"...I'm glad you brought that up, as to who you are. I have to know who is in my house. [Are] you a good man? A friend? Are you a friend, Harry?"--Charles Burnett, To Sleep with Anger

True Intentions/20th Ave NE/Mon Nov 22/8:15 am: With the necessary enhancements (dull words were deleted here and brighter ones added there; wooden sentences were replaced by radioactive ones), this is the content of a report recently filed by Officer C. D. Carpenter: "The complainant, a woman in her 30s, told me that this morning she was at the front door of her apartment, using the key fob to unlock her car so that her daughter could go to the vehicle and retrieve a jacket before heading to school. The complainant's daughter, who is 10 years old, went to the car, located in the parking lot of their apartment complex. A white van was parked next [to] her mother's vehicle. The owner of the van (a middle-aged white male wearing a red baseball cap, a blue and red sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, and black shoes) approached the complainant's daughter and said, 'Why, it's the college girl.'

"An 11-year-old girl from another part of the apartment complex walked up to the complainant's daughter; the two were good friends and about to share a short walk to the bus stop across the street. 'This is double trouble,' said the jolly man down to them. Both girls are black. 'Hey, I work on jewelry,' he said rather unexpectedly, opening the driver's door of the van. 'Do you want to see some of my jewelry?' Properly frightened by this seemingly seedy invitation (did the man mean his family jewels? Is that what he was going to work on in his van?), the girls ran off to their bus stop on 20th Avenue NE.

"Late that afternoon, upon seeing the white van in the parking lot, the 10-year-old girl told her parents about what had happened that morning. Assuming the role of defender of his family's innocence and honor, the father decided to face the matter directly--he went to the parking lot and met the man. The temperature of the encounter never rose above cool. The father wanted an explanation and without resistance obtained a business card--which identified the man as an employee of a construction company based in Everett--and this explanation: The morning incident was entirely harmless; the Everett man had only intended to show the girls some 'hillbilly teeth' (apparently fake, Halloween-type teeth). As for his enticing jewelry, that was nothing more than bait for his silly, hillbilly prank and not, as the father feared, the satisfaction of a desire that, if discovered by the law, would be punished with hard time and, upon release, permanent surveillance and supervision.

"The mother later admitted to me [Officer C. D. Carpenter] that she had spoken to the Everett man on several occasions and found him to be friendly. 'He always speaks to the children in a joking, playful manner,' she said. 'This time, however, I was concerned because the incident scared my daughter. So I just wanted to make sure nothing funny was going on out there.'"

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