Police Beat Roundtable #7

The seventh installment of our ongoing look at that most charming column of the Daily Universe. Previous installments can be read here , here, here, here and here, and here.

Special guest this week: a random John.

A witness reported four males throwing water balloons at vehicles from the pedestrian overpass on North Campus Drive, Nov. 13 at 3 a.m. Police responded and approached the individuals. They fled and were arrested. The suspects were charged with interfering with officers, throwing missiles and public intoxication. Three of the four suspects were BYU students. The individuals were released after receiving citations and will be referred to the Honor Code Office.

GST: … for caning.

Steve: The last time I saw someone throwing a missile, it was Superman III.

ArJ: At least they didn’t try to hide in a closet.

Cynthia: “interfering with officers”–why didn’t we get to hear the good part of the story?

ArJ: How hard can it be to catch some guys on a pedestrian overpass? You put an officer on each end and walk toward the middle.

Steve: the ol’ pickle technique, eh?

Cynthia: Steve I can’t believe you just publicly admitted to remembering anything about Superman III
GST: Parable of the pickle.

ArJ: Superman III is great.

Steve: sigh… the plight of a Robert Vaughn fan.

ArJ: “I never wear the same socks twice.”

GST: I like how they rounded off the fractions of a cent and diverted it to a bank account.

Steve: heh.

April 5 between 1:10 and 1:15 a.m., a 22-year-old male student at Deseret Towers received a call from a college-age male calling from the lobby phone in his hall. The caller spoke about saluting the flag and then gave the name of a gay club where he said he could “pick up some guys.”

ArJ: Is saluting the flag code for something?

Steve: this is where a little knowledge of innuendo would have helped D.U. editors. ArJ, see the entry under “pitching a tent.”

ArJ: ok, will do.

Cynthia: wow, isn’t using sexual code like that against the Honor Code?

ArJ: I’m sure that many readers were frustrated that the name of the club wasn’t shared.

GST: The club is called Mens’ Choir. Also acceptable would have been the Music, Dance, Theater department.

ArJ: So for those of you that went to BYU, is it normal to call the cops each time you get a prank call?

Cynthia: yes.

GST: ArJ, are you a BYU man?

ArJ: are you propositioning me?

Steve: LOL

Cynthia: lolz

GST: That’s not code.

ArJ: I attended a two week summer program for computer nerds at BYU.

Cynthia: ha!

ArJ: I hope you don’t hold it against me

Steve: let’s not speak any more of this.

ArJ: I was young!

GST: Knock it off.

March 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., a male suspect acted suspiciously toward a female student seated next to him at a fireside in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center. He was described as a white male in a wheelchair, approximately 30 years old with dark brown hair, facial hair and pale skin.

GST: He suspiciously couldn’t walk.

Cynthia: a pale-skinned SM. awesome.

Steve: Stephen Hawking is such a perv.

ArJ: um, did he show his beard card to get in?

Steve: he had the beard card in the spokes of his wheel.

ArJ: How many BYU students in wheelchairs have beard cards? oh man, the card in the spokes would sound cool. thp thp thp thp

Steve: “hey baby” thp thp thp “are you a Cougarette?” thp thp thp

Cynthia: “acted suspiciously” so like the ol’ yawn-n-reach move?

GST: Or he stopped short in his chair.

ArJ: maybe he was doing wheelies — that would be suspicious in a fireside.

Monday at 12:23 a.m., the doorknob of the Honor Code Office in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower was found coated with refried beans.

ArJ: were they lard-free?

Cynthia: hm.

GST: That is taking the fight directly to The Man.

Steve: Police immediately placed all campus Hispanics in an internment camp for the duration of their undergrad experience.

ArJ: Fight the power!

GST: In this case, The Man being a group of your peers who mostly mean well.

Steve: ok, scratch hispanics. let’s say, “all lovers of burritos.”

GST: That’s somehow more offensive.

ArJ: somebody probably tripped after a stop at Taco Bell. They were probably looking for paper towels when the police were called, and then decided to just walk away when they saw the police taking fingerprints.

Steve: I’ll edit this one so that I come off less racist. Apparently this is a bad time to be racist at BCC.

GST: That’ll blow over.

Cynthia: First rule of Honor Code office is you don’t talk about Honor Code office.

March 15, a male student received four calls from a possibly female caller. She asked if he “would like to sleep with her,” then requested that he bring her flowers if he came. When he replied that he was going to call the police, the caller requested that he ask the police to bring flowers also.

ArJ: the ladies love the flowers

GST: Again, Sheri Dew DOESN’T QUIT [edit this one out.]

Steve: the “ladies” love the flowers indeed. dude that one is staying in!

GST: No, it comes out.

Steve: that’s your best line so far!

GST: Such is life

Steve: Fine, I’ll say it — Sheri Dew doesn’t quit!

GST: Ok, leave it in, but include my parenthetical and the entire colloquy about it coming out.

Cynthia: yes “possibly” female? is that because it would be implausible for a female to be so hard-pressed to find a willing participant?

ArJ: why didn’t I get calls like this in college?

Steve: Apparently a floral fixation is a sign of being a fake female?

Cynthia: no. Incidentally: v. nice alliteration there Steve.

ArJ: so if the police bring flowers what will she do for them?

This next set is a tryptch in honor of International Cinema:
On Jan. 19 between 7 and 7:15 p.m., a male non-student demonstrated lewd conduct toward a 19-year-old female student seated next to him at the International Cinema.

On Jan. 20 between 5:55 and 6:20 p.m., a male non-student demonstrated lewd conduct toward a 22-year-old female student seated next to him at the International Cinema.

On Jan. 23 at 8:55 p.m. a 35-year-old male non-student was arrested for forceful sexual abuse after he inappropriately touched a female police officer seated next to him at the International Cinema.

ArJ: What was showing? Was Paul Reubens in town?

GST: And Don Marshall said for all those years that showing those horny French movies about cousins making out wouldn’t negatively affect us. He lied, and people were groped.

Steve: I hope that it was the same male non-student each time. With each offense, drawing closer to the flame like a hapless moth…. finally the Campus Police Vice Squad sets the ultimate trap, and the prey is caught. Also, the movie showing was “Lolita.”

GST: By the way, if you’re groping a random woman next to you in a movie theater and you feel a gun, stop.

Steve: “is that a gun?” “no.”

ArJ: Do they have decoy female students? Why don’t we get the age of the officer? Everybody else’s age is listed.

Steve: Upon arrest the Female Officer declared, “salute the flag, [profanity].”

GST: I think it’s a sting operation. Police Beat might have made it clear. But no. They’re the worst teases.

Cynthia: ok next. creepy dude is too creepy for me.

On July 5, a grounds worker was mowing the lawn near the track with a large, 1,500-pound riding lawn mower. The driver ran over an unexploded firework from the Stadium of Fire that was lodged in the grass. Upon contact with the lawn mower, the firework exploded, sending the lawn mower and driver one and a half feet into the air. The driver was not injured.

ArJ: I smell a lawsuit.

Steve: you smell sulfur.

GST: That is six flavors of awesome.

Cynthia: who measured the 1.5 feet? If they’d wanted to be really scientific about it, they’d have used metric.

GST: Napoleon Dynamite. “Dude, you got about 1.5 feet of air that time.”

ArJ: at least it wasn’t a small 1,500 pound lawn mower.

Steve: Stadium of Fire, Negligence of Awesome.

Cynthia: I was there one year, and my whole family got burned by flying embers/ashes.

Steve: er, that was Vietnam, Cynthia.

ArJ: I was at Dirk’s field as a child, and they shot a firework into the stands on accident. Then we left.

Steve: helluva story arJ.

GST: His eyebrows are fake.

Cynthia: do they not have lawsuits in Utah?

GST: Unexploded ordinance from Stadium of Fire litters the campus, but where is Princess Diana to campaign against it? Silence.

A 47-year-old male visitor was seen removing stickers from recycle bins in the Administration Building Saturday. He was taken to University Police on the first floor, where he was questioned. He informed officers that the arrow sign on “Please Recycle” is the sign referred to in the Book of ArJ as the sign of the beast. He also informed the officers that this sign is a danger to society and BYU students and that he was just trying to protect the students.

GST: Future CES director.

Steve: Conveniently, the University Police have their offices in the same building as the Sign of the Beast Department.

ArJ: um… that was me…

Steve: was it the Book of Random John?

ArJ: they told me that they’d keep it a secret if I put the stickers back.

GST: This is awkward.

ArJ: THE LIARS! ok, I’m calm now.

Cynthia: wow.

Steve: okayyyyyy nutter.

GST: ArJ’s heated campaign rhetoric is compelling me to commit violence.

Steve: Off with his head!

ArJ: Let me explain — recycling is good!

Cynthia: I’m just trying to figure out how byu not only crazyifies their own students, but manages to crazyify all who cross its path.

Steve: ArJ was working for ACORN at the time.

ArJ: …but nobody is going to recycle at BYU if there are Satanic symbols on the bins. We need to keep our recyclables pure!

Cynthia: it’s not easy to find visitors more crazy than the students and staff, and yet BYU does it. good for them!

ArJ: precious, precious recyclables…

Steve: they’re always trying to sap and impurify all of our precious recyclables.

GST: That’s why I wear this recyclable foil hat.

Monday, a vandalism at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum was reported. Someone had scratched the letters “h-e-l-p-r” in a specially tinted window. The replacement will cost $316.

ArJ: The museum of dead animals?

Steve: the very same.

Cynthia: do they still have that place?

Steve: they do.

Cynthia: that place freaked me out as a kid.

ArJ: monument to the skill of BYU hunters?

GST: I think it was Santos L. Halper. ArJ, I don’t know why you’re so down on the Monte L. Bean Museum of Animals I’ve Smoked.

Steve: Replacement window: $316. Epic spelling FAIL: priceless.

ArJ: maybe it was the ghost of the black rhino they just stuffed. That is pretty good spelling for a rhino ghost, or for a hunter.

Steve: using his ectoplasmic horn to scritch into the glass?

ArJ: He teamed up with Shasta the Liger, bred for his skillz in magic.

Cynthia: heh. now if the Bean got one of those, I might consider visiting again.

Steve: I’ve seen that Liger, this past summer. It was magnificent.

ArJ: Shasta is right by the front door — actually on the left after you go in the door.

Steve: traditionally, worshippers of Shasta show their devotion by removing recycling stickers and presenting offerings of bean-coated doorknobs.

A suspicious male has been contacting a 21-year-old female student in the courtyard area of the Harris Fine Arts Center. He is often in the courtyard playing a harmonica. He is a white male with long, blond, curly hair; blue eyes and a “bigger round nose.” He is in his mid-30s and about 5’8″. The victim often has beard growth and is described as “dirty; not a typical BYU standards person.” Anyone having contact or difficulties with this person, or if anyone sees someone matching this description, please contact University Police.

ArJ: The victim has beard growth? Has she seen someone about that?

GST: She’s also dirty. A dirty, dirty girl.

Steve: The victim lives in that courtyard, with her unsightly dirty beard and poor standards.

ArJ: What does he play on the harmonica? Or is that code again?

GST: That was a teachable moment in journalism for the Police Beat staffer.

Steve: This one gets inserted under the “less effective” examples.

ArJ: Can you have difficulties with this person without contact?

Steve: I have difficulties with George Soros and his dirty harmonica. No contact is involved.

Cynthia: I think it would be a good idea for the Honor Code office to find really freakish, unappealing people to walk around campus sporting several violations of the code. Then students can feel extra self-righteous and glad about how they follow the code.

Steve: “Operation Scapegoat,” SB2? That really happened.

Cynthia: what??

ArJ: what is his nose bigger than?

Steve: I don’t know ArJ, but if you ever saw it, you would even say it glowed.

Cynthia: good point aRJ. The standards of writing in PB are really going downhill.

GST: Well, they’re actually getting better because we’re getting these examples by moving backwards in time through the archives, so a little credit is due.

Steve: Except we aren’t moving backwards in time through the archives. Thanks for the theory Doc Brown — did you just slip and hit your head on the toilet?

GST: 1.21 gigawatts!

Steve: lol. Also, apparently I just blew SB2’s mind with Operation Scapegoat.

Cynthia: yes, you did.

ArJ: that would be a fun project — do various things on campus with a hidden camera, make it a youtube series.

GST: I don’t like George Soros either, but I’m having a hard time pinning Harmonica Man on him.

Steve: it was the BYU equivalent of that social science test where they administer electroshocks. You know, and the test shows we’re all Nazis deep down. That one.

GST: Some of us, not so deep.

ArJ: like the Stanford Prison Experiment, played out each week in the pages of the Daily Universe?

Cynthia: ok experts, weigh in–against honor code, or ok: burqua. Or clown costume.

GST: The Honor Code preferred spelling is “burka,” but either way, it’s cool. Clown costume, also cool, if both giant feet are always on the floor.

Steve: how can a burqua be against the honor code? wear one of those to a Harmonica Man concert.

ArJ: as long as the burka wearer isn’t wearing a single strap bike messenger bag she/he is ok.

Cynthia: lolz!!

Steve: I am glad we were able to respond to your concerns, Cynthia.

GST: Now get back in your burka.


  1. [now wearing my burka]

  2. a random John says:

    I need to issue a personal style guide. The following are acceptable:
    a random John

  3. I’ll have the staff edit it properly for the book version.

  4. Also, gst is all lower-case. e.e. cummings, k.d. lang, gst.

  5. bell hooks, l.l. bean.

  6. the ol’ pickle technique, eh?

    Thats what she said

  7. I’m glad to know my little campus tour wasn’t wasted.

  8. recyclable foil hats are a good idea.

    Nicely done as always.

  9. Mark Brown says:

    Always worth a belly laugh or three. Thanks.

    In honor of arJ, I post here the following items from the police blotter at Stanford Jr. university from Aug. 1 through Aug 15, 2008:

    A series of bike thefts occurred during this time.

    Reported on Aug. 9, between 6 a.m. on July 30 and 2 p.m. on July 31, money was stolen from the Florence Moore kitchen “without consent.”

    Between 4:30 p.m. on July 30 and 9 a.m. on July 31, an unknown suspect broke into the golf cart garage at the Student Services Building. No items were reported missing, possibly because all the golf carts had already been stolen earlier in the summer.

    Between 5 p.m. on July 31 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 1, unknown suspects were told on after an advertising banner was removed from a perimeter fence at Escondido Elementary School without authorization.

    Between 10 a.m. on Aug. 4 and 4 a.m. on Aug. 5, a bike was stolen from the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine. Remnants of torn purple shorts were found at the scene.

    At 10:45 a.m., vomiting occurred at an unspecified location.

    In an incident that took place between 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 and 9 a.m. on Aug. 11, suspects suffering from a failure of ambition stole three new electric fans and a trash can from the lobby of the Fire House.

  10. Larry the cable guy says:

    Police responded and approached the individuals. They fled and were arrested.

    a male student received four calls from a possibly female caller

  11. Larry the cable guy says:

    Premature comment addition

    Love these gems.

    And as for the “non-student” in the IC tryptch:

    You knew what she was when you picked her up.

  12. “Monday at 12:23 a.m., the doorknob of the Honor Code Office in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower was found coated with refried beans.”

    What kind of surveillance do they have set up on the doorknob that they know the exact minute of the “crime”, but could not ID perp?

    I remember that recycling guy. Cynthia is right that BYU is a wacko magnet. I eagerly await the round table in which you discuss one of the men seeking plural wives….

  13. Excellent performance, folks.

    I should point out that at least one incident preceded the “tryptch”:

    “SEX OFFENSE A 45- to 50-year-old male demonstrated lewd conduct Tuesday [January 16, 1996] toward a 23-year-old female student seated next to him at the International Cinema. The suspect had light-colored hair and was wearing a dark, heavy corduroy jacket, tan pants and possibly glasses. If you see this person, please contact University Police immediately.”

  14. a random John says:

    Count on Justin to actually research a topic.

  15. Steve Evans says:

    Yes, Justin — tryptch has its root in the lore you cite. But as an oeuvre the three work as one!

  16. a random John says:

    Mark Brown,

    I don’t believe Stanford is in session in August. I walked around campus once a few years ago and it was a ghost town. I’d guess that the real antics start when classes do. That said, I think that is a superior police blotter in many ways. :)

  17. Mark Brown says:

    arJ, I agree. There seemed to be a sense of going along with the ridiculousness of it all. With BYU, you get the feeling they are playing it straight, which is what makes it so good.

  18. Tetraptych.

  19. Great as always, y’all.

    I hope that someday you can do this on DU’s letters to the editor.

  20. A suspicious male in a wheelchair. Bonus.

  21. Suspicious Males: they come in all shapes and sizes.

  22. I bet the “h-e-l-p-r” scratching was intended to become “h-e-l-p-m-e” but the writer was either interrupted or expired before he could finish.

    Most likely a plea for help from some highschool student trapped there after a field trip went horribly wrong.

  23. Ohh… so good.

    Laughed my butt off, folks, thanks.

  24. Adam Greenwood says:

    So I wasn’t good enough to get invited back, but at least I turned PBR in a darker, more reflective direction. Juvenile sex humor.

  25. These just keep better and better – despite the participation of Anti-Recycle John this week.

    “six flavors of awesome” – Classic!

  26. a random John,

    I believe I went to the same 2-week computer camp you did. It was basically fun, but also one of the most dysfunctional groups I’ve ever been in. I went the summer of 1986, I think.

  27. The possibly female caller was my favorite, particularly with the added “please bring flowers.”

    Cynthia: I’m surprised you didn’t come up with a formula to calculate how much force would be required to lift a 1,500 pound mower (+ maintenance man) 18 inches into the air. =) Ah, Kinetics, much more fun than Dianetics.

  28. a random John says:


    I’m all in favor of composting you, just not in a bin with arrow stickers.

    Tanya S.,

    I believe that I attended in 1991. I learned some amazing things that summer. For instance, Ty Detmer has a larger adam’s apple than I do. And you can eat lunch wearing a t-shirt and a towel if you’re on the football team, but don’t try it if you’re not.


    My favorite part of that report was the phrase immediately after the one you cite. I pointed it out in such an awkward way during the conversation that it was edited out. Perhaps it just isn’t that funny.

  29. My favorite line was on the last blotter item
    ‘The victim often has beard growth and is described as “dirty; not a typical BYU standards person.”’

    Wow! I had to wonder, who is the “victim” here, the suspicious male or a dirty bearded lady?

    Out of all of these, this got the biggest laugh from me.

  30. “Steve: it was the BYU equivalent of that social science test where they administer electroshocks. You know, and the test shows we’re all Nazis deep down. That one.

    GST: Some of us, not so deep.

    ArJ: like the Stanford Prison Experiment, played out each week in the pages of the Daily Universe?”

    Steve seems to be talking about the Milgram obedience studies, not the Stanford Prison Experiments (conducted by Zimbardo). I feel so dorky pointing it out, but my inner nerd just can’t resist typing this and pushing the ‘add my comment’ button.

  31. Hilarious, as always. Thanks for the laugh!

  32. Correct Markie! Thanks for the reference.

  33. You guys are geniuses.

    I wonder if the BYU newspaper writers will start writing the PB in a hope that they are included in the PB roundup…..

  34. Markie, allow me to refer you to the words of the peerless Mark IV, about being nerdy at BCC:

    Also, being hopelessly nerdy isn’t a drawback around here; it’s almost a requirement. If there is anything nerdy, nerdful, or nerdlike, we seek after these things.

  35. despite the participation of Anti-Recycle John this week.

    That’s anti-recycle John to you. Follow the style guide, dammit!

  36. Thanks, Cynthia, it feels so good to be sought after!

  37. FHL,

    My favorite part of that report was the phrase immediately after the one you cite. I pointed it out in such an awkward way during the conversation that it was edited out. Perhaps it just isn’t that funny.

    I’m with arJ on this one, but I self-censored my comment on that phrase. This is, after all, a family blog.

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