Thursday, October 18, 2007

$300 well spent

according to an associated press story, a pennsylvania woman was issued a disorderly conduct citation on thursday for shouting profanities at her overflowing toilet within earshot of a neighbor. ms. dawn herb of scranton could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.

"It doesn't make any sense. I was in my house. It's not like I was outside or drunk," Herb told The Times-Tribune of Scranton. "The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling (for my daughter) to get the mop."

Herb doesn't recall exactly what she said, but she admitted letting more than a few choice words fly near an open bathroom window Thursday night.

Her next-door neighbor, a city police officer who was off-duty at the time, asked her to keep it down, police said. When she continued, the officer called police.

this item paints the sort of sweet old-timey picture that awakens nostalgia for my ruby drive childhood. every springtime, when the neighbors would raise the windows, i'd learn all manner of creative cuss words. my neighbor, mr. ray, was a veritable pavarotti of profanity -- renowned for the power and beauty of his tone, especially into the upper register. ralphie put it much better, of course:

He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. ... In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.

so too with ms. herb, i'll bet. don't worry -- the keen legal minds at volokh quickly rushed to her defense and she should get off scot-free. in this age of youtube and cellphone recordings, however, i'm sorely disappointed that nobody taped and posted said outburst online. now i'll just have to imagine ms. herb as a character in my own flickering black-and-white sitcom -- an enraged pg-rated alice kramden, ethel mertz, or weezie jefferson, brandishing a plunger and exchanging blustering oaths with mr. ray.

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