The Paper Towel Bandit
The Strange Case of the Paper Towel Bandit
It's a garish crime scene, littered with shreds and tatters of the remains of what used to be a roll of paper towels. Loose scraps and fragments are strewn haphazardly around the floor. Apparently it's the work of the serial paper-slasher, the worst kind of criminal! Call Scotland Yard, we've got a crime to solve.
So I did the first thing they do on all good detective shows, I interviewed the witness. "Can you describe the suspect?"
"He was tall ...wore a dark coat. short dark brown hair... um, he had really bad breath... "Anything else," I ask? "Yes, he had four legs ...and a sinister-looking eye..."
"Hmmm," I interrupted, rubbing my chin. "Did you say ...four legs? I think we may have a culprit."
He's addicted …like a celebrity to rehab!
A most nefarious character!
I rounded up a person of interest. First impression was just another canine-juvenile delinquent, until I noticed his eye. It's a lazy eye; anyway that's what I call it. Some kind of a genetic fluke; the lower eyelid of his right eye droops, makes the red underside of his eye more apparent, more nefarious. That one feature changes his appearance from a mere over-sized clumsy oaf to a very believable deranged lunatic. Sort of like a canine version of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Apparently his malfeasance is related to ...paper products. He's addicted, like heroin to an addict, ...like a celebrity to rehab. He can't resist them. Paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, rolled or folded, loose papers on the desk, homework... no matter. The suspect?
Meet Cletus, who at this point is merely a subject of interest. All evidence to this point is entirely circumstantial.
I have him under surveillance as he surrepititously saunters off to the kitchen. A little while later the tell-tale sound of toenails prancing across a wooden floor give him away. He trots back suspiciously to the couch to partake of his pilfered spoils. That's his Modus Operandi when he's up to no good.
"Where you going with those," I confront the would-be perpetrator?
He freezes, a soggy roll of paper towles still in his mouth. "Me?"
"Don't give me that innocent routine."
"I'm ...uh ...going to go clean up a spill that I made," he stammers. (Of course you and I both know he really didn't say that but he probably would have, if he could.)
"Likely story," I counter! "Would you like to enter a plea of guilty or shall we continue this charade?" He reluctantly returns the pilfered roll back to the kitchen where it had mysteriously disappeared.
Later I find him passed out on the couch laying in a heap of incriminating evidence, passed out like a dieter in a pile of bon-bon wrappers. Shreds and tatters, scraps and fragments everywhere, some tatters still clinging to his mouth. All circumstantial evidence but it tells a story. It's a study in addiction.
"You're pathetic," I told him.
He lifted up those heavy eyelids, still in a lethargic stupor from his recent binge of paper products. He can't help himself, the experts tell me. Paper products dependency. Once he comes to, it's off to rehab.
"Where were you all those times I told the teacher the dog ate my homework?"
© 2011 Jim Henderson