Thursday, August 17, 2006

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was this young detective. He had done his time on the line and had done his time in other details and was finally tagged as an investigator. Our young hero was put on the burglary detail and followed burglaries large and small trying to capture those miscreants who break into buildings and steal other folks stuff.

Then comes one criminal who was locked up, for trial, but escaped from jail. Subsequent investigation revealed that the suspect had left the area. Absonded, as it were. The criminal stayed missing for a couple of years, successfully eluding the dragnet that the young detective cast.

One day, in the summer of 1989, that young detective was at a meeting of other law enforcement types. He talked to an FBI agent who told him that the FBI office was quiet and they were looking for something to do. The FBI offered to inquire into old warrants, and get new Federal warrants for Interstate Flight to Avoid Prosecution. Our young detective sent the FBI guy all the pertinent information and in due course, a warrant issued in the federal district court for Interstate Flight.

Then, in early September 1989, our hero gets the call. His fugitive has been apprehended in the US Virgin Islands. As the story goes, the FBI has a resident office in the Virgin Islands. The guy there had looked at the wanted poster that day and after work had gone to a little bar for a drink. When he looked down the bar he spotted our fugitive and the cuffs were applied. Our fugitive was suitably appalled.

Our hero was told to get on the next thing smoking, get down to the Virgin Islands, retrieve our fugitive, and bring him back for trial.

"Hey, Chief", our hero stood in the door of the office. "I'm liable to get down there, the paperwork will be all screwed up, and I'll have to spend a week or more till they let me have him."

"Bullshit!" the Chief replied. "You will pack one clean pair of underwear. One pair of socks, one shirt. You can wear the same pants and you won't need a jacket. Get your ass down there and get back."

Our hero landed on the US Virgin Islands on the last flight before Hurricane Hugo slammed into the island during the early morning hours of September 18th. He spent a week on the island with one shirt, one pair of socks, and one set of boxers. He was considerably luckier than other folks who lived through that disaster. The paperwork was, in fact, all screwed up. Most of it had been scattered across the island and lost in the undertow. For most of that time, there was no running water, no electricity, and no air-conditioning. As vacations go, it was an unbridled disaster.

I tell you this story to remind everyone that we are in the middle of a hurricane season. Some have opined that this season is a mild one. Be careful what you pray for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, most experts think we are in the middle of the 20 year "high" part of the 60 year Hurricane cycle, which started in 1995 - meaning another 10 years or so of big winds. You poor bastards down there in Hurricane alley just entered the worst part of Hurricane season: August 20th to October 1st.

Keep your head down, okay? :)