I got some interesting news while I was at the Old Homestead this weekend, about the local Sheriff and his goon squa... erm. Deputies.
Anyone who reads regularly knows that I am not anti law enforcement, far from it. I am, however, against the kind of ineptitude that has been displayed by the current Sheriff's department, mixed with a sadly mistaken over-all god complex.
I said that it would be a disaster when the King of the Idiots was elected, and I was right.
Let me put it this way, when I was a young Farmgirl, we had a city officer that had the entirely irreverent nickname of Cool Whip, because of his last name. Whether he refused to believe that he was not the coolest adult living, as far as we underagers were concerned, or he honestly thought it was a compliment, I don't know, but he took the nickname and ran with it.
To the extent of telling a group of fourteen year old girls, with a straight face, "They call me Cool Whip because I come in lots of flavors." Clueless to the point of being freaking creepy. Or just freaking creepy, take your pick, no one could ever agree on that point.
The King of the Idiots makes me miss the good ol' days with Cool Whip.
Well, there's been a steady increase in the "stupid kids" kind of theft and general mayhem in the county since the KOTI took over the helm. Pulling copper wiring out of grain trucks, abandoned houses, things like that. With the price of scrap metal these days everyone pretty much figured some youngsters with a future in numbers (on their pictures, on their shirts, on their sentences..) had figured out how to make some partying cash without actually getting a job.
When nothing happened to stop that kind of stuff, the county critters started getting restless. The last Sheriff had gotten them pretty much scared back into their holes, for the most part. No one wanted to tangle with him, and I can't blame them. I've known the man all my life and when he had his Sheriff face on he scared me. And he calls me "Button!"
Well, in more recent days, the critters have gotten entirely too bold. One little old lady left her house one morning, went to town, to the grocery store, and returned to her home thirty minutes later, to find it ransacked and missing several valuable and sentimental items.
One of the grain cooperatives had the door of it's offices ripped off, and the office denuded of anything that might be of value. They had to do business, so they replaced all the essentials and fixed the door the next day. That night, the door was again ripped off, and the replacement equipment stolen. I'm not talking about the door was kicked in, or the hinges were removed, or anything as mundane as that. Someone took a truck, attached it to the door, and then started driving. From what I hear the doorframe was pretty much missing.
So far, the Sheriff's department has solved precisely one of the multitude of these kinds of incidents, resulting in the return of approximately twenty five thousand dollars of tools, welders, and such.
Now, ask me how they solved that one.
I'm so glad you asked. The guilty parties stashed the goods at a buddy's house. Said buddy got into a fight with his woman. Said woman proceeded to rat the whole lot of them out, knowing where the items came from, where they were, and who did all the totin'.
The KOTI's method to catch the culprits for all the other thefts is to have his goon squa... er... Deputies... patrol the county roads, stopping every pickup they see, and looking in the back. If you have tools, or a welder, they ask you to prove your ownership of said items.
Not the brightest investigative plan I've ever heard, really. Frankly I think a blind, deaf monkey could run the department in a more efficient and friendly to the public manner, but then, I might be a little prejudiced against the KOTI because of my own personal history with him and his family. And the fact that he slung more mud than a monster truck rally in a monsoon during his campaign.
But I digress. In addition to this oh-so-brilliant investigative technique ("open your tool box" the officer tells Farmmom. "Kiss my butt, get a warrant," she replies) one of the goon squa... er... oh screw it. One of the goon squad has a "drug dog."
A black Lab. Not the best scent hound in the first place, and knowing the caliber of the "handler and trainer," I doubt the dog could find a pound of marijuana if you mixed it in his Alpo. Anyone who has ever been around a Lab knows that they're big, clumsy, happy-go-lucky lumps. I love the breed for a pet, but you couldn't pay me to try and train a Lab for police work. They just don't have the right kind of mindset for it, in my opinion.
Anyway, Numbah One Goon has this dog that he keeps in the truck with him and calls a drug dog, and every time he makes a stop, he takes the dog around the vehicle. Since Numbah One Goon is another of the "I have a badge, I am God!" types, he manages to annoy the crap out of people on a regular basis.
Me being a smartass, (who, me?) when Farmmom told me of the tactics that they're using all over the county, my first thought, and of course the first thing out of my mouth since my mental filter was on vacation that day was:
"Well hell just start carrying a tennis ball in the pickup."
I got confused looks, which is unusual, since I was sitting in a room full of the people who raised me and taught me to think the way I do. Usually at least Farmmom can hear the distant whistle of my freight train of thought, but this time she was blank.
"The next time Numbah One Goon stops you, as soon as he unloads the dog and starts up to the truck, just pitch the tennis ball out the window and watch the show."
After we cleaned up the puddles on the floor, the bag of a dozen tennis balls was duly dug out of the closet where it lives out of the sight of my pup. If she can see that we have more balls for fetch, she'll pop them right and left. If she can't, she takes care of her toys, but she still destroys them with enough regularity that we buy them by the dozen.
I think I might have created a monster, because when I left, Farmmom was trying to figure out who she was going to give tennis balls to, and who she was going to encourage to buy their own.