Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

My mother surprised me tonight and we ran out for some quick dinner. She told me we were just running out for some sushi. Little did I know we were headed for the hippest sushi spot in Johnson County, KS. RA Sushi that I always thought was pronounced, “raw” is the most happening place this side of the Mississippi. If not reminded by the street outside draped in strip mall suburbia, one would think they were standing in LA. The place is dripping in blood red and black, the wait staff is hip and the music is rocking. It is beautiful people and raw fish. There I was, standing in the middle of it, no make up, hair barely combed and sporting the latest in Costco outerwear. I fit right in. I do what any extremely confident gal would do, I order a Cosmo straight away.

Extremely beautiful waitress weighing all of 105 at 5’11” brings me my Cosmo. My sip of relief begins. That’s where I put my daughter’s Capri Sun, I thought. Did Kansas finally pass prohibition again? I know there was some extreme legislation I was raging against just the other day. Religious freedom, anti-abortion, I don’t remember anti-booze, but if there was a drink to represent this movement I was drinking it. Damn it, I let my guard down for a minute and the social conservatives slip an anti-booze policy past me.

“Everything o.k.?” super cool waitress asks.

“Um, no. My Cosmo kind of tastes like fruit punch.”

“Sorry. Let me take care of that for you.” She promptly returns with what she believes is a stronger version. I agree just because I am tired. It is slightly better and I do believe that Kansas has not passed an anti-booze policy. Not yet anyway.

On to the “crime spree” in the suburbs. Today I come home in southern Johnson county to find a nice flyer stuck in my door. Thinking it was the usually roofing advertisement, I grabbed it ready to toss it (um..I mean recycle it). Suddenly, the black text caught my eye, CRIME REPORTED IN THE AREA it read. As I unrolled the paper I expected to see a line by line list of all of the crimes some underground crime group, gang or foreign mafia had been committing on our small suburban neighborhood.

There it was “BURGLARY” listed on one line. The address of the crime listed. It gave a website where I could find the details of the crime. I quickly ran to my laptop to see the details of this terrible crime. Sure enough, there it was on the web: Crime BURGLARY. That was all it said. I could hear the large cities around the nation all erupt in laughter.

See there is nothing funny about crime. There is nothing funny about the crime of burglary, but there is something extremely funny about the fact that I received a flyer in my front door from the police alerting me of this crime. Really police? A flyer in my door? It says I should report anything suspicious. Got the message police. I will report anything suspicious in my over protected neighborhood where you are patrolling and pulling over any suspicious car or van that looks like it doesn’t belong and any person that does not look they belong here anyway.

I think the other amusing observation about the neighborhoods out here are there are so many gates that do not work and so many guard stations built that are not manned. My mother lived in one of these neighborhoods. There were gates and an unmanned guard station. I inquired about this once and she told me that there was no intention of manning the guard station. So what is the point? Just the suggestion that the neighborhood association MAY arm the station with an over 65 guard should scare off the potential criminal. I think these things are symbols to the outside world that at any time these neighbors could ban together and decide to enact these symbols into real life crime protection to keep the potential criminals out. Never mind that the criminals could go the side entrance of the subdivision and drive in that way, because the fake gates and guard station are not positioned there, but the criminal does not have the convenience of coming through the front entrance of the subdivision so there!

Now that leads us to the alarms on each and every house in the land of beige out here in Johnson County, KS. The residence in Johnson County are lucky enough to have the funds to afford home alarm systems. I think they are great and I am guilty of setting off more than one in my lifetime. The ear piercing, heart stopping screech of these suckers is enough to make a criminal crumble into a fetal position until the police come in for the arrest. This is the audio same as a taser. With all of this home security, if one criminal gets by all of this home protection to complete a home burglary in these neighborhoods in broad daylight, there is a small part of me that simply says, “well done”.

When I was living in DC, it would have been lovely if the police would have put a nice flyer on my door every time there was a crime in the area. How wonderful to come home and find a nice note telling me of every burglary, mugging, stabbing or car theft of the week. I wish I could have been warned to look out for something suspicious when the apartment building across the street was swarmed by a swat team and men were dragged out one work day morning. Turns out these men were accused of forging travel documents for the 9/11 terrorists. I think after witnessing that I should have received some sort of police gift basket instead of a nice flyer.

My point is crime happens. Everyone should be vigilant all the time. Police, stop wasting your time and paper on lovely fliers. Instead keep doing what you are doing. I believe you are doing the best you can. I’ll do what I can to help you out by locking my doors, keeping my garage door down and setting the house alarm. No need to alert me of a once in a while crime in the neighborhood. I promise not to panic and realize that I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where these things happen just once in a while.

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