A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 15, 2003 || 11:30 pm

Workin’ inna coal mine, goin’ down-down-down.

Sweetly enough, there are things about what I do for a living that are wicked cool. I get paid decent change and have (pretty much) fully flexible hours. I can pull a case or I can give it a big thumbs-down if I so desire. I can work as much or as little as I please, I can specify to a great degree the whos and whats and wherefores. My son coined an excellent term for it some months back: Freelance Social Worker.

So, yeah, that kinda nails it.

Though I do have cases that are centered around adults, mostly I deal with children. LOTS of children. Kids in all shapes, sizes and circumstances. Some cross my path with shabby clothes and worn or angry faces. Some fully belie their circumstances and remain fresh-faced and silly, as kids should be. The fortitude they posess, even though I myself was privy to some ugly, hard times as a child, just knocks me back.

“You should be angry/scared/suspicious/withdrawn/rattled to the core, but you’re just a wee, silly kid. YAY!” is what I often think.

This week a guy went on vacation and I’m subbing out on a handful of his cases. The objective today was to pick up two girls, ages four and justbarelysix, and take them an hour away to pick up their brother (seven) and teeny sister (two) and supervise a visit with some of their extended family for an hour-and-a-half.

I never really know what I’m going to get, never know what will turn up in sneakers and a backpack to climb into my car. Today I was smitten about four-point-three seconds after the girls were reunited post-schoolday. They squealed and hugged one another and admired the artwork each other had crafted at their respective schools. I buckled them in their booster seats, and they seemed to take to me immediately; both animatedly asked me questions and engaged me in conversation and it wasn’t ten minutes before we were all giggling.

“I,” Evie* announced, “am going to throw my toys away when I get a boyfriend.”

“Really?” I asked, mock-incredulous, “Why you wanna go and do something silly like that?”
“PFF! ‘Cause I won’t need ‘em anymore (the ‘more’ part sounding terrifically precious, like this: mow-urh)!

“I’ll be growed up!”

Though both were ebullient and animated, Cass seemed to be the more grounded and serene of the two, as if she should be the oldest rather than Evie.

It was a pleasant drive, really, and I looked fondly on them, two little matching denim jumpers, two sets of chubby cheeks, two pairs of flowered Keds, two hairbowed ponytails, two bright pairs of eyes and two perfect, easily-given smiles. Little animated hands, teeny bodies locked safely away in booster seats, giggles abounding. So then, it was horrifically surreal when, squinting against the afternoon sunlight, Evie and Cass began a brief-but-still-too-long (though not too heated) debate on who had touched them inappropriately, mom or dad, and who was in trouble for what.

“It was not momma, Cass, it was daddy, and I’m tellin’ that you said that.”

“Nuh-uh, it was momma that touched us in our private places all wrong [she said that, 'private places all wrong' and I wanted to pull the car over and gather them up to me in comfort --though I don't know if mine or theirs-- and then go find the parent responsible, one or both, and peel their skins off], I don’t care if daddy is in jail for it.”

It was very Hitchcockian: Some days this shit just eats my guts, man.

*names, of course, changed to protect the innocent

8 worked it out »

  1. James 10.16.2003

    You know that Warner Bros. cartoon where that Tasmanian Devil spins and spins to unwind with that ferocious look? A fearful sight. Terrifying noises.

    Yet, it’s cute and deep inside it’s something you’d take home with you and call your own. It’s harmless, really. Just needs love and someone to belong to.

  2. Richard D. Bartlett 10.16.2003

    dear life,

    Get less fahked.

    with love,


  3. Sgt. Mac 10.16.2003

    This post will be fairly long as want to lay out my experiances. Although not privy to this kind of thing, like your job, every time I hear one of these stories, it reminds me.

    What can you say about the exploition or the abuse of kids. Makes you want to “Kill” the person responsible. Not an instant death, but a slow agonizing death….sort of an eye for an eye….The punishment should be as long as the abuse…Not sitting in some cell watching the fuzzy tube, but some long term painful sentence…Maybe the ol, bury you up to your head in an anthill….and by the way, here is some Honey and a jar of Fire Ants…But even that would be too kind.

    Having two young granddaughters and not being around this kind of thing much, none the less makes my skin crawl.

    I have had two bad experiances with the abuse of children, both while in the Air Force.

    One was a young boy of 8 or 9 years whom we found tied to a tree in his backyard, no clothes in 30 degree weather. The poor kid was blue by the time we found him, punished for peeing his bed by his parents, who had both left for work and left this child tied to the tree.

    The child was taken away to a foster home, and both parents were unceremounsly given dishonarable dishcarges ASAP. Other than that I don’t know what happened to the child but have always wondered.

    I bet you a thousand bucks the parents were let off with little punishment..other than the discharge.

    The second one, was a young girl who vanished while waiting for her mother to take her to church on an early Sunday morning.

    The panicked mother called us, and we responded to her apartment. This was my first experiance with a distraught mother and it was not an easy thing to calm her down to get the information.

    The mother and daughter were dressed in their Sunday best and were about to get in their car and head for Church. The mother forgot something and leaving her daughter outside, went to retrieve the item. (This is the scary part, which you see time and again on the news…It only takes a few seconds for a child like this to disappear.

    A minute later the mother came down but the little gal was gone. The mother searched around but could not locate her. Frantic, she called the Police, (Us), and we responded.

    Since the girl disappeared near the home, we instantly cordened off the area and commenced a search.

    Searching the immediate area, I opened a garage door to a detached garage nearby, and inside was a young man in his 20’s with the little girl, dressed in a fluffy lace white Sunday dress, her painties around her knees, about to assualt the girl.

    Upon my call, my SSGt. came running in. The first thing he did was for me to remove the girl while he took out his nightstick and beat the hell out of this kid.

    After giving the child back to the mother I went back to the garage and got a few licks in myself. After a few I gained my composure, but actually had to pull off the SSgt. as he was now beating and kicking this kid as hard as he could. It have been very easy for us to keep going….

    Anyway the kid was not assaulted but am sure she will always be traumatized.

    The only thing they did to the kid was give him a Phycological test then he was dishonorably dishcarged. It breaks my heart to know that this asshole was probably back on the streets doing the same thing…

    Sorry for the length of this, but I had to get it off my chest after your post…

  4. MaC 10.16.2003

    With everything that’s happened over here, I definitely sympathize. Osan averages about one sexual assault case a week. (and that’s just what gets reported).

    and by the way,

    OMFG Devo! I haven’t heard that song in a while! (I’m off to go dig up my heavy metal soundtrack now)

  5. Gary 10.16.2003

    We are surrounded by barbarians. I have been wondering lately if this increase in child sex abuse could be an abnormal by-product of the empowerment of women. These vile people (mostly male) who prey on children used to prey on women back when there was no aknowledgement of the brutality that women faced. They still do to a large extent but now that women are stronger the reptiles of the world have to find weaker prey and the ones most available are children.

    This is not to place cause or blame on empowerment, far from it. I am saying that we as a society need to be more vigilant in protecting the children. Laws need to be enforced rigidly when children are the victims. We must insure that those who will victimize women and children in this way are removed from normal society.

    Jett, you, and people like you are the ones standing on the wall and you are all that can keep the barbarians from the entering gates where these children live. Thank you for what you do.

    “For whosoever doeth it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me, also.”

  6. Leslie 10.16.2003

    Tragically, an average of 3 children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect.

  7. Hans Dibbler 10.16.2003

    Only you would write such an entry.

    I fully expect that if the sun were to go nova, your post corporal exposition in the ether would start out with what a beautiful morning it was, how streams of light filtered down from the heavens; bringing with it an overwhelming spirit of hope and promise. In the last few words of your final paragraph, you would detail how things went to shit in a major way; leaving nothing beyond a few wayward spacecraft and transient radio signals to prove that this planet or it’s peoples ever exsisted.

    I am happy you found such a great gig time wise. It’s good you can step up and fill such a needed service. I don’t think I could contain myself from acting as the “silent hand of God” against the filth that perpetrate such deeds as you recant. I can shrug off just about anything done to an adult. Cruelty and abuse to kids and animals is where I start thinking such assholes have to pay, and I am the one ringing the register.

  8. John 10.17.2003

    I tend to be a peace loving guy, but when I hear about abuse it gets to me. I either get sad or so angry that I start to shake.

    on a completely different note, Jett could be referring to the Dorsey orginal, which sounds the same except that it’s about a third of the speed.


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