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A Few Good Scoundrels

You would never think of my buddy Johnny C. as being patriotic.

He is well known, though, in the major metropolitan city where he lives and you might even say notorious depending on how you feel about cock rings and butt plugs.

Johnny C. is no stranger to the front page of the daily newspaper, courtesy of his many high profile battles with City Hall over his right to operate retail stores that sell products for enhancing the sex life of consenting adults. His city is one of the murder capitals of this country and is ranked in the Top 20 cities for overall violent crime, yet the powers to be are more interested in stopping him from selling a bottle of lube than they are in locking up muggers and rapists. Johnny C. hates the legal bills, but loves the notoriety.

Every cop in the city knows who he is, and some secretly applaud his tenacity while others would like to get him in a backroom with some hot lights and rubber hoses. Problem is, he never knows which way a particular cop is leaning when he comes in contact with one.

Like the night he closed one of his stores and was driving home at three in the morning and got stopped for speeding. On a secluded stretch of road in a heavily wooded area with no street lights. In his very expensive Maserati. On his way to his very expensive mansion. A young guy who makes more money than any twenty cops’ salaries combined stopped by an officer who makes 30K a year and is stuck working the midnight shift.

Johnny C. knows all this as he rolls down his car window. He knows that the cop, if he was so inclined, could just shoot him and claim self defense, or he could radio for back-up and the boys in blue could take turns doing the Rodney King dance on his head on that deserted stretch of road.

So, still knowing all this, when the cop asks for his license and registration and Johnny C. tells him he has a gun in the car, and the cop sarcastically asks, “Why do you have a gun in your car?”, Johnny C. just naturally says:

“Besides the fact that it’s my constitutional right?”

Don’t you just love it.

There are people who call Johnny C. a scoundrel, and I don’t disagree with that assessment; that’s why he and I are such good friends, being two peas in the same pod. But I say he is a scoundrel in a complimentary way while they say it in a derogatory way. They are the same people who keep their mouths shut when the powers that be increase their taxes or pass more laws infringing on their personal freedom. Johnny C., like the guys who sent out invitations to the Boston Tea Party, won’t put up with that shit. He’ll fight them in a court of law or on a lonely stretch of highway.

Which, I think, is both admirable and ballsy.

If owning a strip club makes you a scoundrel, then there’s another scoundrel I know named Joe.

Joe became a millionaire opening and running a very successful adult nightclub, but with that success came a lot of unwanted attention from the media and the local cops. One night the cops went into his club undercover as customers and then arrested Joe and some of the exotic dancers, alleging that the dancers had committed improprieties with the undercover officers while giving them lap dances.

The cops made the club and the dancers give back the “marked” money they had spent on the dances, saying it was evidence for the case. Included in that marked money was $6 the cops had spent to buy six $1 bottles of water. Joe told the cops he wanted the $6 back because the cops had ordered and drank his bottled water and there was nothing illegal about the water.

The cops said no; so Joe sued the city.

Joe’s attorney, who I also know, told me that the case, because of hearings and what not, had been going on for over a year and had still not made it to trial, so he called Joe one day and said:

“Listen, this case has already cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees just to try to collect a measly six dollars. How much of your own personal money are you willing to spend to get that six dollars back?”

“All of it,” said Joe.

Most people ask for freedom. A select few insist on it.

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