Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

You’re Under Arrest for…for, Uh…

with 2 comments

It’s not everyday that a random person walks up to you on the street and threatens to alert the authorities.

Sorry, that was a bit presumptuous; perhaps for you, it is an everyday occurrence. I, never having seen the inside of a police station, found it most peculiar. My only real run-in with the law involved a speeding ticket back in 1999. Also,my oldest son sat in the driver’s seat of a police car in 2003; he was about two. Technically, he wasn’t even in the seat, but on the lap of the officer sitting there. It was all very not criminal.

Thus, when I exited a used bookstore this afternoon after a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to sell a number of titles heretofore occupying valuable space in our domicile, and a fellow approached me, I did not exactly have crime on my mind. I did think he might ask for some change, and was already in the throes of preparatory thoughts on whether and how to alleviate his need, when he said, “I saw what you did, and I’m calling the police.” Then he kept walking, and we continued in opposite directions.

I didn’t react, as far as I can recall, other than to raise an eyebrow or two and keep my stride – I had one more unsuccessful bookstore visit ahead of me, after all. Almost immediately, it occurred to me that I might not be dealing with a person with all of his marbles in the drawer, if you’ll excuse the rhetorical travesty.

But then I wondered two things: (a) if in fact he had seen me do something suspicious, what was it? and (b) what if the police took this kook seriously enough to stop me? While I had no real worry about (b) – and the farther I walked, the less likely it became – I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about my actions. Was it exiting the store with a cart full of books? Not exactly suspicious. Was it entering, then exiting the store with a cart full of books? Not inherently suspicious, especially considering there was nothing I did inside the store that could be misconstrued as criminal (except perhaps trying to sell outdated books on HTML and Javascript, and methinks the police would not exactly consider that a prosecutable offense).

I guess the guy just has it in for sane people. I can deal with that; I occasionally get mad at them myself, such as when they inconsiderately wait until the light is green, even though I’m stuck behind them and in a terrible rush. But even in my meshugga state (New Jersey?) I wouldn’t dream of siccing the police on them. That would be a mite self-defeating.

So if you see a guy making vague threats about alerting the law, send him my regards. And ask him if he wants some mediocre paperbacks. Cheap.

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Written by Thag

December 28, 2010 at 8:49 pm

2 Responses

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  1. does he know what you did last summer?

    dan

    December 29, 2010 at 12:13 am


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