Better Than Fiction

No Telling

I love our local newspaper. Not that I would consult The Log Cabin Democrat for any national or global news, but that was never this newspaper’s purpose. This journalistic wonder was the heartbeat of our community for over a hundred years before Kris Allen, and I hope it weathers another hundred. Maybe only the conglomerated, big-city newspapers will die out. Maybe the small-town rags will outlive us all.

Why? The Police Beat. There’s nothing like it. I’ll give you a taste from today’s shock and awe. These are numbered in the paper. I have no idea why.

4. Theft of property at 3900 block of [deleted by me]. A woman called police to say she’d accidentally left her purse at Walmart and someone had stolen it before she could get back to claim it. In the purse were keys, credit cards and a Kel-Tec .380 handgun.

What? Are other women in the checkout line pushing buggies and packing heat? Apparently so. I’m a complete gun nerd, so I had to look up this particular weapon. The fine people at Kel-Tek advertise this as “…mainly intended for plainclothes police officers as a secondary weapon, or for concealed carry by licensed citizens. The small grip size and light trigger pull make the P-3AT ideal for female shooters.” At Wal-Mart. They left that part out.

That’s not the day’s favorite from the police blotter, though. This one is.

6. Assault at 500 block [deleted by me]. A woman answered a knock on her door Friday morning to encounter a heavyset white female wearing a brown hat and scarf and “big dark glasses” spraying her in the face with what seemed to be hairspray and beating her with what is described in the report as “a plastic dump truck.” After the attack the assailant fled in “a black, foreign-type passenger car,” according to the report.

This is why the South produces so many good writers. It’s not that we’re all literarily gifted, it’s because the local newspapers sweetly dump these prizes right into our laps like birthday presents. We don’t have to make it up. The stuff of fiction happens all around us. There’s no such thing as writer’s block when there’s a good hairspray-and-plastic-dump truck incident to get us over the hump.

Was it Aquanet? Tonka? Did that unfortunate woman at Wal-Mart lose irreplaceable pictures of her grandbabies along with that Kel-Tek .380? These are questions a writer must answer.

So keep on plugging away, Log Cabin Democrat. Just to make sure you do, I’m re-upping my subscription. Sure, you’re free on the internet, but my loyalty to the Police Beat requires hard cash and a fresh year-long commitment.