More on Shake 'n' Bake from "Lethal Connections"
Well, I was going to blog on the drug-trafficking series, "Lethal Connections" Monday to Friday in Decoder. But I hate to see today's link to my blog go to waste, so let's begin today with Plan B.
Photographer Carlos Osorio and I had a lot of fun on this swine flu/drug trafficking trip, with leaving Toronto in a panic and researching drug series contacts on the fly being just the beginning.
On a Friday night, we went out, as today's opener describes, on a ride-along with B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force units. (Here's a link to our Lethal Connections video.) The evening began with a get-acquainted meal at a local Lower Mainland pizza parlour to give Carlos and me a chance to talk with Corp. Al Coons and other officers, Constables Mike Hughes and Jamie Forbes. I've got to admit, once I got over the shock! of if, the record set by Hughes at our table was pretty overwhelming.
I thought Coons was joking when he pulled out his watch, held up a finger and, preparing to count out the seconds, shouted, "Go!" to Hughes. While everyone else, journos included, had ordered pizza, Hughes broke with tradition. And how! In front of him sat a large dish of (I believe) creamed chicken and mashed potatoes. There may have been peas and other vegies in there somewhere.
Anyway, Hughes had spent a fair amount of time preparing his meal, mashing everything together and using repeated pressings of his fork to give it a consistency of, well, golly, I can't even begin to describe it.
And then, he inhaled.
"I minute, 12 seconds," yelled Coons in triumph. I gather this could have been some kind of record, but truthfully, it beats me. It was something to behold, trust me.
His buddies applauded and, later, clapped Hughes on the back. He was on my right, so I later I got his explanation about the big family back there in Chilliwack (12, I think) and the perils of eating slowly.
Later sandwiched between Hughes and Clark on a quick walk through a downtown bar, I felt very well protected. Hughe's is built like the proverbial "brick s---t-house." He's into mixed martial arts and probably could hoist the black Task Force SUV on a finger and toss it across the Lion's Gate Bridge.
This isn't to suggest he's not a consumate pro, a cop's cop. But he should be a character in "Borat" Hold on, I've already got him lined up for fiction of my own. Rather, a character based on . . .
Maybe this guy is already a legend among law enforcement types, and I'm not telling them anything they don't know.
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Much more blogging on all aspects of drug-trafficking over the up-coming week.