tis the season when thoughts turn to malfeasance

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Humorous Bits, New Jersey
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring brings a change in attitude. Some folks feel a lifting of the spirit, a loosening of the depressive chains brought on by winter’s short days and cold weather. Others anxiously anticipate the blossoming of trees and plants, the renewal of nature’s life cycle. Children begin to sense the possibilities of summer and no school. Baseball fans embrace misplaced hope, convinced this will be the season their team finally wins. Everything blooms in spring. For me, this turn of the seasons arouses an urge to adopt a life of stealth criminality. What better time to tiptoe to the dark side? The end of Cabin Fever marks the beginning of Crimefluenza.

Perhaps in some circles a certain cache is attached to spending time in jail, locked down with your criminal compadres. Not me. My desire to ratchet things up, to add thrill and spice to my life through acts of wrongdoing, is tempered by the fact I have no desire to spend any time in the hoosegow playing Reverse Tag with hardened inmates who think of me as “It”. Testing the boundaries of the law and fighting the oppressive ways of The Man while simultaneously maintaining the freedom to go to Sonic whenever I want presents a challenge. I’m like a rebel with a cause, the cause being getting away with my misdeeds unpunished. So I got to thinking. How can I add various law breaking accomplishments to my pitifully sparse criminal resume? How can I pump up my street cred, if only in my eyes? I figured there must be a way and still maintain the image of an upstanding New Jersey citizen. I needed guidance, I needed answers, so I did what any person in my position would – turn to the interwebs. Suddenly my spring plans came together like drones to the queen! Finally, a framework from which to build! I found numerous, actual, and totally on the books state laws ripe for the plucking. Thus, I present my spring 2012 “Targets of Opportunity.”

Drivers must warn those who they pass on the highway before they do so.
I’m not exactly sure what our legislators meant by “warn”, but I’m willing to bet mumbling “Move over, gramps. The parade is coming through!” while buzzing past some poor sot trudging along at a creaky 65 mph was not what they had in mind. “Warn” probably involves flashing headlights, honking horns, waving flags, tapping bumpers, those sort of things. None of which I currently do. Which means I’m already breaking this law. That’s nice, I suppose, but it doesn’t help. Where’s my sense of accomplishment, the feeding of my inner badass? Getting all puffed up about this now would be like rewarding me today for receiving a perfect grade on a geography quiz I took in 3rd grade. Plus everyone else on the road is also religiously breaking this law. Does that make me a rebel or a sheep? The distinction is so blurry that adding this to a criminal resume is like adding “Can read” to a job resume. I guess it’s an achievement of sorts, but so is breathing.

It is against the law to frown at a police officer.
As implied above part of my grand spring criminal plan requires skirting police confrontations. The less the cops are involved the better my chances of maintaining my all-precious freedom. I love this law’s vagueness. How easy it becomes to interpret the word “at” in a way which allows for massive law-breaking! For example, I could be walking directly behind a copper and frown “at” him/her. I could be standing across the street looking “at” a local constable and frown to my heart’s content. I could jauntily stroll past police headquarters, glance “at” the assembled coffee and doughnut throng, and frown like Santorum considering anything which hints at a post 19th century sensibility. You know what those caffeinated and sugarfied cops would think if they noticed my frown? “Of course he’s frowning. This is New Jersey.” Now if I were smiling that would probably attract unwanted attention, even though it’s not against the law (I think). This anti-frowning ordinance, so easy to break, fits nicely into my nefarious plans.

You may not slurp your soup.
Just because I sympathize with the reasoning behind a law doesn’t mean I have to obey it. And this is one law I totally get. This and the one about scooping pet poop. Frankly, it’s disgusting to hear other people eating. It’s disgusting to hear yourself eating, but sometimes sacrifices must be made in the name of honing a felonious reputation. Again, vagueness works in my favor. Is there a specific place(s) where slurping is not allowed? Well, no. It simply says no soup slurping. Therefore, it can easily be broken in the privacy of my home. I’m sure that’s not the intent, but who knows? Maybe some legislator got so fed up with the table manners of her family that she pushed this law through by sheer force of will. And audio evidence. Whatever the circumstances “in public” should’ve been added to the wording, but it wasn’t. I’m not going to let a bureaucratic oversight retard my opportunities to friskily break the law. That slurping you hear as you drive by my house? That, my friends, is the sweet sound of rebellion.

No egg shall be broken that has a putrefactive odor and rots.
Sometimes, in the spirit of defiance, one must do things one wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. Being within sniffing distance of a rotten egg is bad enough. To actually have to touch and then crack said egg inflicts more damage to the cracker than anyone else. Whatever punishment handed down by a judge will not erase the stank from the long memory of your olfactory system. In my eyes this law is similar to the motorcycle helmet law – it aims to minimize opportunities for people to act stupid. I’m not one who believes in using the force of law to prevent stupidity. If your stupidity ultimately only hurts your stupid self, why ruin the fun for the rest of us by making it illegal? The real problem with incorporating this particular law into my criminal repertoire is that breaking it (no pun intended) will do nothing to garner widespread respect in the greater criminal community, except perhaps with rogue poultry farmers.

It is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.
Oh man, jackpot! I’m relatively sure I can overpower a pigeon, despite their nasty habit of using their beak as a defense weapon. Once I get control of the bird I can toss it in a cage and delay to my heart’s content. I just have to make sure the pigeon I choose to detain isn’t crossbred with a Hill Myna or European Starling. It would be highly embarrassing to be ratted out by a talking bird.

It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
This is a curious law, but not for the reason you may think. Technically, the New Jersey fishing season is year-round, so this really says it is against the law for a man to knit. Period. You know, I agree with that. And since I can’t knit, do I really want to take the effort to learn just to break this one law? Yes, it’s an alluring thought that a simple purl stitch can thrust me into the seedy underground world of male knitters. However with all the other places to focus my punkster efforts, I’ll hold off on this one until next spring.

  1. rangewriter says:

    Well, I’m a woman, even so, I’m not gonna be knitting OR fishing in the near future. The egg, well, yea, I’d just as soon no one break it, but frowning at the cop? Come on. That’s what they’re there for isn’t it?


    • John says:

      I thought that was their main purpose. It’s like someone placing a slice from a freshly baked pie in front of you and saying, “Nope, you can’t eat it.”


  2. mysterycoach says:

    a. Can’t stand slurping… thank god there’s a law 🙂 What’s the punishment anyway? Inquiring minds want to know!

    b. I never frown at officers. Matter of fact, last one who pulled me over (me talking on my cell… dugh) I laughed. He said, “Why didn’t you just put the phone down?” Me: “Because you already saw me and I figured I’d look more guilty”. haha!


  3. You’re so funny.


  4. BrainRants says:

    Dude, is this shit for real?


  5. Is this the turn rebellion takes as you get older?


  6. sparklebumps says:

    I always wondered where you could pick up a homing pidgeon…


  7. kayjai says:

    Soup slurping? How do you Americans live with each other! I like that law! So, are you gunned down in a cafe if slurping or do they detain you for questioning? Innnteresting……


  8. joehoover says:

    Great stuff!, love the egg and the pigeon and knitting, just so random, we have some old laws which pertain to the City of London and not the rest of London, stuff about being allowed to walk a herd of sheep around the City, the protestors should have done that instead of camping out there.

    What if your frowning at a police officer was as a result of bungled botox, your face permanently in a forced frown?

    And the driving problem..is it ok to take a grenade launcher to the car in front and then pull up behind it’s wreckage and leave a post it on the window saying you’re about to overtake them?


  9. Hilarious! I’m pretty sure a man knitting during any season would get you shot here in Texas.


  10. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Trask, this was too funny. You little Outlaw, you..


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