Today is the first day of my own personal war; my war against the scrappers.
Not familiar with scrappers; well let me educate you about these filthy fucking scavengers. Scrappers are a modern day urban parasite feeding on the scraps of society. They comb the back alleys of our cities, back lots of business and anywhere else they can gain access in a quest for recyclable material that borders on obsession. Usually they can be found driving and old, over loaded, and usually unsafe pick up truck literally bursting at the seams with junk.
Once upon a time they where few and far between and not quite the annoyance they have become in recent years; every neighborhood had it's resident 'junk man' who scoured local alleys for anything useful, recyclable or that could be sold for a meager profit. However a few years ago, thanks to a Chinese buying frenzy, the price of scrap steel skyrocketed causing more and more people to look towards selling scrap as a viable source of income. The high cost of steel, and other recyclable metals, plus the added competition of more scrappers lead to bolder and bolder antics from the scrappers; almost everyone I know here in Chicago has a story about copper pipe being stolen out buildings under construction, seeing a scrapper steel a man hole cover, bikes being ripped of to be scrapped or one of a million other odd tales of stuff that wasn't really junk being carted off by this modern breed of sleazy junk man.
Recently the price of scrap dropped, you might think that the lower profit now afforded to the scrapper would reduce their ranks but sadly this is not what happened. Instead of thinning the heard it, in the face of even tougher competition, made them boulder in their questionably legal actions. In the last 2 years I, either personally or as I business, have been ravaged by scrappers. As a business I lost machine parts totaling $20,000 in replacement costs as well as some shop fixtures and several thousand dollars of industrial batteries. Personally I am out two bikes one of which I suspect was scrapped and another that I know was. The police seem not to care much about any of this. I think this is partially due tot he fact that they are jerks but also because it is very hard to catch them; usually they steal the stuff overnight and take it to the scrap yard first thing in the morning making it hard to catch them with the stolen goods and on the rare occasion they do get caught red handed they just claim that they thought it was garbage and prosecution becomes difficult unless it can be proved there was no way they could have mistaken it for refuse.
Now if the thievery where not enough I have a second reason to hate scrappers; they drive some of the most delapidated, unsafe and overloaded vehicles I have ever seen on the road and for some reaosn they never seem to get ticketed or arrested for it. When I workedon fleet trucks we got pulled over and weighed all the time, tickets where issued for any safety violation the cops could find on our trucks but I see scrappers on the road with trucks OBVIOUSLY over gross weight for both the paltes and the vehicle not to mention missing lights or in an obvioulsy unsafe condition with an unsecured load. about two years ago one of these rolling disastars lost a piece of trash on the highway and it come through the windshield of my truck! Why are these fuckers never ticketed for an unsafe vehicle? Should the rules of the road not apply to them too?
Tell you what, I'm sick of it and, after the theft and scrappiong of my tall bike, I am going to take matters into my own hands. Everytime I see one of these fuckign trucks I am calling 311 on any safety violations I see. If they come near my business I am calling the cops. If I'm out and see a bike in one of their trucks I'm making it my bike. These fickign bastards have taken to much from both myself and my firends for it to go unpunished an longer.
Fuckers ought not to have fucked with my British tall.
Rest in peace, or at least melted pieces, sweet, sweet first tall bike.