Once in a blue moon I buy the local weekly newspaper for my town. Mostly it's a waste of a dollar, except if you're looking for something in the classifieds.
But I would have missed the big news. Apparently there was picketing over at one of the schools the other day. Moms and kids carrying homemade signs were protesting the firing of a crossing guard.
Turns out Mrs. Linklater isn't the only person who has suffered at the hands of our overzealous law enforcement officers.
A ten year veteran crossing guard was fired for leaving her spot to go to her car while there was a child waiting to cross. The kid had the audacity to cross by himself while she was gone, so she was reprimanded by a cop who was watching her -- that should tell you how busy they are. Just recently, the police let her go. No doubt she will be pursuing other interests in the crossing guard field.
Here's the good part. The cops waited until some charges from last year against her husband were dropped. In general it sounded like an awful lot of run ins with the law for the citizens of our very bland, cottage cheese-like town, so I wondered how bad it could be.
Seems their son was stopped three blocks from home for a traffic infraction and didn't have his driver's license. So Dad got it from his room and brought it to the police officer who stopped the kid. Only somehow Dad got arrested for not staying away from the scene. And there was the matter of his losing his temper and swearing.
So the village waited until the charges were finally dropped against Dad to take things out on Mom. The very next day. Now Mom's out of a job and all the neighbors are picketing the cops for not being fair. Blah blah blah.
Frankly, my town needs crossing guards like cantaloupes need dresses. There is so little traffic around here grass is growing on the roads. Okay, I exaggerate. But most crossing guards that I have seen would have trouble passing an eye exam first of all. If the Coke bottles they wear are any indication. Not to mention that intellectually impaired is giving them the benefit of the doubt.
The job seems mostly ceremonial. But we're a LAW AND ORDER town. Our police force conducts WELLNESS CHECKS goddamn it and you better be well or ELSE.
So it was with much happiness that I read about this recent ridiculosity that pitted our suburban crime crusaders against some woman who neglected to hold up her plastic STOP sign and keep back the teeming hoards of automobiles [maybe one]. Thank goodness no child was harmed in the commission of this failure to protect the community. Sure he took the law into his own hands. But he had arleady crossed seven other streets unscathed just to get to the one staffed by a crossing guard, so he thought maybe, just maybe, he could handle this one by himself.
Maybe that crossing guard will start to hang her dry cleaning on her front door now.