Citizenship

by Tom Swift

Man On Stoop: “I’m sayin’, every Friday night in an alley behind the Cut Rate, we rollin’ bones, you know? I mean all them boys, we roll til late.

McNulty: “Alley crap game, right?”

Man On Stoop: “Like every time, Snot, he’d fade a few shooters, play it out til the pot’s deep. Snatch and run.”

McNulty: “What, every time?”

Man On Stoop: “Couldn’t help hisself.”

McNulty: “Let me understand. Every Friday night, you and your boys are shooting craps, right? And every Friday night, your pal Snot Boogie … he’d wait til there’s cash on the ground and he’d grab it and run away? You let him do that?”

Man On Stoop: “We’d catch him and beat his ass but ain’t nobody ever go past that.”

McNulty: “I gotta ask ya: If every time Snotboogie would grab the money and run away, why’d you even let him in the game?”

Man On Stoop: “What?”

McNulty: “If Snotboogie always stole the money, why’d you let him play?”

Man On Stoop: “Got to. This America, man.”

The Wire (Season 1, 2002)