Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bait--for later use

I used the chihuahua as bait.

In my neighborhood, where muscle-bound tattooed guys wearing wife-beaters strutted with their spike-collared pit bulls, walking my chihuahua was an open invitation for jeers and insults.  When Linda launched into a string of strident, screeching barks, the barrel-chested mass of canine flesh to which the vocal attack was directed would recoil in startle reflex.  I would then laugh at them, both owner and dog.  Usually, that would do the trick.  The dog's owner, embarrassed that his badge of bad-ass would respond in such an un-macho way to a wiry puff of energy, would say some variation of "You better get that piece of shit out of the way or Santana will eat it for breakfast!"  My response: "Looks to me like Santana is afraid of becoming Linda's breakfast!"

I'd defuse the guy's growing flood of testosterone-fueled rage: "Seriously, Linda is just stupid!  She doesn't know how close she comes to being breakfast when she pulls that shit!"

If nothing else, my deferential acknowledgement of the power of the guy and his dog saved us from becoming victims.  Usually, though, it allowed me to initiate a conversation with the goon.  More often than not, it opened the door to talk of fighting.  "How does your pit do with other pits?"  "See those scars on his ears," the guy would say.  "That's the worst he got.  The other dog that was supposed to be the meanest motherfucker around died right there.  Made $500 on that one."

Twice, I took the conversations to the place I wanted to take all of them.  I probably could have done it with all of them, but that would have inevitably led to my capture, so I opted to be selective.  Randomness, or at least the appearance of randomness, makes the job of catching the perpetrator much more difficult.

[walk through process of befriending the mark]

Later, after I sedated him, I chained the self-described king of dogfighting  to the stainless steel table in the basement.  With his mouth shut with several layers of duct tape and his head held perfectly still in the vice I had affixed to the table, I waited until he awoke.  Then, I calmly explained the procedure to him as I removed his scalp, first slicing through the skin just deep enough to allow me to get my fingers underneath, then pulling his scalp back slowly as he writhed and screamed almost silently.  Duct tape can't eliminate the sounds, but it keeps them to levels low enough that my upstairs neighbors can't hear them.

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