Dumbass RFT Music Editor Locks Keys in Car at Site of Ferguson Unrest, Is Stupid Dumbass

Categories: LOLZ

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Roger Wollstadt/Flickr
Technically not my car, but a good enough approximation.
[Note: The situation in Ferguson is as such that even lowly music journalists such as myself have felt compelled to report on the scene -- I wrote this article, which was published Wednesday -- despite having more experience with things like Ra Ra Riot than real-life riots. In keeping, I am an idiot who probably has no business being on the ground, and who should probably be leaving this work to RFT's actual news reporters, whose work has been simply astounding. I offer this article as my case in point. Hopefully it can bring a small amount of much-needed levity and laughter to a city in the midst of a terrible situation. This story occurred on Wednesday night, before the St. Louis County force was replaced by the decidedly less-militarized state troopers. Enjoy.]

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, after hitting several police roadblocks around the site of the protesting in Ferguson, I finally found a way to drive into the fray, popping out just behind the line where police were turning away cars. I parked on a residential street that runs perpendicular to W. Florissant, and the first thing I saw was an armored personnel vehicle 40 yards away from my position, loaded with cops dressed in all their military finery. Nearby, I watched other police officers dropping smoke flares on the ground and turning away cars that were coming through. One of the full-riot-gear police stood in the middle of the street, holding a shotgun and telling vehicles and pedestrians alike to turn around and go the other way. Overhead, a police helicopter repeatedly shined a spotlight on pedestrians including myself, flashing it to indicate further that we should leave, and just south of my location police had begun deploying rubber bullets, flash grenades, tear gas and sound cannons.

In awe of the scene, I stepped slowly out of my car and shut the door, distracted and neglecting to realize I had left my keys sitting on the passenger seat. I figured it out two seconds after the door closed, as is often the case in these matters.

See also: Daily RFT's Full Coverage on Mike Brown and the Unrest in Ferguson

For a moment I wondered if I should smash out my own window to regain access, as I was in a dangerous situation and wanted to be able to flee the scene quickly if necessary, but I immediately dismissed that idea when I remembered that I was in plain sight of a police force armed with various painful means of crowd control, in the middle of an area filled with civil unrest.

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Danny Wicentowski
A scene from Ferguson on Wednesday night, during the time I was staring at the keys inside my car like an idiot. More photos here.

So I began walking up and down West Florissant with no plan whatsoever. As I traveled southbound, I was approached by a police car, whose occupants told me to turn around and go back. I explained that I was with the press and that I cannot leave; I had locked my keys in my car, and could one of them perhaps grab a slim jim and help me get inside? The driver told me that they had more important things to do, but the passenger said, "I'll help him."

So with police escort, I walked back toward my car. As we got close, I pulled out my camera phone to take a picture of the armored vehicle, much to the chagrin of the officer who had volunteered to assist me. "Put that away," he said. "I didn't bring you over here to take pictures."

Irritated, he then he asked me about my credentials. "You're media? Do you have a card or something?" I produced one of my business cards, which identify my title as "Music Editor / Free Lunch Fishbowl Raffle Champion" with the RFT. He handed it back to me immediately. "You're not media; you're out here on your own." I replied, "Well, I am with the Riverfront Times." He said, "That is not a real media source." I shrugged.

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A hard-won championship, to be sure.

Then he said he was not going to help me, and began walking away, saying, "You got yourself into this situation." I replied that I know that, but that now all I want to do is get myself out of it, and I will gladly leave if he will just get me into my car.

He asked, "How do I even know this is your car?" He shined a flashlight inside, and asked me how many keys I had on my keyring.

Unsure, I began describing the keys. "There are two house keys on there with rubber covers. One is red and one is green." He turned his flashlight off, shaking his head. I, on top of being a general moron, am also (legitimately) colorblind, and had misidentified one of my own keys.

"Nope," he said, and start walking away again.

"What do I have to do to prove to you that this is my car?" I asked. "I can describe stuff in there. There is a Black Lips CD on the console and a motorcycle helmet in the back." He was not impressed, as anyone could have glanced in and seen those things.

This exchange went on for five to ten minutes as explosions and gunshots and helicopters could be heard just south of our location. Finally he asked me what was in my trunk.

The only thing that I could remember specifically that is in there is a large chunk of plastic that had been a part of the rental van Drew Ailes and I had driven last year when we reported on the Gathering of the Juggalos. It had been ripped off the bottom of the van when I accidentally ran over a ladder in the street near the event, and for no particular good reason I had saved it. I described it to the officer.

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Drew Ailes
The object in question is that black thing I'm staring at under the van.

"If your story doesn't check out, I'm not giving you those keys," he warned. I told him that was fine, he got into the car, popped the trunk, and then handed them to me, satisfied. "Now get the hell out of here, now," he said sternly. I thanked him and immediately complied.

So the moral of the story is: Thank god for the Gathering of the Juggalos, as well as my apparent hoarding tendencies that caused for me to not throw this seemingly worthless piece of garbage away. And also, there is apparently no end to how braindead stupid I can be sometimes, though I like to think of that as part of my charm.

Luckily for all of us, RFT staff writers Danny Wicentowski and Ray Downs, two intelligent individuals still in possession of their keys, were still out there in the thick of things, doing the Lord's work. They'd been fearlessly going down to report day after day, ducking rubber bullets and inhaling tear gas along with the protesters, and they'll continue to do so as long as this story plays out. Please stay safe out there guys, and don't be complete inept buffoons like I am. Let this be a cautionary tale.

Check out Daily RFT's complete coverage of the event here.

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42 comments
reverendstrawfoot
reverendstrawfoot

another article about being inept at your job, having nothing to do with music, local or otherwise. great job!

Lanie Dattilo
Lanie Dattilo

Pretty true that RFT isn't a real media source though.

Maggie Woolfolk
Maggie Woolfolk

In other words: "This RFT guy locks his keys in his car; you won't believe what happens next!"

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw

Cause he's a fucking fucktart.

John Purcell
John Purcell

Better find away in that beauty and split. It's going to be a rough night.

Brooke Sutton
Brooke Sutton

I kind of really love this. And if you think this story is stupid... Who cares? You took the time to read it. No one MADE you read this story. The headline wasn't misleading. Get over yourselves. I say thumbs up music editor guy.. Good job for trying. :)

Jessi Chapman
Jessi Chapman

Taylar Pickett this is the one I read at the salon lol

chrisward99
chrisward99 topcommenter

Please make this a regular thing. Thank you.

Pawel Bialas
Pawel Bialas

Agreed the music rft taste in music is rubbish

Jon Dent
Jon Dent

I'm the last person that would say this, but I feel like this story is wildly inappropriate for a number of reasons.

Trendt Francis
Trendt Francis

They make cars that can't lock with the keys still in them. LOL

Tara Broadway
Tara Broadway

thats when I would bust my own window out then claim it on insurance as vandalism..lol

Kevin Braun
Kevin Braun

your insurance card has all of your vehicle info on it.....

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

With friends like you guys he doesn't need any enemies. Damn...I lock my keys in my car at least five times a year. Give the guy a break AND a raise!

Eric Moore
Eric Moore

RFT Music editor is making bank w/a car like that.

John Klostermann
John Klostermann

Kind of funny. Not doing any biest journalism now. It is to BE non biest!

Dusty Bennett
Dusty Bennett

What's this???? Now that pictures are out of Michael brown strong arming the clerk river front times wants to Change the subject SMH

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