One of the joys of life in an idyllic rural area is opening up the local paper to read the "Police Blotter" section, studying the petty crimes that pass for news in cowtown.
Mind you, I don't live in The Big City. I reside in a gritty southern middle-sized city characterized by horrific race relations, a dominant industry that failed due to newfangled popular prejudice against a certain demon weed, corrupt government, an even more corrupt ex-District Attorney, and, oddly enough (the reason I live here) the funkiest culture of all middle-sized cities in the South. Even black people in New York, the coolest people on earth, respect my city, probably because so many of them were born here before getting the hell out.
But I pine for the simple life:
10:44 a.m. Someone called in because they found a backpack in Columbia Falls. There was nothing weird in it.
7:49 p.m. A nosy individual called in to report a “suspicious” man who was sitting in his car for the past 30 minutes reading a book.
10:13 p.m. There were people yelling at the El Rancho apartments in Evergreen. The caller said this happens a lot.
2:08 a.m. There was more yelling at the El Rancho apartments.
11:51 a.m. A Riverstone Drive woman called the Sheriff’s Department because she needed help getting her utilities hooked up. A deputy helped her out to the best of his abilities.
3:14 p.m. A Parliament Drive resident called in to complain that someone had just called them and hung up.
7:10 p.m. A runaway girl was found at the mall.
This week's Friday afternoon time waster is the Police Blotter section of the Flathead County Beacon, which serves a county with an estimated population of 76,269, a county that is larger than many nations. I recommend it in particular because, as shown above, whoever writes it has the driest of humor, just allowing the news to roll in, and phrasing it in an arch, ironic fashion. I wish I could blog about minor instances of stupidity, or nothing at all, with such droll wit, expressed in fewer words than a haiku.
Start at the link I've given you, and roll back. If you live in some urban hell, rejoice at complaints to the police of angry peacocks, and laugh. Hell, if you live anywhere, you'll laugh at some of this anonymous writer's summations of the crimes of passion that occur on a daily (or every-other-daily, when things are slow) basis in ruritania. Even the web addresses for individual entries are funny. ("Suspicious book worm and nasty rumors diffused.")
I've revealed only a tiny portion of the vice that goes on, unceasingly except on Sundays, in Flathead County. Discover your own vices, new and old, and discuss them in this specially reserved thread in the Popehat forum.
Via Australian blogger Tim Blair, who has a new site and writes a pretty funny roundup of true crime stories around the world each Monday.