True Story©… The M-O-Equalizer


     I’ve been misusing Moe Phillips.
Not to say or try to suggest that Moe is a real person, but the time I have spent using that name to complete the Shenanigous missions that no sane person would dare to do with their own name appended may have gotten a bit out of hand.

     Most Sunday evenings, I watch The Equalizer with Queen Latifah as she plays a street mercenary taking on jobs to help people in peril who come to her for help.  No, what she is doing is not legal as it is presented, but she is usually more adept and attentive in solving these people’s problems than are the local police.

I had an idea…

“Do you need assistance and can’t get help?  Contact Moe Phillips at 336-xxx-xxxx.  No job too big or too small.”

     I posted that shit ALL OVER the place.  FaceBook, Craigslist, Angi, local bulletin boards, printed and put on the corkboard at grocery stores next to the ‘have you seen my fluffy’ pictures, on NextDoor – you name it!  I wanted as many eyes on this shit as absolutely possible.
My intentions in this undertaking were to get the Moe Phillips name out in the community as a force for good.  Maybe I would wind up painting a house or cutting a few lawns to let people know that there was more to Moe than just a scam artist extraordinaire.

     In reality, people started calling me straight away with issues that they were having where the police couldn’t or wouldn’t help, or worse where they were in commission of some shit where it was just not smart of them to involve the authorities.

     The first voice message:

Good afternoon, Mr. Phillips,

Your post at the Food Lion on the east side said I could call you for anything.  I’m fourteen years old and live at home with my mother and my 7 year-old sister.  We have different dads.  My mom and her boyfriend argue a lot and sometimes I SWEAR I think I hear him hittin her.  I am also pretty sure that they are up to something illegal because neither of them has a job but they almost always have plenty of money.  My mom won’t leave him with of all of this.  I am reaching out to you for help because calling the cops could possibly get my moms in trouble too.

     Well shiiiiiiid…  We just going all gas and no brakes on this shit, huh?
I called the kid back and got some details on where they live, who his mom and her dude are and who his peoples are.  After a little more scratching around with some people I came up with and around, I’d determined who they were and what they were up to for money.  Two degrees of separation had me in the presence of their plug, who I may or may not have known since 7nd grade, but we don’t talk about that here.

     Discussing their specific situation with the homie, he was all but ready to cut them off cold turkey and happily get HIS money elsewhere but I talked him down off of that.
“Lemme know when your next drop is, I’mma grab him up” was my resolution.  The following Friday, the meet was set up for them but my mark was not at all to make it there.

     An hour and a half or so before he was to make it to his play, I snuck to the house and removed the valve stems from two of his tires.  He would come outside to two flat tires.
“Why two,” you ask?  Go open your trunk.  How many spares you got in there?  I needed him not only immobilized, but also flustered and not thinking clearly in this moment.  As he was fiddling with his phone and trying to call the plug to change the time and then a tow truck, I whacked him across the back of the head with a bowling pin I stole from a bowling alley when I was like 22 and stuffed him in the trunk of my beater.

     When he came to, he was tied to a chair.

Him: “Ungh…  What the fuck?”

Me: “Welcome back, mate!”

Him: “W-where am I?”

Me: “We at the bando.”

     [Phlip note: I got a new one, y’all!]

Him: “’Fuck you want with me?”

Me: “I hear you like to beat women.”

Him: “That’s what this is about?”

Me: “Verily”

Him: “Man, I SWEAR, I’mma--…”

Me: “You ain’t gon’ do shit.  As you see, I have you restrained to a high kitchen chair.  Try to get heroic if you want but if you lose teeth in the process, that shit is on you.”

Him: “What do you want?”

Me: “Oh, you gon pay for your shit.”

Him: “Money?  This shit is about money?”

Me: “Nah…  And I ain’t gon kill you either.  Less’n of course you make me.”

Him: “So what, then?”

Me: “You ever heard of a children’s show called The Wonderpets?”

Him: “What?  No!”

Me: “Aight, so imagine a ragtag group of nursery pets.  A guinea pig, a turtle and a duckling with a speech impediment.  The show follows them every episode as they sing and go to save another baby animal after the kids have gone home for the day.”

Him: “That sounds…  Annoying.”

Me: “Which brings me to why we’re here.”

Him: “What!?”

Me: “This shitshow went on for 62 episodes and two shorts.  At 22 minutes per, that puts us at about 23 hours of programming.”

Him: “And you’re gonna--…”

Me: “Shh…  It’s starting.”

     I queued it up on the TV and left the room.  I left the remote on the floor next to the TV, a good 10-15 feet away from where he was seated.
I have an almost-12 year-old, so I have seen more of these episodes than one would ever want to wish on their worst enemy.  And if you see what I just did there, that makes it the PERFECT item with which to torture a grown man.
I mean, The Shittening might be more involved and infinitely more effective, but I kinda need to mix things up sometimes.  And besides, I JUST got this new bando, no need to move to another yet.  All I know is there is no way in hell I'm going to sit in and torture myself with him.  I made him drink the coffee spiked with 5-hour Energy and bounced home to my family.

     What I returned to the following day was surprising.  Well…  Was it really?  He had managed to, in the mania caused by this absolutely godawful kid’s show, rock the chair over.  I am going to infer that the initial fall banged his head on the floor.  I will further infer that he either had no intentions of freeing himself or at the moment that he knew his escape was futile, he started banging his head on the floor to remove himself from consciousness so as to not have to watch The Wonder Pets anymore.
Frankly, I don’t give a shit which it was.  All I know is the psychological punishment turned physical without me having to get any blood on me.

[Phlip note: and I didn’t even have to find cicadas out of season!]

     I ice bucket challenge’d his ass awake though.

Me: “Wakey wakey!”

Him: “You’re a fuckin’ terrorist!”

Me: “Heard that before.”

Him: “Why are you doing this?”

Me: “Because you deserved it?”

Him: “What’d I ever do to you?”

Me: “It’s not what you did to me.  What’d you do to her?”

Him: “Her who!?--…  oh, her...  She put you up to this?”

Me: “No.  But what if she did?”

Him: “I--…”

Me: “Seriously…  What if she did?  What if she did and you went back in that house and retaliated?  You really trying to be looking over your shoulder and hearing my footsteps for the rest of your miserable-ass little life?”

Him: “Now that you put like that.”

Me: “So before I cut you loose, decide what is best for you, right here right now…  What happened to you here today?  Choose your words wisely.”

     He wouldn’t even look me in the eye.

Him: “…  nothing…”

Me: “Correct, nothing happened here today.”

     With that, I cut him off of the chair and tied him back up and put a bag over his head.  I removed the bag when I took him out of the car and left him in his driveway still tied up and went on about my merry little business.
I should have made him clean the blood and tears off the floor in my bando…  bastard.

     Two days later, I had a voicemail on “Moe’s” burner phone.

Mr. Phillips,

I don’t know WHAT you did but it worked.  Mom’s boyfriend disappeared and didn’t come home or answer his phone one whole day or night, then came home with his face all bruised up.
We feared the worst in his return, but there has been a complete shift in how he acts.  It’s like he has a newfound fear of God in him when it comes to how he talks to my mom and around us.
I sincerely want to think it was you that brought this about and for that I thank you.

If we know nothing in particular, we know Moe Phillips loves the kids, even if he doesn't like them.

…  I think I’mma keep this up for a little while.


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