Columns » Ranger Rich

Our new crime fad



This is the week of Christmas, that most sacred and holy time for billions around the world. And because Christ taught us to love and respect each other, today we will discuss all the magnificent things that so enrich our beautiful lives.

Just kidding.

We're going to discuss throwing shoes as hard as we can at the heads of our dopey elected officials. And I'm not talking about doing this in some faraway, scary, dusty, barren, foreign land such as Iraq or Pakistan or whatever the hell is out there east of Powers Boulevard. I'm talking right here in our own little village.

I say we throw shoes.

I say we throw them at our Mensa Club/City Council every time it talks about that hundred-billion-trillion-dollar goddamn pipe it wants to build from the Arkansas River so we can have enough water to support 50 billion more cheap cookie-cutter homes, and the Sarah Palin Fan Club members who will live in them out on the treeless prairie that is, technically, part of our town.

I say we shout, "Filthy dogs!" and throw shoes at our county supervisors during their meetings when they say, well, when they say anything.

I say we throw shoes at Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink. I say we throw those shoes the same way Balink runs his office: under-handed.

Let's also throw shoes at ex-Memorial Hospital monkey Dick Eitel. Although hitting Eitel in the head won't be easy, considering that for the past 10 years it has been entirely surrounded by his ass.

We should also throw shoes and knock that goofy cowboy hat off the head of our own U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-HeeHaw), who was introduced as the likely next Interior secretary and wandered to the microphone looking like the runner-up in a Gene Autry look-alike contest.

And let's fire a few shoes at the beer-filled head of District Attorney John Newsome. We could call it throwing a loafer at a loafer.

The whole thing began a few weeks ago, of course, when Iraqi journalist and now-international hero Muntadhar al-Zaidi violently launched both of his shoes at the head of our president, George W. Bush. This caused Americans to rise as one and proclaim proudly, in a single powerful voice, "Shit. He missed."

(The narrow escape came because our highly respected president, who recently finished third in a home version of Jeopardy! behind wife Laura and their toaster, was somehow bright enough to duck.)

But what about the legal ramifications of actually leaping to our sock-covered feet during a public meeting and throwing a shoe at one of our own public officials? Well, I asked legal folks, including Dan May, who soon will replace Newsome. May, a terrific guy with a sense of humor, played along with the questioning.

"I'm not sure what the penalty might be, if any, for throwing a shoe," May said. "It could be attempted third-degree assault, which involves knowingly trying to cause physical injury to another person. Pain is itself a type of physical injury. So if you throw a shoe at someone and you know it will cause pain, you could be charged."

May added: "I watched the video of President Bush ducking the shoe a few times. Someone said it was the first time Bush had ever moved to the left."

I told the soon-to-be DA that I'd handle the jokes and angrily hung up on him.

Local attorney Josh McDowell, an ex-deputy DA here, said this: "The odd thing is, we have a state law against throwing missiles, like a rock, at cars or at any moving vehicle. But there's no law about throwing things at people. If you threw a shoe at someone it would be, at worst, a petty offense. And if it wasn't the president, it wouldn't have been a big deal. If someone threw a shoe at a local Council-type meeting, does anyone really care? Would the DA's office file charges? Probably not."

Which leaves us with one real question: What kind of shoe is best for throwing? Loafer? Pump? Wingtip? High heel?

I have considered every type and, with new state Sen. Keith "Colored Kids" King in mind, I have made my choice of shoe:


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