November 28, 2010

Cops looking for purple people

  Breaking up late night beach parties requires creativity on the part of law enforcement. Take the Florida beach town several summers ago where college kids simply ignored police announcements on the bull horn to “go home!”
  One cop had a compact disk in his patrol car which he hooked into the police public-address system, then played a selection for about 20 minutes and turned it off.
  By that time all you could hear was the gentle sound of the surf. Police went on to patrol other areas of the town because the kids had cleared out. Did I mention the title of the CD? “The 101 Strings of Montavoni,” that’s a 1950s collection of semi-classic instrumentals.
  During the late 60s and early 70s some East Coast beach towns had difficulty dealing with college kids on spring break. Adolescent hormones, combined with pot, booze and other drugs, resulted in special kinds of chaos.
  In Florida the highway patrol has a unique tool for dealing with these near-riots. Troopers call it “The War Wagon.” It looked like an armored car covered with steel plates. Tires are solid rubber reinforced with steel radials.
  At first, student protesters try to overturn the War Wagon, but its underside is lined with steel spikes and shards of glass embedded in an epoxy-like cement.
  Mounted on the top of the War Wagon is a turret from which troopers are able to film crowds and, on a few occasions, actually fire the “k-gun.” No bullets! Read on. The K-Gun looks like a cannon, but its ammunition is a stream of dry purple chemical power. As a cloud of purple-k begins settling, it removes oxygen from the air. Unruly students quickly disperse in search of fresh air.
  Purple-k has another property which the cops love — the powder sticks to the skin and doesn’t wash off. It wears off. After the riot is over, the cops simply drive around looking for purple people to question.

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