Life Imitates Art?

Many babooners will remember in Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree from the late 1960s. One detail that always tickled me was that The Police located them after finding one of their names on an envelope at the bottom of the pile of garbage they’ve thrown over a cliff.

Well, laugh all we want:  I found this recently in the Police Blotter from the Winona Post (our twice-weekly rag also called “The Shopper”):

  • At 6:21 p.m. deputies received a report of garbage dumped illegally on McArthur Ravine Road. Deputies located a shipping address in the trash, and made multiple attempts to reach M___ A___ of Plainview, MN, without success. M. A. was mailed a citation for illegal dumping.”

Husband and I have been reading the Police Blotter lately, mainly for comic relief from the grim and alarming news that we encounter elsewhere. Here are some gems (italics are my own reactions):

  • At 10:07 a.m. an adult male moved furniture from a vehicle and dumped it on his lawn…  (More shades of Alice’s Restaurant)
  • At 3 p.m. an adult male reported that the key to the trunk of his vehicle had been stolen from his keyring inside the vehicle, parked on the 650 block of W. Sarnia St.  (Remind me to not leave my keyring IN the car…)
  • At 8:46 a.m. officers received a report from an adult female that her car had been scratched on the hood and door while parked near County Road 12.  (Must have been a slow day.)
  • At 7:30 p.m. deputies received a report of the theft of a goat from an adult female in Altura. The woman reported that one juvenile presented the goat to another juvenile, and when the two ended a relationship, the first juvenile requested the return of the goat, but the second party would not comply. Deputies recommended that the parties involved resolve the matter civilly. (If this solution works, maybe we can do away with courts, jails, etc.)

And my personal favorite:

  • At 5:03 p.m. an adult male on the 200 block of E. Garvin Heights Road reported that 40 goats with pink spots were in a field near his home.  The reporting party believed the goats had been fired on with a paintball pistol. (I am speechless; for the entire story: )

Anything fun or interesting in your paper’s Police Blotter report?

When have you noticed that life imitates art?

24 thoughts on “Life Imitates Art?”

  1. The police blotter from the Luverne paper is pretty funny. The other week someone called to report a traffic jam in Steen. Steen is a town of about 10 people in southern Rock County. I can’t imagine how there possibly could have been a traffic jam there.

    I am in Brookings today, heading to Pipestone for a funeral. I will drive back home this afternoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Northfield police blotter used to be entertaining. GK would read excerpts once in a while. For reasons unknown to me, the nearly local paper stopped publishing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am back from vacation (we took our granddaughter to Miami as a HS graduation gift—it was fun. Miami is a crazy place! Blog post topic).

    In my hometown of LeMars, Iowa, the police blotter news contained all the information that anyone could really want. My favorite item in the 1960s was a report of UFOs by the library. As far as I know, this report wan not ever explained in further detail, which I found amazing given this was/is a community of conservative agricultural folks who tend to be supremely pragmatic.

    I like to read the blotter here in Eden Prairie, but I have accidentally allowed our subscription to expire. Usually it iincludes car break-ins at the mall parking lot. However, the house which was hit by lightening, then immediately exploded into fire was the most fascinating item to date. Of late on the community site,, the most interesting items are coming through the police announcements there—lost dogs, cell phones, and children; closed roads; alerts of of teen age drug addicts breaking into homes at night with the residents in their beds (he was caught. Phew).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember reading the crime stats when I lived in Northfield. Not sure there is anything like this in the Twin Cities. Of course it’s a lot more fun to read these funnier versions of crime than some of the more serious stuff!


  5. There has been at least one goat theft in St. Paul that I know of. The goats were recovered, thankfully.

    At the time Alice’s Restaurant was new, I didn’t really think all that much about the garbage that was the focus of the story. It was just a funny story. After the passage of decades, I’m more likely to feel empathy for the authorities that prosecute dumping. Who wants garbage dumped on their property? I once found an old couch and a a coffee table with a broken glass top dumped on the boulevard near my garage. It was not so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish I had something clever to share here, but, alas, my mind is focused on just one thing and that thing is: It is Time to Eat Some Ice Cream!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!

      I was first appointed to the Townboard to replace a gentleman who had died.
      I asked his wife how he handled rough meetings and she said some nights he’d be so upset he’d just have to have some ice cream.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. My local ND newspaper used to publish all the names and offenses for people who had been arrested but not convicted. They stopped that after threats of law suits. They publish all the court convictions, along with the police calls sans names.


  8. I spend a lot of time picking up junk from township ditches. We always look for identification. Sometimes there is. But often the name on the box is from the little old
    Couple who hired someone else to clean out their garage.
    Today I picked up two mattresses, two old grills and a car seat. And further up the road, six bags of landscaping debris. It was more stinky than the grills.

    The Rochester Post Bulletin publishes court records but they’re not very entertaining.

    At our monthly Townboard meeting the Sheriff Deputy gives us a list of department calls in the township. They can be interesting sometimes.
    40 calls in the township is slow, 80 is high.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, it’s really annoying. Large items aren’t too bad. Once in a while, it’s regular garbage and they rip the bags open and make a mess. Thats much more annoying.
      Several years ago the road maintenance guys in another township found human remains in a garbage bag… makes us kick it once or twice before opening some of them. I’ve even called a deputy and had them open things that were suspicious…

      Once it was most of bedroom set. Somebody wasn’t sleeping at home that night…
      Lots of TV’s. Lots of couches.
      Once it was really large amount of mens underwear. I mean like hundreds of pairs… not sure what that was about.
      Often it’s construction debris. Or just plain junk. I have a winter jacket I wear that came out of a ditch. I washed it 3 times. It’s a Columbia jacket! In really good shape! Kelly still refuses to acknowledge it…
      I’ve picked up large wicker chairs and light fixtures that have gone on to become theater pieces.
      There are a few popular dumping places. Just a few miles up the road from the recycling center. I think people get there, find out what it’s going to cost to recycle, and drive off and dump it in a ditch.
      Or they do it because the center is closed on Sundays.
      We joke that we’re taking our stuff to the next township’s ditches…

      Liked by 2 people

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