(2009-414284) 7:33 a.m.: It's an odd thing to see the whole of the last decade of your life crammed into a bunch of cardboard boxes you jacked from the back of the Publix across the street and piled into not-so-neat stacks in the corner of your bedroom to await their date with the moving truck.
On the plus side, that toolkit I've been looking for high and low these last two years? Found it hiding behind a filing cabinet. Oh, and if anyone wants to buy a 10-year-old television, hit me up quick. Or anything else, really. Ms. Beat and I are moving into considerably smaller accommodations than we have here. It's pretty much a fire sale.
So yeah, I'm ditching this town. As of the end of this week, I'll no longer be in the employ of Orlando Weekly, where I've spent the last 10 years or so slaving over a keyboard for subsistence wages and the satisfaction of pissing off someone who really deserves it (here's looking at you, Daisy Lynum).
But all good things must come to an end. I'll be hauling myself up yonder to Philadelphia, where I've assumed a news editor gig at a fish-wrap called City Paper, which is a lot like this publication, only without this fabulous column. (Oh, and a couple of weekends ago, they helped champion some sort of naked bicycle-riding festival, in which people actually biked naked through city streets without being hassled by cops. That's something that could never, and will never, happen here, unfortunately.) So anyway, wish me luck. I've never lived through an actual winter before.
Cha-cha-cha-cha-changes. Yes indeed, all good things must come to an end, but not right now. Through the magic of e-mail and the Internet, I can still write this wildly popular column from 1,000 miles away.
And I will, at least for the time being. Eventually, like in a month or so, they'll probably tire of paying my egregious freelance rate (I'm an award-winning writer, goddammit!) and hire some new hack of a staff writer to do it, and then I'll slip off into the dusty archives of Orlando literary history. So let's enjoy it while we can, shall we?
First up! An old standby, the oh-so-familiar air-conditioner parts theft. I'm going to miss this place.
(2009-414511) 10:19 a.m.: You know what I'm getting in Philly? An alarm for my apartment. If you live on Pilgrims Way here in O-Town, it might be a good investment too.
(2009-414738) 1:08 p.m.: You know that coin laundry joint over by the new Will's Pub (which I'll miss terribly, though I've been told I have a bevy of fine beering establishments to look forward to up north)? Don't park there, ever; you'll get towed.
But the karmic gods exacted their revenge when a man broke into said establishment and raided the change dispensers for their goodies.
(2009-414775) 1:36 p.m.: Word to the wise: If you've got a felony warrant, leave the cocaine at home.
(2009-415006) 4:36 p.m.: Our next laptop burglar is a 14-year-old boy who is "very short in stature," Officer Kelly taunts. Cue Skee-Lo: "I wish I was little bit taller/I wish I was a baller/I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her/ I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a six-four Impala."
(2009-415166) 6:22 p.m.: I'm guessing I'll see a handful of these police reports in my new digs: "On the above date and time, two guns were stolen from the above address."
(2009-415279) 7:41 p.m.: A black guy robbed a white guy at gunpoint. "The victim could not provide any description other than ‘a black male' and refused to prosecute."
(2009-415392) 9:30 p.m.: All right, so let's run this down. Our scene is a high-traffic downtown intersection — let's say, the name of a fruit and the last name of a president — at dusk.
Two teenage boys, who I'll assume were on their way to the Rebelution show at the Social — fellas, the Sublime thing was done, like 15 years ago — were robbed of their burger-flipping money by two male suspects.
"No weapon was seen or implied," Officer Hathaway reports, which means our victims pretty much wet themselves when someone asked them to fork over their wallets.
Of course, our villains aren't quite the sharpest tools either. This intersection is spitting distance from the police substation; they were rounded up in short order.
(2009-415446) 10:14 p.m.: Some dude busted into a phone-card vending machine on I-Drive. "The suspect(s) were able to remove a substantial amount of money and leave the scene undetected."
(2009-415802) 3:12 a.m.: There are, according to my razor-sharp research skills, four Checkers restaurants within 15 miles of my new place. Twenty bucks says I'll never visit any of them, because I value my gastrointestinal system. "On the above listed date and time an unknown suspect pushed open the east side drive-through window of the Checkers and reached inside and took a small amount of money."
(2009-416674) 4:45 p.m.: If you leave a "suspicious, unattended bag" near OPD headquarters, they'll freak out a little firstname.lastname@example.org