Cold, Bold Attacks


July 19, 1992|By DAVE BARRY

I was not particularly alarmed when I received word of the assault with the frozen kangaroo tails. Perhaps you read about this. Here is the Associated Press report, which was sent to me by many alert readers:

"ALICE SPRINGS, Australia -- Aborigines attacked three policemen with frozen kangaroo tails bought at a local store. . . . A police spokesman said the kangaroo tails won't be introduced as evidence because they were eaten by the aborigines after the alleged attack."

As I say, this report did not alarm me. "Sounds like a routine assault with frozen kangaroo tails that were later eaten by the alleged assailants, or, in standard police-radio code, a 10-398," I recall saying to myself.

Then readers sent me this AP report:

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A man who hit his wife with frozen squirrels was jailed on suspicion of spousal abuse, police said Monday."

The report states that the couple was having an argument, and the man "walked into the kitchen and took several frozen squirrels from the freezer," then struck his wife with them.

"It was unclear why the squirrels were in the freezer," states the report, thus proving that American journalism remains a haven for people with peach pits for brains. I mean, where else are you going to keep squirrels? Your sock drawer?

Anyway, I attached no great significance to either the squirrel or the kangaroo-tail assault, until readers started sending me another AP report, which begins:

"CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- A Cedar Rapids man was charged with assault after he allegedly hit another man with a frozen fish."

The report states that the men had been arguing, and the assailant "armed himself with a fish from his freezer and started swinging."

At this point I was starting to become mildly alarmed. I was thinking, OK, maybe we need to take some action, such as

imposing a five-day "cooling-off" period on the purchase of freezers. Then I received a report from the San Jose Mercury-News, headlined:

Man Attacked With Goldfish

The report states: "A 28-year-old San Francisco man got so mad at his roommate that he tried to stuff a live goldfish in the roommate's mouth." The roommate was treated at a medical center and released. The goldfish died.

Now I was really worried. There's an old saying in the law-enforcement profession: "When the criminals cross the fine line between assaults with frozen fish and assaults with live ones, then it is only a matter of time before they start using members of the marsupial family." And sure enough, I received a news report from the Ventura County (Calif.) Star-Free Press, headlined:

Man Arrested

For Wielding Opossum as Weapon

This report states that two Oxnard, Calif., officers on patrol encountered a man who came at them wielding a live opossum, "its teeth gnashing alarmingly." The officers apprehended the man, but during the struggle, "the opossum broke free and disappeared into the night." I doubt that they'll ever apprehend it. By now it's probably in another state, disguised as an otter, or an inexpensive hairpiece.

And then I received this chilling report from the Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Journal, headlined:

Woman Hurls

Dead Raccoon At Lawyer

The story states that a woman was arrested after a scuffle with her neighbor, who is a lawyer. The woman claims the lawyer knocked her down onto a road kill, so she threw it at him.

My reaction to this tragic and totally unnecessary incident -- I'm -- sure you feel the same way -- was shock and anger.

"Wait a minute," I said. "Are you telling me it's against the law to throw dead raccoons at lawyers?"

This is just another example of how our liberty is being eaten away by government regulation. We are no longer allowed to exercise the fundamental human right to throw dead raccoons at lawyers, and meanwhile criminals walk our streets, flaunting their opossums, openly laughing at us. And I don't have to tell you what it's like to be openly laughed at by an opossum.

So I'm fighting back. That's right: I have purchased a mail-order wolverine. I'll use it if I have to. You can take it from me when you pry my cold, dead fingers out of its mouth.

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