Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
Police logs hold much the same fascination that Obituaries do – a sort of voyeurism where there is such a dearth of information about a true-life event that happened in a close-by locale that it is incumbent on the reader to fill things in and plain make stuff up in order to make sense of it. If we’re lucky we recognize a name. (or not, depending on your view of said person)
Buried back behind the verbal tombstones, perhaps near the puzzle page, or better yet a full Department in the free neighborhood newspaper, the Police log is the neighborhood’s version of office gossip. Often mundane, occasionally unfortunate, and sometimes ridiculous.
Even so, rote listings of times and events can be pretty dry. Fortunately, at least a few newspapermen take note of the haplessness that occurs and twists its tail for our reading pleasure.
Erudite and unafraid to coin a word or phrase, the Arcata Eye Police Log casts it’s jaded and sarcastic gaze on the northern California community of Arcata.
A Plazaland mammoth drum circle
With help from some pert Purple Nurple
And other sweet strains
Entranced nearby brains
Cops didn’t attempt a reversal
3:47 a.m. A man found himself locked inside a Northtown restaurant in his underwear, and couldn’t figure out how he had gotten there. An neighbor heard his cries for help and called police. Police determined that he had crawled in there through a hole in an adjacent residence’s closet, and extracted him via the same route. Damage to the restaurant’s bathroom wall was to be negotiated by the business and Captain Underpants.
11:50 a.m. A man at a Uniontown bus stop was said to have exposed his disgusty-bits at a passing woman, but police determined that he had been going potty and the hideous display was just collateral damage.
Slithy, tove-like speculation, I daresay…
On the other hand, and on the other coast, there is the Rochester Police Log of Rochester, New Hampshire. Settled in 1749, incorporated in 1778, and given to occasional spouts of poetic crime reporting.
Wednesday, Feb. 9
8:12 a.m. — Off Pickering Road out in front of a home, flies a flag upside-down at half mast.
“That’s a sign of distress,” says a flag-aware man who telephoned police as he passed.
A police welfare check finds that folks are OK —
the rope on the flagpole had just given way.
Monday, Feb. 7
5:46 p.m. — A baby opossum is caught in a fence, but Fish & Game won’t send a man,
it’s too small they say so it doesn’t make sense, but thankfully police have a plan…
they free the wee creature — throw hats in the air — and in a cat carrier stuff it,
then feed it some veggies, and, showing they care, will let it go later (not snuff it).
(reformatted for clarity. in print it’s all run together)
These nuggets of poetry are rare and sometimes hard to spot due to formatting so you’ll have to keep a sharp eye out…
Wherever you get your crime news – the local rag, the Post Office wall, other inmates – leave time to browse these spots on the interwebs.