We were hot and bored so we climbed into GK’s Chevy Impala — with the windows open cause his air conditioning sucked — and headed to this ice cream shop in Englewood that we heard was all retro and shit like the 1930s. Blasted Jeff Beck from the stereo — which did work — because we thought we were the only ones who ever heard of Jeff Beck and everyone should know how cool we were.
Coming down Dean Street I looked over at the park and saw about twenty guys in brown shirts and jackboots with swastika armbands. Do you see this shit? I said and I leaned out the window dropping f-bombs like it was goddamn Dresden and screaming about Hitler having just one testicle.
Cops stopped the car and pulled me out through the window, put me up against a storefront and checked me for weapons. Two white cops told me I was in big trouble, and I was thinking they weren’t around for the riots so this was probably the most action they’ve ever seen and were gonna ride it for all it was worth.
Then a black cop took me aside, asked me if I was Jewish.
No, but my mom’s German. You have to be Jewish to hate Nazis? They’re not crazy about you guys either, you know.
They’re not really Nazis. It’s a movie. A Woody Allen movie.
No shit? I said. He nodded and said to get out of town. So we did cause GK was pale and sweaty on account of the guns he kept in the trunk with the spare tire.
But I guarantee some of those guys were really Nazis, and the movie was Manhattan, which was beautifully shot and had a gorgeous Gershwin soundtrack, but really just glorified Woody’s jailbait obsession, and we could have shut all that shit down and didn’t and now look where we are.