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The Stony Lonesome #5, Criminology Edition

I hate committing crimes. I really do. It's scary and nerve-racking and guilt inducing and, well — wrong. This is why I fling myself headlong and heedless into the most doomed, idiotic, high risk, low return, smile-for-the-camera blundering escapades imaginable and do it continuously and continually. Because if I took the time to think about it I'd realize the inherent futility and ultimate upshot of these fiascoes and talk myself out of it. I am not despite many gigabytes of video evidence to the contrary, a complete and utter ’tard, and definitely possess the intellectual wherewithal, organizational ability and stones to plan and execute a successful and remunerative lick, but I don't. I smash and I grab. I write checks to myself using my true name and identification. I (it would appear) do everything possible short of actually strolling into the police station and confessing to get myself arrested. If I were in a caper movie at the scene where the gang is bent over the blueprints pointing out the egresses, ingresses, alarms and chokepoints, I'd say, “Fellas, I can see two clear flaws in this operation. One, we’re considering taking something that isn't ours, and two, we stand a very good chance of getting arrested and going to jail.” At which point they would realize both that I wasn't caper material and something had gone fearfully wrong with the script.

If I were of a scientific and inquisitive bent, which I are, I would surmise that my behavior seems to fly in the face of the basic biological imperative of survival and replication. Or does it?

The facts are that I yet draw breath and I'm not one of those gambling zombies stumbling down the railroad tracks. But in a “perfect” world — i.e., one where Grey Goose flowed from taps and crank bushes grew in profusion, obviating the need for mine rooty-poot boneheaded misadventures — I would be dead in a matter of hours. So perhaps my propensity to hurl myself gleefully into the arms of the gendarmerie is an evolutionary adaptation designed to keep me alive. To which I say to evolution, uh, thanks?

Dope is an extremely powerful motivator. Actually, it's the need for dope that is the impetus; sometimes I have to remind myself that drugs are inert and blameless, left to themselves. It's only when they start catalyzing with my brain to create this fearsome, irrepressible beastie called Jones that the fireworks begin. And I am perfectly aware that once I cross that bridge I will cease operation as a reasoning, prudent human being and commence behaving like a tweek-seeking automaton sans scruples, sense, or the ability to visualize anything beyond my own immediate needs. Ergo, no excuses.

During my pre-sentence investigation interviews, I would always deliver some sort of variation on the “It's not me, it's the drugs” theme. You gotta understand, I'm a nice guy, I'd say. It's just when I get on the drugs that I behave like this. Truth: you should only be able to use that excuse one time. Once you discover that the elixir turns you into Mr. Hyde, you and you alone, Dr. Jekyll, or are responsible for all Hydean mischief to follow.

But enough about me and my idiocy. I would like to talk for a moment about public radio. I don't know what the AVA’s beef is with KZYX/Z because the discussion seems really boring to me. But there appears to be a bone of contention there. Frankly, I don't know what I would do without KPCC (Pasadena), the NPR affiliate I'm able to haul in out here in the middle of the desert if I stand in just the right spot holding a complex and serpentine configuration of antennae just so.

At Tehachapi I was able to listen to a Pacifica station which was cool except for the strident militancy of their pledge drives which are a little scary. An NPR pledge drive is a minor irritant — one feels like slapping the cheeky beggars — but it's survivable. Pacifica radio on the other hand makes you feel that if you don't give until it hurts and do it PDQ, a cadre of armed revolutionaries are going to show up at your door to take their listener fees outta yer ass.

Whichever, alternative to the mainstream media are crucial. ABNBCBS would have you believe that the world is made up entirely of child molesters, Taylor Swift, deadly viruses and school shooters. When I listen to NPR I am joyfully reminded there is a world full of cool people doing interesting things and thus may be hope for us all. And incidentally, farewell to Klick & Clack whichever one Tom was, of Car Talk. End of an era.

Okay, now I'm angry. I just received my AVA of the 19th and found the first installment of this series on Letters page. Really? You're going to toss me in their amid the wackos and whingers and politically astute (no offense, wackos and whingers — love your work!)?

The Stony Lonesome was not intended for the Letters page. I thought it evident. What do I have to do to get into the main body of the paper, wax nostalgic about apple pie and rotary phones? Production of this column is hereby suspended pending an apology, placement befitting my awesomeness, and then offer of remuneration. I also expect a number of angry letters and cancellation threats from my many fans.

See you in the funny papers.

(Ed note: The Stony Lonesome has been removed from the Letters page.)

One Comment

  1. Steve Gill December 17, 2014

    Hang in there! Your writing is entertaining in a droll fashion and belongs in print, certainly in the AVA if not elsewhere… one who experienced lockdown & club fed a decade or so ago, one can relate, man! One can say “the hardest part of incarceration is getting out” and you’ll know exactly what I mean….but it gets better, until looking in the rear view mirror the razor wired beast is long hidden from view….Don’t let count time get you down, and keep writing…..

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