The Down East Guide to Being a Better Criminal
I hate to say something unpleasant like this about my native state, but Maine has the stupidest criminals in the world. And the news about their ineptness is spreading.
In New York, felons from Maine are now unable to purchase a state license to commit crimes. Without that permit, they’re often forced to turn to even more reviled forms of employment, such as running for the Legislature or governor.
In Moscow (the one in Russia, not the one in Somerset County), folks with impeccable credentials as outlaws in Maine are denied membership in the Association of Evildoers, which is the union for criminals. Without the sanction of that group, they can’t even get arrested.
At the Canadian border, people with long histories of illegal activity are allowed to pass unmolested into our northern neighbor. “What are they going to do in our country, eh? Try to steal the hat off a mountie?” said an immigration official who asked not to be identified because he’s fictitious. “Probably they will, eh.”
Embarrassing. But what can you expect when Maine regularly turns out clunkheads like the guy who walked into a Portland bank several years ago and handed the teller a note that read, “This is a stickup. I don’t have a gun, but I know where I can get one.”
Nevertheless, my dismay at the low quality of Maine lawbreakers reached new depths this past week, when I learned about the case of William Tardif of Livermore.
Tardif, who happens to be a convicted drug dealer, was doing his usual Saturday chores on August 7, which included stopping by the Farmington Police Department to pick up some paperwork. There he was spotted by a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officer, who knew Tardif was on supervised release. That meant he could be searched at any time without a warrant. The agent also knew that Tardif had on previous occasions concealed cocaine in his shoes.
Now, you might think that a wily drug dealer who was aware the cops had discovered coke in his footwear in the past would be wary of trying that same lame (it’s not easy walking on bags of powdered dope) trick again. But if that’s the way you think, Bunky, you’re not dumb enough to be a Maine criminal.
Because when the MDEA agent ordered Tardif to remove his shoes, he discovered fourteen grams of cocaine neatly packaged as if it was an Odor Eater.
Not only was this not a swift move in terms of avoiding unpleasant interactions with law enforcement personnel, it was also poor marketing. Who wants to buy dope that you’re going to put up your nose after it’s been stored in somebody’s sweaty shoe?
Of course, Tardif will not have to worry about the impact his predictable storage methods have on sales, since he’s currently in state custody and facing charges of aggravated trafficking in drugs. But there’s certainly a lesson here for other Maine criminals:
If you plan to visit a police station or other location where there are likely to be law enforcement officials present (courthouse, government office building, doughnut shop), take a few sensible precautions:
Don’t hide anything in your shoes, except maybe bus fare home. If you’re in Farmington, don’t even bother with that, because there aren’t any busses.
Other items you probably shouldn’t conceal on your person include guns, especially rifles which are notoriously difficult to conceal and any attempt to do so will cause you to walk funny; a handwritten note that begin with the words, “This is a holdup;” a note from William Tardif that reads, “I’ll be by with your dope order right after I run an errand at the police station;” and forged membership papers from the Moscow branch of the Association of Evildoers.
One additional tip for felons intent on avoiding undue attention: Do not under any circumstances register your criminal enterprise with the Secretary of State’s Office under a name such as Gangsta-Zilla or Goon-Zilla or any other Zilla-related title, particularly if you also have a logo that includes a depiction of a giant, prehistoric, radioactive reptile.
There are several reasons for this. First, it would be just asking for trouble to register an illegal operation with the secretary of state. Second, very few felonious endeavors require a logo, the exceptions being Wall Street investment banks, pyramid schemes, companies that claim they’ll reduce credit-card debt and former governors of Illinois.
That’s what happened to a barbeque business in Damariscotta called Grill Zilla, which has a logo that shows a big lizard in an apron holding a fork with a sausage on it. As fans of Japanese monster movies all know, that elicits the climatic scene in the movie “Godzilla Versus the Alien Hot Dogs,” so it’s no wonder the producers of that cinematic masterpiece, Toho Co. Ltd. of Japan, are threatening to take Grill Zilla to court for trademark infringement. The little restaurant is trying to fight back on the grounds that such a lawsuit would be too stupid to be believed (sort of like a Godzilla movie), but Toho has already successfully sued everyone from Honda Motors (Godzilla replica on a Rose Parade float), to the New York Yankees (Godzilla souvenirs honoring former outfielder Hideki Matsui) to Subway (for offering a sandwich containing radioactive slices of real Godzilla meat).
Speaking of Subway, the company’s official spokesperson is coming to Maine next week. That’s right, Sub-Zilla will be in Bangor, where he’s scheduled to devour Hollywood Slots.
Oops, sorry. Subway’s mascot is not Sub-Zilla, because that would be illegal. As everyone knows, Subway’s real mascot is Jared Fogle, who’s famous because he used to be fat. Then, he started eating at Subway and got skinny. I’ve never quite understood why somebody losing weight after eating your food would make your menu appealing, but perhaps I’m missing something.
In any case, Jared will be in Bangor and will be displaying his famous fat pants, which are big enough to fit Godzilla.
If you fail to attend this event, it won’t just be stupid.
It’ll be criminal.
Al Diamon does not put drugs where his foot belongs, although he sometimes puts his foot in his pie hole. He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org