As most of you know, I used to live in Vermont. I was only there for two years, but it will forever be Home to me. Feeling “homesick,” I recently re-subscribed to the Rutland Herald, which used to be my local newspaper. Down here I’m saddled with the paltry Florida Today, which regularly runs news that’s days old and apparently has never employed a proofreader.
If I weren’t so disorganized, I could probably find my favorite photo of all time, which ran in the Rutland Herald one spring. It shows a moose wandering around the parking lot of my favorite grocery store, Price Chopper, early one morning.
That picture was my answer to the wonderful opening credits from Northern Exposure.
It’s odd to read news from Rutland County while stuck here in heatwav-y Florida. I’m filled with nostalgia for Vermont, and scandalized by how much some things have changed (such as a series of police sweeps to crack down on a burgeoning gun- and drug-running problem). But occasionally, I’m also doubled over in laughter over some little tidbit.
Today, for example, I read of a drunk woman who goes into the Rutland Price Chopper, shops, and leaves with $126.12 worth of groceries without paying. The store calls the cops, and an officer arrives and demands that she show him a receipt. She can’t produce a receipt, so she cusses at the cop and drives off.
Cop runs her tags and learns that she’s had numerous DUIs, and has a suspended license. He calls her cell phone. She answers, and as soon as he identifies himself, she hangs up on him.
A few minutes later, the cop gets a call about a woman driving through several red lights up the hill from the Price Chopper. He goes to investigate, and sees our Price Chopper Bandit driving erratically. He tries to pull her over, but she eludes him. She flees—right back to the Price Chopper parking lot.
When he catches up with her, he notices a box of wine sitting on the back seat, and identifies it as one of the stolen items. He starts to arrest her. She gets out of the car and tries to run away. He catches her, and tries to administer a field sobriety test. She refuses, cusses some more, and starts spitting at him. He shows her his Taser; she threatens to sue him if he uses it. Then she starts spitting at him again.
So the cop does the only rational thing he could do.
He throws a blanket over her head.
The scene ends with the cop driving off with the woman in the back seat of his cruiser screaming and kicking at the doors and windows. No word on what happened to the blanket. Or the box of wine.