Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Playing Jail

Some kids on my street were playing "jail" when I came home from work the other day. Two girls were playing the cops, and another girl was playing the prisoner. Actually, the "prisoner" must have been on the lamb because she was being chased by the other girls. When she was caught they put her into an invisible jail, and then they turned to me to get my approval for clearing the streets of such hooligans.

I looked down my glasses at the two barefooted children in front of me. "Did you read the prisoner her Miranda Rights?" I asked.

The two jailers looked blankly at me. One girl piped up, "I don't think so. What are Miranda Rights?"

I rolled my eyes and said, "Girls! How can you have forgotten the most important thing when apprehending a suspect?! Have you not learned anything from late night TV?"

The other jailer kicked a rock on the ground. "She confessed to a horrible crime. She said that she picked a flower from her neighbor's garden. We were just doing our jobs as cops."

"NO!" I shouted. "You didn't give her access to an attorney, you didn't read her her Miranda Rights... hell, she'll be back out on the street in a matter of hours! Don't you know anything about the law?"

The prisoner had apparently broken out of her invisible prison cell by this point because she appeared next to the other two girls. "I didn't really pick a flower but I said I did so that I could go to jail, because I was playing the part of the prisoner." She sounded innocent, but then again, most four year-olds sound innocent regardless of what they say.

"Yeah," I said, "you prisoners are always claiming to be innocent. Just wait here so I can go get my judge's robe on and let me find my gavel. I'll also print out the steps for purchasing bail bonds. I'll be back in a few minutes."

But before I could return, the girls ran off crying to their parents.

So anyway, my neighbors are now mad at me for teaching their kids about the justice system and about due diligence. It's almost like they want their children to grow up with no sense of how to correctly book a person into jail.

And if that weren't bad enough, Betty's got me locked me up in an invisible prison. All for just trying to be a good neighbor!

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