Monday, January 16, 2012

Neighbourhood Vigilante

Does anyone remember "Vigilante"?
The area where the Salaryman HQ was established is a very safe area. Compared to other cities of similar size, Tokyo is a relatively safe place (but like anywhere, if you're set on looking for trouble I'm sure you'll find it) and our place in the suburbs of Tokyo is even safer. The community of houses are all new with very little around it and there's no traffic just passing through so any suspicious looking vehicles or people hanging around are sure to be noticed.

We had that one burglary in conjunction with the earthquake when all the predators and bottom feeder came out to play, but after that basically everyone signed up for private security companies (which I grudgingly agreed to as I didn't want to end up as the only unprotected house, ripe for the taking). Also, a lot of the women in the neighbourhood are housewives with small kids, so the area is quite lively on weekdays as well. The only time that I could image burglars striking would be the New Year's vacation when many houses stand empty as people leave Tokyo to be with their relatives, but that's only once a year and no burglaries were reported this time.

Despite this, our neighbourhood "council" decided to make the area even safer and initiate our own little neighbourhood vigilante squad to take turns patrolling the area. As exited I'm about joining a vigilante squad (Note to self; I need to make sure I arm myself with some menacing toy before patrolling) it feels like a completely meaningless and annoying endeavour to begin with, and the other day the chairman came around to check that the Salaryman family were up to do their part for the team. As I try to keep friendly with the neighbourhood I kept the Salaryman family's thoughts about this to myself and nodded and agreed that we'll do our part with pride. 

But as he told me the details of our duty I had trouble to not burst out laughing at the stupidity and futility of it all... Apparently, to not make thing inconvenient and make sure that everyone can participate, the "patrol" hours were set to once a day at noon, consisting of walking the maybe 50 meters of roads connecting our community to the main road and see if there's anything " suspicious" going on. Then followed by one "late" night shift once a week, but put at 5 pm to not make it too inconvenient and dark to see properly. Also, it will be cancelled on holidays as many people are away and can't be expected to perform their patrolling duties.

I wonder if any prospective burglars will show the same consideration when planning the next big heist of maybe a wide screen TV, blue ray players and some minor jewelry that a break in in our area can yield them? Will they consider that we're too convenient to not patrol during the actual hours when the burglars are roaming about?

But hey, I'll keep the peace, take toddler Sunshine with me out to patrol and spend 5 minutes walking around, tick off "nothing suspicious" one Sunday a year, but somehow do not feel one bit more secure than before the vigilante squad... If I'm going to do something completely meaningless, at least it's nicer to do it at convenient times.

12 comments:

Chris said...

I don't even know what to say? What a bizzare buncha suburbanites :)

I think the crime on my street is low because it's mostly Yakuza and me.

Convenient neighborhood watch.....Japan ladies and gentleman!! ;)

creepo said...

That is what I call "We are idle and need something to do...HEY LOOK AN EXCUSE!"

Lame...I am quite sure if I am a criminal I will use the window between 2am and 4am...Noon? HAHAHAHA I surely would have laughed in thier faces.

"I see a suspicious activity, but is not convinient to act right away, I guess they will not old it gainst me because after all...its not convinient"

Labyrinth said...

Oh Christ...this reminds me of the neighbour watch sign attached to a tree in the common. I live in the English countryside, a stupidly safe area. And some complete bunch of plonkers attach neighbour watch signs to trees, not near people’s houses, but in the woods, in the hope that the naughty people will see them and run away. I don’t think we even HAVE a neighbourhood watch scheme round here, their hoping that just seeing the signs will be enough to deter those town-folk from a life of crime. My neighbourhood patheticness beats yours...

Momotaro said...

Hehe, it's the thought that counts I suppose. I see a car with 'neighbourhood safety patrol' written on the side of it driving around with a flashing blue light on it sometimes, so maybe they are more conservative/serious down here. I'm not sure what they are going to do if they actually see a robber though.

It is the one bonus about apartment living in this country: no chonaikai, no patrols/grass cutting/gutter cleaning for rain season(where there are rice fields) and being able to throw out your rubbish whenever you feel like it. You can also slip in an unburnable into the burnable and get away with it!

Seriously though, some of the guys I knew in the last job had it tough: six days a week work and then getting up at 6am on Sunday to cut grass or take the neighbourhood kids on an excursion to the movies. Talk about hell.

Fingers crossed the salaryman chounaikai doesn't get occupied by old busy-bodies or you could be next!

kamo said...

I would have thought Kick Ass was the more obvious comic to use here.

Do you get a uniform? Does it have a cape? Enquiring minds want to know.

Martin said...

How useful is a vigilante squad that doesnt have the courage and or intelligence to revolt against this stupidity.

Evacomics said...

lol~ it's so Japanese. I bet they do it to make themselves feel better XD

Coop said...

The "chairman" does know that most thieves look for pattern of activity? Well any half smart one anyway.

aimlesswanderer said...

It really looks like some people have way too much time on their hands and not enough excitement in their lives.

Did you ask him what you were supposed to do if you actually saw some "suspicious activity"? Politely ask them to desist in the name of communal harmony and shared humanity? Ask him if you should get the toddler to bring a toy baseball bat along to overawe the crims.

Would love to see what the organiser would do (my money's on faint or run off) if confronted with a dozen suitably scary yakuza.

Ms.Godzilla said...

Hmmmm.... doesn't this just seem like an excuse for the ojiichans/obahans to stick their noses into other peoples business? ;p

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Yeah, our little watch patrol will scare the shit out of any rapists, thieves and murderers that we come across, but only at noon and Sunday at 5pm!

Creepo - Yep, I bet you would have!

Labyrinth - Well at least those people didn't waste more time than the effort of putting up those signs! We will actually be wasting our collective time on a weekly basis! I'd say that stupidity that waste no energy is a lot better than stupidity that requires action... Unfortunately I think we win here... ;)

Momotaro - That's right! I should make sure to put forward that we need a car, uniform, badges and weapons the next time we have a meeting! Nice to avoid the garbage sorting fascists in the country side...

Kamo - Well, I was thinking to do it more like Vigilante in the '80s! But maybe I should have a costume for this...

Martin - Actually, I kinda agree... Maybe I should start up a violent resistance underground movement to fight the watch?

Eva - Maybe, but I can sure with 100% that I feel worse about myself doing this ;)

Coop - Even so, I don't think they look for it at noon and 5pm...

Aimless - Nope, we have no directions on what to do if we see anything "suspicious"... But I think we're as likely to run into Bigfoot or a Chupacabra!

Ms. G - Actually we don't have any old people at all in our little community! We made sure that they stayed out, we're all young and healthy which just makes it more sad...

aimlesswanderer said...

Tell the organiser that you want to delegate your patrol duties to your daughter, and that, as she will be armed with an exceedingly loud scream and a teddy bear, will be more a effective deterrent than you with a baseball bat.

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