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Dodgy Old-Time Business – Issue 2

Undeclared Property Damage

Many years ago, before the inundation of Hogan Street with shitty apartments, some young men were engaging in some classic daytime beverages.  A rark up ensued, and a young woman peaked far too early.  The time was 11 am.  The boys took her home to sleep the remainder of the day off.

Several hours go by, and the boys decide to go and check on her. They open the front door and find water spewing out of the light fittings.  They ran up to the top floor in a panic where the young woman had run herself a bath and promptly passed out.  The taps were running for several hours and flooded the entire two stories and the apartment’s ground floor.  Not only was the whole building saturated, but the young woman in question was asleep in the bath with nostrils 10mm above the surface of the water, i.e., super close to being a corpse when the young men arrived.

The tenants tried their darnedest to dry the house out.  They ran all the dehumidifiers they could get their hands on day and night for the entire weekend and called that job done.  I can only imagine that that flat has chronic mould problems to this day, and it probably hasn’t done wonders for the adjacent two apartments connected to it.  This information did not make it to the landlord.

Breach and Clear

During a similar period, the police were interested in apprehending a fellow they believed to frequent a Knighton residence.  He was considered dangerous, so don’t approach him, but if you know where he is, give us a call on 0800 10 7 INFO and remember this is case number two.

One evening, what appeared to be the entire Hamilton Police force decided they would kick this guy’s ass.  They locked down Knighton Road and Hogan Street and littered the surrounding properties with officers armed with AR15’s.  They spend the next three hours shouting at the target building things along the lines of “we know you’re in there” and “come out with your hands above your head.”

One woman who lived nearby in a sleepout had a rough go of it. She’d ducked outside to do a quick midnight piss to find two men with guns in her backyard that requested she go back inside.  She thought, “lucky I saw them and didn’t rip a bong and blow it out the window first.”  That was when she remembered the 6 ounces of weed she had in her room.  She spent the remainder of the evening shitting in her pants.

The police finally got tired of their man not coming out with his hands up and decided it was time to go inside.  They threw a flash grenade through the window and kicked the door down.  The blast was heard from blocks away, and for as long as that building was there, you could see a circular hole in the window that they threw it through.  He wasn’t there and had left hours before the police showed up.  It was a major fuck up.  I lived next door at the time but slept through the whole thing.

Petty Theft and Burglary

This guy is probably dead from liver failure just now, but he may still lurk in the Hamilton East area.  You could identify this man from his wild grey hair, meandering drunken limp, trailing cats, and his lack of a shirt.  We called him Shirtless Old Guy.

He’d been banned from the local liquor stores because he was such a mad dog.  It was common for him to take his cats (he had at least 15) for walks.  It was also common to see his wife and a local woman carrying him back the way he came, covered in blood.  He was so desperate for a drink that he’d purchase half-finished bottles of spirits from students for amounts that would have gotten him a full bottle if only he were allowed at the liquor store.  Once when complaining he needed a drink, a boy offered him some water.  He said, “fuck that, fish fuck in it.”  Of course, if you weren’t there, he’d steal your alcohol. He’d also steal anything that wasn’t nailed down, provided he could carry it AND the 700mL of Johnny Walker.

The moral of the story is, keep your houses locked at all times because you never know when Shirtless Old Guy might pay you a visit.  Or young hooligans, but they usually come at night, whereas Shirtless Old Guy is more of a daytime burglar.

Accidental Armed Non-Robbery

One evening a few years ago, a young student wandered from a dress-up party to buy a pack of cigarettes from a local dairy.  It was late, and they were about to close. He knocked on the security cage.  The attendants asked how they could help; he told them he was looking to buy cigarettes.  They let him in.  Once they got a look at him, they immediately regretted that decision.

They became visibly scared and kept glancing at his overcoat, voices trembling.  The young man couldn’t understand what was going on and asked for a pack of Winfield Reds.  One of the attendants disappeared out the back, presumably to get the police on the phone if necessary.  The other, struggling to open the tobacco cabinet, turned back to the man and clarified, “it was red’s right?” in a shaky voice.  He said, “yes, that’s right.”  The attendant put the pack on the counter and scanned it. The young man pulled out his EFTPOS card, paid, wished the attendant a lovely evening, and departed.

Afterward, he wondered why they were acting in such a bizarre fashion, at which point he looked down to see the butt of an air pistol hanging out of his top jacket pocket.  The gun would have been clearly visible to the shopkeepers that were no doubt thinking, “When is this shit going to start? Why has he still not robbed us?”

Hogan’s Trade

While I was a fresh 18-year-old on Hogan Street, I’ll never forget a fundamental rule imparted by some elderly folks (early 20’s).  That is to say, on Hogan Street, if you need a recycling bin, you get one.  Be sure to tell people this when they grizzle about stolen recycling bins.  They haven’t been stolen, they’ve been commandeered, and it is your responsibility to commandeer them right back.

Upon telling me this rule, the guy in question disappeared with his flatmates for about an hour and returned with 14 recycling bins. “We’ve got a 21st tonight, you see.”  They filled every one of those bins.  The recycling people were not stoked and spent 15 minutes emptying them.  One could hear the glass shattering in the truck; bottles thrown at pace by incredibly fucked off recyclers could be heard all around.

Fire and Explosives

If you set fire to a piano, it will implode.  This implosion is because the inside’s immense string tension becomes too much for the burnt and weakened frame to handle.  The thing collapses on itself in a gust of smoke and fire and sounds like the Playstation 2 startup screen.  Some Hogan Hooligans gave this a whirl on their back lawn one night, which was a great success.  From a block away, you could see the flames, which they thought was excellent.  It did not occur to them that snitches could also see it from a block away, so they were promptly visited by the fire department and then once more after they started another fire.

Several years later, some boys had made some DIY rockets where the burnt piano had once stood and were testing them out.  The first was phenomenal; it flew high up above the house and disappeared somewhere in Snead Place’s direction.  They found it smoldering near the Cul-de-sac.  The second one they tried flew about 3 metres into the air and promptly turned at right angles, and flew horizontally directly into the neighboring apartment building’s side.  It was about half a metre away from hurtling through a closed window.  The occupant opened his window and shouted, “What the fuck was that?” not realizing he was incredibly close to having his study session interrupted by shattering glass, a room full of smoke, and a burnt bed.

Another Hogan Hooligan overheard some staff from University of Otago doing what he deemed to be “talking mad shit.”  They had commented on how the couches in Hamilton were safe from being set ablaze.  He was shocked and appalled to hear that these folks thought the students of Hamilton were tame compared to those of Dunedin.  He began thinking of a somewhat more creative way of burning a couch he’d been saving and ultimately settled on launching a Molotov cocktail at it from the roof of his flat.  If only those pesky adults had seen it, they’d know Hamilton students were rowdy too.