Eric D. Snider

Police Beat -- Beaten

Snide Remarks #21

"Police Beat -- Beaten"

by Eric D. Snider

Published in The Daily Universe on December 8, 1997

(Editor's Note: The following article is a PARODY. None of the events described actually happened, at least not in the manner described. So put the phone down and relax.)

CRIMINAL NAUGHTINESS
A 21-year-old male student phoned University Police on Wednesday and said numerous men had exposed themselves to him. The student was in the men's locker room shower when the incident occurred.

Two 19-year-old female students were arrested Monday for stopping, between classes, in the middle of the sidewalk between the JKHB and the library construction pit. Pedestrian traffic was tied up for several minutes as the two women, who reportedly are roommates anyway, stood there and yammered about how some guy in their ward was going to ask one of them out, or something. The suspects were charged with Criminal Dawdling. Police are urging students to keep it movin'.

MISCHIEVOUS PRANKERY
An 18-year-old female student was caught leaving the magazine area of the bookstore with a magazine in her hand. She claimed she was merely going to a register to purchase the magazine; however, police doubted her story, since the bookstore has never actually sold a magazine in its entire history. Instead, students sit on the floor and read them, like it's some kind of library.

A 23-year-old female student living in Wymount Terrace reported Tuesday evening that there was a man in her apartment. The man was her husband. The incident is under investigation. Police are urging students not to get married.

PRANKISH MISCHIEFERY
Eight one-dollar bills were stolen from the cash register in the Porter Rockwell Museum and Shootin' Gallery gift shop sometime Monday morning. The dollar bills are valued at approximately $1 apiece.

Two 23-year-old female students were taken to the McDonald McHealth Center this week after calling University Police on three separate occasions claiming to have seen the Three Nephites, John the Revelator, and Hugh Nibley. Doctors determined that the students were fresh off their missions and not quite grounded in reality again yet. The doctors wrote them a prescription to watch "Tommy Boy" and sent them home.

SUSPICIOUS SUSPICIOUSNESS
Police discovered a 29-year-old male sitting in a parked car in the Martin Harris Lost & Found parking lot. It was determined that he was the same individual who had been seen parking there previously. The incident is under investigation.

A 22-year-old female student reported Sunday that she thought was being stalked. The same male suspect had come to her house frequently, always uninvited, since the beginning of the semester, and had always tried to engage her in conversation, despite her firm declarations that she did not wish to speak with him. Police investigation revealed that the suspect was the victim's home teacher. He was arrested and charged with Zealous Duty-Doing.

Two 18-year-old male students were jogging at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday when they reportedly saw a man walking. The man appeared to be about 60 years old, and he allegedly had a dog, on a leash, with him. The man did not approach the students. The incident is under investigation.

VEHICULAR WACKINESS
An 87-year-old student was driving her Cadillac Aircraft Carrier on East Campus Drive near the J. Golden Kimball Center for Religious Swearing Wednesday morning when she struck a bicyclist. The car suffered scratches and dents to the left front fender area, totalling approximately $900 in damages. The bicycle was severely damaged, with both rims being bent beyond repair, the crossbar broken in half, and the handlebars ripped off. Total damage is estimated at $400. The bicyclist, a 19-year-old male student, was found several blocks away, on the roof of LeMar's. He was referred to the Honor Code Council.

On Tuesday, several students were caught walking slowly and nonchalantly into a crosswalk, despite seeing quite clearly that cars were coming from both directions and would have to brake to avoid hitting them. The students were taken into the woods and shot.

BAD CRIMINAL EVIL STUFF
A 19-year-old female student was studying at the library Thursday evening when a male suspect hurried past her and stole her backpack. She phoned police, but they were unable to locate the suspect. The victim describes him as "tall, with dark wavy hair, gorgeous blue eyes, strong, masculine jaw, the chiseled physique of a swimmer or Greek god, and a butt you could die for," and then she has to lie down for a while. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the suspect, the victim is requesting his phone number.

A female suspect approached a 21-year-old male student, whom she did not know, and kissed him full on the lips before running away. The victim refused to call police or press charges.

LEWDNESS CONDUCTED LEWDLY BY LEWD PEOPLE
An 18-year-old female student reported seeing a man wearing almost no clothing Monday night on campus. She described him as "exceptionally tall." Police arrived and determined that the suspect was actually the Indian statue west of the library. The Indian statue was arrested, but the student could not be found to press charges. Police found her several minutes later, asking the man, woman and child holding hands outside of the SFLC why they weren't wearing jackets.

A 22-year-old male student reported Thursday that as he walked past the full-length mirror in his bedroom after taking a shower, he exposed himself to himself. He is pressing charges.

An 18-year-old male student was caught viewing pornography on the Internet on a library computer Friday. He was referred to the Honor Code Council. Later the same day, he was caught viewing the same pornographic material, only this time in a Calvin Klein advertisement in a Rolling Stone magazine in the BYU Bookstore. No action was taken.

CONTENTIOUS DOMESTIC DISPUTATIONS
Three male students, ages 21-23, called University Police Tuesday night to report that their roommate, a 21-year-old male student, was destroying their couch with a hatchet. Police arrived at the scene and questioned the couch-destroyer. He reportedly said that he was "sick and tired" of coming home every night to find at least one of his roommates making out with the "girl du jour" on the couch, and was therefore trying to get rid of the couch once and for all. Police found the roommates an alternate place to make out until the couch could be replaced.

THEFT, SHMEFT
A 21-year-old male student reported Saturday that his bicycle had been stolen from a bike rack outside of the Stephen E. Robinson & Gerald N. Lund Building for People That Everyone Thinks Are General Authorities Because They Write a Lot of Books. The student told police that the bike, which was a brand-new $2,000 Schwinn Kanab, had not been locked up. Police informed him that it served him right. No further investigation is being made.

Stumble It!

Notes:

I wanted to end the semester with a bang, and I think this did it. Just as with my "Letter to the Editor" column, I wanted to do a once-and-for-all parody of "Police Beat," a weekly Daily Universe column listing all the major crimes committed on campus that week. This column was just about as popular as the "Letter to the Editor" one, which is my other favorite.

I will forever giggle at the thought of a guy exposing himself to himself and then pressing charges. It makes me as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Many people were especially fond of the part about the two girls stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to chat. I guess I'm not the only one annoyed by that.

The day after this ran, I got a phone call from Elder Richard G. Scott's secretary, calling to make her own complaints, and not in behalf of the apostle. (See the comments after the Halloween column to see what else she didn't like.) In this column, she didn't like the part about the sister missionaries who kept seeing the Three Nephites. "I don't think we should make light of the Three Nephites," she said. I pointed out that I wasn't making light of them, but of people who claim to see them all the time. She was not moved.

After it was too late for this column, I thought of another funny name for a campus building: The Paul H. Dunn Center for Creative Writing. Man, that would have been GREAT. And of course the joke was on me when Gerald N. Lund actually DID become a general authority a few years after this column was published.

I note several years after the fact that while this column has what I think are some really great jokes, it also has several segments that are completely flat. Maybe they were funnier then, at the time, when I was immersed in BYU culture? Who knows.

10th anniversary update: I was browsing through my journals from this era and stumbled across an interesting bit of trivia regarding this column. The way it was originally written, it had a couple jokes that bore an unfortunate coincidental resemblance to a real-life rape that had occurred just off-campus the week before. (I was writing my columns a couple weeks in advance in those days.) Once I realized the similarity, I had to do some rewriting and scrap a couple jokes.

I had forgotten all about that. To the best of my recollection, it had to do have very with the part where two guys were jogging and saw a man walking his dog. I think originally it was a girl jogging, and only one of them. The real-life incident had happened when a woman was jogging and a man approached her, asked her for the time, then assaulted her. To avoid any uncomfortable similarities, I turned the one girl into two guys. I think. But I wrote in my journal that I had to omit a couple jokes altogether, and I have no idea now what those would have been.

I also chronicled the aftermath of this column in my journal, and how it was the beginning of my troubles with BYU administration -- specifically, with Pres. Merrill J. Bateman.

The day the column ran, John Gholdston -- the Daily Universe's staff adviser and my No. 1 advocate -- got a call from Bateman. Seems Bateman didn’t like the line where the 20 guys exposed themselves to another guy in the locker room shower. “That’s just not funny” is what Bateman said, but I don’t think unfunny writing was his major beef. ("That's just not funny" would later appear as a quote on the back of my first "Snide Remarks" book.)

Gholdston said Bateman’s main thing since he'd arrived at BYU had been that The Universe look professional. No silliness, no sophomoric stuff, nothing you wouldn’t find in a professional paper. Some people in the department didn't care much for the column either, or at least that's the impression I had when I was writing in my journal.

Fearing the column might get axed, I put a page on my website the next day asking people to e-mail me their support if they wanted “Snide Remarks” to continue. (I noted that I'd been getting more than 50 hits a day on my site, which I was very proud of! Ah, the early days of the Internet....) I very quickly got a few dozen responses, including one that had 26 “signatures” on it, from the chemical engineering seniors. I sent everything to Gholdston, and he sent it to the department higher-ups.

This item has 16 comments

  1. Carl from Provo says:

    I looked for the flat items, and couldn't find them -- perhaps because I'm still immersed in BYU culture. Great column!

  2. Lowdogg says:

    I was sad when the DU said that they were going to stop the Police Beat because people were clearly doing things for the purpose of ending up in Police Beat. It's true. We spent the better part of one Freshman semester working on it. Funny stuff, probably the one or two things in the DU that people always read.

    Still very funny to me.

  3. Aaron says:

    I remember the decision to quit the Police Beat as well, but I guess they've since started it up again, or it's an internet-only feature (I graduated and moved out of state in '03 so I can't check a print copy to be sure). In any case, this one from July is one of the greatest ever. http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/64793/1121

  4. Richie says:

    Wow, that police beat Aaron linked really is one of the best!

  5. Marc says:

    Are we sure that Police Beat isn't a parody? Because if it isn't . . . wow. That's all I can say.

  6. Heidi says:

    I sure miss police beat...sigh. Atleast I still have Snide Remarks. Keep up the great work, it's good piles of fun!

  7. Moffio says:

    I had the privilege of writing the Police Beat for spring semester one year. Highlights included an EFY kid groping a girl at a dance and a couple of BYU students stealing gnomes outside a business somewhere in Salt Lake. Good times, good times.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I had two roommates who made it into Police Beat. One who was involved in a bike accident and one whose science experiment went very, very wrong.

  9. barry says:

    I wanted to post a link to one of the funniest police beats I've ever seen. I remember reading it and loving the criminal mischief so much that I cut it out and posted on our fridge for my roommates to enjoy:

    http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/57641

  10. Brian says:

    Thank you, barry, for that link. Obscenities such as "poo-poo" and "poo." Oh wow. Oh wow. My eyes are still watering!

    Ah! How I miss some of these wonderful little quirks of attending BYU!

  11. John Doe says:

    This was one of my favorite columns ever written by Eric. It's a shame people in charge of BYU seem to lack a sense of humor. My life would be a little bit worse off had Snider Remarks been killed off early.

  12. Leslie says:

    After reading this column, I decided to check out the latest Police Beat column. Here is a snippet:

    April 1: BYU police responded to a call reporting a tampering with the BYU sign on University and Canyon Rd. Students had placed paper letters over the sign "Enter to learn, go forth to serve" to make it read "Enter to date and to mate."

    http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/68279

    (And you'd think Eric had made this up.)

  13. Ticia says:

    I, too, was inspired to read the Police Beat after re-reading this article.

    Here is my favorite one so far:

    May 31
    A student called and reported suspicious behavior at 11 p.m.. A car had been running around the law school parking lot for 30 minutes, police said. When the officer arrived the male explained he was teaching his girlfriend how to drive.

  14. bucketofsquid says:

    When I read the Police Beat that had the "poo-poo" item I laughed a whole pile of times!

  15. Julia says:

    I remember when this column ran, even as a lowly freshman stuck in Helaman Halls. Police Beat was the best. In my years at BYU I made it into the Letters to the Editor and onto the front page. If only I'd made it into Police Beat or Snide Remarks, my BYU career would have been full.

    The morons that stopped the flow of traffic in front of the library "detours" should have been taken to the woods and shot.

  16. BYU Women's Services says:

    WOW I love the Police Beat--favorite category "Suspicious Activity." ooooh.

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