Friday, February 17, 2006

An Article, Followed by a Short Movie | HPD may add cameras to ranks (with audio): "HPD may add video cameras to its ranks
Officer shortage leads city to look at surveillance of streets, malls — even some homes

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Facing a shortage of police officers, Police Chief Harold Hurtt called Wednesday for a new type of patrol: surveillance cameras on downtown streets, apartment complexes and shopping malls — and in extreme situations, private homes.

'If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?' Hurtt told reporters."

Scene: A Houston Courtroom

Prosecuting Attorney: Judge, this man mooned a surveillance camera. I suggest you throw the book at him.

Judge (looking around): I can't seem to find a book. Baliff!

Baliff: I'm sorry, Judge. I removed the bible. The Jews wouldn't swear on anything except the Old Testament, the Catholics wanted the Apocrypha to be included, the Muslims demanded a Koran, the -- well, anyway, I said the hell with it and tossed the book.

Judge (suspciously): Do you mean the Christian hell?

Baliff (hastily): Oh, no, sir! I just meant some vague cartoon hell, you know, like the one in The Far Side.

Judge (nostalgically): Damn, I miss Gary Larsen.

Baliff: Did you just use a shortened form of a profanity? Sir.

Judge: It was just a vulgar colloquilisim. What were we talking about, anyway?

Prosecuting Attorney: You were going to throw the book at the defendant.

Judge: I don't have a book. (Looks around, picks up gavel.) I do have this neat wooden hammer. I could throw that.

Defendant cowers.

Prosecuting Attorney: That would be swell, Thor. I mean, Sir.

Defense Attorney (piping up): But my client didn't intend to moom the camera! He was in his bathroom.

Judge (confused): The moon was in his bathroom?

Defense Attorney: No, sir. My client was. He was weighing himself and removed his shorts so they wouldn't give a false reading.

Prosecuting Attorney: That's a lie! Throw the hammer at him, Judge.

Judge: How about I just give him five life sentences?

Prosecuting Attorney: Fine. If they're stacked.

Defense Attorney: No deal. They have to run consecutively.

Prosecuting Attorney: Deal.

Judge: Fine. Done and done. Next case!

Baliff drags defendant away. Defendant kicks and screams as we fade out and fade in on the office of The Police Chief, who is sitting at his desk reading a newspaper. We see the headline: "Mooner in the Can for Life!"

The Mayor appears behind the Chief and puts a hand on his shoulder.

Mayor: Another foul miscreant off the streets. Good work, chief. How does it feel to be the instrument of justice?

Chief: God, it feels good.

Mayor: By "God," did you mean the Christian diety, the Muslim diety, or some pagan diety?

Chief: I was just referring to some vague cartoon god, you know, like the one in The Far Side.

Mayor: Damn, I miss Gary Larsen.

Fade out.

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