Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sheriff's Log

I am currently South of 49. Tomorrow my mom and I fly to Chicago, where we will be spending American Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. I am sure we will have a great time once we get there, but I harbor no such hopes for the journey itself. We are flying on Southwest Airlines, which means we get to fly on a route resembling a pretzel before we get to our final destination. Not to mention they don't serve food. The thought of no food makes me nervous. Possibly more nervous than the thought of the flight itself.

Yesterday held its own form of travel terror which involved driving my mom to get her hair permed. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me, it was. My mom insists on going to the "tried and true" hairdresser she has had for years. So we headed south out of Spokane, whose population of just over 200,000 apparently doesn't include a single worthy beautician, to the booming metropolis of Plummer, Idaho, population not quite 1000. If I was the sort of person who made such comments, this is where I would say something along the lines of size doesn't matter. But I am not.

Somehow, through a combination of bad luck and the fact it is almost winter, my mom managed to make this appointment on one of the worst days weather-wise of the year. It looked fine at the start of the hour long journey, but quickly disintegrated as we neared the Washington/Idaho border. By the time we got to Plummer it was a good old-fashioned blizzard, exactly the kind you see when you shake a snow globe. I think at that point mom was starting to feel a bit apprehensive because she turned to me and said in an uncharacteristically meek voice, "Maybe I should just get a haircut and skip the perm." I was aghast. I hadn't just risked my life for a measly haircut. Besides, as I looked and saw nothing but white I was holding onto the faint hope that it might let up by the time my mom was properly coifed.

Which brings me to the Sheriff's Log. (I have mentioned this on my blog once before, but still haven't figured out how to do a link using Blogsy, so can't direct you to the exact post.) The newspaper that covers Benewah County, a small county in northern Idaho that includes the town of Plummer, prints a record of the calls that have come into the Sheriff's office during the week. Here is a sampling from this past week's edition.

Wednesday November 2

2:03 A.M. A Tensed man reported that he and his wife just got into a verbal disagreement. He woke her up to tell her he needed some help around the house and that is when the argument started.

5:55 P.M. A St. Maries man reported that his neighbor is outside shooting. He said it is too late to be shooting.

Friday November 4

6:06 P.M. A Tensed woman wanted to talk to an officer about the 140 text messages she has on her phone.

9:38 P.M. A man reported he cut his hand with a knife while cutting vegetables.

Saturday November 5

12:28 A.M. A Plummer resident reported the bar was too noisy.

I have always wondered who would make such stupid calls to the Sheriff's office. It was during my mom's perm that I found the answer. It takes a long time to get a perm. This was a piece of information I didn't previously possess. I don't have the kind of hair that needs a perm. A tranquilizer maybe, but definitely not a perm. And during this lengthy, rather smelly ordeal a lot of conversation takes place, a conversation that was competing with the radio in the background playing songs from artists like Tom Jones and Dean Martin.

As the perm progressed Deb, the hairdresser, told us the story of the house that had burned down just behind the portable trailer that houses her beauty shop. The elderly lady who occupied the house is a "town character." I am sure you know the sort of person I am referring to. Every community seems to have at least one. Well, this lady managed to blow herself and her house up because she ignored the warning to not smoke while using her oxygen machine. The police managed to drag the lady out of her house, saving her life in the process. Her response was to complain because they had scraped her knees when they pulled her along the gravel. Deb went on to tell us that this same lady had phoned in a report against her because she had left a light on all night in the bathroom of the portable trailer. There was the answer. Now I knew who made such idiotic calls. The frightening thought is there are others like her.

The perm and the snowstorm ended at the same time. This didn't mean our harrowing adventure was over though. The snowplow had gone down the road but had neglected to put a single grain of sand or gravel behind it. A Zamboni out on the ice between periods couldn't have done a better job of creating the perfect skating rink. Hopefully tomorrow's journey around the U.S. in pursuit of Chicago does not offer the same level of excitement. And if anyone knows of a good hairdresser in Spokane, please leave the name and phone number in the comment box.


  1. Tom Jones and Dean it's a very cool place. I'm sorry about the weather, but glad you were able to help your mom hang onto her connection to Plummer. Besides, a connection to a hairdresser/barber is hard to break. My hair got a little long when my barber retired with no notice. She'd been cutting my hair for years and it wasn't easy to decide which of the hundreds of available altenatives to pursue.

    I enjoy your Sheriff's Log posts. They're a pleasant reminder that everyplace is not like DC.

    I hope you have a great time in Chicago--with no more dirving excitement.

  2. @Ric - I have never been to DC, but my guess is it is definitely not like Plummer. Or any other small town! I am now in Chicago, and there did end up being one more small bit of driving excitement, but I will save that for a future blog post. Happy Thanksgiving!