Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bonfire of the vanities

By Capt. Fogg

Boca Raton Florida, like many American cities, is ten thousand acres of concrete streets, strip malls and parking lots with a few patches of golf course applied like green stamps on a white envelope. It differs in that a careless crosser of its crowded streets is more likely to be run down by a Bentley than in most other places.

It was in his late model Bentley that police found the sleeping Greg Talbot, described by the Palm Beach Post as a "millionaire developer" as though anyone found in a Bentley in Boca needed to be exposed as wealthy. But appearances can be deceptive and in this New Money capitol of the South, they almost always are. Talbot may be the second largest owner of commercial property in the flamboyantly upscale metropolis but like developers everywhere, he's in trouble. Banks and lenders of all sorts are threatening to foreclose and to cut off further credit.

Who can blame him for a bit of alcoholic relief, after which he at least had the sense to park the car and sleep it off? Boca's Finest, if not their brightest, of course. Talbot has a history of fisticuffs, the exercise of which landed him in the lockup three years ago. Perhaps the police who saw fit to interview him in the middle of the night knew what to expect, but when Greg made a phone call and didn't respond fast enough to an officer's request to end it, out came law enforcement's answer to the Game Boy: the Taser. It's not of course, as though the gentleman's behavior was discernible as such. Talbot swore and shouted and strongly resisted being handcuffed for whatever crime is involved in being asleep in a parked car. They had to Taser him repeatedly and that should be a reminder to those who think wealth and social position can place one out of range of the skull cracking, spark snapping enthusiasm of the men in blue. I'd think twice about falling asleep in a Chevrolet.

Of course Talbot's last scuffle back in 2005 resulted in the attempted intervention of his pal, the police Chief. Former Police Chief, I should say, since it didn't sit well with the locals. This time he had to play the rehab card and go straight to Rush Limbaugh's alma mater in Arizona, where for his $40K he will receive such benefits as art therapy. Forty large can be seen as a cheap way to finger paint one's self out of prison although it may not be an option for most people. It still pays to be rich even if you're on the verge of bankruptcy.

Don't feel too smug, Mr. Average. Greg Talbot may have burnt his fingers in this bonfire, but the wind is blowing and it may spread.

Cross posted from Human Voices

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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I've always thought that the hardcore Bush supporters believe if the storm troopers come that they won't be touched because they're such loyal subjects. I figure they'll be unpleasantly surprised to find out that useful tools are easily discarded.

7:50:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

That's exactly what others thought in Europe, but Americans don't believe foreign examples, good or bad, apply to them.

8:37:00 AM  

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