SO BEING A crime and courts reporter at The Quincy Herald-Whig has led me to trademark the following statement - You Can't Make It Up.
Today I spent a frustrating afternoon in court waiting for two cases to come up for sentencing. Because the judge had been away, the courtroom was scheduled for three days worth of stuff crammed into an afternoon session.
After 90 minutes, the cases came up. And both were continued. One of them is for a meth guy caught cooking a few blocks from our store, the other for a gal who committed a theft so brazen and completely dumb that it, well .... YCMIU. You'll read about it in The Whig next week.
So I'm back at the office, trying to explain to the boss that his two potentially amazing Page 1A stories aren't going to happen, when the phone rings. It's Misty (not her real name) and she lives in Calftown, and the neighbors poisoned her beloved beagle terrier dog, and she read a column I wrote two years ago about barking dogs. Can I give her some advice about her barking dog?
Walk your dog, don't leave it outside unattended, and don't scold your dog if he barks. Misty downplayed how much her dog barks, because she said Fido is "spoiled rotten" and takes "doggy Prozac" because he's a bit hyper.
Sigh. Lucy from the Peanuts cartoon strip has it right, putting a 5 cent sign that says "The Psychiatrist is In." On a daily basis. At Fifth and Jersey.
Misty felt better, and it's 15 minutes of my life I'm never getting back, but anything to help a fellow dog lover. Doggy Prozac? Oh it's true, it's dang true.
Then I headed to our music store, Second String Music. I am talking to my beloved bride when I notice two people walking up the street and headed toward our front door.
With a start I realized it was the woman in court earlier in the day for the brazen Theft Of The Month charge. GUH. I had to make a quick decision - greet them and pretend I was just holding a notepad and taking notes for fun during their case (they know who I am, guaranteed), or take the easy way out and flee to the back room so Sheryl could deal with it.
Geesh. You really think it took me more than a second?
"Uh, Sheryl? They want to talk to you." And away I fled.
Turns out they were looking for a guitar for their young daughter. After I explained it to Sheryl, she said, "Well, at least you didn't blow the sale. And I'm not taking a check from them."
All in a day, crime and courts-wise, music store-wise, and life itself-wise.