My argument for Master Criminal status


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charles marshallI was in the store the other day writing a check for $2.47 when the cashier asked for my identification. I was deeply offended at this request, not because it implied I might be a criminal, but because it implied I might be a petty criminal.

I don’t think I’m just flattering myself when I say I believe I’m worthy of being mistaken for a master criminal like Dr. Doom or Magneto or even Wile E. Coyote.

I don’t even come close to matching the petty criminal profile that I’ve observed on C*O*P*S, which, as everyone knows, is well known for its complete absence of master criminals. Based on this show, I offer two reasons why I feel I’m above petty criminal suspicion.

1] I wear shirts. The suspects on C*O*P*S are rarely ever seen wearing shirts. It seems to me that if the authorities were serious about stopping crime, a good place to start would be making sure everyone wears shirts. There seems to be something about going around half-naked that makes folks want to take drugs and pass bad checks.

The general rule is: The more clothing a person is wearing, then the less crime they’re likely to commit. I reference the Eskimos as proof. I challenge anyone to find footage of an Eskimo leaning against his dog sled getting patted down by a cop. It just doesn’t happen.

In contrast, what do you observe when you look at old Tarzan films? You see a guy running around the jungle in a loincloth, pestering all the animals and getting into everybody’s business. Yep, that Tarzan was trouble all right. If someone had slapped an Armani suit on him, the jungle would have been a better place for it.

The old saying goes “clothes make the man,” but it ought to be amended to “clothes make the man law-abiding.”

2] I have no piercings or tattoos. I’m not saying that everyone who has a piercing or tattoo is a criminal. What I am saying is that just about every petty criminal I’ve ever seen is covered with them.

This is one of the very things that makes the petty criminal a petty criminal – the inability to realize that having a large, easily recognizable tattoo on his shirtless chest is going to make him easier to identify and capture.

This is simply not the behavior of a master criminal. I have it on good authority that the Green Goblin would not have tolerated this kind of cheap posturing in his organization. And you certainly wouldn’t want to be around Lex Luthor wearing your nose ring and sporting a “Lynard Skynard Lives!” tattoo.

If you do happen to see a shirtless, tattooed goon stand at your front door, you need to know:
A] He’s not there to sell you financial planning and mutual funds
B] He’s not a cult member trying to convert you
C] He may very well be your daughter’s prom date
So, I’m watching C*O*P*S a few nights ago and I realize that there is a part of me that is tempted to believe that I’m better than those folks – that because I’m sitting in my climate-controlled home in my comfy chair, I’m somehow above the behavior exhibited by the suspects shown on this television show.

And then it hits me that God loves every one of those people every bit as much as he loves me. I realize that not an episode airs that he doesn’t grieve for his kids on that program and long for their rescue. And, if I were to be honest with myself, I know that I could have been on the same path myself, if it were not for God’s saving grace.

But, hey, maybe I don’t need to be so judgmental. So maybe the next time I get carded for writing a check, I don’t need to be so uppity, thinking that I’m above petty criminal suspicion. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and get a tattoo. And the shirt? The shirt is definitely staying on.