Funny but scary

I went into Reginelli’s last night — the one on Magazine across from the A&P (by Nacho Mama’s and The Bulldog). I’d actually planned to hit the A&P for some kinda cheap eats, but just missed their 8pm closing.

I place my to-go order and step outside to make a cell phone call (Sprint sucks, man. Two disconnections in less than 40 seconds IN TOWN) and the door is held for me by a group of black-clad, overstuffed types I don’t pay much attention to. I assume they’re cops or Guardsmen or something, until I come back inside and get a closer look.

Picture this. There are six of them — five men and a (pretty embarrassed-looking) woman. All are wearing black polo-type shirts, black pants, black military boots. The men are bullet-headed and vary in age from about 25 to about 50ish, but all have the same ex-jock look. The look that says, “I was a real stud in high school, but I was too hot-headed to take orders in the military, so I got out, but I don’t have the education or patience to be a real cop but I still enjoy whipping ass and don’t look at me wrong or I’ll whip yours, you long-haired wimp. What’re you lookin’ at, you freakin’ hippie?”

They’re all wearing these oversized, police-type badges and (again, black) baseball caps that say “STEALTH SECURITY UNIT.” The polo shirts say “STEALTH SECURITY TEAM.” I don’t know if they had trouble getting together on the exact name or what. And, strapped to their right legs, each is toting this bigass Glock-type 9mm (or thereabouts) pistol.

I look at the Reginelli’s chick and she’s trying to stifle giggles, which sets me to doing the same thing. I’m not sure if we’re laughing more at how this this gaggle of rent-a-cops is dressed or the oxymoronism of having STEALTH stamped so loudly on their clothing. I guess it would be akin to James Bond’s Aston-Martin having a bumper sticker that said, “Ask me about my secret agent job” or having a tag that said SHKNNTSTRD or some shit.

Then I start wondering just what these guys are guarding and why they’re so heavily armed and just how and against who(m) they’re going to use it. This ain’t Brinks, this ain’t Wackenhut, the Garden District Security dudes, the Guard or the NOPD. I don’t like the idea of this kind of too-armed, too-advertised, too-blackclad unofficial “security” wandering around this town. Their very presence was confrontational, and we don’t need that right now.

The residents of this are glad to have the National Guard presence. We know all about the NOPD’s problems, but the individiual officers I’ve dealt with have usually been helpful, affable and fairly flexible. I’m just hoping we’re saved from the same kinds of private security contractors who’ve made so many friends lately in Iraq.

…particularly with Mardi Gras less than a month away.

4 Comments so far

  1. Pat Street (unregistered) on January 31st, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

    Hey Craig, Jeez, cain’t leave ya’ll alone fer a minute…so, I’m guessin’ they ain’t “Pinkerton’s either…hopefully, Osama Bin Laden will adopt the ‘Blatantly Obvious Stealth Specialists(B.O.S.S.)[Yeah, Acronym Man strikes again…)into his terrorist war plan…He’ll be the 6ft.5in.guy with a turbin, attatched to a Dyslasis machine…more noticably, the yellow ‘pee’ stains, on the front of his ‘linen’, caused by the loss of bladder control, associated with laughing so hard at the ‘Stealth’ thing…there’s sumthin’ the NSA sattelites can lock on to, get the Champagne ready…Ciao, High Plains Drifter…

  2. ED (unregistered) on February 1st, 2006 @ 6:46 am

    My guess is t-shirt stores will hop right on this. What tourist wouldn’t want a black t-shirt with “Stealth Security Unit” across the back in four inch high letters?

  3. Loki (unregistered) on February 5th, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

    What about the Black Water Mercenaries that are doing the guard work at the JCC on St Charles? These guys have never been deployed stateside before and are simply hired killers.

  4. Tommy (unregistered) on February 8th, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    Robocop was precient in predicting the corporatization of police and security services. Judging by the Blackwater stories we hear, I suspect it was also accurate in predicting security privitization’s role in bringing about the end of government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Somehow, though – at least in the case of “Stealth Security {Unit | Team}” – I’m not too worried, given the cartoon picture you paint.

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