Sunday, August 14, 2005

I hope you never experience this

I imagine this is going to come off as being a little weird, but hey, sometimes there isn't a lot of inspiration out there. I guess this is sort of funny, in a small way, but mostly because it horrifies me in a way that I can't really explain. It's really even more horrifying if you know the whole story, but that's something for another day, or maybe not at all.

When I was a senior in high school, three students (ages 19, 17, and 15) planned a robbery of a local gas station. They checked the place out about a half hour before closing. There were only two people in the store, the cashier and her friend who was there to pick her up. They all knew each other, and they reportedly even chatted during the casing. Then, they returned at closing time with a gun, and shot and killed the cashier, including one point-blank round. The gunman fired two shots at the friend too, but didn't seriously injure her. They fled when they ran out of bullets. The second girl in the store identified them all, obviously, and they were arrested that night.

Yeah, you read that right. Three kids who lived in my little town, population 12,000, planned a robbery of a gas station in that same little town, shot the teller and shot at her friend because they could identify the culprits, and fled. They reporedly got less than $100 in the robbery.

OK, as if that weren't a strange enough experience for me, I found out the next day that the driver of the getaway car was a girl with whom I had been best friends in about seventh and eighth grades. Just a shocking turn of events, obviously. But to make at least part of this long story a lot shorter, two of them pled guilty and testified against the third, and they all have minimums of somewhere between 25 and 38 years left in the pokey.

Meanwhile, I've finished high school, gone to college, graduated, moved from Cleveland to Cincinnati, started law school, and gotten married. So imagine my surprise when a letter arrived on Friday from the Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio.

It was a strange letter, almost as if there was nothing at all abnormal about her writing to me from prison. She seems to be doing well, relatively speaking, and is managing the shipping dock, getting computer training and whatnot. At least she doesn't appear to be clinging to the illusion that she'll be getting out on appeal soon, like she was at the beginning.

OK, I don't even have anywhere to go with this. No joke, no funny commentary, nothing. It was just a singularly bizarre occurrence, at least for me, and I felt like I should share.

Alright, fine, I know you're not used to serious things here, so let's try a quick joke. A bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "I want a bourbon and .... a coke." The bartender asks, "What's with the huge pause?" And the bear says, "I don't know man, I've had them all my life." Feel better now?

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