Sunday, July 19, 2009

Admit Nothing and Ask for a Lawyer

Gabriella Herkert, Catnapped and Doggone

Is anything “criminal” I’ve done while writing my mysteries a crime if I haven’t done time? If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? I admit nothing. Any statements I make are purely hypothetical, have not been made following issuance of a Miranda warning and are not admissible. If asked subsequently, I shall deny any and all knowledge and I’m pretty darn convincing as a bubblehead. Oh, and don’t tell my mother.

It is possible certain friends of mine, let’s call her Crispy, talk to themselves when home alone. How would I know this if she is, in fact, alone? Voice activated digital recording. Small, easily concealed in a soccer shoe bag, and, if you play on the same team as her, you can predict when the device might be spotted and take appropriate distracting action. Getting her to talk doesn’t mean she says anything blackmail worthy. That in itself ought to rate a get a life citation.

Even after September 11, 2001, the post office may deliver packages with the address made up of cut and paste letters from newspapers and magazines. Perhaps to certain family members, like your mother. If you have a sibling with a history of demonic activity, your mom may immediately suspect the package but given that she gave birth to her chief suspect she won’t call the police. If you’re truly evil you’ll ice the finger pointing by confession. Include a significant detail like the contents of the unsettling envelope. [As an aside, marshmallow peeps in the shape of Christmas elves born outside the traditional Lenten season should be a felony]. It may seem counterintuitive but once someone has dismissed your confession, you’ll never wade back into the suspect pool. Given your carefully cultivated reputation as the angel-child of your family your mother will be touched by your willingness to take the blame for her bad seed. The worst you’ll be hit with is a familial reprimand for filing a false report. Easy time. This technique is so masterful it will even work when sending a fiftieth birthday funeral wreath to the same maternal parental unit and signing your uncle’s name. Pay cash and you’re home free.

There may be more. Many more. The trick is to read the finished product and figure out how each and every criminal scheme was researched for accuracy. And then not to get caught when you try it at home.

In addition to denying any criminal liability for myself or anyone who reads this and wanders from the straight and narrow, let me be clear – I don’t post bail.



Jen Forbus said...

No bail? I think a judge might vote in my favor if I said Gabriella is the reason I committed the crime. After all, we've credited more inane ideas: video games, movies, television! :)

Very funny!! Thanks, Gabriella, for the laugh today.

Gabi said...


Anyone with hard evidence is exempted from my no bail clause. Then again, if we're sitting next to each other in the cell...


Shane Gericke said...

Hurting people without good cause--defense of self or loved one--should never be done. As for the rest of life, if you can get away with it, with no one being hurt, you should! So many laws and rules are silly and enacted strictly for political sake, and should not be taken seriously.