floor of the basement.  I would only estimate that we were probably a good thirty feet up from falling to our demise, no not really.  Anyway, when Trey and I found out that we were going to be moving a cast iron tub we didn’t know it was going to be to the floor above us until later.

After discovering we were going to have to move this cast iron tub to the top floor, the challenge was how was this going to happen.  The most obvious thing was that we couldn’t carry it with the legs pointed down with the concern with one of us losing our balance and plummeting to our unsure death or serious bodily injury.  So after some serious thinking the best idea was to turn the tub upside down and have two of us push with our boss pulling upward.  Of course, Trey and I had to do the pushing and when something went wrong we were the ones that had to figure it out.  After getting it up one set of make-shift steps, we had one more set to go and that is where our problems began.  Due to the fucked up steps the tub got stuck and of course our boss struggling to pull it up, even with help from the both of us pushing it with all we had.  Now, the decision had to be made to go on the other side of the tub to help our boss pull up the tub.  Well, as we tried to figure out how to get to the other side to help him, it was determined very quickly the only way this was happening is the one of climbed over top of the tub.

Of course, thinking about the scene that I placed about the tub on the steps earlier, and looking down to see the gravel floor in the basement, you could probably imagine my look of horror when I was told to get the climbing.  So I very gingerly and cautiously started to make my way on top of the tub and the whole time I was scared that the steps wouldn’t be able to hold my 200 pound plus weight and the tub at the same time.  I just had visions of the stairs cracking and breaking apart underneath me and just plunging to the basement with the tub in position to break my fall, or depending on how the steps would collapse maybe the tub would fall on top of me.and that would surely suck!  However, the whole time climbing and freaking out this would happen and with no way to prevent it from happening, it never came true.  I made it on the other side of the tub and we got it up the rest of the fucked up steps.  We felt accomplished after that, but our job wasn’t done after that since we had to connect the pipes so the tub would be operational at a later date.  Till this day that is the only time I can think of ever risky my safety and health for a job that could’ve been done another way.  Certain things you don’t risk your safety for and if I ever get back into plumbing I will do things smarter, but of course that was years ago! Oh my goodness! I’m old!

Henry Scott

 

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: OOPS! DID I WIN?

CHARLESTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA

My wife and I have made numerous trips to casino’s to attempt our fate in winning money, which at times works in our favor and other times it didn’t.  Of course, that is the change you take when you go to the casino, but how I won in West Virginia isn’t how you normally win.  On this particular day, my wife and I decided to try our luck at the race track in Charlestown and see what happens.  For our luck to work, we figured out that I did better on the slots and wifey did better on other electronic games; in Las Vegas, however, it was reversed.  When we started our mission to locate the most financial gain machine, we found ourselves on the second floor trying out luck there.  What we were not aware of is that a severe thunderstorm was looming overhead and how severe it was going to be until this particular situation happened.

As I was on the machine, one cent machine, I played maybe one to three lines at a time and in the middle of the roll the casino went completely dark.  All the lights and every casino machine in the entire building shut off. A few minutes later the lights came back on and random machines started to ring continuously, including mine for several seconds.  Of course, every person around me, including my wife sitting next to me, all drew their eyes towards my machine.  I’m looking around and seeing everyone looking at me, with my wife and I just amazed at how much the machine was calculating the winnings.  I’m watching this amazing situation unfold in front of me, worried about any of the casino staff coming around the corner and just invalidating my winnings.  I am just stuck and watching how long this was going to go while at the same time wishing the machine would hurry up and finish.  Not sure how long the machine went haywire, but when it finally stopped I quickly pushed the cash out button, and my wife and I calmly walked away and went downstairs without drawing attention to ourselves.

I just knew that it wouldn’t be long until one of the staff or security members catch up to us to hand over the winnings.  We hung around for maybe another few minutes or so and made our way out of the casino towards our car.  This is when we saw how heavy and severed the rain was and prepared ourselves to make a run for it.  Once we got our self prepared for the run, we took off out the door and started running for the safety of our vehicle.  We would normally park inside a parking garage, but this day we certainly paid for it.  While we are making a mad dash to our car, I heard my wife scream.  I turned around and saw that she lost her flip flops in the mud and ran a few feet barefoot.  We quickly saw how funny this situation was and both laughed as we continued to run to our car.  Once we got in the car we laughed and joked about the situation the whole way home back to Maryland.  This is one of our many adventures her and I have had in our life, something we will never forget and one more funny situation we can add to our joyish marriage.

Henry Scott

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE DATE!

BALTIMORE METRO AREA (BEFORE MARRIAGE)

Just like many people in the early 2000’s, I was involved in online dating since the schedule I worked was difficult to get out to just be around others besides co-workers. It was slow going at first because many people wanted to see your picture, but not sure if that would be a good idea because of my career choice.  However, just before I got deep into internet dating I was just coming out of a horrible, confusing relationship.  Not to mention that I had just arrived back home from Afghanistan in early 2004, and almost immediately got right back into working.  Looking back on it that was not a bright idea, but I didn’t want to wait another year before I could get my career started.  It just so happened that when I came home, I kept a diary of what I was doing and how I was feeling throughout the first years of my return.  I accidentally came across these notes prior to our move to upstate New York, and read them to see where I was at emotionally.  After reading my notes and seeing how detailed I was, where I was, who I was with, what we did in detail and how up and down I was, let me know that maintaining a relationship was very difficult.  So maintaining any type of relationship shortly after coming back, was going to be a challenge and continued to be that way for me until I was further removed from my Afghanistan tour.

Unfortunately, as this relationship began to deteriorate very quickly, where love turned to hate and dislike, and vengeance becoming a focal point where our jobs were being jeopardized. So when the time came for me to be able to either switch to a different shift, night shift, or join our specialized unit (S.E.R.T. Team) to limit my contact with this person, I jumped the chance.  Of course, the days and months dragged on as I waited for the response after my request was put in.  Then one day that call came in while I was in Virginia telling me that although my first choice wasn’t granted, my second choice for going to midnight’s was granted.  Hence began my adventure working at night away from the stupidity that was so dreadful.  I was so excited that this came through for me and I could get away from the toxic relationship that was bleeding over into our work environment.  It was good when it was good, but when shit got bad shit got real bad.  So now, I had the opportunity to start over again and give myself a fresh new deal on my career and life.  Almost immediately, I began to feel much better being on the opposite end of the work day, but it was still fresh when I would hear her voice on the radio as day work signed on.  Little by little things began to get better for me and I could concentrate on my job at night, which kept me busy and occupied from thinking about this woman.

I began my night shift, which would be my staple, in August 2006 and since then I have enjoyed working nights! Most of my arrest and crazy shit that I have gotten into have been at night.  Why would I want to change?  Some guys say they hate nights and like to sleep!  I’ve work days in both states and I still enjoy my night time work ethic.  Approximately four months later when I was getting deeper into online dating, True.com, I came across this woman’s profile and photo on her profile page.  I immediately was attracted as she stood there in her boots, tight as jeans, and this nice big sweater.  So I naturally sent a message to her, and didn’t say some whack at shit like, “Yo! My name is Dwight! Call me at this number!”  I actually sent a nice long message and waited for a reply, which I think came about two or three days later.  From that point on, December 22, 2006 up until we met for the first time on Super Bowl Sunday in February 2007, we spoke nearly every day.  I can’t tell you how many cell phone batteries we killed, data plan minutes were being murdered and it got to a point where I couldn’t get calls until after 7pm where it was free!

The talks we had for the couple of months leading up to our first date and seeing each other for the first time was exciting. At this time I had a silver Chevy Impala, and it was getting up there in miles and started to give me problems with some of the electrical issues.  This night of the Colts and Bears Super Bowl game, I arrived at her apartment in Laurel, Maryland and I was currently living Ellicott City, which is just thirty minutes or more north of Route 29.  My only fear was that I was walking into a situation where she looked completely different from her picture, and that I was attractive enough for her to be pleased.  Well, things we very well from the get go, and I prayed to God that my Impala’s heat would work properly since it was at the beginning of February.  The Impala didn’t disappoint and decided not to mess up my game with this beautiful woman I just met for the first time in the physical sense.  We were going to a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house in Baltimore, Maryland and we had a wonderful time there!  Her thoughts pertaining to this situation is quite funny and you get to see how her brain works.  So I’ll let her describe her thoughts on that one!

So soon after the game was over, and I drove her back home, our relationship kicked off very well! About a year later after we first contacted each other on this internet site, we were married, and got married once again in front of family and friends the following year; and still here ten years later!  We aren’t going anywhere; at least I don’t think so!  Majority of the people that were at the Super Bowl Party no longer works at the same agency, with the exception of one man, who should be retiring very soon!  A.B.M. we call him! (Angry Black Man).  So every Super Bowl day is our anniversary of our very first date and has been a special day for us ever since.  One of these days I will get a Super Bowl day off from work, but who knows.  By the time you read this I might’ve already had that day!  Till then!  See you next time!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: SNOW ESCAPADES

HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND

Long, long, long time ago, sometime prior to 1988, my immediate family lived in the town of Hyattsville, Maryland, which is only minutes from the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.  Living next door to us was a white family, and one girl I remembered named Maggie, who I just had little kid feelings for, but it wasn’t meant to be. On the other side of our property was another neighbor, who was just as creepy as the tall white guy that flew around on his make-shift plane in the movie Mad Max.  If you don’t understand or know what I am talking about, go find a clip or watch the movie, Mad Max, and you will understand what I am talking about.  You will just need to pay attention to the guy that flies his stupid little helicopter.

Across the street from us was a neighbor who had a beautiful dog named, King, and he was exactly that, a King.  I can’t remember what kind of dog he was, maybe a Husky or mixed with at least Husky, but he was huge and when he barked it sounded like it came from deep within the loins.  We lived on Buchanan Street, closer to the main road of Kenilworth Avenue, and the closer convenient store to us was a 7-11.  On this particular day, I can’t remember if we didn’t have a car available or it was missing somewhere, but my mother and I had to go to the store for some items we needed.  Whatever our transportation issue was at that time, we couldn’t use it and had to trump it out on foot.  However, the challenge was that a Nor’easter or just a heavy snowfall that day, was coming through the area and had dumped numerous inches and feet.

I remember as my mother and I prepared to trump out on foot, we had to make sure we bundled up and kept asking each other are we ready to go? Lol! We made our way out of the neighborhood, which wasn’t that bad until we hit Kenilworth Avenue where the major issues with our trip started.  The plows didn’t come through our neighborhood for a long time and struggled with keeping up with the storm, but the knee deep snow made the walking to the store adventure quite fun and challenging.  As I said before leaving our side street wasn’t too bad, but once we hit the main road things changed completely.  I think we were heading to 7-11, and my mother had on her long burgundy-black coat that I thought only she owned in the world, and walking along the shoulder of the highway was an added challenged as the piles of snow were angled and extremely deep.

I don’t remember how many times we stumbled, fell and got stuck in these mountain reigns of snow, but it was fun and made us laugh the entire time.  Numerous times my mother would think that we should turn around and go back home, but she wanted to keep going so she could get this errand completely finished.  I don’t know how long it took us to complete this endeavor, but we made it there and back with no problem.  After that I had always wanted to repeat that same trip, but each time it would snow heavy we had no reason to go out and repeat the endeavor so it never happened again.  However, it was something I would never forget and always cherish!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE BLOODY KNIFE

Any one that has worked in law enforcement for a brief period of time, will know that things can change in a heartbeat. No domestic call is the same, no traffic stop is the same and no assault call is the same.  That definitely holds true with this incident that happened during my traffic stop, or should I say I was aware of it after my stop.  During one of my night shifts, I remember pulling this car over on Route 1 for some simple violation.  I might’ve been there for some time or not, but the next thing I know I see two more of fellow officers pulling up behind me.  It ended up being a “routine” traffic stop that I cleared with either a warning or citation, but the next thing I remember is that I heard someone running up behind me yelling out to me.  I turned around and saw this young female running towards me, across the road, with this very concerned and desperation look on her face.  When she got close to me, I just remember her telling me that her roommate just attempted suicide and that she needs help immediately.

Without telling the other officers that were there with me, I just immediately ran across the road to the house where the girl came from. Unfortunately, my radio wasn’t getting great reception inside the house so I couldn’t hear anyone calling me at first.  After following the young girl into the house where her roommate was lying, the first thing I saw was just the fear in the eyes of the other girl who just attempted suicide.  As I got further into the room, I saw the large kitchen knife lying next to the girl covered partially in blood.  Obviously, I quickly removed the knife from the scene, or at least away from her, and quickly went into action to stop the bleeding.  I was expecting the girl to fight me from trying to save her life, or trying to treat her, but she cooperated with me every step of the way.  When I was able to hear on the radio that I was being called, I finally was able to inform the dispatcher of what I had and what was needed.

I’m not sure how quickly the paramedics got there, but I remember they were there pretty quick. The whole scene lasted maybe only a few minutes, but felt like it last for several more.  Then, just as quickly as it started the scene ended with both roommates heading towards the hospital.  Each time I wanted to go back to the house to follow up on how things are, I either got distracted with something else or some type of energy just kept me away.  So, unfortunately, I never got to know what happened to the girl who nearly ended her life and if she ever got help.  At the time that happened, the scene was out of our jurisdiction so no written report of any kind was documented, except me responding and people being transported.  Few years later, all that changed when majority of the city became part of our patrols and anyone being treated and/or transported by the paramedics was documented.  Situations like that I often wonder about people that I come across in life at their worse, and how they progress or digress as time goes on.  So many times in our career we don’t get to see the outcome of our assistance with people and victims of certain crimes.  I often thing does the girl even feel appreciative that I came and helped her and didn’t leave the area right away?  Does she even remember who I was?  Somethings in life you will never know.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: TWENTY YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

I really didn’t give it much thought until my wife brought it up while we were grocery shopping at Walmart.  It was a continuation of our conversation in the truck and she mentioned that she has told other, especially other police wives that I have been involved in law enforcement for twenty years and counting.  As I stood there and thought about it she was absolutely correct!  It all started for me back in July of 1997, one month after I graduated from high school, when I was robbed at gun point for my mountain bike in town.  This was a traumatic experience for me and for the next three days I was in fear that these two men would come after me for getting them caught by police.  For those three days while I was in fear of revenge, I was in West Virginia visiting my second oldest sister and her kids so I had some comfort of them not being able to find me temporarily.

Before it all went down in the streets, I remember sitting in front of CVS Pharmacy on a bench eating my Roy Roger’s when two young men walked in my direction.  My instincts immediately spiked and I left and got on my bike to rush home.  I was approximately thirty minutes away from home, by bike, and I knew I needed to get there as soon as possible.  I even passed a fire department on the way home and if I was thinking I should’ve stopped there, but of course, it didn’t come to reality about that until after the fact.  I saw them coming behind me in a car and as I cut through the community college parking lot, one of them attempted to get out of the car as it was still moving to chase me down, but I quickly changed direction and doubled back.  They left and didn’t follow me and I knew at that point I needed to get home like right now!!

Going down the main road in town, peddling as fast as I can constantly looking behind me for the guys, I passed the 7-11 and they spotted me.  The fear struck me to peddle faster, but they sped up and pulled along side with the driver pointing his gun, sideways, at me saying, “Give me the bike! I ain’t playing around!”  Feeling defeated and scared to get gunned down just minutes from home, I dismounted and the passenger got out and approached me.  He kindly took the bike and told me to walk on as he put my bike in the back.  This is when I noticed they had another bike in the back already, purple and orange mountain bike.  The two drove off and made a right up into my neighborhood, but within a few minutes they came back right by me, which at this point I was able to confirm the plate number, make and model of the car.

Unknown to me two other kids witnessed the armed robbery and notified the county officer who lived on my street.  The county officer came down the street and put me in the car and immediately took my statement.  A couple hours later a detective came to my house to get an official statement and showed me some pictures of guns that might’ve been used in the robbery.  I was able to point out a gun that similarly represented a nine millimeter, which was found to be a BB or pellet gun.  Sometime later, whether the same day or next day, I was at the police station looking at old year books since one of the suspects I had seen at my school a year prior.  One of the two were caught the same day in the town of Lanham and charged with the robbery.  I was told at one point that I was able to point out one of the suspects in record time, which made me feel really good.  About the next day or two days later we left for West Virginia and it was raining part of the way there.

Several months later I was at the circuit courthouse ready to testify at the criminal trial with one of the suspects present.  At first, he plead not guilty, and I was so nervous to do so knowing how important my testimony would be for his conviction.  Then with a stroke of God interfering, the defendant suddenly changed his plea to guilty.  A sigh of relief went over me and he took the full wrap of the crime, but I never knew what happened to his cohort.  I was just happy that everything went well and we won the case without my testimony.  Shortly, after the trial I was invited to come check out the Prince George’s County Law Enforcement Explorer Program.  My demeanor and dedication to this case impressed the detective and wanted me to get a background look at what law enforcement was all about; not to mention I was actually thinking about doing police work as a career.

I went to one of the meetings and I immediately fell in love with the program!!  I spent just over a year in the program and experienced a lot.  I learned what it felt like to be McGruff (the crime fighting dog) and dressing up in the costume with a small fan that barely kept you cool, been interviewed on camera by the local channel 8 news, scenarios at the police academy, won gold at the Explorer Olympics in the 400 meter and coed volleyball and promoted through the ranks-ending at the top as captain.  In September 1998 I ended up leaving the explorer program since I was scheduled to leave for basic training later that month, which was changed to February of 1999.  I enjoyed my time in the program and promoted it to anyone that wanted to do law enforcement as a career to get the inside look that most people don’t get to see.  Hence my taste of law enforcement started off of a bad situation, which created a silver lining of wanting to do my best to keep others from experiencing the same thing.

From then I was a military policeman in Maryland Army National Guard and served in Panama, Germany twice, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom and served eight and a half years, University of Maryland Police for eleven years and currently a deputy sheriff in Vermont.  I give credited to the explorer program of where I am now in life.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: GAS SPILL

GAS! GAS! GAS! It what is yelled at the top of your lungs to other soldiers who are in the area when a deadly or dangerous cloud is seen floating in the air.  You have only seconds to dawn your gas mask, clear it and to secure it tightly on your head.  In case of a chemical or gas attack, you can at least protect your eyes, the exteriors of your face and your respiratory system.  God forbid you have to use this in real life to save yourself and your other comrades, but the decontamination process is another important step you must know and perfect as well.  Anyone that has a decent amount of training in nuclear, biological and chemical training will tell you that by the time you smell, taste or touch the contaminate it’s already too late.  At that point you can only hope to escape the area as soon as possible and find proper help immediately.

Although I have never had to put this into real life situations, I think I created a situation that probably would’ve gotten anyone to evacuate.  I can’t exactly remember where we were, but I do know that my wife and I were at a train station preparing to either come home or to visit my mother in law.  Either way being amongst a large crowd of people trying to squeeze through double doors and down a set of stairs is not safe and enjoyable.  The worse was when my wife and I had to change trains and ended up on a PATH train heading towards New York City.  For whatever reason the transportation of trains was in disarray and we ended up packing like sardines on this one train.  I’m not cool with large crowds to begin with, but my wife, however is not a fan and can get very anxious when embedded in such crowds of people.

When we got pushed and smashed up on the train, we were very close to certain people and obviously, if you were not on your hygiene game that day it smelled!  Surprisingly, it wasn’t all that bad, but you can feel the tension of everyone being on top of each other.  This was not the scene of where I think I caused a mini evacuation of a train platform or scene.  At one point during our trip, one track was or train was available at the time and they had to pack as many people as they could in one stop.  For some reason I’m thinking that we were all rushing towards the train platform because it might’ve been the last train that night, but can’t say for sure.  If it was the last train for the night that would explain why we all were rushing and pushing for the advantage to get through the double doors and down the stairs.

In this particular situation when the call came for my wife and I, along with hundreds of other passengers, we all quickly walked towards a set of doors at the same time.  We didn’t know how many of us were going on this train until we rounded a corner and saw more people coming from the other direction.  Our thought upon seeing all these people heading towards the same set of doors was completely overwhelming.  After the double doors were opened it was like a huge amount of water pouring from a dam after release.  People began pouring and running down the stairs as quick as they could, but it didn’t help things for us that were still stuck trying to reach the door.  Suddenly the flow of people going through the door slowed down and it got really bogged!  I felt my wife and I beginning to separate from each other as it seemed like she was being pulled or pushed back.  Obviously, I was afraid that I would lose her in the crowd, get trampled, get left behind and whatever else could go through my mind that was not favorable.

By this time I reached for her hand and held her tightly next to me.  I was all but ready to get physical to make sure she was next to me and not left behind to her demise.  I could feel her getting very anxious as we continued to push through crowd to reach those double doors of freedom.  I don’t quite remember what she said, but she said something that definitely expressed her uneasiness with this crowd and the WANT of getting out amongst the ocean of people.  I soon took care of this when I felt a rumble in my stomach, and I knew for certain it wasn’t the rumble that was calling for the Porcelain God.  I might’ve whispered in her ear and told her I will take care of this crowd and clear everyone out immediately.  Within a matter of a few seconds this royal rumble that was happening in my stomach, finally exited through the rear and out amongst the hostile population LOL!  The killer part was that it was very silent and very long so no one knew who the culprit was.  The villain.  I have to say within a few seconds after that I looked behind me and saw a hole open up in the crowd like Moses parting the seas.

The hole grew bigger and bigger as we got closer to the doors of freedom.  It was even funnier when people tried to avoid that pocket formed that was now contaminated with human expels.  In the midst of the abyss opening up amongst the crowd, I heard one short woman yell out, “Aww! Who did that?!  These motherfuckers stink!”  Still to this day this was the funniest thing that I have ever heard during a situation that I caused!  Soon enough the smell of such gas being released consumed the crowd and made people move even quicker through those double doors.  Finally we found ourselves going through the doors of freedom and down the stairs we went.  I’m not sure or don’t remember what we did after that, but years later this is still something I crack up about.  Normally some people would be appalled or embarrassed about passing gas amongst strangers and friends.  I admit that this was my proudest moment of human expels simply because it accomplished two things: 1 – it got the crowd moving much quicker and 2 – it made my wife not feel so anxious anymore.  It was a very proud day!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE SUNKEN SHOE

LARGO, MARYLAND (Teenager)

Growing up from the earliest part of your life, childhood, until you left your parents’ home, we have all heard them tell us don’t go somewhere, don’t hang out with someone or don’t do certain things. What do we do at that age, we want to go explorer and continue doing what we think is right and what we want to do, despite knowing the punishment we will face if our parent’s, especially our mother, caught us defying them.  This was the same thing my mother would always tell me when we lived in a small town called Largo, which was established in the late 1970’s, risen from dense woodland.  In one part of the town, there was somewhat of a clearing, where you would think they were going to build one or two houses, but the ground was never broken.  So this huge clearing went from dirt and mud to growing green grass, which may have been at least five feet tall at one point and where a skinny dirt path was somehow created alongside a creek.  This creek flowed through parts of the town, and whenever it rained heavy enough, the main bridge that you had to take to get into the neighborhood would be flooded.  Living there long enough, and experiencing some of the weather patterns when it rained, you could easily figure out that the creek would rise above the level of the bridge and at times even nearly submerging the bridge.

Now the bridge was only maybe ten feet above the flowing creek, but the banks of the creek were not properly built to withstand rising levels. It became such a problem that those that lived on the edge of the creek, whose backyards laid adjacent to the banks, kept getting their basements or first floors flooded with dirty, muddy and sandy water.  The creek really smelled over time and never turned back to the color of water and where you could see the bottom anymore.  Finally, the town rebuilt the banks of the creek and no more flooding of the bridge, which had to be repaired due to the crap in the water constantly flooding.  However, before all that even became a huge issue, for those reasons alone about the creek, my mother, and most parent’s, would tell their kids to stay away from the creek and not go down to that part of the neighborhood.  Despite all that happened, however, the creek, which encompassed the open grassy area where the new homes were never built, some of our memories come from being in the forbidden land.  We all knew that we would be crucified when one of our friends nearly drowned in the creek, and was completely drenched in that dirty creek water from the neck down.  To give you the background of how that happened, think about the curiosity of a child, or young teenager, and how they try to use their mind to engineer things to accomplish something else.

Well, we didn’t engineer anything except heartache, emotional instability and the wrath from our parents who were, obviously, angry and ready to knock our heads off with anything they could find. When this happened, there were probably six to seven of us standing on one side of the creek looking over at the other side, figuring out how to get over and expand our Louis and Clark expedition like motivation.  There was a massive tree that some time ago fell across the creek, and possible to use to shimmy your way across, but it was too unstable and didn’t quite fall to the ground.  So although the tree was the best way for us to cross the creek onto the other side, it wasn’t low enough or we weren’t tall enough to reach it easily.  Not to mention the part you could easily reach was over one part of the creek, and if you stepped in the water the bottom would give way and cause your foot to be submerged.  With that out of our option of possibility, we either had to walk through the water or attempt to jump across and land in the middle of the creek on some small patch of rocks and dirt that stuck out high enough above the water level.  One friend, who was crazy enough to attempt some shit like that, actually got a running start and jumped across to that rocky landing.  Even though he made it across the first part of the creek, he still had an even bigger jump from the rocky landing to other shore line, which was impossible to make without going into the water.

However, when he made the first jump across, part of the rocky, dirt landing area sunk underneath his feet, which nearly made him go under. He was able to grab on to the rest of the landing and pull himself up, but we all quickly realized that jumping on that landing would not be the best way to go.  So our last course of action was to walk through the water, which was raging underneath, unknown to us, but you would think we would use common sense to just turn around and go home.  One friend, who was a girl and played tackle football with us, attempted to walk across by going through the water, which, of course, would require her feet to touch the bottom of the creek.  She quickly found out that was not very smart as she quickly started to sink through the creek bed the further she went into the water.  It got to a point where she began to panic and tried to turn around to come back, but by then she was too far into the water and her feet got stuck underneath the creek floor.  Almost immediately she began to panic as she started crying and yelling out to us to help her because her feet were stuck and she was still sinking through the creek floor.  At this point you could see that she started at waist high and now at neck high within a matter of minutes of being in the water.  Thank God, we had one friend who knew how to swim, but his problem would be seeing her feet under the water.

See, the creek was always brown and dirty, and when he went under the water to free her feet, he had his eyes closed and used his hands to feel his way; while they were both kicking up the sandy bottom polluting the water even more. He came up numerous times to catch his breath, but had me hold the girl’s hands and arms so she would stop sinking while he attempted to free her feet blindly.  Obviously, she was panicked, but while he was doing that she kept kicking up more of the sandy bottom and sending herself further underwater.  I did my best to keep her calm above the water, while he worked his ass off to free her feet from the quicksand bottom.  I was partially in the water up to my waist and did my best not to get myself stuck as the bottom kept sinking and sliding, which kept my feet moving.  I don’t know, but maybe about several minutes later, we were able to free her from the water, although she was free from danger and out of the water, she was more disturbed that she lost her shoe.  My best buddy did his best to find her shoe under the water, and shifted through the sandy bottom for it, but never found it.  Of course, we all feel defeated about the effort, but soon that feeling was turned to fear as we made our way home on our bikes and on foot.  I can’t remember what happened to us when we all got home, but I do believe I was grounded for at least a week.

Even after everyone served their corporal punishment within their confines of the family court, we soon slowly made our way back down to the creek, but much smarter than before and never attempted to go across it again. I do believe, however, all of us that were there that day watching our friend nearly drown in dirty creek water, were seriously affected by it.  We hardly ever talked about it and moved on with our childhood lives like nothing ever happened.  It was amazing how we were there for each other when shit went south very quick, but got on each other’s nerves at times through our growth.  How many children or kids can say that now with our society more technical and full of computers than before when all that happened.  Oh, and I think the girl that nearly drowned lost either money, keys or something of value under the creek water that she had in her jeans.  Oh well, at least I know her shoe is part of the history of that creek and who knows where it is now and what condition it is in at this point several years later.  God only knows.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: SOME THINGS ARE DIFFERENT, OTHERS REMAIN THE SAME

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND

“THE LEGAL SIDE”

You would think that if you are coming to an event, such as a wedding, formal dinner rehearsal or some kind of very important activity that you would put on the proper attire?  Right?  You would also think that coming to a courthouse would require the same amount of energy? Especially, when you are coming to the legal house to fight a traffic ticket, criminal case and/or to deal with attorneys to plead with them to handle your case.  Well, I sometimes wonder what is going through people’s mind when there is potential that you will be standing in front of a judge to defend yourself?  The judge is pretty much going to judge you by your representation.

Now, I understand when you are coming to the courthouse to fight or challenge your traffic ticket that you are not dressed in a suit, which I don’t expect, but I do have the expectation that you would wear something ‘appropriate’.  I don’t think showing up to the courthouse in your club attire you had on last night is very appropriate and going to play hard in your favor; especially if you are dealing with a judge who has been on the bench for a thousand years, and still stuck with the old ways of thinking.  Showing up in your clothes that looked like you went rolling around in the flower bed before entering the courthouse is not going to help you either.

However, I completely understand that some that are less fortunate or homeless will show up in whatever they own just so their ass is covered.  I am certainly in no way talking about those that are truly less fortunate, but I am speaking on those that know better and certainly have the wherewithal to at least understand what it is they are showing up for.  I don’t think the judge appreciated the miniskirt that is so short with only a couple of centimeters before your ‘female essence’ is shown if you step or bend wrong.  These are just some of the examples of what the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) area had to offer.

With that being said, and knowing I can go on for days with how people came to court, another important thing about coming to court is to make sure you pay attention.  This is the same rule that applies to all courts across this country, but somehow you always have a handful of those that just don’t want to or struggle to understand.  When the judge says to you “When you hear your name called please answer ‘here’ before or as you approach the defendant table so I know that you are here”, you would think people would follow instructions and do just that.  Well…sad to say that didn’t always happen…shocking I know, but it was honestly comical to see how the judges would react.  It wasn’t too funny to the defendant when an arrest warrant or FTA (Failure to Appear) was the verdict because you failed to listen; even if you were present in the courtroom.  That’s how serious this was to most of them.

I remember being in court one day, as I wait for my traffic case to be called on the docket and my wife sitting in the back to witness the foolishness that she so much enjoyed watching, Judge Love called up a defendant and in talking to him he got really agitated.  For one, Judge Love didn’t appreciate being interrupted as he was giving instructions or explaining something to you and certainly didn’t appreciate stupid and idiotic people.  On this particular case the defendant told the judge ‘Hold on! Hold on!’ as he was being explained something.  OOOO!  Judge Love got real upset, and I believed cocked his head kind of sideways, and responded in kind, ‘Did you just tell me to hold on?!’  Ohh!  Snickering followed, including me as well with the ‘Oh what the !@#$ face!’

Needless to say the gentleman (being politically correct) quickly recognized his mistake and backtracked with the quickness.  That sudden change in his verbal direction saved him from not only being scolded and possibly being held in contempt.  I can almost guarantee you if that was a visiting judge, a judge from another county within Maryland, he probably would’ve found himself wearing silver bracelets and escorted to his temporary hotel for a few hours at least.  One woman found out by wearing these silver bracelets and being held in contempt of court was not worth the gum she was chewing, which said gum got her in trouble.  How? For not following instructions!  This female judge, who I can only remember her name as Patricia, did not play around and got real offended if you did not say ‘Thank you, judge!’ after your case was dismissed or heard.  She was also very strict on her instructions and made an example when she held that woman in contempt for chewing gum.

Another judge I remember a few times was Judge O’Brien.  I think his pet-peeve, or at least one of his pet-peeves, was people running red lights.  I say that because one day I was again in traffic court waiting for my case to be called, and each defendant that he called up to the table and found guilty, he would double the fine!  Now, I believe a red light ticket was about $150 and carried two points.  So if you were found guilty in your case to fight the ticket, you ran the risk of having your pockets a little light in the green.  That is exactly what happened when a security guard showed up for court to fight her ticket and I was the officer that issued it.  Somehow she figured that even though she ran a red light and nearly t-boned me as I was making my U-turn, she was able to fight it and have the charge/fine reduced or even dropped.  Little did she learn from others in prior cases when they were called.  To make the story shorter, when Judge O’Brien heard both our testimonies, she left with an expression of defeat and despair when the verdict came of her new fine! $300 Fine! Three points!

A couple of county judges were, in my opinion, to soft and to light, but some were just down right mean and less sympathetic.  Now, all of this I just explained took place at the District Court in Hyattsville, and some of the other ratchetness took place at the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro.  Majority of our criminal cases and some traffic cases were held at the Upper Marlboro courthouse, which was a much nicer and bigger courthouse and operated by the sheriff’s department.  The courthouse in Hyattsville is operated by the bailiff’s.  I may have to save those stories for the Upper Marlboro courthouse for another day, but sometimes transporting our prisoners thirty minutes south to the circuit court was a blessing and a curse.  It was merely an unwritten rule that if the prisoner was cooperative and at least respectful, we would take them to Hyattsville; only a ten-minute drive.  If the prisoner was an ass and wanted to make things difficult, we drove them to corrections at the circuit court.  They were much more ‘meaner and stricter’ than those located in Hyattsville.

Many of the college students we dealt with thought we would just hold them in our small cell at the station then release them later.  Some got their world rocked when they found out we would transport and leave them with the real criminals (murders, robbers, real thugs, gang members and others that were held on misdemeanors and felonious crimes).  Some could be heard crying their eyes out and make pleads to be set free or moved to another cell.  No matter which DOC you were in neither staff wanted to hear people crying as they considered them ‘bitches’.  Very often was the DOC in Hyattsville closed due to full capacity of prisoners, which forced everyone in the county to go to Upper Marlboro.  When both DOC’s were closed?  Well…you really couldn’t do anything or arrest anyone unless it was for crimes you could issue criminal or civil citations let them go.  Needless to say whenever the DOC in Hyattsville was closed, it made every officer go into the mode of ‘I’m only going to arrest if I have to because I don’t want to go to Upper Marlboro.’

Either DOC closing made things difficult at times and definitely made an impact on what you would do on the streets.  Then the smartest thing became if you could write and release?  Then you write and release.  This made things kind of easier, but almost counter-productive as you had to gather more information.  Not only were the closings a pain, but the constant change in how you would process your own prisoner, which agency would receive better treatment and how your report packet should be put together got frustrating and annoying.  Although we hardly ever had to present our own prisoners, if your arrest packet or folder was not properly put together they would either call you back to fix it or just not present the prisoner to the commissioner.  Some commissioners were just as bad, if not worse, than the judges who would view the cases.  If your application for an arrest warrant, search warrant or even a summons was missing a word, phrase or a line, even if you had great probable cause, would deny or make you rewrite it.  A few would assist you and help you in the corrections needed, but others were just not helpful.

To Be Continued…