Is this another kind of homeless dumping?

*Dramatization of a conversation overheard this week in a Westwood Village cafe (dialogue is paraphrased):

INT. - A WESTWOOD VILLAGE CAFE - MID-AFTERNOON

Most tables occupied by patrons. Some drink coffee. Some read books or newspapers. Some work on laptop computers.

EXT. - CITY STREET OUTSIDE CAFE

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers park their cruiser curbside.

INT. - CAFE COUNTER

Officers step up to counter. OFFICER NO. 1 inquires after CASHIER.

OFFICER NO. 1

Somebody report a disturbance that involved a transient?

CASHIER pauses, appears to have put matter out of mind, turns back, walks through kitchen doorway.

MANAGER stands behind register.

MANAGER

Why did it take so long to respond to that report?

OFFICER NO. 1

We got a busy day and it's a long way from the West LA police station.

MANAGER appears perplexed.

OFFICER NO. 1

A faster response is possible if you report it to the UCLA Police. Their station is just over there.

MANAGER appears perplexed.

MANAGER

But, Westwood Village is LAPD jurisdiction, not UCLA.

OFFICER NO. 1

UCLA will respond if the disturbance involves UCLA students.

MANAGER appears perplexed.

OFFICER NO. 1

In the future, just call UCLA Police and say a transient is disturbing UCLA students.

MANAGER appears perplexed.

MANAGER

But, not all my customers are students. You can't tell who's a student.

OFFICER NO. 1

If a transient bothers them, they're probably UCLA students, as far as you know.

FADE OUT


More by TJ Sullivan:
Letter from Chicago: Thank you and good luck
I left LA for Chicago because ...
Why was I at Ebert's funeral?
Imported from Detroit ... Really?
This American Line
Previous Native Intelligence story: Bidet of the Locust

Next Native Intelligence story: New Roads School speaks out

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