Today is the first day in the last week that I awoke breathing clearly. Since last Wednesday Iíve been plagued with some kind of evolving infection that has circumnavigated my entire immune system. Sore throats, coughing, congestion, stomach aches, fatigue and head pains ... according to the pamphlet in our kitchen area at work, I fit the symptoms of swine flu, but so has every other illness Iíve had in the last couple of years. (By trying to cover all their bases on those things, they completely fail in offering any useful information.)
The best part about not being sick, besides being able to breathe, is the returning clarity of thought. Trying to get through the days in a sickly state of reduced mental capacity can be straining and at certain illness low points, I felt I had gone completely mad.
So with my health now on the mend today, I can now return to Earth in a state of being I can recognize. Out of the last several dreary mornings itís the first time Iíve woken up feeling rested and Iím not taking my good health for granted, or my restored mind for that matter.
I took some time this morning to sort through the last couple weeks worth of stories and now Iím starting to wonder if maybe the world was as crazy as I remembered it being.
Sometime around Jan. 23, I was sitting in court when a man appeared in a position to cut a deal with local prosecutors over an affair he had with an underage teen.
Kind of an interesting case to sit in on because the love affair also involved the sexual participation of other parties, including the defendantís girlfriend. Itís always fun to watch pious judges and image-conscious attorneys bat around such socially taboo language in court, like those people who always refer to our private parts in their proper clinical terms and in lowered voices. It reminds me of a tone similar to parents giving the sex talk to a adolescent teen, but with a defendant disturbingly versed in the subject.
The defense attorney and the assistant district attorney debated the idea of offering to the court some controversial information on the teen victim in the case. The defendant said it showed she wasnít much of a victim at all, the judge said it showed a lack of accepting responsibility for the crime.
Wanting to think about his options, the defense attorney asked for a brief recess and as his client exited the courtroom, he apparently needed to vent some and did so by declaring to those standing around the courtroom that heíd ďtake care ofĒ the victim himself. About 45 minutes later, he was throwing a temper tantrum because the judge decided to toss him back into jail after hearing about the threat.
Another incident that left me with the feeling of crazy took place Jan. 28. Writing about it in the newspaper had me looking my notes two of three times over and thinking, ďIs this really what they said?Ē
Man pulls up along a van in white jeep. He gets out of jeep and sets up a lawn chair before draping a sports jersey over it for all to see. He then retrieves a bat from the jeep and beats out all the vanís windows, like heís pretending to be Babe Ruth, taking practice and exaggerated swings. He then puts the bat on the lawn chair like worship to an idol and begins moving junk from his jeep into the van. After moving boxes of items into the van, he sets it on fire. He climbs back into his jeep and drives home.
Later the man would be arrested and the target of his strange behavior is still a little bit of a mystery. The vehicleís owner was not the target of the crime, but rather the van reminded the defendant of someone elseís van. This is also the same guy who attacked a random man in Oxford about a year ago, slashed someoneís tires before that and was busted with a stash of narcotics prior to that.
There were other things too, like the corrections officer who crashed into a string of parked cars on Plymouth Street this past Sunday while allegedly drunk. Ironically, some of those vehicles he destroyed actually belonged to some off duty law enforcement officers. So much for pulling the professional courtesy card.
Then there was this much ado about nothing involving the Norwich Eaton Center exploding. At the time it was happening though, there was more than enough crazy to go around.
There was an interesting burglary in New Berlin Jan. 24. Someone broke into the New Berlin Quickway and stole $12,000 in cigarettes, $4,500 in tobacco products and a few hundred dollars worth of energy drinks. Altogether, the culprit made off with about $18,000 worth of bad habits.
On Friday, just after the peak of my affliction caused me to call in sick Thursday, the Norwich Police had an early morning DWI arrest. Just put yourself in the shoes of the other driver, the productive member of society whoís actually going to work for a living. As you pass a stop sign this beat up, crud-covered white sedan packed with multiple people runs the sign and hits you.
A man then gets out of his car and seems to wander aimlessly in the middle of the roadway while one of his drunken passengers begins to harass you about where you should be going. Itís not even 8 a.m. yet.
Then suddenly the police pull up and the man youíre talking to, along with one other passenger, bolts for the hills while the driver starts to give the cop some attitude. A moment later, he elbows the officer in the ribcage and attempts to flee. The cop then tackles him from behind and puts him in the squad car.
Standing there, late for work, you watch the tow truck load up your damaged SUV and you try to find an alternative ride. While trying to think of what exactly to tell your boss, across the street police search the vehicle with a drug K-9 unit. The man is charged with DWI and has a blood alcohol level three times the .08 intoxication limit. Itís not even 8:30 a.m.
Seems Iím not the only one feeling the crazy lately. Iím just glad mine was temporary.