It took God seven days to build the universe—and that’s including the nap at the end.
But that was all. Just a week, and he built the heavens, the Earth, the Sahara, and Bixby, Okla., which I hear is lovely this time of year.
Then he zonked out for a day. Actually, maybe it was a she. It was probably a she. I’m going to start referring to her as a she. Or would it be She? Send in some letters and let me know.
Try to be snappy with your response, though. If you manage to apply saliva to postage stamp glue before Tuesday, you’ll be doing better than our local boys in blue. Or black. Or whatever the hell color their Dodge Chargers are these days.
It took the San Luis Obispo Police Department five days to arrest firefighter John Ryan Mason. That was enough time for Jory Brigham to have his skull rearranged in a bar bathroom—then again by a team of surgeons who patched up his fractured cranium with steel and wires like a twisted science experiment from Tim Burton’s nightmares.
There are lots of theories why it took five days to arrest the suspect, the guy who allegedly beat Brigham senseless.
• All of their moms were in town and they had to clean their apartments.
• There was a marathon of Mama’s Family on cable.
• They overslept.
• They forgot.
• Their moms came by with a DVD of Mama’s Family.
My theory, which may be the wildest of all, is that some pesky newspaper printed a story about a firefighter being the main suspect in a brutal bar beating and no one was talking about it. Not the city, not the police, not the fire department. Their yappers were shut so tight you’d have to borrow the police’s jaws of life to part their lips. I was originally going to make a donut joke, but that would have just been a low blow. So I won’t make that joke. You know, the one about cops and donuts.
How about something about their jaws being wired shut? Yeah, with apologies to Jory, that’s more fitting.
Seriously though? Five days to make an arrest after a bar fight?
Brigham got smacked around in a bathroom, was sent to the hospital, and there were witnesses to tell police what happened! It doesn’t take a Hardy Boys-level of intuition and detective work to put this one together, at least to make an initial arrest. Maybe the SLO police are Boxcar Children fans.
But get this: They just happened to make the arrest the day the story broke. Hmm, sounds like you had everything wrapped up just in time. Or maybe you could’ve made the arrest that night. I’ve watched Cops. I know you can haul anyone off to jail when you think they’ve been naughty. This took five days of investigating. Quick, someone call Scooby and the gang! We’ve got an unsolvable caper on our hands!
Making the arrest the day the story broke indicates to me the police got caught with their pants down and they were embarrassed.
My guess is the arrest was proportional to the news coverage. Let me explain.
If we broke the story today, it probably would have taken 12 days to make the arrest. If we were to break the story next week, it would have taken 19 days to make the arrest. If we were to break the story the week after … I have no idea, because I don’t have enough fingers and toes to do that kind of math, and my past-present-future tenses are so jumbled together it’s making my editor’s brain melt.
Really, though, stand-up job, fellas. You’ve managed to show us that when one of your own is involved—and I’m talking about city public safety—it’s OK to fart around for a while so long as no one’s publicly hounding you to do your job.
Now the District Attorney’s Office is jumping into this bumbling legal clown car. Rather than hand over a redacted copy of the police report like they usually do, the office of DA Shea gave us a media release that was actually shorter than the press release from when Mason was arrested.
It was a polite way of telling us that this case is special and to shut up about it. Message received. I’ll get working on my response. But it may take me a while—say, I don’t know, five days?
Maybe all the DAs have their tighty-whiteys in a bunch these days. After a year and a half, Ed Arnold finally pleaded no contest to possessing child pornography and burglary. This case has been inching through the courts so long I had time to construct and deconstruct a ball of rubber bands, flick one of the rubber bands at a pedestrian, go to court, serve my sentence, and make a sandwich when I got home.
Now you’re telling me Arnold gets to change his plea and throw in the towel after 18 months? It reminds me of the annoying little kid who always used to get pissed off during kickball, take his ball, and run home with tears running down his face.
Meanwhile, how much money was sunk into this investigation? I’m guessing a lot.
Also, because I don’t know how to end this column, the Wallace Group—remember, the one that’s got all the issues in South County—has acted as the district administrator and district engineer in Avila Beach since the mid ’90s. Just saying.
Maybe someone should look into that. Get back to me, you know, if you feel like it. Unless you’re the SLOPD, in which case I won’t hold my breath.
Then there was Shredder, and it was good. Send your list of things to do in five days to firstname.lastname@example.org.