Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Thought You Said Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies

On this - the 2010 edition of St. Patrick's Day - the youngest of Kelly/Linda's three kids (he says somewhat euphemistically since 2/3 of the tribe are parents of their own now) - my niece Katie is celebrating her 22nd birthday. I was a junior in college when Katie arrived and I recall standing in the hallway of my apartment at 943 Broadway in Boulder, having taken Kelly's phone call that Katie was indeed here and that mother and baby were both doing fine. It was nice to hear 22 years ago. I hope that Katie's 22nd trip around the Sun begins happily and proceeds uneventfully thereafter. And I hope that 22 years later, mother and baby (OK, daughter) are still both doing fine.

I watch a considerable amount of television, which likes explains my superficial, ankle-deep puddle of knowledge of all things inconsequential and ignorance of many things substantive. Ray Davies implored me to think visual. Depth was never part of the charge. There has been an explosion of advertising on TV during the past year or so from the folks whose name we dare not say aloud but who make an entire line of products designed to ensure that an entirely new twist is put on the old tag line, "Yours, Mine & Ours" and, presumably, that a smile appears where perhaps one formerly rarely ever did. All three products promise ecstasy, exhilaration and euphoria. As a general rule - when a company's name begins with "K" and ends with "Y" - prepare to be dazzled.

Perhaps it is hidden in the fine print on the products' boxes or buried inside of a subliminal message audible only when the TV spots are played backwards, but apparently if you are not careful using the magic "jellies" you can end up in one hellacious jam. As always, do not feel compelled to take my word for it. The proof is in the 'pinion - at least according to the Appellate Division of our Superior Court.

Consider the case of a fellow named Brian McGacken. According to the Appellate Division, "At about 7:30 p.m. on February 17, 2007, State Police dispatch received an anonymous 911 call reporting loud screaming coming from defendant's residence in Farmingdale, Monmouth County. Trooper Thomas Holmes and a fellow trooper responded to the call. They heard and saw nothing unusual from outside the residence. They knocked on the door and announced that they were the State Police." And from this point forward, things got very, very interesting for Mr. McGacken.

As the Appellate Division continues to tell his tale, "Within a reasonable time, defendant opened the door dressed only in a bathrobe. Otherwise, defendant's demeanor and conduct were normal, and he was completely cooperative. When told about the report of screaming, defendant invited the troopers to step inside and explained that the screaming came during loud sex with his girlfriend. The troopers asked to talk to the girlfriend. She came from upstairs wearing only a towel and confirmed defendant's explanation." In relatively short order - having allowed the State Troopers to enter his home and one of the Troopers to follow him upstairs as he responded to the Trooper's directive that he produce identification, McGacken apparently loosened the lid to Pandora's Box - or Cheech and Chong's prop kit. Invited inside, the Troopers did their job. Ultimately, they seized fifteen growing marijuana plants, 12.5 ounces of loose or bagged marijuana, and various equipment and paraphernalia for growing and distributing marijuana.

Mr. McGacken's motion at trial to suppress all of the evidence discovered in his residence - the residence into which he invited the Troopers (the Troopers who were only there because someone - presumably a neighbor less than enthralled by McGacken's Marijuana Emporium being open in his/her neighborhood - made a 911 call to report "loud screaming") - was denied. While he was out on bail awaiting the disposition on his appeal, he now awaits the landing of the other shoe. He pleaded guilty conditionally to a first-degree drug charge and agreed to a sentence of ten years, which includes a period of parole ineligibility of thirty-nine months.

Thirty-nine months in State prison all because of what was screamed out during the throes of passion. Thirty-nine months in State prison. Methinks that he is hoping that there will not be a lot of passionate screaming coming out of his bedroom between then and the peeling off of the calendar page of month thirty-nine. Or if there is, methinks he hopes Trooper Holmes and his colleagues are there to hear it.


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