Street Dreams- old school rules for the new age gangster.
So you wanna be a gangster?
From the Roaring 20's to the present day, organized crime has been a catalyst of interest and fantasy for a lot of young Americans growing up. Whether it is the excitement of instant riches or the feeling of power and respect one can achieve being associated with a major underworld family, the mafia has always been glamorized in Hollywood pictures, and sensationalized in American media. Its small wonder why teachers around our nation are now getting the ever shocking response of “I want to be a gangster" when asking a child what they want to be when they grow up. Innocent of course but now with record numbers affiliated with gangs and prisons being overcrowded at an alarming rate, it makes you wonder just how easily the fantasy has become a reality.
This small piece is dedicated to a special someone who shares the same flare for the dramatic as I do, and is intended to be a fluff piece for entertainment purposes only. In no way is this supposed to be deemed as a blueprint for criminal activity nor a message for others, that a life of crime is a valid career choice. So please Hub pages mediators, this is just for fun.
The real problem here is that the exciting life of the mobster hasn’t been portrayed at a real level for people to digest. We all have been fed that all one has to do to achieve underworld greatness is walk into a speakeasy, rub a couple shoulders and badda-bing, your part of Costa Nostra. News to the dreamers is that unless your relatives are 1st or 2nd generation Gambinos this just isn’t going to happen, so it’s upon yourselves to create your own fantasy. Easily dredged up but next to impossible to achieve, for many young up and coming hopefuls have fallen to sudden failure in incarceration and even death. Some would say it was because they weren’t properly weaned as baby Mafioso’s into the wonderful life of organized crime. Well that’s where I come in, after years of study in the life of the American mobster and small stints around the worst of the worst, and the best of the best. I have an associates degree in criminal development, so saving you from years of the hard knocked life, here are the nuggets of pure caecilian homeland gangster rules handed down from the old school ways to help the new school criminal grab their piece of the holy canoli. So without conscience I deliver onto you the rules of the American mobster.
Rule #1- Stay Small
This is in my opinion the one of the biggest rules and should never be compromised. It is also the one that is always overlooked and books young adults ages 18-28 on a ten year vacation to the glorious Pelacan Bay resort. Complete with horrible accommodations and lousy food. Staying small is vital young people, when starting out, the last thing you want to worry about when not only planning a caper but in the execution of it, is how are the other guys are going to fair. Believe me it’s allot less stressful when you’re doing your own dirty work. And in the unlikely event something goes wrong, as it often does, you don’t want to have to worry about the loose lips of a would be friend giving you up, just because he/she doesn’t know how to handle a high pressured interrogation. So stay small, small jobs that you can do all by yourself.
Rule #2- Know your hustle
Some say that you don't choose your hustle, but that your hustle chooses you. Well whatever the theology just be sure that you know it 110%. Remember that this is your profession now, you must handle it with the style and grace that it deserves or you will quickly find out that you made a mistake while peeking through a 1x1 glass window on cell block D. Whether it be gambling, hijacking, shoplifting, burglary, stickups or some kind of complex fraud, just make sure that you have the in's and out's totally taken care of. Your hustle shouldn't take a long time to figure out, if a life in organized crime is truly in your destiny. Just go with your heart and use your mind to figure out the rest. And be thorough in your capers, it only takes one mistake or one wrong move here and your instantly transformed from professional criminal mind into complete "hack".
Rule #3- Do your homework
This rule is what separates the real successful gangsters and the wanna be lazy fugazees. I hate to repeat myself but we must be thorough. This is your profession not your passion. Leave your heart on the shelf now and concentrate solely on your cerebral cortex as the main muscle for success in your caper. Too many times we have all seen the nine o clock news feature an expose on the truly uneducated pseudo professional trying to knock off the local jewelry boutique, only to be foiled by simply not knowing about the new flash fog strobe light alarm system with locking doors, but also found that the 16 diamonds he had heisted in his bumbling getaway were also laser encrypted with serial numbers. Another sad case of an utterly poor planned caper with little to no studying done. It’s so lazy for the information is out there for the outstanding price of free, on your local internet browser. Just make sure you go to the local library on a one day issued pass for internet access, just so in the unlikely event your hard drive gets seized by the federalies, they can’t run a sweep of your search engines. If you leave no digital fingerprints via computer details and or cell phone records, they will be hard pressed to find serious evidence to support their conviction. And while were on the subject, ditch the cell phone all together, use a payphone if you absolutely need to call anyone.
Rule #4- Dont dress the part
This is where you have to choose, do you want to be a successful gangster or just look like one, for you can’t have both. I think this is another of the most overlooked rules in the game. You really got to think with some common sense here, say your an undercover officer staking out a 125,000 drug deal, are you going to be looking for a guy with a briefcase and a suit driving a top of the line luxury sedan or will all of your attention be to the homeless guy at the end of the alley covered in feces, scooping through the trash. Key here is that if you’re the bum in the dumpster with 5 kilos of pure uncut Bolivian cocaine you have an 85% success rate on the drop. And just say some flat foot does get nosey, you can hit him with the old "I love George Washington because he invented beer" routine masked with some horribly thick Jim beam breath, odds are he will soon become uninterested. But if by some miracle he does find the smack in an egg covered crumpled brown bag you can just keep searching for cans and act astonished when he uncovers the vittles. But the real lesson here is dress the exact opposite as the Hollywood gangster would. Not only on the job, but also in every day fashion, the secret here is to go unnoticed as you stroll along a master of the criminal universe.
Rule #5- Say no to drugs
You need to be of sound mind and body at all times as being a part of the criminal underworld, let nothing fall to chance and keep your wits about you at all costs. That’s why all the good Don's of our past have told their minions to "stay away from the junk". Best advice ever given. The illegal narcotics racket is the worst hustle a young prospect can get involved in. Not only has the FBI assigned numerous special task forces against it, but it involves dealing with a totally different kind of human being. Drug addicts make your life a living hell, and so do their connects. It's a full 24 hours every day, and its a hard grinding 24, full of nervousness, second guessing and you just never know when someone is looking to make you their next hustle. There is no common law or ethics in the drug world, the bad thing is that there are buckets of fast money lurking at every corner. It’s a tractor beam for the get rich-poor man looking to jumpstart a new life. They don't tell you that the average life expectancy for a drug hustler is 1.5 years. And just so happen your a really good weight flipper, you still have to worry about turning over product on time while not overdosing on sample bags, for no real dealer goes his life without having to do his "I’m not a cop" introduction rail for posterity. So forget the junk, it’s a dead end hustle for any prospering gangster.
Rule #5- Never underestimate your opponent
Ever heard the saying "Pride comes before the fall" well that speaks volumes when pitting your existence and professional career against another professional. Never under any circumstance think you have the goods on any branch of the police department, just because they stand for good, don’t ever let that sway your opinions on the street knowledge any officer on the beat may have. The career of law enforcement is a well funded super machine that gets no sleep and is constantly upgrading its knowledge and power on a day to day basis. Sure, there are allot of knuckleheads out there, but don’t judge the department on a few bad eggs. They are highly skilled professionals with a vast amount of toys and techniques that can put a screeching halt to your life of crime even before it gets started. It’s no game, and if it were, they are absolutely winning. So your main plan of action here is to think exactly like your enemy, expect the unexpected, pay close attention to response times, scheduled patrols, shift changes, police procedure, and always have a plan B and C. And always remember that a precision planned and professionally executed caper never, I repeat never, needs a speedy getaway, if you ever actually have to see a boy in blue with cherries blasting and sirens screaming, its game over, you lose.
Final Rule- Always keep your mouth shut
When you were planning your caper, did any officers of the law join in to help you with crucial pieces of knowledge in aid of your venture? No, well then why the heck would you go ahead and do it for them. Simply put, when you decide that you are a gangster, then you are a gangster! You've chosen your side and it is imperative that you stick to it. Silence is indeed golden, and when handcuffed to the back of a steel chair while 2-3 officers are giving you a spitting blow-dryer routine, it’s platinum. Folding in an interrogation room can do nothing but hurt you in the event you actually do get pinched. Its a guarantee that 60% of peace officers are now equipped with psychology degrees and know just how to screw up your head along with your reputation, so always remember that the harder they push ya, the less they have on ya, and whatever they dangle in front of you, your lawyer will be able to give you the exact same deal without you having to spill your guts and be branded rat. Odds are that you’re going to be spending a few stints upstate and you want to be welcomed to the big house with a clean criminal conscience. The streets talk and so do walls, so in order to keep yourself from getting an ear to ear necktie while sleeping, always remember the cardinal rule, Give up nothing.