1054 This Little Light of Mine
It’s around noon and the doorbell rings. Two guys in cheap checked polyester sport coats. Out of date ties made short because they don’t fully fit over their beer bellies.
Not the Romney campaign or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I gather.
“Mr. Richards?” asks Sport Belly #1.
Sport Belly #2 glowers. Gotta be cops.
Number 1 flashes a badge a little too quickly and asks if they can come in and talk.
Sure, have a seat. Number 1 sits. Number 2 stands there and glowers some more.
Get you guys something to drink? Number one says “no thank you.” Number 2 continues practicing his bad cop look. I tell him he can’t be the official bad cop if he doesn’t add a dead eye look to the glower. He replies by adding a dead eye look.
So, I’m wondering what this is all about and I ask #1 “what is this all about?”
Finally, #2 speaks. “We have you on video.”
Number 1: “Yes, I’m afraid while you were quizzing the clerk at Lowe’s yesterday, you were on camera.”
Yes, I was asking him where I could get a 100 watt incandescent light bulb.
Number 2: “Yeah, right, bud. You know they’re illegal. And here you are soliciting for an illegal substance. The Lowe’s guy already has confessed. You’re in big trouble, bud. He’s going to testify against you.”
Number 1: “Would you mind if we took a look around for your stash?”
I don’t have a stash.
Number 2: “Forget the sweet talk. We have a warrant. Let’s tear this place apart. We’re gonna add possession with intent to distribute to that soliciting charge. You’re gonna do time, bud.”
Number 1 pulls out the warrant and passes it over. The local court has authorized the Energy Police to search the premises.
“We don’t really want to disturb the whole house,” says #1. “If you have a stash, you can show it to us and we’ll just confiscate it and book it into evidence.”
I lead them to the basement, to a storage box that is labeled “lightbulbs.”
Number 2 digs in. “60s. 40s. 25s, a few corkscrew bulbs.” And then “AHAH! I got ‘em!”
He pulls three 100 watt bulbs from the box. “Just as I thought,” he says, “a stash.”
I ask him to consider that I bought those since long before they were criminalized. He is unmoved. He scowls. Looks at me with a dead eye.
Number 1: “It’s only three bulbs. Maybe he DID buy them before the law changed.”
Number 2: “Yeah, right. You got receipts?”
For a few lightbulbs that have been sitting here for years?
Number 1: “I’m not sure how many constitute a stash. I seem to remember it was 160. Too few here for ‘intent to distribute.’”
Number 2: “Maybe yes, maybe no. Let’s just take his computer.”
Why the computer?
Number 2: “There are overseas sources for 100 watters, d*ckhead. Just like there used to be for cigarettes.”
About a week later, I was allowed to retrieve the computer. No charges have been filed.
Now I’m going to log into “Cheapbulbsinternational.ru.co. Get me some of those overseas 100 watters.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2012
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