Officer Krupky is Salvatore Jimenez. No, I’m not endangering him. Saito-san has him in a safe house for now. Sal defecting is one thing. Getting his family out and settled was next level. But. PUDFARB thinks with its heart. So it can be defeated. Saito-san and PUDFARB have some history. PUDFARB is afraid of him. Sal is in good hands.
Sal’s family is good. They found a house in the county near the casino. Small-town America. Sal’s wife (Joana) is homeschooling her kids. The family is in the process of becoming Roman Catholic. Saito’s people arranged for the house, an F150 and a Rav4. Joana got an iPhone 8. No, not gifts. Nothing with Saito-san is free. But Sal and Saito-san worked it out.
Officer Krupky isn’t Charlie. So the deal is different. Just know that Sal made sure he could land on his feet. It’s not easy to bargain with Saito-san and come out ahead. Sal isn’t your average guy. More on that later.
Officer Krupky is the EVILIST of EVIL, EVIL, EVIL Spawn of Tangerine Tyrant
PUDFARB is upset. That’s not news. The Daily Californian’s typical headline is some new outrage they have discovered. Telegraph Avenue is a ghost town. AntiGa and the RCP declared it to be an autonomous zone ala Seattle’s CHAZ. They barricaded all the intersections of Dana and Bowditch between Bancroft and Dwight. The former Hotel Durant became the People’s Freedom Temple. The student housing on the site of People’s Park is filled with squatters.
Paradise? Hardly. Gunfire punctuates the soundscape 247. Marijuana smoke pollutes the air. It is a no-go zone for first responders. So victims are carried/make their way to either Ellsworth or College Avenue. The sidewalks of both streets between Bancroft and Dwight are filled with tents. These tent cities are populated with PUDFARB rejects and casualties of The Struggle inside PAZ.
Why is PUDFARB upset this time? Officer Krupky was the Lieutenant for the sector that includes PAZ. He was a personal friend and bodyman to the Dear Leader. His fealty and practice of the Life was untouchable. Officer Krupky was second only to the Dear Leader in pufflicity and reputation. Nobody else had his esteem. Then he defected. Nobody defects, ever. Enemies of PAZ can’t defect because that removes one of their interrogation/re-education targets.
PUDFARB LOVES, LOVES, LOVES!!! angst. ACAB? Yes, absolutely. The answer is to coddle the toxic and make sure they are comfortable and have their needs met. Domestic battery is deeply conflicting for the Party. So they don’t talk about it. Defund the Police? They do that. Instead, PUDFARB employs “De-escalation Facilitators”. Those are the poor sops who have to wear blue wool jumpers, white knee socks, and black flat pumps.
The DF’s get battered with abandon. Don’t call 911 in PUDFARB. No one will show up. The risk of enduring a days-long struggle session for doing your job is too great. Better to work from home and file a De-escalation Plan. Calls are coded by the 911 operators so the type of incident is known. DFs can file a DP from a set of templates for each coding. No need to show up.
So it’s anarchy inside PUDFARB. Elite Party Members live in walled compounds in the hills above Berkeley. Those that can move away. Everybody else fights to survive the chaos.
You Supposed to Believe the Hype
PUDFARB uses WeChat, sort of. It’s a kludgy and buggy implementation on NewtonOS. Click Here for a previous post explaining it. Meaning . . . you can’t buy anything, pay any bills, or do anything useful with it. To be minimally functional in PUDFARB you have to know the right people and either barter or pay cash.
Sal’s first move was to San Lorenzo. But he still had his MessagePad and made good faith efforts to comply with the dictums of the Dear Leader. His wife, though, to survive, built herself a prominent place in the Black and Grey markets of PAZ. She moved the kids out of PUDFARB schools to St. John’s. Life lessons in surviving a Socialist Utopia.
PUDFARB’s online presence will tell you that physiological needs are free. Safety is a right. To live in PUDFARB is to rely on a guarantee that you belong and are loved. After that it gets sketchy. The published photos are from the nicer parts of Shattuck Avenue between Cedar and Rose. What about Dana and Haste? Strangely, Google Maps Street View has nothing for that intersection. Ditto your usual social media outlets.
The Lie is the Only Truth
It is a truism for those who collect human intelligence–the only truth is the lie. PUDFARB is stark cognitive dissonance. North of University Avenue along Shattuck is nice. As you get closer to the campus and PAZ the air thickens with self-righteous angst. The vibe is that you or someone or something external is the reason the smell of resentment is so strong. Walk up Bancroft past Oxford and someone is deciding if you are bougie. Tagged bougie and you would be wise to turn around and head back west.
I’ve made you wait over 800 words to get to the story. We are almost there. Sal’s sins are these: he is tagged bougie for being married with children and owning a house. Although he has brown ancestry he married a white woman whose family has voted Republican for a long time. The worst of it is that he is a cop who believes in doing his job. Sal (Officer Krupky) would actually go on calls and when justified, arrest and transport to jail the arrestees. Nobody in PUDFARB/PAZ does that. Cops work from home writing DP’s.
So Sal found himself spending more time in struggle sessions suffering from interrogation and accusations of misogyny, racism, anti-revolutionary attitudes, Nazi adjacent, and white privilege. The demand was that he sign a confession and then read his confession in front of a VHS video camera. He refused so the interrogations continued.
Most of us would whither and give the confession to just get it over with. Then we would succumb to Stockholm Syndrome and become a PAZ zealot. Sal is made of more cantankerous stuff. Bullying him like that just builds his resolve to fight and win.
But . . . he’s out and that’s done. Like Charlie, his favorite spot in the casino is the American Cafe. Breakfast and lunch are buffet. Dinner is by reservation only and prix fixe. It’s 7am. The cafe has been open for an hour. At Sal’s table are his wife, kids, Inger and Neesha. It’s a bit of a debrief/decompress with far more pleasant interrogators. And blueberry pancakes.
Sal is quiet. There were rumors of buffets like this one. But everyone thought it was just anti-revolutionary propaganda. Sal dreamed of huevos motuleños. The kids still talk about IHOP in Emeryville. This? Heaven. Sal blows his nose and wipes his eyes, “allergies.”
Inger, “How’s the food?”
Sal, “Amazing. You can’t find anything like this inside PAV.”
“Your kids seem happy.”
“Yeah. I’m still in a daze. My mind is still in PAV.”
“I feel you.”
Sal’s wife, “what do you know about the coffee?”
“It’s roasted onsite daily. The beans are from Ethiopia and are organically grown as a private label for the casino.”
“Is it Fair Trade?”
“One thing you will have to get used to is the way Saito-san does things. He is fair to those loyal to him. But ‘Fair Trade’? I doubt it.”
“Oh. It’s really good. I wonder if it’s ok to drink, though.”
“Look. Here nobody cares if the coffee is organic, fair trade, or whatever. Just that it’s good quality.”
“Oh, gracias a Dios,” she drinks the coffee and tries to contain the tears coming to her, “No puedo creer que esto sea normal.” Awkward. Also good.
Inger, “Did you get a phone yet?”
Sal, “A who? Saito-san gave me something called an iPhone. I don’t even know how to turn it on. It seems anti-revolutionary to me so I gave it to Joana.” It’s an iPhone 8 Plus New in the Box.
“You should meet Itzel.”
“You guys know Itzel? She’s kind of famous inside PAZ. Hey, can I get a steak taco? Beef is anti-revolutionary so it is coveted.”
“Sure. Just go up to the steak station on the buffet and ask.”
“I don’t have to swipe my ID or anything?”
“No Why would you need your ID?”
“In PAV you have to have a high enough Virtue Score. Then anything beef costs like, a gazillion CHAX.”
“Go get your taco. Nobody cares about that. Steak is included in the price of the buffet.”
“Seriously?” Can a man levitate his way to a buffet station? Not IRL but the way Sal walked to the steak station it sure seemed like he was walking on air. This was a full-body smile.
Now you have met Sal and his family. Sal figures in the embedded “Inger’s Finger” novel that I’ve been building since 2016. But I’ve come to the end of my usual blog post length. So the debrief I promised will have to wait until the next post. Keep following me or even better, subscribe.