Check Fraud, Gas Theft and the Augmented Detainee Restraint

So now you know, don’t take a stripper
To your mom’s house, especially if
It’s worth a million and a half, but
Jay Dee also has other lessons:

“Down to no money, you can bounce
Checks at different stores, and even
Get $50 cash back. At each, they will
Only scan your driver’s license, and if
You haven’t stiffed them before, you’re fine.
Considering how many stores there are,
This can keep you going for a while. As
For your bank penalties, just make sure
You don’t go over $500, total, or they will
Investigate you for check fraud, OK?

If you want to move to another state, or
Just drive around for the hell of it, you can
Get free gas. As long as you don’t place the
Nozzle back in its slot after you’ve filled up,
They won’t know the transaction is done.
By the time they realize something is wrong,
You’re way gone. Also, it’s best to steal gas
Just before you cross a state line. The cops
Won’t likely chase after you in another state.”

Jay Dee also said he was snagged in Manhattan,
But the details were a bit too weird. He claimed
Someone had shot something at his calf, then
Restrained him with handcuffs that electrocuted.
There is such a device, you know. Did the cops
Test their new toy on a homeless guy? Though
A petty criminal, Jay Dee broke no law that day,
Short of having no warm and soft place to lie.

“Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask
For bread. If they don’t give you work or bread,
Take bread,” so said Emma Goldman, except
You shouldn’t steal from any mom and pop,
That’s a given, and you must also know how
To shoplift, as in tucking that can of tuna
Into your underwear, and not any pocket
Or purse, but even then, they can hold you
Until the cops come to slap that Augmented
Detainee Restraint onto your wrists, and shock
The living anarchy out of your ass, all for
A bit of protein in sunflower or canola oil,
And yes, stealing is always wrong, unless
You’re a banker, as protected and partnered
By the government of the United States. As
They kill and cheat, so will we hustle and
Bloody each other, and maybe even them.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.