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#68 :: Vinyl Frog

April 14, 2004

no rx ambulance ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Back in college one night, we saw a wall of smoke coming around the corner on Halloween. Being a wannabe photojournalist at the time, and thinking, “fire” I grabbed my camera and ran – straight into a cloud of tear gas. Needles in the eyes, claws in the lungs, I doubled over, immediately capacitated along with about a dozen other people who had fallen victim to someone’s asshole idea of a prank. I spent the next half hour coughing and weeping the shit out of my system, sucking down Cokes at the pizzeria. Cops have some pretty impressive nonlethal weapons at their disposal. Here’s another one: Fired from shells that fit standard-issue riot guns, these don’t incapacitate, but they definitely sting and deter. I’ve never experienced them first-hand – these were fired at a press-and-public show-and-tell day for the Ventura County Sheriff’s station in Thousand Oaks a few years ago, along with bean-bag projectiles, which are shot from fat 37-mm shells from the police equivalent of grenade launchers They had teargas shells, too. Fortunately, they chose not to demonstrate those.
link ‘popup’, treat ‘width=500, find height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Somebody in a factory somewhere peeled two cast-vinyl frog halves out of a still-hot mold. The air reeked of curing toxins, raw polymers. She glued them together with adhesive or heat, and took up a spraycan or an airbrush to dust the top of the thing (along with all of its brothers, maybe laid out on a tray) with lurid, poisonous red. She let them dry a bit, maybe while pouring the next batch of vinyl, and then returned; she considered the red trayful of red frogs, the red under her nails, the smell of it in her nose, for only a second or two – likely, her boss was counting her output – and then grabbed a brushful of black: quick socks for the feet, and a couple dozen spots down its back. On to drying and packaging they went, and back to the cycle went she – mixing the vinyl again.

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