POLICE BEAT 


Nov. 9

(2008-485235) 1:54 a.m.: So here we are again. Another week come and gone, another few hours of my life devoted to giving you, dear reader, the cop-laced humor you so desperately desire. But I have a confession to make: I'm not sure how much funny I'll be bringing this week.

The problem is part physiological, part psychological. The former is simple: I'm kind of sick. Not cough-cough sick, but more like drowsy-and-sluggish sick. Not bad enough to get out of work, but just enough to make me not want to be here — more than usual, anyway. The psychological biat is more complex.

Truth is, I'm hitting the end-of-year wall. It happens. I've spent most of the last year obsessing over minute details of the presidential race and spending way too much time on poll-aggregating websites seeking reassurance that I'd never have to hear the phrase "President John McCain." And now it's all over.

Sure, for a while I bathed in the afterglow of a victory that I personally had very little to do with, but that burned off not long after my post-election hangover. And then I spent the weekend writing research papers (boring) and killing turkeys (gross; you'll read about that next week). Then one of our interns came in with whooping cough or whatever, and I've been feeling the malaise ever since.

None of that means anything to you. This column, like most forms of literary art, is a one-way medium. I write, you read. If you don't like what I have to say, you probably turn to Blister because Billy Manes' perpetual psycho-drama is always amusing. The world keeps spinning. Que sera, sera.

That is the reality of penning a 700-some-odd-word column week in and week out. Sometimes you nail it: The writing comes effortlessly and your editor doesn't give you that "WTF is this crap?" look when you turn it in. Sometimes, though, you'd rather be lying in bed with a fistful of painkillers watching a Jon & Kate Plus Eight marathon than trying to stretch repetitious police reports into something clever.

Take this week's batch of reports, for instance: An attempted car theft. A few more armed robberies. Copper wire thefts. Another residential burglary. You try to find the funny in that. Oh sure, there's the idiot 17-year-old who accidentally shot himself in the leg, or the jackass who couldn't break into a furniture shop even after throwing a metal plate through a glass window.

But really, the world of Orlando crime can be monotonous — this week more than most — and when your columnist isn't feeling it, he ain't feeling it, and all the Vicodin in the world won't fix that.

Elsewhere in the world, crime is funny. In Lansing, Mich., for example, a gay rights group interrupted a Sunday megachurch service by standing up, loudly declaring themselves "fags" and throwing condoms everywhere. Some lesbians took to the church's podium and started making out. That's the kind of criminal activity I want to write about.

Or this: In Fort Pierce, a man allegedly beat up his ex-girlfriend after she opened a package of his Vienna sausages (he told the cops she wasn't his ex, just a crack whore). Or the guy in Jensen Beach who was arrested after trying to steal "a handful of communion wafers from the priest." Or the Pennsylvania man arrested for drunkenly flying a motorized glider. Or the 7-year-old in Minnesota who got meth while trick-or-treating on Halloween. Or the 82-year-old Kentucky man who was arrested for trading OxyContin for the sexual favors of considerably younger women (cops caught on when they "noticed an unusual number of young women at the man's home," the UPI report says).

Why can't that shit happen here? Or worse, what if it does, and I just don't know about it? I mean, that's possible. This column doesn't have the resources to be comprehensive. But is it too much to ask for some criminal, somewhere in this city, to do something original — and for the cops to tell me about it?

Anyway, a guy broke into the laundry room of a home on South Fanfair Avenue and stole a woman's bicycle.

Oh look, I'm out of space already.

jbillman@orlandoweekly.com

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