An open discourse on pet rocks and crime sprees

I always loved “show-and-tell” when I was a kid.

Coastal Point •  Submitted

It wasn’t out of excitement over my own contributions to the exercise, as I rarely brought in anything more enticing than a potato chip that loosely resembled former President Jimmy Carter or a pet rock with one jiggly eye. No, I enjoyed kicking back and being entertained by the efforts of others.

One classmate brought in the family dog and proceeded to exhibit the dog’s ability to sit, roll over and urinate on the leg of the teacher’s desk. Another once displayed pictures of her family’s vacation to some place or another, and included one of her brother being spanked rather forcefully in the background of the shot.

It was wonderful theater to me, and it beat the heck out of adding, spelling or hearing myths about George Washington and his cherry tree.

While I was scanning through some headlines online the other day I came across a story that lifted my heart when I read that show-and-tell is still being practiced in schools today, and kind of chilled my bones to discover what a student in Bridgeport, Conn., brought in to share with the class.

According to the story, filed by Reuters, a 5-year-old boy brought in packets of heroin to show to his kindergarten classmates, leading to the arrest of the boy’s stepfather. Awful, right? It gets worse.

When the teacher saw what the student was holding, she immediately collected the packets and notified her supervisors. The supervisors, in turn, contacted authorities, who showed up at the school and determined through a field test that the substance was indeed heroin.

Meanwhile, Santos Roman, the boy’s stepfather, reportedly discovered that his precious stash was missing and showed up at the school to retrieve his drugs, at which point he was arrested on sight. He was subsequently charged with various drug offenses, including intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and risk of injury to a minor.

I guess my goofy-eyed pet rock doesn’t seem quite so lame now.

Of course, crime of all sorts runs rampant these days. A bad economy, continuing drug problems and the fact that there are just some bad people out there all contribute to that little fact, and headlines every day are loaded with criminal activity that can shock even the saltiest of us. Some more so than others.

William Todd, 24, of Kentucky, reportedly had himself quite a day recently. A story on Yahoo! the other day detailed how Todd allegedly commited 10 felonies in nine hours in Nashville.

“He was just on a terror,” said Sgt. Tony Blackburn of the Nashville Police Department. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Police said Todd arrived on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky and then broke into a local business called The Slaughterhouse, where he stole a Taser, revolver and a shotgun. Ever the tourist, Todd reportedly stole a T-shirt from the store before burning it to the ground.

After that, he allegedly moved on to a local bar, where he held four customers at gunpoint, robbed all four, used the Taser on one and pistol-whipped another. Five minutes later, police said, Todd carjacked a taxi driver and used stolen credit cards to putchase food from Walmart. Ever the busy soul, Todd then allegedly broke into a hotel law office, vandalized it and defecated on a desk. Before leaving the hotel, Todd reportedly robbed several hotel guests, gaining access by knocking on the door and pretending to be a maid. Police eventually arrested Todd while he was hiding atop Opryland, partially submerged in a water-cooling vat.

I kept reading, hoping that the arresting officer was Federal Marshal Raylan Givens of the show “Justified,” but it just never happened. Man, Raylan would have given him what-for, just like he ...

But I digress.

It’s a mad, mad world out there.