You know what I realized? I write articles about dumb criminals all the time, and we all laugh, but that’s actually very judgmental of us. We barely know these people. We just know one single news story about them, and they happened to do something ridiculous, so automatically they’re “dumb criminals.” We don’t know anything about them.
OK, so we know that they’re criminals. But honestly—you’ve never done anything dumb?
Not dumb enough to make the news.
But I’ve done plenty of dumb things in my life, and I’m sure you’ll agree. That you’ve done dumb things, I mean. And you’ll also agree that many of those were other people’s first impressions of you. Like that time you had an extended conversation with a stranger who was actually talking to the person behind you.
And how many times have you done something dumb when you were tired? You think criminals aren’t tired?
Consider the following true stories:
- In London, a man was robbing a house, and suddenly, right out of the blue, he decided to take a shower and hop into bed. He was awakened when the occupants got home, and they walked into the room to find him, quote, “frantically trying to pull on the husband’s clothes.”
- In December, a Texas car burglar fell asleep in one of the cars he was stealing, without actually driving anywhere first. He was awakened by police officers opening the door, at which point he tried to escape by climbing into the back seat.
So my point is that, apparently, burglars are very tired. Or crime is very boring. You might think it’s exciting, but it mainly involves schlepping furniture in middle of the night.
And it’s not just about falling asleep. Some criminals manage to stay awake until they’re done, but the nature of their crimes makes it obvious that they need more sleep.
Take the man in Newington, CT, who, at 2 in the morning, crashed his car through the window of a gas station convenience store, climbed in, and, as police later saw on surveillance tapes, ate a banana.
Now I don’t know a lot about money, but it doesn’t seem worth it to smash up your car to steal one banana. Well, I guess how many bananas can you eat? And he had to leave. The cops were coming, and bananas don’t travel well.
I guess sometimes you just really need a banana. After all, bananas have health benefits. Like for example, they protect against those cramps you have behind your knee in middle of the night. They also make you smarter and more alert. Maybe he was trying to be awake for another robbery, so he wouldn’t fall asleep on the linoleum. And where else are you going to find a banana at 2 in the morning?
I would not have guessed the gas station.
Our next story comes from the town of Strömstad, in Sweden, where every time they want to write their address on the computer, they have to go up into “insert symbols” and find the silly “O” thing.
Police were called to an apartment at 1 a.m. to investigate what neighbors described as “loud banging noises, high-pitched screams, unintelligible yelling and crying.” When police got there, they found that it was actually a couple attempting to put together IKEA furniture. And, as it turns out, these are the normal, traditional sounds people make when putting together something from IKEA. Sometimes, yelling at the furniture helps.
And speaking of terrifying noises keeping people awake, our final story today comes from Utah, where a 60-year-old man was having an argument with his wife about whether or not she snores. Ninety percent of all married couples have this argument at some point. I don’t know why. People always deny that they snore, even though if they did they’d probably be the last person to know. Even if you snore loud enough to wake yourself up, you don’t know that. You just think, “I keep waking up!”
Anyway, at some point, the wife walked off to the basement to take a nap, maybe because all that arguing made her tired. She was pretty tired in the first place, because her husband kept waking her up in middle of the night to claim she was snoring.
But this annoyed the husband, because, first of all, she was taking her nap in the basement.
“NOW you can sleep in the basement?”
There he is, trying to argue, and she falls asleep, and guess what? She’s snoring!
So he did the only logical thing: He set her clothes on fire.
Not the clothes she was wearing, of course. He went up to the bedroom and set fire to a pile of clothes, according to the article I read, “using a candle he’d lit at the stove.” This guy really needed his wife.
“Wake up! Where do we keep the matches?”
But then the fire got out of control, obviously, and he had to wake her up anyway.
I don’t know what he was trying to prove with this:
“I can’t sleep at night because you snore.”
“No, you can’t sleep at night because you burned down the bedroom.”
This actually happened during the day, but obviously the man was sleep deprived.
My point is that sleep deprivation can do a lot of things to a lot of people, so you should probably get to bed. But first make sure there’s no one in it. And that it’s not on fire.
By Mordechai Schmutter
Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has four books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected]