Police attended many calls this week. One call we didn’t bother attending came in, one morning, at 5:20 a.m. The complainant had called 911 to report that he liked to sleep with his windows open and that he was being kept awake by the noise from his neighbours. “What kind of noise?” the operator wanted to know. “They are talking to each other on their deck”, he said. He hastened to add that he wouldn’t bother police with this at all but he had asked them to stop talking to each other or to go into their house and close their doors if they insisted on talking to each other at this hour of the morning. They refused to comply and so he then took the reasonable next step of contacting the proper authorities. He was helpfully offered the solution of closing his own window and in the alternative warned not to call police if the neighbours continue talking to each other in their own yard and (preemptively) not to call either, if the birds begin to sing too loudly…the crickets chirp too enthusiastically… or the leaves rustle too noisily.
I read one of the other member’s reports this week and it made me think, “Boy! I’ve come pretty far from the fresh faced city boy I was when I first arrived at this rural posting”. When I first arrived here in cowboy country, I would have suffered from fits of laughter if someone complained to me that there was “a strange donkey wearing a halter in my driveway”. There was one of those this week … but the more mature, country wise version of me only briefly imagined something like Quickdraw McGraw wearing a tube top while standing near my parked car.
This week a man was arrested and charged with destroying a garden gnome. He was brought before a judge and held in custody a couple of days until he was able to come up with one thousand dollars for his bail. If that seems a tad harsh for a case of “lawn ornament mischief”, you need to take in account the gnome was crushed after the accused cut the corner short from 54th avenue onto 54th street by way of the sidewalk and three front yards. He then raced his vehicle back onto the road where he nearly collided with several parked vehicles (and one moving vehicle – of the fully marked, law enforcement variety). The bylaw officer in that marked unit ended the drunken driver’s reign of terror upon garden statuary by conducting a traffic stop and inviting RCMP members in the area to assist.
As a result of the above, a local man has been charged with impaired and dangerous driving, as well as driving while suspended. It was 9 p.m. on a warm summer night when he did this and the lawns that he ran over are typically teeming with children. We are all fortunate that his only victim was a ceramic garden dwarf. He has three previous convictions for impaired driving and this is his third impaired driving charge this year (the three, most recent, are currently before the courts). A conviction under these circumstances should end this man’s ability to drive more effectively than his previous release conditions, license suspensions and the risk of bail revocation did. In a federal prison, there is nothing to drive, nowhere to go and a very long time to do neither of those things. In any event, my grandfather used to warn me about cutting corners. He said that it always comes back to kick you in the pants. Though this was not the type of corner cutting that my grandfather meant, the end result will essentially be the same.
Grandpa was thinking more along the lines of this guy: He was hired to tidy and mow the lawn in one backyard. That backyard was typical of backyards where a dog lives, in that, here and there, was the odd example of the common dog turd. To his credit he didn’t simply mow over these little dry logs. To his discredit, he lobbed them over onto the neighbour’s yard; which included such unfortunate landing spots at the business end of the trampoline and the kids wading pool (remember that pool scene in Caddy Shack?). A five year old in the bombarded yard witnessed the strange downfall as it arrived and gave an excellent description of the clothing being worn by the perpetrator of the poopy precipitation. He, on the other hand, would prefer that Mom believes that the unwelcome lawn ornaments arrived, during those few moments that she went back into her house, by way of some meteorological phenomena (ie/ raining frogs) or that the youngster had scaled the fence of another yard, gathered up the nasty nuggets, snuck back over the fence and then strategically placed them on her own playthings as a way to have a few chuckles at the expense of her momma. This is probably a much better example of one of those things that grandpa’s decree would have prescribed a kick in the pants for. If you have information about any unsolved crime or ongoing criminal enterprise, call the Ponoka RCMP at 403-783-4472. 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.