“It was like trying to hide a fart in an elevator”

Police Blotter

Ponoka members made a big drug bust on Sunday. Now while my first inclination is to brag about what a fine bit of detecting we accomplished here, it occurs to me that it wasn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. What it really was … was a textbook case of natural selection. You see, on the surface, a lion seems to be the predominant predator, a hunting and eating machine with no equal. In reality the lion doesn’t duke it out with the toughest or fastest antelope grazing at the watering hole, he catches and eats the slowest, dumbest member of the herd; the one that stays behind to nibble on the grass while his brother and sister antelopes run away for reasons he doesn’t trouble himself to consider.

That was the case for us this week, essentially. A member was travelling behind a vehicle for a few blocks. The driver of that vehicle (apparently unaware of the police car behind him) spotted a pal and stopped in the middle of the road to chat with him. The member sounded his horn in order to get the driver to carry on or park properly. The driver looked into his rearview mirror and must have mistaken the police car for another antelope … I mean civilian vehicle … and pulled over into the opposing lane of traffic and parked there to continue (nibbling grass) his conversation.

This action drew even more attention to himself and specifically to the long expired licence plate on his vehicle and caused the member to activate his emergency lights as a first step of entering into an investigation. Too late, the driver recognized the peril he was in and attempted to throw the member off of his game by exiting his vehicle and approaching the member. This is never a good idea and only makes the member suspicious that there is something in that vehicle which the (lunch) driver doesn’t want the (lion) police to (eat) know about. This is especially true when the thing which one is trying to hide has a very distinctive odour (making it about as easy to hide as a fart in an elevator). In the end, it amounted to the driver essentially asking, “what seems to be the problem officer?” and the officer saying, “oh, I don’t know. Could it be the 22, half pound bags of marijuana I just found in your car?” The driver (and his “jointly charged” passenger) will be: Coming Soon! To a Provincial Court near you. Then we can all see if the slogan stamped on the dog tag, hanging from the mirror of his car, is correct or not. It says, “only God can judge me”. We’ll see … and I’m not only talking about a Provincial Court Judge … I’m also thinking about the guy that fronted him over $50,000 worth of marijuana. He too may have an inclination to pass some judgment here.

Since I’m still feeling a little metaphorical this week … I’ll tell you about an incident last week that reminded me of the climactic scene of my all-time favourite spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was the gunfight scene where Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco square off (triangle off really) against one another. The suspense builds with each camera shot of one man’s eyes darting from opponent to opponent to opponent and we wonder who is going to draw first and on who. The music playing in the background of that movie was playing in my own head as I was told this little tale.

In the local re-enactment of this fateful, three-way gunfight, the part of Clint Eastwood was played by an RCMP member, a dumbbell played the part made famous by Lee Van Cleef and the part played by Eli Wallach was effortlessly portrayed by a Glad sandwich bag full of marijuana. The member walked into a room to speak to a young man regarding a missing person investigation he was conducting. While he was asking the young dope about the whereabouts of the missing person, the member spotted the bag of cannabis sitting on the counter top. The dumbbell noticed the bag at about the same instant. The dumbbell looked at the Constable, the Constable glared at the baggy, the baggy looked to the dumbbell, the Constable stared at the dumbbell, the dumbbell looked nervously at the baggy and so it continued until the dumbbell slowly sidestepped towards the baggy while his eyes were locked with the Constables and he made his move and drew first. That is to say he took off his ball cap and placed it over the bag of wacky-tobacky and started to move back to his original position. The Constable returned fire with, “you really are as stupid as you look. Aren’t you?” and the baggy was seized as evidence, never to fulfil it’s true destiny. Music fades, roll credits.

Now. If you made it this far with me, you may be interested to know that the next Rural Crime Watch meeting will be held at the Ponoka Fire Hall on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. I’m telling you this because, your host, Cst. Burton is cheap and thinks that the cost of taking out an ad in this fine newspaper is going to be deducted from his next overtime cheque. Since I have to work with him most of the time and rely heavily upon his goodwill, I’m doing as he asks. For those rural residents interested in crime watch, please attend this meeting.

If you have information about any unsolved crime or ongoing criminal enterprise, call the Ponoka RCMP at 783-4472. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or now leave tips anonymously on-line at www.tipsubmit.com . If this is the kind of environment that you would like to work in, we are hiring. Check us out at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RCMP-GRC for information about the application process.