Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crime of the Century (Free Willy Division)

CHURCH HILL, Tennessee, March 29th - Police arrested a local man Friday on a charge of indecent exposure after he allegedly dashed through a grocery store dressed in nothing but a rubber mask, according to a report today in the Kingston (TN) Times-News.
   The piece, by a reporter charmingly named Rain Smith, is a textbook case of excellent journalism, as it perfectly incorporates the classic Five Ws: Who, What, Where, When and Why:
   WHO: Daniel, R. Lee, twenty-two, of 612 East Main Boulevard, Apt. A, Church Hill, TN. He was accompanied by a woman who claimed to be his girlfriend. She is Katelyn M. Trent, eighteen, of 1849 1/2 Forest View Drive, Kinsgport, TN.
 WHAT: Mr. Lee, according to supermarket personnel quoted by the Times-News, "ran around the store exposing himself to several customers and employees." A question suggests itself: did Mr. Lee stop to waggle his wing-wang at customers, thereby consciously exposing himself, or does the mere fact of scampering around a store with baby's arm bobbing constitute exposure? The question goes unanswered in the Times-News report. 
   As it happens, one staff member tried to catch Mr. Lee, but couldn't. This suggests either that Mr. Lee is very, very fast, or that the store employee is very, very slow. Alas, although Rain Smith lays out her facts clearly and concisely, she does not expand upon them, and so we shall never know which is true.
   WHERE: An IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) supermarket at 3006 North John B. Dennis Highway. After leaving the store, Mr. Lee allegedly scuttled to a nearby Hardee's, where, wearing naught but an orange hoodie sweatshirt, he asked employees if someone could lend him something to wear. Apparently, in planning his misdeed, Mr. Lee did not think ahead to the moment when, suffused with joy from his bare-assed scurry, he would leave the store and need to cover himself with, well, clothing. 
   A Hardee's employee gave Mr. Lee a pair of "basketball shorts." This means that Mr. Lee, a healthy young man of twenty-two, was wearing a hoodie and athletic shorts, which, and we mean this in the strictest journalistic sense, could not be hotter. 
   Inexplicably, Mr. Lee stayed in the Hardee's bathroom, and that's where police found him. They took him to jail and only charged him with indecent exposure, which was a kindness; they could also have charged him, no offense to Mr. Lee and his choice of color scheme, with a fashion crime for wearing an orange sweatshirt. (Photo, below.)
   WHEN: Just after nine p.m. on Friday, March 26.
   WHY: An officer who wrote the police report quoted by the Times-News noted that "Daniel advised me that he did run through the IGA nude because he was bored and didn't have anything to do."
Image   The use of "Daniel," as opposed to the more formal "Mr. Lee," or the chillingly dehumanizing "Lee," suggests that police look favorably on Mr. Lee's youthful hijinks.
   And why not? Church Hill is a town of roughly 7,000 people. It was a Friday night. Mr. Lee and Ms. Trent were bored. 
   First, it is an act of benevolence to a small-town community, citizens of most of which believe fervently in God, for one of its healthy young males to display his ding-a-ling, the design of which surely is proof that the Lord is Good and His Gifts are many. 
   Second, it is better, is it not, for a young man to run nude through a grocery store than to, say, join a rural militia, arm himself to the teeth, and, with his fellow mental defectives, tear apart the fabric of this great nation grenade by grenade?
   As First Of All likes to put it: Bones Not Bombs!

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