Monday, June 6, 2011

I guess there's not a lot of crime out in Vernal, Utah.  I imagine the police sit in their squad cars and wait for something, anything to happen, so when the Vernal police received a call that a man had entered a doctor's office with the malicious and criminal intent of paying his bill with pennies, they were more than happy to stop citing citizens for dandelions in their lawns and do some real police work.

Yes, Jason West, the hardened, violent criminal, went to the Basin Clinic in Vernal with dark thoughts in his mind.  He claims he had already paid his bill and had the bank statement to prove it.  But after going the rounds with the staff at the clinic, he'd had enough.  He would pay it again, but he wouldn't make it easy for them. He asked if the clinic would accept his payment in cash, and when they said yes, he presented them with 2500 pennies and asked for a receipt.  (The news story says he "dumped" the pennies on a desk. A comment attributed to West says he did no such thing.)

You know...the last time someone tried to pay me for services rendered, I was ready to call the police, too.  I mean, what is our society coming to when people can flagrantly walk in to local businesses and PAY THEIR BILLS?  This is an OUTRAGE!  There should be a LAW!  What are our civil servants doing to protect us from monstrous criminals like Jason West?  What's next? People sending checks in the mail?  Callers harassing companies with requests to pay over the phone?

*tears up*  *fans face*

The police, having no murderers or car thieves or abusive doctor's offices (wait...) to arrest, issued a citation for disorderly conduct to West, which could cost him another $140.  West plans to fight the citation up to and including a jury trial. I, for one, am willing to send a penny or two his way for his legal defense.

There's no word on whether or not the doctor's office ever decided to accept the cash payment from Mr. West or what became of his mountain of pennies.  No word, also, on how the dogged police officers spent the rest of their day.  My two oldest girls are currently embroiled in a dispute over a game of cards and one has vowed to call the police on the other.  I think I know exactly which police department to call.

(Thanks to Heidi S. of Portland, OR, for the tip on today's Outrageous News story.)