Bovine bandit not so bright

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The most common misconception in America today is that criminals are crafty, cunning and smart. In reality, I think most people turn to a life of crime because they are just too stupid to do anything else.
Cases in point:
MANNING, S.C. – A woman was trying to avoid legal problems by paying a traffic ticket. She ended up behind bars when authorities found out she drove a stolen car to the courthouse to pay it.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – A man robbing a bank demanded the money by writing a note on one of his own checks, authorities said.
EUGENE, Ore. – Police said a 34-year old man ended up getting himself arrested when he asked a uniformed police officer if he could get him some meth.
Now, in our own neck of the woods: The great cow caper.
Cow. Our elementary school has a cow. A cow statue, actually.
It’s about 3 feet high by 4 feet long and painted (quite garishly, actually) in a bold, Technicolor mosaic. This is no low-key cow.
He (I assume it’s a he because no self-respecting female would wear those colors out in public, trust me) went missing last spring.
It was somewhat of a “cold case” from the get-go because no one could be quite sure when the cow disappeared. You’d think the absence of a brightly colored cow from right beside your front door would be something that would sort of stand out.
I walked right past the bare spot, however, and never noticed a thing. I have never been known for my stellar attention to detail.
Eventually, however, the glaring lack of bovine beautification was noticed and a missing cow mystery was afoot.
Sad. The case of the cow was sad. The children missed him very much.
“Have you seen this cow?” became our plea.
Alas, he had no tags and was not known to carry identification, so if found by the roadside somewhere, how would he come home to us?
Unlike television where CSI shows up and fingerprints everything, finds a minute trace of DNA on the sidewalk and solves the crime within f45 minutes, our cow appeared lost forever.
That is, until the propensity for criminals to lapse into an innate lack of common sense came to our cow’s rescue.
The thief (cow-napper, if you will), put a photo of our missing cow on his MySpace Web page. With 90 million users, MySpace pulls more monthly visitors than Amazon and is closing in on AOL and eBay.
I know that’s where I would go to hide out, wouldn’t you? The truth is that some misguided souls mistakenly think vandalism and petty crime is just “kid’s stuff.”
It’s not.
I must have been born old or something, because I never saw the appeal in vandalism. All that painting or pounding on things? Sounded too much like work to me.
Be warned. Bashing mailboxes, spray painting bridges and stealing candy (and cows!) from babies are all “gateway drugs” to bigger and better crimes. They all speak to a pathetic lack of respect for the rights and property of others.
You start out stealing small, fiberglass cows, and the next think you know, you’re in the pokey for stealing “Bob” from out front of the “Big Boy” or something.
Seriously, who wants to be standing next to a drug dealer with THAT as his “street cred?”
Where will the madness end?
Here in our little corner of the world, it ended when our answer to Al Capone was happily putting photographic proof of his possession of a one-of-a-kind, easily identified hot Holstein on the Internet for everyone to see.
The cow was identified and he was caught red handed. That’s a real mastermind there. His parents must be so proud.
Remember kids: Not only does crime not pay, crime also makes you look like a complete moron.
Be smart.
Don’t take part in vandalism designed as “harmless pranks.”
Don’t take things that don’t belong to you. Treat others – and their belongings – as you would want yourself and your own possessions to be treated.
No, it’s not funny. Yes, it’s stealing.
Don’t put anything on the Internet you wouldn’t want your mother, your minister or your parole officer to see.
Living by that doctrine should serve you well at all points in life – long after the cows come home.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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