Brian Higgins Puts the ‘A’ in ‘ATF’

Almost all these Canton townies that we’ve seen so far have one thing in common:

They need to get themselves into a good 12-step program.

And they need to realize that they should never text when they could phone.

The theme song for the testimony in the Karen Read murder trial yesterday in Dedham was, “Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendezvous.”

Any number of embarrassing texts were read into the record yesterday. But perhaps the most humiliating had to have been Karen Read’s to Brian “Butt Dial” Higgins, the 300-pound boozebag from, where else, Can-UHN.

“You’re hot,” she texted him.

Higgins, dumb as a rock, at least looks in the mirror once in a while. He texted back:

“Are you serious or messing with me?”

Brian Higgins is, or was, an ATF agent. ATF as in, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. From his testimony, and his dissipated face, Higgins has obviously been putting the “A” back into “ATF.”

The defense attorney tried to ask Higgins what his assignment is now. He nervously mumbled something about “Division Operations,” and Jackson asked, “You were taken out of the field?”

“Objection,” said the hack prosecutor.

“Sustained,” said the hack judge.

None of the cringe-worthy texts between the Beauty and the Beast means that Karen Read killed her boyfriend. But for sure, Karen Read was a very unhappy woman, in an inbred backwater.

As somebody noted online, “Canton Massachusetts is like Appalachia. Apologies to Appalachia.”

When those texts kept unfurling on screen in the courtroom, I wanted to cue up a Moe Bandy tune from 1974:

“It was always so easy to find an unhappy woman, ‘til I started looking for mine.”

From the texts, Karen doesn’t seem to be a stupid woman. But she knew that living in Can-UHN, as the townies call it, is a dead end, at least if you live and hang out with nothing but born-and-bred Can-UHN hillbillies.

How sad was Karen Read’s life? She had a nickname for one of her bars, the Hillside. She called it “the Hilly.”

When Tons o’ Fun Higgins told her that she was the best-looking gal in the Hilly, she replied:

“Thanks for saying that 🙂 But low comps at Hillside.”

Higgins texts her: “I thought you were in this happy relationship.”

Karen: “Everyone is happy at the Hillside!”

Please, cue up Merle Haggard’s Swingin’ Doors: “I’ve got everything I need to drive me crazy/ And I’ve got everything I need to lose my mind.”

Karen Read was obviously mortified when these texts were shared with the world. Brian Higgins is not exactly Mr. Universe. He’s a stumble bum.

By his own admission, on the night John O’Keefe died, Higgins had started out at the Hillside for three or four drinks – “Jameson and ginger,” he said, more than once. Then he staggered over to the Waterfall and had several more – he couldn’t put a number on it.

Then after the Waterfall band quit for the night, the very sober Higgins went over to the death house. But he left because they didn’t have any booze and “I’m not a beer drinker.”

He then drove home to West Roxbury, had some more food and “I might have had another couple of drinks.”

Then he “laid” down on the couch and, uh, fell asleep. He has a way with words – getting them wrong. He described how O’Keefe and Read “had initially went,” not gone, went. He says, “I may have drunk.” When she says in one text, “Carpe diem,” he reads it on the witness stand as, “Carp diem.”

But then he throws in legalese like “pendancy” and “sum and substance.” He took notes at the academy. Like Brian Albert, his drinking buddy from the BPD, he kept calling Karen Read “the defendant.”

He knows cop lingo a lot better than he seems to know the streets, unless he’s plowing them with his truck. He doesn’t seem to ever have done much work as an ATF agent. He drove around and plans out the night’s boozing, when he wasn’t going to funerals and memorial services for real cops.

He’d rather be grievin’ than sleuthin’. You can get an early start on the day’s drinking that way.

Despite the “low comps” of most of the Can-UHN townies, male and female alike, they do like to keep tabs on one another’s sex lives.

Early on, Karen tells Grab Ass Higgins that “I know you date girls who don’t lock the door behind them. And are private.”

Last Call Lucys, in other words.

Then Karen tells Higgins that O’Keefe “hooked up w/another girl on vacation.”

“Did he bang her?” Higgins asks.

Because… when you’re livin’ here, lovin’ there, and lyin’ in between, it’s always good to know first of all, who’s available for you to hit on, and second, who might be planning to snake you.

Can someone play some Johnny Taylor for me right now: “Who’s makin’ love to your old lady, while you are out makin’ love?”

Higgins said she came into the Waterfall that evening with a glass that was from a different bar. He apparently is an expert on the glassware of every licensed establishment in Can-UHN, and probably Stow-UHN as well. She was carrying what we used to call at J.J. Foley’s “a foreign load.”

At another point, Karen Read, the unhappy woman, texts Higgins:

“What do you want ideally?”

“The real deal,” Higgins says, because that’s what you always say, when you’re trying to bed your next Last Call Lucy.

“The real deal,” he said.

“Doesn’t exist,” she told him.

Not at the Hilly, anyway. Not at 34 Fairview Street either. And certainly not in Can-UHN, period.

But after 17 days of this trial, there is one thing we have learned beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you’re a cop, even a “cop” like Brian Higgins, you can drive drunk.

At least in Can-UHN.