Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And the APD MRAP Goes to This Lucky Winner...

The Albuquerque Journal reported that APD’s 14-foot-tall, 45,000-pound Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle – aka MRAP – is going away.

Dear Ms. Madeson:

On behalf of Chief Gordon Eden and the entire Albuquerque Police Department, I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected as the winner in the “Take This MRAP Home Today” lottery

We've filled up the gas tank with the requisite 284 gallons, and the keys are in the ignition waiting for you. (Lucky monogrammed four-leaf clover keychain provided by APD Forward.)

The entire SWAT Team is detailing your new vehicle as I write this, and they're really putting their backs into it, getting in all those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. It's a great community event,so please come on down and pick up your unique prize today!

Very truly yours,

Janet Blair
Communications and Community Outreach Director
Albuquerque Police Department

Dear Ms. Blair:

Thank you so much for reaching out, but there must be some mistake as I'm pretty sure that I never entered the lottery. I eschew lotteries in general and especially have no need of an armored vehicle at this time. My Honda Fit is adequate for my transportation needs, and the few times a year when it snows, I just stay home. Plus, my trusted landlords assure me that there are no landmines on our property and none reported ever in the Santa Fe County vicinity. They are, however, concerned that at over 10 ft. high, it won't fit under my carport.

But thank you for thinking of me, and best of luck with scrapping it.

Thanks, but no thanks,

Frances Madeson

Image by Charlie Grapski
Dear Ms. Madeson:

How silly of me. I just conferred with Mayor Berry who has it on good authority from CAO Perry who got it from Chief Eden that we, by which I mean the City of Albuquerque, are throwing in a new carport.

It seems you and I both neglected to read the fine print, but fortunately ACLU-NM Exec. Dir. Peter Simonson, who's really good at this kind of thing, alerted us to the fact that down at the bottom in the teensiest of lettering is the proviso that a height-appropriate carport is indeed part of your winnings.

Please expect representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers in the next 72 hours to arrive at your casita to begin construction.

Also, I've checked the weather for the next few hours and while we might get some always welcome precip (we are in the throes of monsoon season after all), it's nothing your new MRAP can't handle. If it were to hail grapefruits, cantaloupes or even watermelons, your new MRAP, as I'm sure you already know, was built to withstand improvised explosive devices (IEDs). I'm wholly confident that your new MRAP can take Mother Nature's very worst, assuming it arrives, at least until we get that new rust-resistant carport up for you.

All to say, we really need you to get yourself down here with a valid NM driver's license before the end of business today. I'm sure you understand as the savvy lottery winner that you are that it would be a boon for all concerned if your bon voyage christening (we're prepared to smash an entire magnum of New Mexico's own Gruet Brut courtesy of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce) made this evening's television news.

Not to pressure you unduly, but KOAT, KRQE, and KOB are all running with the story as their lead. In fact, all of the really relevant footage has already been shot, we just need a smiling you behind the wheel getting on I-25 North heading up to the State's capitol.

And if we make the 6 o'clock broadcasts, as an extra bonus, City Council Prez Ken Sanchez himself plans to escort you to the Bernalillo County line!

With every good wish,

Janet Blair
Communications and Community Outreach Director
Albuquerque Police Department

P.S. An investigative reporter at KRQE has rather urgently inquired if you've thought of an affectionate pet name for your new MRAP yet? If not, please don't sweat it, we'll make one up for you. See you shortly!
Rob Perry as imaginatively rendered by Albuquerque imagist Dinah Vargas. (I must ask her what that P stands for.)
Dear Ms. Blair:

Whoa, whoa, whoa there, lady! I've just had a very concerning phone call from my Geico rep, who informs me that the annual insurance premiums for what you keep insisting is “my MRAP” will break my personal piggy bank. I'm not even waiting for my accountant to get back to me with the personal property tax consequences to tell you the following in no uncertain terms: please don't look for me at the christening ceremony. I find I have an unalterable pre-existing scheduling conflict.

I really must encourage you to find another lucky winner.


Frances Madeson

Chief Gordon Eden ready for his close-up. I must remember to ask Dinah why he doesn't have a P?

Dear Ms. Madeson:

Well, this is awkward, but I regret to inform you that your winnings (MRAP and carport) are not transferable. Civil rights specialist Simonson was adamant on that point. Or as he put it just moments ago, "Tell her I've gone back as far as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and there's simply no wiggle room."

But I do have some marvelous news. APD Officers Anthony Sedler and Ramon Ornelas, just back on duty after the unfortunate shooting of alleged car-thief Jeremy Robertson (multiple bullets fired into his back as he fled from them), have volunteered on their own dime to deliver your now gleaming MRAP to your home. Not exactly sure of their ETA, but after dark for sure.

It's been a pleasure corresponding with you on this matter.

All best to you,

Janet B.

Dear Ms. Blair:



  1. < /satire > < /sarcasm > < /snark >

    1. I wish it were otherwise. But in this moment we have to be bold, Jim. The APD is intimidating my friends in Albuquerque--dropping by at odd hours on bullshit excuses, parking outside their homes while idling their engines, pulling them over for no reason, and more. The local Chamber, APD Forward (led by ACLU-NM, sad to say) and the local press prop the whole evil system up--they participate in and celebrate meaningless concessions, pretending PR stunts are some version of reform. Mockage seems the optimal rhetorical stance under the dire circumstances.


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