Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

None if by Foot

In light of the fact that police officers in Wellford, South Carolina are now forbidden to chase suspects upon director order of the mayor, the Honorable Sallie Peake, I have taken the liberty of composing a questionnaire for wrongdoers who find themselves in need of justice. This way anyone engaged in crime-committing for fun and profit can arrest themselves and save the city the trouble they’re having with nasty Workers Compensation complications when police officers get hurt in the line of duty.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. [Name Spelled Wrong] or Current Resident:

You may or may not have already committed a crime! As a service, the City is providing you with this handy questionnaire to determine if you are due a penalty.

In the past six months have you or anyone in your family or gang been involved in one or more of the following nefarious activities:

Wearing socks that didn’t match
Chewing gum in class
Failing to stop for a school bus
Robbing a liquor store with or without the aid of a springloaded comb that looks like a switchblade
Sashaying out of the A&P with a pack of Ribeyes stuffed in your pants and a bottle of A-1 in your back pocket
Other: _________________

If so, you may be eligible for a fine. Walk, don’t run to the nearest police officer and complete the prison record application, or visit the public usage computers at your local library to find the online form. You may also call the toll free number printed on the back of every can of Bud Light sold in the city limits. Call now. Operators are standing by! (Unless they’re on break because Lurlene is in a snit about somebody stealing her lunch from the break room refrigerator again.)

For this week only, we’re offering specials on vandalism and petit larceny. Call before naptime and exchange your monetary fine for community service work. There are always important public service tasks to be done. After all, the mayor’s car doesn’t wash itself!

Now that you don’t need to waste precious time running from the law, you will probably find extra hours in the day for graffiti-related and other crimes. It may be difficult to find value-added activities due to the fact that the city has few opportunities for employment. After all, not everyone has the talent required for a position at the gentlemen’s club. Remember--a career in the performance arts requires years of dedication and commitment to function at professional levels. Our mayor enforces the hospitality tax to support this important level of initiative. In the meantime, if you indulge in spray paint art to pass the lonesome pre-dawn hours, be sure to add your name and address in the upper left-hand corner of your work so that your notice of incarceration will find its way to the appropriate place.

If increased criminal activity has taken up all your spare time, please contact the city to find out how you can benefit from our new Arrest Yourself policy. You may even be interested in becoming a part of our stationary police force and learn to fight crime by standing still. Drop by Town Hall today, You’ll be glad you did! But remember: don’t run. The mayor is the only one still authorized to chase bad guys!

(Click on the title of this post for an exciting link to a YouTube video of the mayor in action!)


colbymarshall said...

forbidden to chase there's one of those things like you always read in those "weird law" books/articles and wonder what all happened to require that decree to be made... :-)

LeSan said...

Holy crap! Has anyone been checking her meds? Was the last mayor shot or something and she was the only one crazy enough to run for office?
I can't type anymore because the images this evokes are doubling me over with terror and laughter.

Angela said...

Love the letter, but I regret to inform you that it cannot be used in Anderson due to the ability of police officers to continue to pursue offenders.

Melissa said...

That totally just made my day :)

Nancy said...

I'm flashing on Barney, with his one bullet, and Andy.