Thursday, March 27, 2008

Law School or Jail or Whatever Comes First

Last night, I went to a law school reception for prospective students, held by a school that I will not name. My dad and I cut out early, but not before speaking with an alumnus who graduated at the top of his class and currently works as a criminal defense attorney. He failed to notice that my dad and I look alike, talk alike, and were wearing name tags that displayed the same last name, and he asked my dad what schools he is deciding between. I don't want to judge the whole law school by that one mistake, but too late, I already did. Before that debacle, the attorney described a case in which a Vietnamese gang repeatedly sent an elderly Vietnamese woman with perfect credit to a car dealership to buy an expensive car with very little money down. The gang then took the car, she reported it as stolen, and they began the process all over again.

I have thought a lot about what sort of crime I would like to head into, assuming I could sear my conscience to the point where my life of crime brought me fulfillment instead of gnawing guilt. I decided a year ago that I would begin a car theft ring using the most innocent-looking of my friends (that's you, Carrie and Leslie.) We would steal expensive yet common cars, like black BMWs, drive them around the corner, remove the license plates, replace them with the plates from one of our cars, and then drive them down over the Mexican border, where I would have befriended the head of a chop shop. When the car got reported, cops would be on the look out for the license plate of the stolen car or a car of that description with no license plate. As most car thieves make the mistake of speeding away from the scene of the crime or drawing attention to themselves with erratic driving, my team would drive slowly and respectfully, as if we were just coming home from work (which we would be, in one sense.) Assuming Leslie ran a red light and did get pulled over, her stolen car would be carefully strewn with textbooks, Starbucks cups and a few pieces of clothing. She would have to quickly flirt her way out of having to show any registration, but the slight mess in the car would squelch any police suspicions.

As foolproof as I think my plan is, I felt a wave of awe and respect for the Vietnamese gang, and a bit of disappointment in myself. Their plan is better than mine. It's like being pleased with your 166 on the LSAT until you find out that your cousin got a 177. (Thanks for nothing, Paul.)


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