Police Beat Roundtable XXV

To protect or whatever

The 25th installation of our ongoing look at that most charming column of the Daily Universe. Previous installments can be read here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

This week: GST and Steve discover the dark side of Ken Jennings.

GST: aw yeah.
Steve: oh hey guys, how’s things?
Ken: this takes me back.
Steve: all right, let’s kick it old-skool.

A report of vandalism at the Howard S. McDonald Building was recorded at 6 a.m. June 30. Graffiti had been written on the wall of a bathroom stall with a permanent marker. No mention of the nature of the graffiti was given.

Steve: The words of the prophets are written on the bathroom walls.
GST: This building sounds made-up. I never heard of it, not once in the 11 years of my undergraduate studies.
Ken: Is this that McDonald’s on 700 E south of Campus?
Steve: It’s on the south side of campus, was a health clinic building. It’s where you go to get really crappy health care as a student.
Ken: Oh yeah, the Depression and Eating Disorder Building.
Steve: The graffiti read, “robble robble”. Police are stumped as to the culprit.
GST: Oh yeah. They should have said the building where they put electrodes on my junk and tried to de-gay me, A Clockwork Orange-style. That I remember!
Ken: I feel like the graffiti must have been bad for police beat to elide the content entirely.
Ken: It probably said “BUTTS” or something
Steve: Watch your filthy Jennings mouth! This ain’t twitter!
Ken: The BYU honor code just called me and rescinded my diploma when they heard that I had typed “BUTTS” in a Google message box.
Maybe it was a priceless original Banksy and they just painted right over it.
GST: Yeah, that NSA facility at the point of the mountain is there for a reason.
Ken: yeah I hear Banksy loves Provo. Zions Banksy
Steve: Exit Through the Creamery.


A suspicious individual was reported July 2 at 2: 30 a.m. near the Talmage Building. A security officer saw a man abandon a bike at the Wilkinson Student Center and then grab another and ride away. The security officer noted a complaint from two women that the man had shouted at them and ridden past. The individual was later reported making obscene gestures at other students on campus. While the security officer met with the police officer, the individual returned on the bike he took earlier. The police officer made contact with the individual, who is a white male in his 40s, 5’10” with dark brown hair, stubbly whiskers and missing teeth. He was wearing a white shirt halfway unbuttoned and no socks.

The man was unable to remember his address, but the bicycle he was riding was registered to a former student. There was no record of a criminal history with the suspect, and he had not committed a crime since the bicycle had not been reported stolen.

He was warned against being involved in illegal activities on BYU property. BYU police feel he may have been homeless and was scavenging on campus. The BYU police ask that they be contacted if this man, or any other individuals are seen acting suspiciously.

Ken: “FYI We would like to be notified if this man–or, hell, any others–start acting suspiciously.” “That is sort of our job.”
GST: And this is the last time they invited Shane McGowan to perform at a devotional.
Ken: I knew that description sounded familiar!
GST: “no socks” #@%# degenerate.
Ken: The description is pretty vague. It could be a Depression-era hobo or Patrick Bateman.
GST: No bindle–must be Bateman.
Steve: He was wearing a white shirt halfway unbuttoned and no socks. Police could discover that he had no other clothing on but this shirt, as it was open, so that they could see into his bosom.
Ken: I applaud his ambition in switching bikes in the middle of his flipping-off-freshmen crime spree.
GST: Yes. It’s the meth addict equivalent of changing cars at the airport to ditch aerial surveillance.
Steve: Please contact police if you see this person, who sounds eerily like an angel or perhaps the Savior, cursing people off on stolen bikes.
Ken: It was former BYU president Merrill J. “Patrick” Bateman. I USED TO RUN THIS PLACE, YOU #$%^@#$%ERS. THESE BIKES WERE ALL MINE!
Steve: Maybe David O. Russell is directing some episodes of Studio C?
Ken: is that a BYU TV show Steve?
Ken: don’t pretend you don’t know.
GST: Believe it or not, Steve, not all of us have downloaded the BYUTV Roku app, freak.
Ken: if we need to know individual KBYU series for this, I am out. I didn’t even know where the McDonald Center for the Same-Sex Challenged was.
GST: “same-sex attraction” was not a term in vogue when we were there. It was “asssexually inclined.”
Ken: I meant “same-gender” of course. I’m sorry I was indelicate.
Steve: “he had not committed a crime since the bicycle had not been reported stolen.” That’s some good crime sleuthing there.
GST: I don’t remember the bar exam very well, but I’m pretty sure that the bike having been reported stolen is not an element of the crime of bike theft.
Ken: It could have been a free-range bike. Victimless crime.
Steve: Wild bikes can’t be tamed.
GST: The bike could have been asking for it.
This does make it sound like BYU campus is a criminal’s paradise where you can just pick out any unlocked bike you want and ride it around. Like it’s a big D.I. or something.
Steve: I’m uncomfortable with the two of you suggesting that sometimes bikes are responsible for their own thefts because of their suggestive componentry.
Ken: I apologize for my strut-shaming. Wait do bikes even have struts?
Steve: NO they don’t!
GST: Who cares!
Steve: What the hell is a strut? I’m only familiar in the Mick Jagger context.


An injury accident was reported at 9: 50 p.m. July 15 in Lot 45 west of the LaVell Edwards Stadium. Officers responded and found a motorcyclist with friends was driving at twice the speed limit. The driver slammed on the brakes, lost control of the vehicle and hit a parked vehicle. The motorcycle had just been purchased, and the driver had no insurance. He received several abrasions on his arms and legs. The parked vehicle received minor damage. The driver was cited for not having insurance.

GST: Motorcyclist with friends.
Steve: Motorcyclist? No insurance you say? I am shocked. SHOCKED!
Ken: Cool that you can apparently crash your motorcycle into a car while speeding and not get cited, as long as you’re insured.
Steve: Video footage of the incident: http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=comCnDFn8Vc
What, pray tell, is the speed limit in the parking lot?
Ken: 8 mph. That was Steve Young’s jersey number GO COUGS!!
GST: What makes Police Beat delightful is the intersection of petty criminality, officious cops, an undercurrent of latent racism (“suspicious” males), and the godawful copy editing of the Daily Universe. They combine to make something greater than the sum of their parts.
Ken: Police Beat uses more passive voice than President Monson on Ambien.
Steve: abrasions were received, cars were damaged, insurance was not had.
GST: Bikes were joy-ridden, warnings were given, hearts were warmed.
Ken: Heaven….was close. Wait. Curfew…was close.
Steve: I encountered a lot of motorcycle accidents from when I was a bishop. Widow Mabel Garvey called me to invite me to speak at…
Ken: The crazy thing about this story to me is that anyone was out doing stuff in Provo at 9: 50pm. You ever try to get a burrito in Provo past 9?
Steve: Unless that’s some sort of sexual innuendo, no.
GST: I remember when President Monson’s whole family almost died in a motorbike accident on the Provo River at Vivian Park.
Ken: Place shuts down at 9, man. John Lithgow is still the pastor and he has a lot of influence.
Steve: Next!

Security officers caught a student stealing maps from the Harold B. Lee Library on Saturday. The student reportedly hid the maps in his pants and attempted to walk out of the library until the sensors went off. Officers stopped the student and asked him to remove the hidden contents in his pants. Security officers found three maps he reportedly intended to use to find local trails to run on. Officers issued the student a Class B theft citation.

GST: I remember this from one of the Harry Potter movies.
Steve: Luckily, even without the maps, there was a well-marked trail leading into the student’s pants.
Ken: In all seriousness, this is actually a pretty common university library crime. Maps are resellable and hard-to-trace. Not usually local trail maps of Y Mountain, though.
GST: Ken, you had to get heavy on us.
Ken: Sorry GST but cartographic crime is a serious offense and hurts families.
Steve: way to bring us down, maphead. Is that why you’re a maphead? You keep the cartography in your pants as a means of sexual pleasure?
Ken: Is that a Mercator projection in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? In this case, the maps somehow set off the alarm, which is weird.
Steve: I’m just happy to see you. The maps + foil-wrapped cucumber did the trick.
GST: Ken is really trying to get to the bottom of this crime.
Steve: That was a refreshing, original crime that showed ingenuity. I would rank it a Class A theft, but BYU doesn’t use a curve. I’d also pay money to see the officer talk to the student. “Excuse me, please remove the hidden contents in your pants.”
GST: “Oh, sorry, sir, I guess that’s all you.” “You’re damn right it is.”
Ken: I think we, and the honor code office, can all agree that this map thief is just a student who lost his way.
Steve: Maps are worthless without a compass. Fortunately also in his pants he had strange balls of curious workmanship.
Ken: do you pre-write jokes for this, Steve?
Steve: no.
Ken: Admit it, you totally do.
GST: Liar.
Steve: It is given to me in the very moment what I should say.
Ken: You always seem to have a lot of material. Granted, it’s still not funny.
Steve: Wow.
GST: It’s just fast.
Ken: aha, F12. “Balls of curious workmanship” joke.
Steve: You can thank Mavis Beacon for that. I don’t pre-write the jokes, but I do mull them over for days and days. It takes time to get feedback from my Stake President.
GST: And he has Bruce Vilanch under his desk.
Ken: wow that is a joke from my Reddit AMA. BYU Police should grab GST for stealing my Reddit jokes in his pants.
Steve: Humblebragging about a Reddit AMA has got to be a new low.
GST: If I were more effective at stealing things from your brain, I might have won on Jeopardy.
Ken: lol Jeopardy! I sure got you good that day
GST: “I’m a former computer programmer who can’t satisfy his wife. AMA.”
Ken: “GST’s mom is super-happy with me however. AMA.”
Steve: Next!

Multiple tenants at Wymount Terrace continue to receive unwanted calls from a woman who calls late at night, wanting to have friendly conversations. She has been calling for more than five months. Police have not identified the woman. BYU Police said to press charges, unwanted callers must be informed not to call again.

Ken: “The Amway Bandit” strikes again!!!
GST: Wendy Watson does not quit.
Steve: Sheri Dew is really pushing her new book.
Ken: The commitment pattern really works!
Steve: At least the woman wants friendly conversations. That’s nice.
Ken: If she is calling Wymount late at night, she has probably prevented over 100 births by now.
GST: I didn’t realize that you could press charges against visiting teachers. This is fantastic.
Steve: In all this time, over 5 months of late night phone calls, nobody ever told her not to call back? That’s just politeness for you.
Ken: well Steve…she was quite friendly.
GST: That is the perfect encapsulation of Mormon passive-aggression–won’t tell her to not to call, but will call the police on her.
Steve: And the Police Beat itself is passive-aggressive — months of complaints, but we won’t identify her.
Ken: “I shouldn’t have to be awkwardly direct! THAT’S WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT IS FOR!”
Steve: Guys – what if — and this is just speculation — what if that phone caller was really the Spirit? Shouldn’t we all be seeking pleasant conversation? How many of us are, in a sense, calling the campus police because of these late night phone calls?
Ken: The Spirit knows not to call my landline.
GST: The Spirit texts me. Mostly things like, “OMG, I cant believe u just did that”
Steve: I’m FB friends with the Spirit. Constant companion, it’s totally clogging my news feed.


  1. All I can say is it’s about damn time you guys got back on the stick and started writing about important stuff like parking lot road rash and late night friendly phone calls.

  2. Not going to lie…I’m so glad I don’t work there any more, but I do miss the work stories! Oh the tales I could tell!

  3. Go on…

  4. Freshman who didn’t realize it might be offensive to dress in a gorilla suit with a mask of Pres. Obama, couples calling 911 because they don’t know how to have sex on their wedding night, and a man who once tried to get a car parking permit for a horse. I’ve got nearly five years of this stuff.

  5. Truly you have been blessed.

  6. It’s been a long time since I’ve had my PBR itch scratched. “more passive voice than President Monson on Ambien” had me on the floor! Well done.

  7. I can’t believe you guys passed up on a Lori Grimes and zombie apocalypse at Wymount joke. (But good to see you back!!)

  8. Oh man, the wait was worth it. This was brilliant guys; by the “BYUTV Roku app” joke I was laughing out loud, and couldn’t stop until the end. Well done, everyone, very well done.

  9. I also can’t believe you missed that the obscenity yelling bike thief was at least wearing a white shirt! Give the guy some credit.

  10. Mark, yeah he was wearing a white shirt, but he had stubbly whiskers. If he wants accolades for following the brethren he can’t do it half-assed.

  11. Wait, C. from campus police,

    couples calling 911 because they don’t know how to have sex on their wedding night

    That has to be someone pranking 911. Seriously?

  12. it's a series of tubes says:

    This column is chock-full of win. And Alain, knowing certain people I met at BYU, I can say that while the 911 call could very well have been a prank, it would not surprise me if it was serious.

  13. “more passive voice than President Monson on Ambien” FTW. And “strut-shaming”! Wow. But the Unifarce was right up there with “Officers stopped the student and asked him to remove the hidden contents in his pants.” PBR or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit? You decide!

  14. “Very recently a certain police beat roundtable was acclaimed the best of the year. I have not seen it, nor do I anticipate doing so. But I am told that it is laden with sex, that the use of profanity runs throughout.”

    Gordon B. Hinckley, “Loyalty”
    April 2003 General Conference

  15. Thank you so much for bringing this back! Hilarious, as always! And I love GST’s summary description of why the source material is so perfect:

    “What makes Police Beat delightful is the intersection of petty criminality, officious cops, an undercurrent of latent racism (“suspicious” males), and the godawful copy editing of the Daily Universe. They combine to make something greater than the sum of their parts.”

  16. I now have nightmare-ish visions of Ken Jennings stealing maps back in his BYU days. So all in all, a successful PBR.

    And “Unless that’s some sort of sexual innuendo, no” was my favorite.

  17. I’m related to GST. And he’s way better than those other guys. Those two facts are unrelated.

  18. Nice work! Looking forward to the next PBR. (But wait a couple of weeks, so Evans has adequate time to pre-write new jokes.)

  19. Leonard R says:

    Tried taking a drink while reading this….

    …. not a good idea….

  20. So glad for this latest installment. PBR, I missed thee.

  21. My relatively-new-member husband, (2 years) wanted to know why I couldn’t stop giggling. After having explained over half the jokes, I am still giggling, but also reminded just how strange BYU culture is. (I didn’t even go to BYU, but all of my siblings, and a number of friends, did at some point. So, I have spent enough time there, to understand.)

    I vote for C. to start a series of memoir posts about the most memorable parts of working at BYU!

  22. Thank you! I missed PBR. You are the best. The best I tell you!

  23. Kevin Barney says:

    Hallelujah for the return of PBR!

    “BYU police feel he may have been . . . scavenging on campus.” They later determined that his family home evening group had indeed been involved in a campus scavenger hunt. They let him off with a warning, that he should button up his white shirt while in the presence of his family home evening sisters.

  24. Kevin Barney says:

    Seriously glad that you guys were finally able to make a Kennection.

  25. I have to mention how much I love the caption with the picture at the beginning. It had me laughing before I even started reading the post.

  26. Priceless! It’s about time.

  27. Best laugh I’ve had all year. Bravo!

  28. Ummm it’s the 8th day of the year.

  29. Keep ’em comin’. Maybe this year the Niblet award won’t be taken back from the BCC and given to FMH.

  30. I’ve been pondering the fact that the first link is dead. I now believe it has ontological significance.

  31. Fixed, I think.

  32. Elouise Bell says:

    Oh, frabjous day! PBR is back! And it starts working in minutes to relieve dry brain! Seeing Ziff’s comment on GST’s summary, I happily misread, “. . .something greater than the sum of their pants.” That reading absolutely vibrates with multiple meanings; I envision a bumper sticker: “Be more than the sum of your pants!”

    BTW, I assume you know, but didn’t want to mention directly, that an officer’s request to “show the hidden contents of your pants” is code. Depending on the response, things could go either way.

    “More passive voice than President Monson on Ambien ” ? Lovely. Just lovely. Elegant, actually.

    And wisdom along with wit: “The perfect encapsulation of Mormon passive-aggression: won’t tell her to stop calling, but will call the police on her.”

    Thank you. (Sigh of contentment.)

  33. “something greater than the sum of their pants” I LOL’d.

  34. Kevin Barney says:

    OW could use that as their new motto…


    Total freaking riot.

  36. Please be considerate and use a TW when posting. Thanks!

  37. TW: stuff happens

  38. MikeInWeHo says:

    They have theft sensors at the doors of the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU? What next, pat downs?

  39. I’m sure there are plenty of students who would prefer that, Mike.

  40. As long as it’s an attractive member of the opposite sex…

  41. After the embarrassing losses from the BYU art collection, I’m pleased to see them step up the security of their holdings.

    Also, add me to the group of snark fans who’ve missed PBR. Stellar effort, guys.

  42. They have theft sensors at the doors of the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU?

    Is that unusual? The libraries at Columbia in New York and Loyola in Chicago have them, as do all public libraries I’ve been to.

  43. Also, welcome back, PBR! (Which, I assume, hipsters gather together to ironically read. Or something.)

  44. “But I am told that it is laden with sex, that the use of profanity runs throughout.”

    I can’t wait to see what these are like *after* you’re all excommunicated!

  45. BYU Library has had theft sensors since 1975. I’ve got a picture to prove it. http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/BYUPhotos/id/910/rec/32

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