So our protagonists turn from the public phone, searching for germicidal hand gel, and face an officer of the law who has arrived in a squad car to “offer them aid”. We take up the conversation “in situ”. BM – Ma’am I am so happy to see you –
P – don’t be calling me ma’am, I’m officer to you. You got some driving Miss Daisy scenario running around in your head you better get rid of it right now. I ask you some questions and I just want facts please.
BM – absolutely. We just left our cars and had a dinner in that restaurant over there, and when we came……
P – I said I was going to ask some questions, and I don’t need a running commentary on your day. When you left your vehicle and locked up, were there any suspicious characters hanging around?
BM (shuffling a little bit and starting to sweat) – since you ask Officer I would have to admit that there were some strange looking characters who I consider to be suspicious.
P -describe them to me please.
BM I hesitate to do so.
P – and why would that be?
BM – Because I’m from Minnesota and I visited Minneapolis and I listen to liberal politicians and I know what is going to happen.
P – well that is really interesting because I don’t know what’s going to happen but let’s try – describe the folks by the car.
BM – OK but…
P – get on with it.
BM- when I parked I noticed several Latino and African-American, and Oriental…
P- OK sir I don’t need any racial profiling. I need facts. Describe the individuals, not by color, not by racial characteristics, not by cultural identifiers, but by facts.
BM – when I left the car there were several men standing around it looking to me suspicious.
P – only men huh? Are you going to stand there with a straight face and tell me there were no women standing around your car that in anyway looked suspicious? Are you telling me that there were no women standing around your car because they couldn’t look suspicious because women are too weak and fragile to participate in a breaking and entering a vehicle? Or are you telling me that there were no women standing around your car because being a male chauvinist, they are invisible to you unless they are blonde and gorgeous?
BM – if you’re going to make this multiple-choice can I add some of my own?
P – you’re not helping anything sir.
BM – I apologize and I want to amend my statement to this – I saw some Norwegian looking men there.
P- I’m getting mad and you do not want me mad.
BM -when I left my car and locked it, there were some suspicious men of indeterminate race and no identifiable cultural features. Their were to my knowledge no women, and if pressed I don’t think there were any gay, lesbian or transgender individuals either.
P – now we’re getting somewhere now I’ve got something to work with. We may even be able to do justice and get justice in this situation if you’ll just be patient for a few more minutes.
Questions were asked and identifications were submitted and personal information and insurance identification numbers were bandied about.
Just then an interesting thing developed which made our intrepid visitors truly believe they had entered the twilight zone. Imagine if you will rather decrepitude older model car puffing smoke and ratting so much it sounded like a cavalry parade come around the corner, drive by our huddled group of witnesses and their police officer interrogator, turn as if trying to park beside the broken into vehicle of our friends, and smash into the side causing a big bang and the tingling of glass and other pieces of our friends already violated car falling to the pavement. The officer ceases the interrogation, calmly walks across the street, asks the driver to get out and asked a very simple question – “Do you have any identification?”. The operator of the offending vehicle shakes his head no, and offered some kind of ejaculation in an unknown language, and simply turned around and walked away.
BM -aren’t you going to stop him?
P – why?
BM – to get insurance information and to possibly give him a citation. If he has no identity he’s already broken the law right?
P – perhaps.
BM – wait a minute I know what’s going on here. That person was an illegal immigrant. That person has no drivers license, no insurance, no identification, and probably stole the car. The truth is that you are bound not to ask him if he is an illegal immigrant or not. Since you can’t ask him the question any violations he may have committed is irrelevant, because with sanctuary city laws nothing is going to be done to him anyway. Am I right?
P – are you a lawyer? Are you ICE?
BM – I am not but I do have a sense of fair play and justice. That person just walked away and will probably never be seen again unless they run over someone and kill them, and probably not then.
P – I resent your attitude sir. That person may have been an undocumented worker, or someone seeking sanctuary, and your obvious personal animosity toward someone like that is frankly disgusting.
BM – I’m sorry for your feelings towards me officer, but what am I supposed to do now? My car, which I rented is wrecked and I have no way of moving the other wrecked vehicle away from my car. No transportation back to my hotel and my friends and I are unable to do what we came here to do, and that is make a presentation to people who will be waiting for us to do so tomorrow.
P – I’m sorry for the inconvenience and I’m also sorry that you have such a narrow view of justice, and an obvious animus against people stuck in bad situations by no fault of their own.
BM – I apologize officer if I have offended your sense of justice, but might I point out to you that my friends and I are stuck in a bad situation by no fault of our own as well.
P- I am calling a tow truck and here is the information you can give to your insurance company. I hope you will do some soul searching and try to fathom the depth of your white privilege and all the “ism’s” you are guilty of before casting aspersions on others. Illegal immigrant! remember sir – people are not illegal.
There is nothing so dispiriting as being a victim, and then being treated like you were the perpetrator of the crime. Worse is feeling that you were a criminal because you felt you were a victim, and were somehow attacking those who have been victims all their lives and so ended up victimizing you. Shamed by the progressive, social justice warriors our frustrated group was in a moral and mental funk. I would love to be able to tell you that the guardian angels would work in our intrepid businessman’s benefit. Unfortunately our business men turned tourist for a while, had nothing miraculous or marvelous work out for them for the good. Lutherans, real Lutherans understand the theology of the cross. They understand that it is often through suffering that we begin to see God‘s mercy; in fact it is only through suffering that we see God‘s glory shining in the face of Jesus our savior. The tow truck arrived and took the better part of an hour and a half of loading up our friends car, as well as the strange car that came from nowhere and ran into the bluff Midwesterners transportation. And our friends went back to the Public phone to order an uber, who’s driver complained all the way back to their hotel that they were too many and too crowded. They put together as much a presentation as they could in their own minds, but it was not well received and when their bosses back home heard the story they docked them the cost of the airline tickets and refused to pay their mileage. That is a sad response of many. Loss of mileage – insult and injury. Soon after coming home an envelope on official looking San Francisco stationary contained a bill for the towing and impounding of two vehicles at $400 plus a 17% tax from the city and the State. The hotel bill included $113 in a “hospitality tax” and perhaps the unkindest cut of all was the embossed letters on the bottom of the paper that read; “Sanctuary City – You Have a Right to Safe Access to Public Services”. Another letter from the rental car company was condemnatory as well, but the private insurance agent was kind and sympathetic while informing our BM that his insurance costs would no doubt be increased.
As the days move along and the dread slowly fades away a more irritating and cloying form of torment appears to be growing in one or two of our heroes. They cannot get the tune and words of Scott McKenzie’s song from their minds. They want to rewrite them with a sharp and abrupt end – “if your going to San Francisco -DON’T “. Tony Bennet cannot be contemplated for to do so would be too depressing. Another lyric that pops up at inappropriate times is from The Animals, “San Francisco Nights” written by Barrie Ernest Jenkins / Danny Mcculloch / Eric Victor Burdon / Johnny Weider / Vic Briggs San Franciscan Nights lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. I wasn’t born there perhaps I’ll die there There’s no place left to go, San Franciscan. Cop’s face is filled with hate Heavens above he’s on a street called love When will they even learn Old cop young cop feel alright On a warm San Franciscan night The children are cool They don’t raise fools It’s an American dream Includes indians too. There is a spoken intro to the music that speaks volumes.
“This following program is dedicated to the city and people of San Francisco, who may not know it but they are beautiful and so Is their city this is a very personal song, so if the viewer Cannot understand it particularly those of you who are European Residents save up all your brand and fly trans love airways to San Francisco U.S.A., then maybe you’ll understand the song, it Will be worth it, if not for the sake of this song but for the Sake of your own peace of mind.”
We and they leave the twilight zone recalling that those lyrics were written in 1965.