Ft. Pierce, FL A man who reportedly was walking around a house while sniffing women’s underwear last week is facing a burglary charge, according to an arrest affidavit obtained Monday. — Sun-Sentinel
What — THAT’S illegal now? Olfactory theft? If smelling women’s undergarments isn’t the penultimate paradigm of a victimless crime, what is? Erotic daydreams, maybe?
“You didn’t get past the headline, did you?” asks “Stains,” my pseudonymous media contact in Palm Beach County, when I call. (Some day I’ll tell you how he got his name.)
No, Stains. It’s the Sun-Sentinel. Nobody reads past the headline. In fact, nobody reads it at all, they mostly just look at the pictures and line the cat pan with it.
“Yeah yeah I know. But look — this guy was picked up in somebody else’s house. He’s homeless. Wanders in, helps himself to a few items of jewelry, gets spotted by a neighbor through a window sampling panty perfume. Cops come out, and there’s your story.”
So the burglary charge is the jewelry, not the aroma.
And the headline is to catch readers’ attention.
“Not just ordinary readers, of which there are, as you nastily point out, damn few. Just the perverts and oddballs. The Sun-Sentinel has a very focused marketing plan now that it dropped actual news coverage.”
Hmm. Seems to be working. Given this market, there are far more prospective oddball/perverted readers than newshounds.
“For sure. People in Palm Beach County who want real news read the Post — we call it the ComPost — or the New York Times. But most people don’t want real news anyway. It’s depressing, and there’s golf courses here.”
Thanks for clearing that up, Stains. What’s gonna happen to Mr. Homeless BeeVeeDeviate?
“The usual. He’ll be out on the streets in no time. Underwear sniffers are less threatening than coke snorters, even if they’re not as good for the economy. Catch you later!”
Stains rings off, and I sigh with relief, assured our civil liberties remain intact.