01 January 2015

Possession of a Live Fur-Bearer and other Misdemeanors


by Eve Fisher

(Actually by Grant Tripp, Laskin Police Officer, filling in for Eve Fisher)

It's New Year's Day and Eve's feeling a little fragile.  She's got a cold, or at least that's what she says. Anyway, she made me promise to keep this light - "None of those sad stories you tell late at night at the Norseman's, Grant!"  So I thought I'd share some of the more ridiculous City/County Ordinances of our locale.  I'm not kidding.  I read through the booklet - and I highly recommend you read through your local city/county ordinance booklet some time - and I discovered that we have all, alone and with others, been breaking ordinances left and right. Stuff that, frankly, I've never paid any attention to.

For example, let's take the Davison boys out for a little hunting one winter's day.  They have no idea that they have not only "Exceeded Maximum Size Hunt Party", but also exceeded how many people an old junker pick-up truck can hold.  (You can't see Uncle Ole, because he's passed out in the flat bed.)  That little day trip could cost them a fortune in fines. There's the "Unnecessary Parking on a Rural Road", which happens all the time.  For one thing, there are no porta-potties in cornfields, and for another, it's a ritual to get out, stamp feet, mutter about how BLEEPING cold it is, and get back in the car. This, of course, violates the obscenity laws, but if we start counting those, we'll all be paying fines left and right.  And we're not even going to get into alcohol-related violations...

But what really makes the Davison hunting trip so unusual is that they are in "Possession of a Live Furbearer", because of Uncle Ole passed out in the back.  He's the one who had the "Gun Protruding from Vehicle", although he didn't shoot off anything but his mouth.  And it was ridiculous for John Davison to screech the truck to a halt, "Claiming a Nonexistent Emergency", because he's known Uncle Ole too long for him to count as an emergency any longer, no matter what he ate for lunch.

Want more examples?  How about the ice fishermen who do "Exhibition Driving in Parks"?  What else do you call it when they do wheelies on ice?  In a pick-up?  And then break through?  If that isn't an exhibition, I don't know what is.  I know someone who managed to hit his brother in the rear end with a BB gun when they were kids.  Since his brother was in a tree at the time, this was a clear case of violating the ordinance against "Shooting a Turkey in a Tree."  But while I have heard of people "Hunting from a Motor Vehicle", I have yet to hear of anyone "Hunting from a Motorcycle", or "Hunting from Aircraft".  I'm luckier than I thought...

Some of the ordinances are violated every day.  No one thinks of violating the law when engaging in "Weed Removal".  Half the people in this town - any town - are going to jail for violating "3 Adult Cats Within City Limits".  And since when are "People in Back of Travel Trailer" breaking the law?  I thought that was the idea.  And if "Overweight" is a crime, we are all in trouble, especially this time of the year when an extra caramel roll is simply ballast so you don't end up in the next county when you slip on the ice.

thanks to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2445448/South-Dakota-gets-33-inches-snow-tornadoes-kill-3-Nebraska.html
More from the UK's Daily Mail - 12/9/2014
Naturally, some ordinances I agree with.  I think that "Moving Buildings" should be illegal, especially late at night outside of the Norseman's Bar.  And not only is "Clinging to a Car Roof" dangerous, but it can easily lead to "Alighting from Vehicle", "Making an Unreasonable Noise", and, eventually, "Wheelchair to Motor Vehicle."  But personally, I think an "Insecure Vehicle" is more a problem for a therapist than the police.


File:Snow on spruce tree.jpgBut the ordinance that really got my attention was "Unlawful Entering Cemetery with Fir."  Now let me get this straight.  If someone walks into a cemetery to plant a small pine tree near a dear departed's headstone, I'm supposed to go and arrest them?  And what makes a fir tree more illegal than, say, a hickory or a cottonwood?  I asked my friend Linda Thompson, Laskin Clerk of Courts, about that one and she told me that they didn't have enough room in the abbreviation for the word "firearm."  I don't believe that for a minute.  I'll bet you that some lawmaker, years ago, was nearly smothered in an avalanche when a big blue spruce let loose on him. Intimidated and out for revenge, he crafted the ordinance exactly as it reads.  "You've got 24 hours to get out of town, and take that fir with you!"

Happy New Year!

6 comments:

Fran Rizer said...

Hope Eve is feeling better, and, Grant, you are welcome anytime. You've inspired me to check out the ordinances here in SC. I'll bet we have some doozies!

Fran Rizer said...

Hope Eve is feeling better, and, Grant, you are welcome anytime. You've inspired me to check out the ordinances here in SC. I'll bet we have some doozies!

Jan Grape said...

Think we'll all be checking our COs first chance we get. Light-hearted and funny, Grant.
Eve, hope you're feeling better soon. Take care of yourself. I'm on my second cold in three weeks, altho this one seems to mainly be a sore throat. I'm feeling better today.
Happy New Year all.

Eve Fisher said...

Grant says thanks for the thanks; he'll be showing up in another story soon, and he hopes I'll show off his sense of humor better this time. Happy New Year!

Leigh Lundin said...

I see how that could get complicated, Grant. Does the turkey have to be in the tree or the shooter? And what if the shooter is a turkey?

When I was a teenager, cemeteries were among the relative safe 'parking' spots, if you get what I mean. You know, people going, people coming…

Eve Fisher said...

Leigh, Grant says to tell you that cemeteries are still "safe parking" spots, and he avoids them; why get people into more trouble than they're already getting themselves into? :) I haven't yet figured out which of the Tripp brothers was in the tree and which holding the gun, but I'm working on it. Maybe that will be part of the next Grant Tripp mystery story.