Only in Sparta

Under the heading of: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up or Only in New Jersey, comes this police brief from The Sparta Independent:

Sparta — Sparta police reported last week that a 15-year-old Sparta High School sophomore donned a mask from the movie “Scream” and burst into Spanish teacher Kelly Uschnig’s classroom last Tuesday around 2 p.m., spraying a can of Old Spice deodorant in her direction. Uschnig was startled by what she saw as an attack with an unknown substance and suffered an asthmatic reaction. She was able to calm her asthma with the use of an inhaler and paramedics were not called. However, police were called and the student was subsequently arrested.

So. Whaddya think? He’ll be declining verbs in German I by next week?
And Old Spice? Aerosol Old Spice? Whose grandpa is missing his deodorant?

The report didn’t specify whether it was new Old Spice Endurance or the old original that old guys in whiskers and fedoras used to wear. I can only assume this was some Teladega Nights connection going on. For this kid’s sake, I hope so.

The Sparta Independent is where I worked when I lived in Sparta. It was our beloved little weekly paper where Spartans went for important updates on who got arrested for DUI pulling out of Krogh’s Pub, which little blond girl sat on Santa’s lap at the Festival of Trees, and which Sparta City Councilman called for an executive session to discuss the mold problem and “that smell” at the bowling alley.

I was a copyeditor so I read my share of police reports. You didn’t have to read more than five or six to find a pattern. I would come home from work and reiterate to my husband and son: If you get pulled over by a Sparta cop, you better hope you’ve been drinking. Because the only other charge slapped onto anyone stopped by a Sparta policeman besides DUI was heroin possession.

The report would start out something like this: “Officer observed a vehicle driving north on Route 14 at mile marker 3 and noted more dust on the left side of the vehicle and a finger mark on the driver’s side door. Officer stopped the vehicle and upon approaching the driver’s side observed approximately ½ teaspoon of a white powdery substance in the glove box.”

Regardless of how they started out, the reports always ended like this: “Suspect was charged with DUI and/or possession of heroin.”
Paragraphs away from the police reports, the rest of the paper was thankfully more cheerful.

Here’s an example, from the same issue that brought you Scream Guy Deodorizes Spanish Asthmatic:

Newton - “There is a fire in his fiddle and it’ll spread to your heart,” wrote renowned artist Tom Paxton about musician Jay Smar. Smar will be performing at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the Sussex Bank Theater at Sussex County Community College.

Now doesn’t that make you feel better? The world isn’t just full of drunk heroin addicts and whippersnappers with masks and aerosol cans. It contains some hot fiddlers, too.