Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ludlie The Turd

Time: 1990
Place: Atlanta, GA

I worked at a printing company run by a man named Ludlie. His father’s name was Ludlie, so he was Ludlie Jr. His son’s name was also Ludlie, or rather Ludlie the third. Ludlie the third hated the name Ludlie and often referred to himself as Ludlie the Turd.

Like Ludlie Jr., Ludlie the Turd was in the printing business, though not at his father’s company because the two didn’t get along. Ludlie the Turd did all right for himself until he fell in with a group of unscrupulous printers.

If you work in the printing business for any length of time, sooner or later you will hear a story about a printer who tried to counterfeit money, got caught, and went to jail. I suppose the lure is too strong. You’re standing there printing stuff all day long and you get to thinking, hey fuck this working my ass off, I’m gonna print me some money.

The problem is, just as counterfeiters have gotten pretty good at copying money, the federal government has gotten even better at catching people who do. To make paper money, you need a special color ink and a special brand of paper. The minute you buy either, the government sends someone to watch you and you get busted before the first bills are dry.

Ludlie the Turd and his buddies thought they could fool the feds, because they all worked for different printing companies. One guy ordered the paper at his printing company; another guy ordered the ink at his place. The ink was mixed at yet another company, and the plates were made at still another company. They were all set to start printing at yet still another printing company when the feds came busting through the door and arrested them all.

Ludlie Jr. was devastated by Ludlie the Turd’s arrest. Not only had his son committed a printing related crime, the Turd had personally mixed the ink for the counterfeit money late at night at his father’s printing company.

But the counterfeit job in itself is not the most amazing thing about this story. It’s what Ludlie and his buddies had planned to do with the money that is truly astounding. Their plan was to first, print a shitload of money. Second, take the money to Columbia and use it to buy a shitload of cocaine. Third, bring the cocaine back to the United States, sell it, and split the profits.

What part of that plan did these guys really believe would work? First, few get away with printing their own money. Ludlie and his buddies were proof of that. Second, did they really think the Columbian drug dealers wouldn’t cut their balls off for trying to use fake money to buy real drugs? Third, let’s say they managed to buy the coke. What chance did they have to get such a large amount of blow into the United States? Their scheme was hatched before 911, but not before the War on Drugs. And finally, could they really sell that much cocaine without getting busted, ripped off, or snorting most of their profits? Honestly, the feds did these guys a favor by busting them before they even got started.

Last I heard, Ludlie the Turd had served his jail time, had settled down and gotten married, and his wife had given birth to a son. I can’t remember what he named his boy, but I do know it wasn’t Ludlie.

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