Wednesday, December 15, 2010

‘Is that a strip steak in your pants or are you just happy to see me?’

by Wendy Burke

It’s amazing the things people think they can get away with. (Read that –stupid criminals.)

In my ‘real’ job (well, if you can call any kind of media a ‘real’ job) I am a TV newsroom assignment manager. Basically, I tell people where to go and what to do. When I’m not doing that, I’m doing research for stories, kissing up to cops on the phone and harassing my favorite US Marshal for fugitives whose mugs need to be plastered on the airwaves.

But I digress. (Which happens a lot with me…Oh, look a nickel!)

Please be aware, there is a special section of hell reserved for us media types – my sense of humor has become much less respectful, much more graphic and horrendously cynical in the past fifteen-plus years in the TV news biz. (It was warped by radio, however, WAY before that!)

I’m sure many of you have heard ‘If it bleeds, it leads,’ a pseudo-mantra of television news. Well, not necessarily. In our newsroom, it may not be the lead story, but if someone is stealing something and is caught with it in his/her PANTS, well then it’s a story to consider just for its entertainment value.

And, just where do you find people sticking stuff in their pants on a daily basis? ---The police logs.

I read them every day. Sometimes the reports are boring (the usual copper wire thefts from vacant homes), sometimes they’re interesting (Code 18—that would be a dead body), sometimes you have to ask WHAT?! (like the guy who broke into a home and swiped a light bulb, toilet paper and a guinea pig.)

I guess you need to feel sorry for someone who thinks they need to steal from the Dollar Store. ‘PRO –(person reporting incident, usually the victim) states man stuffed shampoo, body wash and a package of disposable razors down his pants and fled.’ But, if you feel the need to be clean, steal away – but why stuff the stuff in your trousers?!

A whole new definition of the word ‘meat.’ ‘PRO reports man and woman trolling the meat section stuffing various cuts into their pants.’ This was a tandem job! Is that a ribeye in your pants or are you just happy…

Hardware store: ‘PRO states suspect was clearly seen placing a ball peen hammer into the lower portions of his overalls. When approached, suspect threatened loss prevention officer with said hammer.’ Okaaay.

This one is one of the oddest however. ‘PRO states man left store with a seven inch circular saw blade in his pants.’

---I got NOTHIN’ for that!---

The last one reminds me of my college days at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. UWO…or U-W-Zero as some called it. Anyway, I digress! (Oh look – a penny!) Back in the day when college kids could drink at 18, (in Wisconsin we grew up with Old Style in our sippy-cups) there was always a beer to be had at the end of a long, hard college school-day. Yep, after three hours of ‘History and Appreciation of Cinema’ (read that, one long nap!) I and a pile of friends certainly needed a beer, or two, or three.

So, we head to one of the many bars surrounding UWO.

Bars are a great place to get dorm decorating ideas and glassware. (Trust me, I’m getting back to the saw blade!) After one particularly intense-beered study session, a pal of mine decides she needs a set of six pilsner glasses and a pitcher. Those were the great ‘80s (1980s not 1880s!) when Wisconsin gals all had stadium jackets – long, usually large wale corduroy, with pockets everywhere! And, the jacket/coat made for a great vehicle to covertly ease those items out the bar,

After emptying the pilsner glasses with help from the table, off we went, back to Breese Hall. Too bad said glass-swiper decided to trip over a curb and fall in the middle of the street.

The tinkling sound of breaking glass was heard only momentarily – then her screams covered the lovely sound.

So, whether it’s meat, toiletries, saw blades. Guinea pigs or glassware – please, if you’re on an appropriation mission, do it with extreme caution if said appropriated items will end up close to your person!

AND – I am neither endorsing NOR encouraging any type of criminal activity by anyone! I don’t want to see any of you on the daily police logs! If I do, your criminal butt is mine and you’ll be embarrassed via on air and on line media!

Wendy Burke

Find Wendy:
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Maureen said...

I had a friend who worked in the newsroom... She had a picture of Walter Cronkite on her desk for inspiration...and an intern asked her if that was her grandpa...

Wrong line of work, I'm thinking!

*Oh, look! A quarter!


Kathleen said...

I know those people. They come into the ER, too. Great post!

JM said...

Ha! You bring back memories of workin' the midnight shift as a deputy. People are crazy! And I honestly believe stupidity makes the world go 'round.
Great post!

Wendy Burke said...

Thanks everyone -- again, these stories are TRUE (with 'some' embellishment!)...but that's what makes them all the funnier!

Kate Richards said...

A girlfriend of mine worked the ER nightshift in college and down the front of their pants wasn't the only place stuff was getting stashed. They did a lot of removal of items from places items shouldn't ever go...amazing how you can accidentally sit on things and require surgical removal, but they do say most accidents happen in the home.

Clarissa Yip said...

What a great post! It all sounds so exciting and I think you'd be the one to go to for info if I'm ever working on a suspense!

Thanks for sharing!

Valerie Mann said...

Hi Deena...oops, I mean Wendy! Great post! Your life sounds so much more exciting than mine!! I'm sure it will help you in your writing to have such fun perspective.

Deena said...

Okay, the blade may be scaring some, but it's the guinea pig that's really got me concerned! lol

Deena said...

Hey Val! Getting used to seeing me here on Wednesdays? lol

Deanna Wadsworth said...

OMG, Wen! THIS is why I love your blogs! LOMFAO!!!

Nina Croft said...

I'm worried about the guinea pig, too. I hope it got home okay.
Great post - You must get some fantastic ideas for stories from your job.

Robert C Roman said...

Hallo Wendy!

This is hilarious. As a teacher, I hear a lot of the same kinds of stories from my students, particularly when I ask them why they weren't in class. Urgh. That makes it sound like my kids are dodging the cops. *ponders* Eh, not too far from reality.

Anyhow, great post, made me smile this morning!

Wendy Burke said...

You're all great! Thank you so much for the comments - a good pat on the back is good for the soul! Like I mentioned, stories are true, with a bit of embellishment - the Oshkosh story ACTUALLY HAPPENED - no one was seriously injured other than their pride. Damn, I'm getting old - 30 year this weekend I became a college gratcheate!

PS...thanks again Val for the cute burglar...and, yes, there is a difference between a burglary and a robbery - something I have to explain to folks on a daily basis! :)

DW--- let's DRINK!

Gracen Miller said...

Great post, Wendy! I can only imagine the things you've seen!! You wouldn't believe the things I've heard and seen in the legal office and my lawyers practiced personal injury and divorce. (Just for the record, people going through divorces don't just get CrAzY, they LOSE their friggin' minds!!!) Yeah, okay, I'd probably be just as bad if not worse if it was me going through a divorce, but you can't even reason with them. Very little shocks me anymore, instead, I just shake my head.

As for the guinea pig, I'm just hoping for the sake of the guinea pig that it wasn't stuffed into someone's pants!!


Becca Dale said...

Too funny, Wendy. Crazy and stupid can provide hours of humor or weeks of pain. All I could think about was what if that saw blade slipped just right? I guess it would certainly solve the problem of continuing that gene pool.