Last night in our neighborhood, gunshots rang out like a bell.
When this morning’s gray gloom finally dissipated, our worst fears were realized.
The violence had touched home.
Yesterday, this was just another teddy bear, careless and free. He probably loved playing stickball and being hugged by overzealous toddlers. Now he’s dead on our sidewalk in a pool of his own stuffing. Who knows what unspeakable acts this teddy bear had to endure before he was finally put out of his misery?
North Minneapolis is a hard place to live, my friends. You learn to distrust the people on your street. You learn to keep vigil on your front step and coldy polish your shotgun in plain view of the neighborhood teens. You learn to shutter your bathroom windows after receiving multiple complaints about people having to see you naked.
I suppose seeing a dead teddy bear on my sidewalk shouldn’t have been a shock. But it was. I’m afraid I’ll remember that image for the rest of my life.
I blame Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak for this. I stuffed the dead bear in a shoebox and mailed it to his office along with an irrationally belligerent and vaguely threatening note. Hopefully that will help.
So long, dead teddy bear. Perhaps from your death, a renewal will sprout in North Minneapolis and we will see a revival of this once-proud neighborhood. Perhaps teen truancy and gang activity will diminish while property values and retail activity will rise. Perhaps we will have fewer burglaries and more firm, friendly handshakes.
Until that happens, it’s time for some Ron Gardenhire-style vigilante justice. Nobody murders a teddy bear on my sidewalk and gets away with it.