Sunday, February 27, 2011

Small Town Crime

One of my favorite things about living in a small town is the crime. We don’t have much of it. Sure, people get stabbed, and sure, there are gangs, drugs, and domestic violence. People get ripped off . But a cozy little rural town of less than 20,000 people can’t seriously compete with big city crime. Our local small-town newspaper publishes a daily Police Report, which serves to remind me of how grateful I am to live in comfort and safety far from the war-torn strife of distant lands.

Last week a brief news item appeared in our paper reporting that Gadhafi’s mercenaries in Libya had fired an anti-aircraft gun at a mosque and killed 23 people, wounded at least another 150 while at worship. On the same page with this horrific piece of news was our local Police Reports, including the following:
“YELLED AT FOR BRINGING IN CANS – Caller on W. Gobbi St. reported at 5:20 PM that her neighbor yelled at her for moving her garbage cans out of the street; an officer responded and counseled the parties.”
Hmm. Libyan violence or police counseling garbage can bickerers? I choose the bickering neighbors. So don’t take this blog the wrong way. I’m grateful that these are our Police Reports here where I live. But they make for a good laugh. Here are some recent Police Report headings from our newspaper:

Kids Moved Traffic Cones
People Setting Up Camp in Parking Lot
Man Walking in Traffic
Noisy Skateboarders Behind Kohl’s
Son Refusing to Go to School (an officer was actually dispatched and “counseled” the family)
Sunglasses Stealer Caught on Tape
Dog Broke into Yard (did not say it crapped there but we can read between the lines)
Cleaning People Yelling
Man Down in Phone Booth (phone booths still exist?)
Smelly Food (I didn’t realize this was a crime but I always thought it oughta be)
Naked Man Laughing in Street
Man Exposing Himself on a Porch (OK, this was what the naked man was laughing at in the street, it all makes sense now)
Man Denied Alcohol (I wonder if the denied or the denier called the cops on that one)
Pumpkin Smashed (no mention of toilet paper in trees)
Sisters Arguing Over Sweater
Bird Trapped in Car Wash
Having Sex on a Car
Car Being Driven on 4 Flat Tires (can you actually do that?)
Man Yelling Under a Bridge (that sounds kinda like fun)
Man Would Like Gun Back
Water Smells Like Glue (someone is living in a former meth lab)
Man with Pants Down (an officer responded and advised the man to pull his pants up)

Those were actual Police Report headings. Personally, I think the paper should slip some fictional ones in there once in awhile for small town entertainment and to keep us on our toes. Here are some suggestions I have come up with:

Woman Wearing Outdated Unfashionable Sweater
Kids Set up Lemonade Stand without Vendor’s Permit
Two Women Having Sex on a Car in a Car Wash – Men Block Traffic Watching
Naked Man Smashing a Pumpkin with Stolen Hammer Caught on Tape
Choir Singing Hallelujah Chorus Under Bridge
Girl Scout Moons Biker from Porch
Man Cuts in Line at Post Office
Homeless Woman Chewing Gum Does Not Offer Any to Others at Shelter
Cleaning People Yelling at Bird for Taking Man’s Gun in Phone Booth
Man Wearing Pants Backwards in Parking Lot
Sheets Stolen from Clothesline
Cherry Pie Stolen from Window
Yogi Bear Spotted in Todd Grove Park

1 comment:

USelaine said...

A decade ago, someone doing the write-ups of these things in the Beacon had such a wry twist on some of them. For example, when a car went off the road near Dimmick campground, they "took a short tour of the redwoods" before a sudden stop against a tree. Never disrespectful (I didn't think), but deadpan down-home. Then, I guess, he or she was relieved of duty. Sadness.