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Magazine should recognize Wise’s weirdness

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wise County is victim of a gross injustice.

Despite a crime report that can elicit laughter from even our most serious readers, it has failed to capture the attention of the clever writers at Texas Monthly.

Not so long ago the staff created Texas Monthly Daily Post (tmdailypost.com), which is an extension of the magazine’s website where synopses of news stories from around the state are posted.

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe

I read it often, and one of its regular posts is “Meanwhile, in Lufkin” which includes the monthly highlights of the Lufkin police blotter, as read in the Lufkin Daily News.

Not to take anything away from the East Texas highjinks, but Wise County is also a hot bed of ridiculous crime, crazy criminals and eye-popping problems.

The Daily Post site says, “We’re not sure if more strange things necessarily happen in Lufkin than in other small towns, but whoever is running the Lufkin Daily News’ police blotter has a great appreciation for the absurd.”

So do we!

“The crime in Lufkin ranges from the very mundane to the very bizarre, and nearly each day the police blotter seems to contain a new gem.”

So does ours!

Perhaps the only thing the Lufkin has on us are the specifics.

For example, in Lufkin you’ll read about SpongeBob SquarePants water shoes, Bud Light or M&Ms, whereas the Wise County crimes might read “shoes, beer, candy.”

There is something to be said about the details, and some of my all time favorites here at the Mess do include those delectable details.

Here are a few:

“A man reported that his ex-wife shoved a Ding Dong in his face.”

“A complainant said they found a container filled with blood. After investigation, it was found to only contain rotting animal meat.”

“A man said he was being assaulted by mutants.”

“A woman was dancing and begging for money … at the Hot Skillet.” (The location really makes that one.)

Maybe your sense of humor has to be a little warped to fully appreciate the dark humor. Now that I think about it, extreme exhaustion may have something to do with it, too, but I’m convinced the Texas Monthly writers would also find local shenanigans just as ridiculous as we do.

And shouldn’t those be recognized on a statewide stage?

Even Jay Leno’s staff has recognized the comedic value of a good Wise County crime report having once featured the Ding Dong dispute on “The Tonight Show.”

At the end of “Meanwhile, in Lufkin,” writer Sonia Smith invites readers to drop her a line at tmdailypost@texasmonthly.com if they have another favorite police blotter.

So I propose that if the Messenger’s crime report makes sweet tea shoot out your nose every once in a while, give her a heads up.

Maybe some of our crimes will become as infamous as those in the Piney Woods.

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