First, some disclaimers:
- I am not a criminal nor do I aspire to become a criminal.
- Committing a crime is, by definition, wrong and should be avoided.
- I do not encourage, advocate or support anyone’s pursuit of a life of crime.
Last week there was a news story about 3 men who were arrested somewhere in North Carolina on various drug charges, including producing methamphetamines. This, in and of itself, is a frequent occurrence and rather unremarkable, but the devil is in the details.
It seems that late one night, one of the men, “Sonny,” called police from his cell phone because he was lost in the woods. Police located him using the signal from his cell phone. Sonny told police that he and 2 friends were out in the woods investigating paranormal activity. The friends made their way back to their apartment, but somehow Sonny had gotten lost.
The police were suspicious of Sonny’s explanation and upon further investigation they quickly learned that the 3 men had been in the woods producing meth, not ghost hunting. (Kudos to Sonny and his buddies for having the good sense not to be cooking up meth in their apartment.)
I’m hardly an expert on crime and criminals, but I think we can draw a few conclusions from this cautionary tale. If you wish to be a criminal, then:
- Try not to be too stupid.
- If you will be committing crimes in the woods in the dead of night, it helps if you are a former Boy Scout or Girl Scout who has earned merit badges for wilderness survival and compass skills.
- If you will be committing crimes with others, choose people who will not leave you behind to fend for yourself. If you need help during the commission of your crime, try calling your crime buddies instead of the police.
- Sometimes things don’t go as planned. When coming up with alibis and/or excuses, plausible explanations are generally best. For example, “Officer, I went into the woods to relieve myself because there were no restrooms available,” is a more plausible explanation for your whereabouts than “Yo, dude, Bigfoot chased me into the woods.” (Politeness counts.)
- If you believe that investigating paranormal activity is a plausible explanation for anything, consider the possibility that your judgment may be impaired by the meth you are producing.
Always remember that crime is a very stressful occupation with a high risk of negative consequences, including incarceration (few people look their best in orange jumpsuits), poor health, lack of stable income, limited opportunities for advancement, negative personal relationships, injury and death.
Finally, consider alternatives to crime — go back to school and learn a marketable skill; make unique craft items and sell them on Etsy; become a real paranormal investigator and get your own reality TV show; become a park ranger so you can enjoy the woods in a more positive manner – really, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and the degree to which the meth has eaten away your brain.