After Constable Dave and Constable Justin were satisfied that Pigpen’s medications had kicked in and that he had regained his composure, they stepped outside Gail’s house and witnessed a large number of people running down the street. Many of them stopped where their police car was parked. When they saw the two young police constables walk towards their car, they crowded the two law enforcement personnel causing Justin to address the crowd around the police car,
“Hey people, what’s the problem? What are all you people doing around our patrol car?”
A middle-aged female wearing a New York Jets jersey spoke up first, “I guess you guys haven’t heard yet, but there’s an enormous alligator terrorizing Main Street about five blocks away as we speak.”
Officer Dave looked at his partner, moved closer to him and whispered in his ear, “If there wasn’t such a crowd here, I would say that we are dealing with a mental health issue.”
A tall, thin man wearing a dark blue pinstripe suit stepped a couple of feet out of the crowd and started to address the police constable,
“I know that you guys think that we’re all crazy, but the lady is telling the truth. About fifteen minutes ago a huge, reptilian creature pushed his way out of a sewer manhole cover. The animal resembles some kind of enormous prehistoric alligator. It’s got to be at least as long as a city bus and the beast is not in a good mood today.”
“He’s right,” a male teenager with a serious case of acne answered. The young man continued, “This freak of nature has already devoured a large dog for its lunch. I would guess that humans are going to be the next thing on the menu for him.”
The two police constables assured the people surrounding the police cruiser that they would check out the alligator situation immediately. As soon as Constable Dave and Constable Justin got into their patrol car they heard Bob Prichard, their dispatcher, on their police radio.
“Dave and Justin. Are you guys ready for your next assignment?” Bob asked.
“I think I know what our next assignment is going to be,” Justin said as he fastened his seatbelt.
“How would you know that?” Bob asked, sounding a bit perplexed.
|”We were just informed by a crowd of people that there is an enormous alligator on the loose about five to six blocks from where our car is parked,” Justin answered.
“I suppose you want us to capture it, Bob?” Justin asked.
“I don’t know how you intend to capture this creature,” dispatcher Bob replied. “Some callers said that they estimate that this alligator is about the size of a city bus.”
“Maybe you should call City Transit, Bob. Ask for two bus drivers, one on each side of the alligator. Tell then to put the pedal to the metal and drive right into the beast,” Dave said.
“Very funny, Dave, but it’s not in the transit drivers job description,” Bob replied, sounding a bit exasperated.
“Don’t listen to Dave. He’s got his departments mixed up. We should be contacting Animal Control,” Justin said.
“Actually, that’s not a bad idea, but before I do that you two guys need to be the first responders,”Bob Prichard replied.
“Your main job will be making sure that all the citizens on the street are a safe distance from the animal. Backup should be arriving shortly.”
“Okay Bob. We’re on our way,” Constable Justin said.
Sam was quite startled when he heard the knock on the door of his truck. He had been reading the sports section and was having a Walter Mitty moment. He was imagining that he was the New York Rangers goalie executing a difficult save in a two on one situation. Sam moved his head towards Joel and said, “You must be the new guy that Ian was telling me about,” Sam said.
“Yeah, that’s me. I had to take a taxi as I got up a bit late as I didn’t set my alarm clock properly.”
“No problem,” Sam replied. The traffic is more congested than normal this morning. I wonder what’s going on?”
Sam’s truck began to shake and a low rumbling sound was heard a few feet to the left of the driver’s seat.
“Holy crow! What’s happening?” Joel said as he turned his head to see a large, thick, white neck trying to push a manhole cover off its head.
“What the heck is that?” Sam asked, his face suddenly turning pale.
“My best guess is that it’s the head and neck of a very large albino alligator,” Joel answered.
“I heard the urban legends about alligators in New York’s sewer systems, but I never believed them until now,” Sam replied with a trace of a tremor in his voice.
Sam and Joel weren’t the only ones to notice an enormous albino alligator that was now using its awesome strength to manoeuvre her itself from the depths of the sewers to a major downtown street in New York City.
A UPS driver quickly turned his steering wheel to the right trying to avoid the monster that he could now see only a few feet in front of him. As a result his truck collided with Sam’s, but fortunately it only hit the side of Sam’s truck well behind the passenger cabin. Joel and Sam both felt the truck shake, but they were only startled not injured.
Joel Jenkins was not having a very good day. The morning started off badly when Joel first opened his eyes. The first thing that he saw was that his alarm clock radio read 7:50 AM. Joel was supposed to start his new job at 7:00 AM. Arriving late on his first day on the job was not going to make a good impression on Joel’s new employer. Joel was very fortunate to have been hired for this job. Ian, his sponsor in NA got him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Sam Bradley was also being sponsored by Ian. This was not an opportunity the Joel didn’t wanted to lose.
Joel was given the alarm clock by Ian as a gift when his sponsor informed him that he was able to get him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Joel thought that he had set the alarm clock correctly the night before. Obviously, he had not. The alarm clock was a newer, state-of-the-art timekeeper that included all the latest bells and whistles. He could even set it to wake him up to the sound of his favourite CD. The problem was that Joel had a difficult time with modern technology, mostly because he didn’t own any modern technology. At present, Joel didn’t even own a PC, a laptop, a cell phone or even a tablet. For the last three years Joel had spent all his money on drugs. He’d been clean for almost six months but couldn’t apply for work until he had completed both his detox and rehabilitation programs. He was fired from his last job when his substance abuse severely affected his job performance and on numerous occasions his ability to show up for work at all.
Joel had to come up with a damage control plan fast. Ian had given Joel, Sam’s cell phone number. Joel called Sam right away to let him know what was up. He let Sam know that he was going to be late and was calling a taxi to take him to work. Sam told Joel that he was presently driving a truck in downtown Manhattan and due to the heavy traffic would probably be stuck in that location for likely up to half an hour. Sam told Joel to have the cab drop him off near the First National Bank.
Sam Bradley was a bit of an entrepreneur. He got into the salvage business after his brother-in-law agreed to let him have his old Ford pickup truck if Sam agreed to pay him $200 as soon as he made some money in his new enterprise.
Sam had a very checkered job history with a backlog of bad references from past employers. This being the case, Sam felt he had no choice but to become self-employed entrepreneur.
Sam Bradley was a very creative man. He was an artist with a broad range of interests. He loved the arts and had taken a stab at most forms of artistic expression including outdoor photography, sculpture and pottery. He found out that he was not particularly talented in all his artistic pursuits, but Sam had the attitude the one didn’t know if they had an aptitude for something unless they had given it an honest concerted effort.
Through his efforts Sam discovered that he was more than skillful in the areas of writing and music. He became skilled enough on guitar to play in a local band called Rocky Raccoon. That’s where his problem with addictions began.
Sam had been burning the candle at both ends. His ambition to write novels was almost equal to his desire to become a great lead guitarist. To date, he had self published two science fiction novels. He used the Amazon platform to sell his books and was enjoying moderately good sales. Unfortunately, he required other sources of revenue to pay his bills. He acquired a part-time job teaching creative writing one night a week at a local community college. The rest of his income came from his cut of his band’s performances at various bars in Manhattan. With these three streams of income, Sam could usually just squeak by paying his monthly bills.
Sam Bradley lived in a small bachelor’s apartment in East Manhattan. He had been fortunate to find an apartment complex that had rent control. Even with this advantage, Sam was often hard-pressed to stay afloat financially and because of this, he was almost constantly stressed out.
Sam worked hard at all his endeavours. He was not a naturally gifted musician, so he practised his guitar playing daily for at least two hours. He applied an equal amount of dedication to his writing and did an admirable amount of preparation for his creative writing classes.
To add to his issues with stress and anxiety, Sam was becoming chronically fatigued. One night during one of the Raccoons’ breaks, Sam told his bass player Glenn Williams about his exhaustion. Glenn was very willing to help as they were also close friends. Glenn offered Sam a couple of little white pills. Sam asked what they are and Glenn informed him that they were Dexedrine tablets.
Glenn Williams also had to work hard as he had to pay his ex-wife a hefty amount of alimony and child support. He had to hold down a full-time job is IT technician. The small amount of money he made as the bass player for the Raccoons allowed him a little bit of spending money for himself.
Two months ago, Glenn went to see his family doctor and complained about excessive daytime sleepiness. His doctor recommended that Glenn try taking Dexedrine to see if that would help boost his energy levels. It worked like a charm and within a couple of days Glenn was totally dependent on stimulants to get him through his long days and evenings.
The Rocky Raccoons basically played classic rock and as they worked hard as a unit over the last few years, they had become a very good band. The Raccoons were well known in the bars of East Manhattan. They knew their audiences well and what music they wanted to hear.
What was popular varied somewhat depending upon which bar they were working, but they had built up a standard set of universal favourites. The Rocky Raccoons found they could never go wrong with songs like You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Other sure crowd pleasers included songs such as American Woman by the Guess Who and Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. They learned these two songs from their rhythm guitar player, Kevin Watts who was a transplanted Canadian born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sam and Kevin would sit down and write some original material whenever they got the chance and sometimes the band performed a couple of the original compositions during their performances.
The Rocky Raccoons were so popular that they had a group of fans who followed the band from bar to bar across East Manhattan. The Raccoons’ followers where nowhere near the size of the Grateful Dead’s famous Deadheads, but for a local band they had an impressive number of followers, both male and female. A couple of their female fans were groupies. The Raccoons’ groupies besides providing the band with the obvious favours and benefits were valuable for another reason. Two of their groupies also serviced the famous bands when they played concerts in New York.
Alicia and Trixie would always put in a plug for the Rocky Raccoons when they talked to the famous musicians and bands. They would also speak with the band’s managers and promoters and encourage them to book the Raccoons as an opening act on the band’s concert tours.
Occasionally, a well-known manager or promoter would drop by a local New York bar to see if the Rocky Raccoons were as good as Alicia and Trixie made