Saturday, November 13, 2010

Making Mischief

By Michael

If I were a criminal, I would carry no weapons and would hurt no one. I would steal nothing and destroy no property of any value. If confronted in my criminal wrongdoing, I would run away. The tools of my trade? A magic marker, a bottle of glue, and some scissors. I would commit acts of . . . criminal mischief. The emphasis would be on the mischief. My victims, if you could call them that, would be people who do annoying things.

For example, if I had a neighbor – even a very nice neighbor, with whom I liked to talk and who once brought a whole cake to my family when we invited him over for drinks – if this neighbor were to post, say, an obnoxious “Do Not Poop” sign in his front yard (such signs being, to my thinking, as much of a nuisance as dog poop), I might, if pressed (and if I’d drunk a couple of glasses of wine), get out my marker, glue, and scissors, and make certain alterations that (I would argue) beautified the sign. If the “Do Not Poop” sign had a picture of a dog, I might, for example, add antlers to its head and wings to its back. If the sign had a picture of poop, I might glue a picture of an Easter egg over it.

If I were a criminal, this is the kind of thing I might do. But, thank goodness, I have no such neighbor and I’m no criminal. (The picture below is a product of your imagination, not my mischief.)

And why stop at the annoying things people do? How about animals? How about (to be specific) Chinese Dwarf Hamsters that Your Children’s Teacher Sends Home With Them For You To Babysit? Not that this has ever happened to me, but if it did and if the Chinese Dwarf Hamster had a little clattering metal wheel that it liked to spin every night all night long, I might be inclined to perform some mischief. That is, if I were a criminal.

If that were the case, I might run out and buy a weather balloon – the kind that rises twenty or thirty thousand feet, carrying light-weight meteorological sensors or Chinese Dwarf Hamsters, before exploding and dropping the payload back to earth. I might rush home with the weather balloon, put the hamster in a little cage, tie the cage to the balloon, and set it loose, yelling, “Goodbye, Moses!” or “So long, Balloon Boy!” or something of that nature.

I should say that I do love China and I love Hamsters, and Dwarves are . . . fine: I don’t have strong feelings about them one way or another. But when you combine the three and put them on a little clattering metal wheel, I take issue. Or I would take issue if I were a criminal. (The pictures below are no evidence of criminality of any kind; and no animals were harmed in the taking of them.)

I could go on. And on and on. And I would, except someone is knocking at the door. I think it’s my neighbor, and he sounds pissed.


Gabi said...

I'm not sure it's technically criminal mischief to express your artistic side and beautify your neighborhood. Next time, you might add a stick man in a crouch position. Just so everyone knows the no poop request is non-discriminatory.

Michael Wiley said...

I suppose that the question might be, Whose yard are you beautifying? I like the idea of the stack man . . . but I also like the idea of any other interesting additions.