It’s time to talk about Crook, he was in my life almost 4 years in when all was said and done. Crook introduced me to the darker side of the real world. I was only dipping my toes, but he shoved me into the deep end without a life vest.
Spoiler Alert: It is nothing like tv.
Today, I want to focus on his criminal enterprises, but it seems more proper to start with how we met. It saddens me I can’t use his real name. If you knew it, you would understand “Crook” is clever, and not just a lazy joke about his being a thief. Although… since my audience is imaginary I can just decide you know it. Yay for me!
A four year age difference isn’t much these days, but I have a weird thing about age. We met at Lunch on the Side when he was hired as a waiter. I was still dating the first Idiot, but I felt something when Crook and I were introduced.
We shook hands, and gazed into each other’s eyes like every cheesy rom-com ever produced. We shook longer than social convention dictates and people noticed. It felt like time froze in that moment. If I believed in reincarnation, I would say we knew each other in the last life. I felt like I was supposed to meet Crook. Later, he said he felt the same thing. I’m not saying it was love at first sight, but I think it’s the sensation people confuse with love at first sight.
** Ok, I need to make something clear. This cheesy crap is making me sick. I hate it now, I hated it then, and the whole thing is lame AF. But this is about being honest, and that’s how I felt. If a psychologist is willing to study my brain one day, I can save us both a lot of time by writing these diatribes now. Great, now I really hope that happens so I can have a syndrome named after me.**
We flirted shamelessly, but I never cheated. I couldn’t if I wanted to, I believed I was “locked in” with my choice for Idiot. Like a video game without reset, there was no going back. I don’t know how the notion stuck in my brain, that’s a weird one even for me. It felt different than being with Idiot, it wasn’t for show. I didn’t care who knew or saw, I just wanted to be with him.
We had social circles in common. In small town life, this confirms you’re good people. As you’ll soon learn, it’s a flawed system. I hope that gets my point across. I’ve had all I can take of that for now. I can write about how we went from soulmates to Chernobyl later.
His criminal enterprises make for a much better story, so let’s do that. Just know, by time I learned these things, we were living in the house I blew my life savings on. I was in love, and believed he changed for me. Regardless, I would have stayed purely to avoid change and keep my house. In that order.
The first time he robbed a pharmacy was too easy, it made him cocky. He lived across the street from it. One night, he walked over, broke in, filled a bag, and walked home. He partied hardy and sold what he didn’t use. The pharmacy bought an alarm system with security cameras, and the world moved on.
The second time makes for a better story. Crook could never be happy just robbing a pharmacy, he was a show-off. He wore a silly Halloween mask, and used glow paint to write “Fuck You” on the back of his shirt. He broke in, danced for the camera while filling his bag, and was back home five minutes before the first cop arrived. He burned the clothes and mask in his fireplace as police investigated across the street.
Several things worked in his favor here, especially coupled with Small Town Laws of Physics.
- He lived in a rich, all-white neighborhood
- His uncle is a Judge, his family are well-known, respected members of the community.
- The pharmacy only had two indoor cameras and a silent alarm. Both of which Crook watched them install from his back yard.
- His mother (Elle) filled her prescriptions there. He had valid reasons to check it out up close on multiple occasions.
The police never worried Crook, but his father (John) did. One day, Crook came home to find John with the stash. John wanted to keep it for himself. Crook told him, “Dad, if you do that, people are going to come to the house, and they’re going to kill you, Mom, Sister, the dogs, everyone. I have to take that bag to them. Now.”
The bluff worked, but he had to get rid of everything immediately. He took a hand full of painkillers for the beating he received, and sold the rest at a price low enough to make him cry.
Over the years, Crook’s choir boy act fell apart as he earned a reputation. It turned into one of those things where the police knew he did it, but couldn’t prove it.
** A quick note, while I can guarantee everything else I tell you about Crook is 100% true, I need to add a disclaimer for the ‘digging’ section. Crook talked about this often, and his story never changed, but I can’t help noticing plot-holes. **
Crook claims he was forced to dig a deep hole in the backyard, but only when Elle wasn’t home. After digging, he had to fill the hole back in. When Crook complained to Elle, John said, “The boy is lying for attention, maybe I should beat it out of him.”
Crook kept telling Elle, “No! That bastard is doing this to make me look crazy! He makes me fill it back in so he can deny it.”
John kept beating him for lying. Eventually, they sent Crook to a therapist. The therapist also determines, “He’s lying for attention. Classic situation.”
Crook had to continue seeing a therapist whose ultimate goal became forcing him to admit the holes were a lie.
If you’re wondering about Elle, she was having an affair with Xanax. She coddled Crook until John stepped in. Fearing John she would say, “Don’t tell lies about your father! Well, goodnight, I’m just going to take this bottle of wine and go to bed. Love you!”
It really seems to have messed his head up, and I think that’s why I never questioned it. When your boyfriend is pouring his heart out about years of people not believing this thing, I can’t very well turn around and not believe him either. It was a hell of a pickle. I listened intently for new details or slip-ups each time he talked about it. Luckily, my confused face mimicked a sympathy face, so I got away with it.
I’ve seen holes dug and filled in. You can tell something was done to the ground unless you do that thing gardeners do where they lay patches of grass. They didn’t live in the country with a lot of land, they lived in the middle of town with a tiny chain-link fenced back yard. I don’t understand how he could all dig these holes yet no one ever saw.
I’ve met John. He is an asshole. It does sound exactly like something he would do, I just don’t understand how he would pull this off even if they are the kind of people who can afford therapy bills just to stick it to a bratty kid.
John is the kind of person that drove across two states to connect with a son he never met. Upon arrival the son walked out to greet him. As they embraced, his son’s black wife and daughter walked out. John took one look and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t have anything to do with this.” He got back in his car and drove home.
The first time Crook stayed in prison, he tried to rob a pharmacy in a different town. He ended up in some random guy’s house doing cocaine and who knows what else with people he just met. I never understood how that worked, the whole meeting strangers and doing drugs together thing.
Somehow, Crook started bragging about robbing pharmacies and how much money he made. That was dumb enough but, cocaine = bad decisions I guess. These guys tell Crook, “Hey, what a coincidence, we have a pharmacy a few blocks over! You should totally rob that one!”
Crook wasn’t against it, but he really should have been. “Awesome! Since I don’t have time to learn the area, security, or police routes, you guys should call in a shooting. Use a pay phone on the opposite side of town, and tell them you heard shots fired. I can totally make it back here before cops arrive.”
“Sure. Sounds great bruh.” The guys drove him to the pharmacy. It sat in a small shopping center next to a middle-class neighborhood. “Wait like 20 minutes for us to make the call. Then go down that street right there, it be a straight shot back.”
Solid plan right? Good thing he had such trusted accomplices. You know, in the guys he just met a few hours ago who were super cool with bringing a stranger into their home to snort a bunch of drugs? I’m sure they seemed like solid guys.
Crook waited in the shadows for half an hour before going in. He assumed there would be an alarm and cameras and acted accordingly. He wore a plain black shirt and ski mask. It took him a minute to find the good stuff, but once he did he began scooping everything into his bag without reading labels.
He heard sirens much sooner than expected. He planned to be across the highway and out of sight before they could arrive. He ran out a side door, past a cop car, and led them on a merry chase across highway. After almost getting hit by a car, he dove over a fence on the other side. When out of sight, he crawled under the house. He laid in the lowest spot he could and waited for the cops to pass him by.
These police were smarter than what he was use to back home. When they lost him, they set up a perimeter and brought in the dogs. They were good doggies, they found him fast. The cops drug his ass out, and they were super mad about working so hard. They roughed him up a fair amount for “resisting arrest.”
After processing, they threw him in a cell with a dude who was badly beaten, bleeding profusely. He told Crook, “Ho! Stand back there, bud. I got busted for bum fights, I got the AIDS, you don’t want none of this.
Crook threw a fit at the cops, “I’m bleeding from everywhere assholes! If I catch AIDS I’ll sue your asses off.”
That only made the cops more angry. Obviously. They made him wait longer to use the phone. The next morning, Elle and Uncle Judge came to bail Crook out. Judge threw his weight around. In the end, they dropped the resisting charges, and Crook’s made bail. In exchange the cops who roughed him up and threw him in the AIDS cell were not disciplined.
Crook spent $1500 of his drug money on the best lawyer he could find. If you remember what I said about doctors, the same thing applies to lawyers. The good ones don’t settle in shit-hole towns like these.
The lawyer said things that sounded really good until the day of the trial, then it was all, “Pack a toothbrush son, they’re going to take you directly to jail.”
Crook says the lawyer robbed him, he was all like, “What?! You said you could get me a deal. You said lots of good words about first offense and family connections.”
But the lawyer just shrugged it off like, “Oh, did I? Well, we’ll see.”
“Did you even look at my case?!”
“Sure I did, Barry.”
Crook is cray, the lawyer is lucky he didn’t get assaulted if this account is accurate. I feel like a lawyer who gets away with charging a $1500 retainer fee should at least remember their clients name, but we do live in a place where those kinds of facts are unreliable.
But who knows. Crook was sentenced to two years. After 9 months of good behavior, they released him on parole.
While out on parole, he decided he needed to rob another pharmacy. Elle spent all his drug money on a second kitchen claiming she was afraid the money would be confiscated if she didn’t spend it. I can see her point, but there were other things to buy besides a second fancy ass kitchen.
Crooks figured he went wrong trying to rob a place he was unfamiliar with. If he robbed the pharmacy by his house again, everything would be fine. Weirdly enough, it almost was. He pulled his same tricks, and made off with the same rewards. But this time, a guy (Larry) he sold to, got busted. He ratted Crook out to save his own ass. Crook was sent back to serve the remaining time.
** I know this isn’t about our relationship right now, but I’m proud of this. Larry turned out to be related to my co-worker. When Crook and I broke up, I got a date with Larry. He was terribly annoying, but worth it. Larry and I met in a parking lot, planning to leave together, but Crook drove by and saw us. Mission accomplished! I didn’t even have to go on the date with Larry. **
Being caught locally gave him the advantage of family connections. He served 3 months, and was released on parole once again. During this parole, he begins working at Lunch on the Side where our story began. But like I said, this isn’t about us, it’s about his criminal history.
FF to living in the nice house, I know the whole story, but I’m stupid enough to be impressed by the bad boy who changed for me. My main concern was the $50 we had to pay to an asshole parole officer every month. It also sucked to worry about his drug tests. He could get tested on any visit. Each month before going to see the parole officer, Crook had a clean friend piss in a condom, then tied the condom to his dick. Apparently, it worked, so whatever.
Crook caught a lucky break and got out of parole several months early. His parole officer was caught exchanging blow jobs for skipping piss tests. There were too many cases to divide among other parole officers, Crook and several others were off early.
I always told Crook, “I’m the only reason you stayed out of jail. If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t last a month.” It became a slogan for our fights. Why isn’t important right now. I’m proud to report I was right. He was arrested two weeks after we separated. Not for robbing a pharmacy this time.
This time, he was pulled over for driving crazy. He was under the influence, driving Elle’s car. She kept a gun in the glove box. Convicted felons can’t have a gun. They arrested him, but it was his shortest visit yet.
I heard of several instances of drug dealing and fighting after that occurrence, but no arrests. I googled him just now and found the last charge, but nothing new. Maybe he finally learned his lesson. I doubt it, but let’s give him a maybe.
That’s it for Crook’s criminal career. Is it wrong I kinda hope for a sequel?
Also, many of you have decided to follow Todd and Linda’s example, but all the babies having the same name is too confusing for the daycare nurses. Do you think you guys could mix it up a little? Thanks!
P.S. IT WAS COLD THIS MORNING!! FALL IS HERE!!!