Whack Friday (Far and away my strangest story yet) (An Oppositelock Black Friday Tradition)

Almost twenty-three years on the force, and this is how they reward me? Well, I suppose it could be worse. I could be one of the mindless consumers who rush to the stores and trample other mindless consumers just to get to Black Ops 3 first. “Yeah, it could definitely be worse,” I thought as I pulled out of the precinct, the Hellcat engine’s sweet burble coming out of the side pipes.

I eased the wide-bodied Jensen Interceptor onto the main thoroughfare and lit up the rear Pirellis for a brief, blissful second. Black Friday duty wasn’t looking too bad this year. Then again, it was only 4:30 in the morning, but a few big-box stores had already been open for hours.

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But of course, it eventually got worse. My dispatcher sent me down to a pretty sketchy part of town. She said there was a minor disturbance, but knowing the area, it could have been a gang shootout. I turned on the searingly bright light bar and sped towards the hood. There was little semblance of law and order in this part of town. The call gave me the address of a notoriously sketchy business called “The Parts Party.”

The Parts Party was the result of a junkyard/pull-a-part’s hostile takeover of an entire city block that contained an AutoZone, a Pep Boys, and a Harbor Freight. This cesspool of poor taste and high tensions had earned a reputation over the years for violence, as well as for being generally awful. It was the sort of place where disgusting hookers with a strangely extensive knowledge of the internal combustion engine offered to “give your straight-six some reverse-flow head.” Mercifully, I never had to hang around long enough to find out exactly what that meant.

The disturbance was in the Harbor Freight part of the store. Some ricer cut in front of a donk guy, and donk guy decided to bust ricer’s head open with a poorly manufactured drill press. The union of the four stores had created a unique situation. It had brought down literal walls between four very different groups of people: the rednecks had the original junkyard/pull-a-part; the ricers had the Pep Boys section; the donk owners had the AutoZone area; and the bro-truck owners had the Harbor Freight part. Tensions often erupted between the groups, and usually violently. The drill press incident was nothing. The Part Place must have been having some pretty good Black Friday deals for people to be here this early.

As I walked across the dilapidated building into the Pep Boys section, I saw the real issue. Ricers had turned against their own and upended almost every shelf in the place. There were bodies crushed under shelves, and pools of blood forming underneath them - or was it just ruptured bottles of DOT 3? There were enough plastic wheel covers strewn around the place to give even the worst curb-scraper a lifetime supply. Men were being transported to the hospital with fake vents stuck to their bodies where the sun don’t shine. I would be speaking to the Code Enforcement office soon about a condemnation notice for this place. But it only got worse as I walked on.

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In the AutoZone section, a ‘95 Impala SS on 28-inch wheels had been driven straight through the facade of the building in some bizarre attempt at ram-raiding, its driver pinned under a pile of off-brand subwoofers. It only got worse in the junkyard. The rednecks, in a giant yellow middle finger to the bro-truck drivers, had crushed a brand new F-150. Okay, it had EcoBoost, so the judge would probably cut their sentence in half.

The cleanup continued without a hitch. People were arrested and put into Coyote-swapped first-gen Ford Transits, and hazmat performed a thorough decontamination of the place. The last prisoner was being loaded into a van when I heard a strange buzzing noise. It was November, so there weren’t any bees around. What on earth was it, then?

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That question was soon answered as the most heinous of all creations rounded the corner. It was - or at least it used to be - a DC2 Integra, but it was barely recognizable. It had been converted to four-wheel drive, and it was lifted, but the weirdness didn’t stop there. It was on 35-inch mud tires, but the 26-inch spinners they were wrapped around made them look low-profile. Festooned with poorly affixed LED light bars and faux side vents, the abomination had a Confederate flag in the space where the rear window used to be, and, to top it all off, a California vanity plate that read “YEE YEE”. The VTEC-powered - uh, thing - produced an ungodly buzz that was almost certainly causing danger to the manifold. Who on earth would drive such a thing?

That question was answered as the Integra got closer. Though the windshield was vibrating incessantly thanks to the stereo blaring Future’s rap anthem, “Bugatti,” I could make out a face in the glass. It was him. The owner. The man behind all of this Black Friday chaos. The strange thing was, it was totally not his style. The Integra wasn’t yellow, and it didn’t have flames, but it was definitely piloted by none other than Guy Fieri, his trademark spiky bleached hair as unmistakable as a 747. Thanksgiving had come and gone, so he clearly wasn’t here to give me pointers on using an engine hoist to cook a turkey.

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I made a mad dash back to the Jensen. I couldn’t let this criminal mastermind escape. He pulled away from the parking lot laughing maniacally while the theme hook from “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” played on loop. Meanwhile, I cursed myself for not replacing the Interceptor’s electrics when I dropped in the new motor. Finally, the supercharged Hemi roared to life, and I sped off in pursuit. Flavortown, my ass.

I began to gain on him. It was only a matter of time before the Jensen’s wraparound bull bar would be right in the Integra’s rear diff. I knew many members of my favorite internet forum would forever hate me for destroying the Integra, but it had to be done. Suddenly, he began to pull away from me. He was a hundred yards ahead of me going into the corner, but when I rounded it, the only sign that the Integra had ever been there was a poorly painted passenger floor pan in the middle of the road. I didn’t catch the man, but as long as he didn’t bother me again, I’d be fine.

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I told the dispatcher that the call was code 4, and she immediately gave me another call. Something about a small riot at Best Buy over some cheap Android tablets. Large amounts of tryptophan do strange things to people, but for me, it was just another day on the beat.

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