but let’s not all freak out unnecessarily

March 20, 2008

So….this is Maine. I mean, this is MAINE. Maine is supposed to be moose, and blueberries, and LL Bean and people who say “chowdah.”

It’s not really supposed to be drive-by shootings, but that is rather what seems to have occurred, just half a block down from where I am living. Last Wednesday. The funny thing is that I kind of didn’t even notice. I had to be told about it at dinner tonight by a new friend who said “you live there? did you hear the shots?”

The shots? Why, um, no. I didn’t. Apparently a very nice family was at home, just past 11pm, and someone ran by and shot bullets through their living room window. And they can’t imagine why anyone would do that and now they are moving. (Of course, I can’t help but feeling that someone in the house might just have a teeny, tiny sneaking suspicion why someone might want to shoot up their home, they might just not be telling the police about it. So I’m not particularly worried about getting caught in the crossfire myself.)

Since no one was hurt I’m allowing myself the opportunity to feel a little flippant about the whole thing – because I have to admit, my first thought was huge disappointment that I didn’t get to be a witness.  I’d be such a great witness.  I don’t want to witness anything really awful or traumatic, but a victim-less drive-by shooting would be PERFECT. I’d have near perfect recall for what the perp was wearing, and be able to tell the police which way he went, and it would be my savvy knack for detail that would wrap the case up nicely.

OHHH, and I’d get to testify. We shouldn’t forget that part.

There’s been a fad in the blogging world lately for listing the top 100 things you’d like to do before you die. I won’t bore anyone with my list, chiefly because I don’t have one, but if I did have a list then identifying a criminal on “America’s Most Wanted” would be right up there. When I lived in London I used to watch “Crimewatch UK” religiously. It came on once a month and I think it caught my imagination because in a little country like England the odds are pretty good that if you watch long enough you might actually be able to identify someone. As I came to the end of my years there my hopes started to dwindle and I got more and more disappointed that I’d never have a real reason to call the number on the bottom of the screen. My flatmate Robin was kind enough to volunteer that if it came right down to it I could call and turn him in if the crime wasn’t too terrible.  I miss him.



  1. Half a block away? You’re not having us on? And you wish you’d seen the culprit? Words fail me.

  2. You live in Chicago for years, yet Maine is where you have a drive by shooting story. What in the world is happening!?!?!?

  3. Are you sure it wasn’t a drive-by lobster toss?

  4. Would that it were. I’d do a radio piece on it.

  5. Portland is one of the few Maine cities with gangs. I think Lewiston has ’em, too, and maybe Bangor.

  6. A drive by is a drive by and a shooting is a shooting whether it’s Maine or Camden, NJ….

  7. Hey, I’m from Detroit. That’s where carjacking was invented. (Just wanted to look tough for a moment.) Also once avoided getting caught in gang crossfire while waiting for a bus in Harvard Square area. Narrowly escaped the crossfire by ordering a coffee at the Dunkin Donuts. Happy to share my tough girl strategies if needed.

  8. If you manage to avoid getting shot in the crossfire by nipping into the Dunkin Donuts for a coffee you are not a tough girl. You are a girl in a bad neighborhood with a caffeine addiction! :)

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