He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life.--William Golding, Lord of the Flies

The Worldly Woes of the Pins and Antenna Man/International District/April 20/3:45 pm: On January 20, the owner of an International District restaurant requested towing services from TBT Towing. A vehicle in the restaurateur's parking lot was owned by a person who wasn't a patron of his business. When the owner of the towed car (a West Seattle man who wore "lots of pins and some antennas") discovered that his car had been towed, he became very upset. He became even more upset when he was informed by TBT Towing that he had to pay $262.75 to retrieve his impounded automobile. The pins and antenna man paid the impossible fee, and while parking a few hours later, discovered that his car had been damaged during its imprisonment. Estimates to repair the damage ranged from $1,109.27 to $2,324.26. TBT denied causing any damage to his car, and requested an impound hearing.

On March 28, a hearing presided over by Judge D. Goodman was held. When the time came to present his case, the pins and antenna man "rambled on about an assortment of unrelated issues." In a word, the damaged automobile could not have had a worse lawyer. Judge Goodman ruled that the impound was justified.

On April 20 the pins and antenna man mailed a certified packet of documents to both TBT Towing and the restaurant. This was what the packet contained:

1. A copy of the estimates for the repair. 2. An impound ticket from TBT Towing. 3. A hearing notice from King County District Court. 4. A receipt for copying fees. 5. A four-page document about radio frequencies. 6. The cover page of a book called The Government and Politics of the Soviet Union. 7. A copy of "United Nations Medals and Missions." 8. A handwritten note on United Nations note paper. 9. Two pages listing the names of several countries. 10. The international sign handbook. 11. A copy of an impound report done on 9/9/98. 12. Twelve pages written by the pins and antenna man.

The 12-page handwritten document contained a rambling diatribe that used the word "kill" 35 times. However, it made no direct threats to the restaurateur or the employees of the towing company.

Reading Is Fundamental/Northlake/Mon April 22/9:33 am: A salesman walked into work this morning, checked the firm's phone messages (which is part of his duties), and heard this message: "This is for [Ricardo]. That was a smooth move, you stupid little shit. If I find out that you ripped anything off out here, you are dead.... Ricardo, didn't I tell you that I have gun? I can go fruit-of-the-loops! I know everybody in Burien and I know you're house-sitting in SeaTac.... Ricardo, have you read Lord of the Flies? I insist that you read it and think about it. Think about it real hard. Don't think I'm alone here. Read Lord of the Flies!"

Ricardo, who was exasperated by this whole phone harassment business, told the reporting officer, M. J. Brick, that he was not house-sitting in SeaTac, but did have a sister-in-law in Burien. In any case, he rarely visits either city. Officer Brick gave Ricardo an incident number.