Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the Criminal Mastermind Lee Douglas

Sorry if you've heard this story 1000 times but I couldn't think of anything else to write this week/month.

Some years ago (Second semester of my Freshman year at OCU) I had a brush with the law. Yes, its true. Mild mannered law student by day, accomplice (ok more like witness) to a devious criminal by night (For the record I have never been accused or convicted of any misdemeanor or felony). A friend of mine was arrested in my presence and later convicted of possession of a firearm and discharging said fire arm within the City limits of the quiet town of Edmond Oklahoma.

Here is the back-story. It was a nice spring day and a few of my friends and I decided it would be a lovely day to go hang out at a park near campus. In this park was a pond. In this pond were ducks. (This will be important shortly.)After hanging out for a hour or so my friend Doug Daniels had the idea to pull out his Red Rider BB gun from his car and mess around. You know the kind. It comes in a box labeled ages 12 and up. (Apparently it should say, 12 and up minus freshmen in college). Now I completely understand that this was one of the dumbest things we could have possibly participated in, but what happens next was beyond what I expected.

After shooting at various signs and trees, Doug and the rest of us were a bit tired and all sat on a hill about 30 to 50 feet away from the pond. If you know anything about a Red Rider BB gun, you know that this is the very limit of the "weapon's" range. So Doug was arching shots at about a 45 degree angle in order to get the BB's to reach the pond. The general goal was to hit the ducks swimming in the pond. I will note for all you animal lovers that Doug did not hit one duck and am supremely confidant that if he had, the duck would not have noticed because the angle of the arch needed to reach the pond was such that there could not have been much velocity left. (Even if we have been at point blank range I doubt the bb gun could do any serious damage but that would just seem cruel).

After complementing Doug on a rather close shot I look to my right and saw a Police officer running toward us with his gun drawn! I told Doug he had a rather urgent need to put the bb gun down. The police officer repeated this request but in a more colorful way. The young officer yelled, "Freeze! Pecker head!" (a phrase I hope he uses often) Doug immediately tossed the rifle to the ground and put his hands up. The officer proceeded to efficiently and a bit roughly turn Doug around face down on the ground a cuff him. Now at this point we were all pretty scared beyond the belief of our innocent upbringing. But I figured we would get chewed out and the bb gun would be taken away. Worst case scenario, I thought Doug would be issued a hefty ticket. However, the officer told us we all needed to leave and we watched over our shoulders as our friend was read his rights and put in the back of the squad car.

We were stunned. We had no idea what to do. After we got back to campus Reece's phone rang (Reece was Doug's roommate) Doug told us what the bail was and gave us all the information we needed to tell his parents. None of us had enough money to bail our friend out of jail so Reece called Doug's parents and let them know what was going on. They lived in Texas and were not very pleased with the situation. They decided they would drive up the next day to post bail. So knowing our friend was going to spend the night in jail we did the only thing we could do. We went to Wall-mart and bought him a plastic butt donut. We also asked if they had any congratulatory cards for friends getting out jail. They did not. (untapped market for any of you enterprising minds)

Later that night we were sitting wide eyed in Doug and Reece's Dorm room debating whether Doug was tough enough to withstand a night in Jail. When my roommate called me and told me to quickly turn on the television and watch NBC's local news station. The lead story. Lee Douglas. The duck slayer. The smug field reporter was on location at the park. He began. "Duck season is months away but one sharp shooter couldn't wait." He preceded to tell the sorted tail with apparently made up details. "Lee Douglas a student at a local university took a pellet gun and stood in this general area" (It was not that general area.) "and shot at the ducks swimming unsuspectingly in the pond. The local community is outraged." It cut to a lady and a her son who were at the park, and clearly had just been told about the incident from the anchor man. She stated, "I don't know why anyone would want to hurt the ducks. We just come here and feed the duck krispy cream donuts" (Krispy Cream donuts?! only in Edmond Oklahoma.) I ask you dear reader who is the criminal master mind here? The man who he passively tries to shoot ducks unsuccessfully or the women who tries to fatten those ducks up with expensive donuts who clearly means to return later to make Fois Gras. (a fancy duck dish comprised of a duck who has been overly fed)
Anyway, I digress. To sum up: Worst news report ever.

Doug returned to us the next day. I will note he did not need the butt donut. The judge who was first assigned to his case was quoted as saying, "this could be the next timothy McVeigh." This is in Oklahoma mind you. Doug's lawyer shrewdly was able to change judges. The new judge laughed at the case on the bench and said time served. Ducks will never be safe again.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Harry Potter

After graduating from Oklahoma Christian University a few friends of mine decided to take up the sport of golf. We thought we had entered into a new world of the elite. Young, soon to be rich (or so we hoped) and full of care free joy. Golf represented a quest to sell out as quickly as possible. The old cliche says, Pride goes before the fall (is that in the Bible? I probably shouldn't call it a cliche if its in the Bible.)

My "fall" occurred on an auspicious day when I triumphantly returned to Oklahoma and my then 5 month old pass time, golf. That cool fall morning Elizabeth had gone shopping with her friend while Reece and I, who were perhaps a bit hung over, decided on a refreshing 9 holes to start our day (he had moved into an apartment complex that had its own golf course). The full 9 holes would not be played that day.

The 3rd hole brought no unusual occurrences at first. I drove well, down the center (ok that's a little unusual) and Reeces ball landed somewhat to the left. I was toward the end of the fairway and didn't have far too go before I hit onto the green. There was, of course, one obstacle that I had foreseen and one that I had not. The obstacle I was aware of and worried about was the water that flowed lazily between me and par. The unthought of obstacle was the cart path that lay just about a foot in front of my ball. A ball, I might add, that was quite hard. I swung my club with neanderthal strength. It connected with the Ball. Instantaneously, a flash bomb went off in my head.

Totally and utterly confused I saw Reece running toward me repeatedly yelling, "are you ok? are you ok?"

I replied, "My head hurts a little bit." (understatement is fun even when you have a concussion).

I felt the place where ball had made contact. I pulled my hand back to see that it was now covered in blood. I looked down at the ground there was splatter. The hot liquid continued to run down my face. Reece asked if I was going to pass out. I didn't think so. But I was pretty confused. I told him I didn't have health insurance (so much for the wealth). We covered my bloody head with my shirt (which incidental had Arabic writing on it from a Model Arab League competition I had once attended) We found my Ball it had cleared the Water. That's right. The ball had struck the corner of the cart path, bounced up, struck my forehead and went across the hazard only to land in the rough to the right of the green. I still have the scar on my forehead. It defiantly declares without my permission, "golf is not my sport." But on the bright side I can dress up like a giant Harry Potter for Halloween.