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Loose Change: Seeing the light

Monday Jan. 11th. 6 a.m.

Vancouver, B.C.

116th Detachment Vancouver Police Department

Staff Sergeant Wilson Bucklebee begins.

“A couple things. Remember we ramp up our drug sweeps in the east end this week. And we’re very concerned with the latest rounds of gang warfare. Keep an eye on that. And don’t forget that unsolved murder. It’d be nice to get that one off the books.”

“That it Chief?”

“No, there’s something else. You may have heard about that ugly incident at GM Place on Saturday night.”

“Yeah, Canucks lost again. Not sure if they’re gonna make the playoffs. Really need some secondary sc..”

“No, there was an incident involving a fan with a pointer.”

“Who brings a dog to a hockey game?

“A laser pointer. Evidently someone brought one of those things to the game and was shining it at Miikka Kiprusoff all night.”

A couple officers laugh.

“Not funny, men - and you too Trudy. Laser pointers can cause blindness you know?”

“Actually Chief, only Class III laser pointers can cause acute damage and only with prolonged exposure. Class I and II lasers are relatively harmless.”

“You need a girlfriend, Henderson.”

A couple officers laugh.

“We’re taking this incident very seriously. The Canucks have asked us to investigate further.”

“What do we have so far?”

“Little is known about the suspect at this juncture, but it’s believed he’s thinly-built, has oily hair, thick glasses and he smells like Powerpoint.”

Sergeant Bucklebee hands out sketches of the suspect.

“Chief, I think I know him.”


“Although last time I saw him he was wearing a striped shirt and a toque. I think his name was Waldo.”

Officers laugh.

“Men – and Trudy – this is no laughing matter. In addition to the imminent danger posed by lasers...”

“Class IIIs only, Chief. The kind they use in rock concerts.”

“Thank you addition to the imminent dangers posed by Class III lasers there is also the precedent that is set. Imagine what could happen if this goes unchecked.”

“More people will bring laser pointers to games, Chief?”


“Which means they’ll be even easier to spot and arrest, right?”

“Possibly, yes, but you’re missing the point here.”

Officers laugh.

“Good one, Chief.”

“That wasn’t a joke. We need to take this incident seriously. It’s our job to enforce the law and laser pointers are against the law.”

“Wow. My brother-in-law uses them all the time in his board meetings. I never thought to arrest him. Amazing what goes on right under your nose. Geez, maybe I should phone my sister...”

“Wibley, they’re only illegal when used in a public forum to harass someone.”

“Did Nicky…”


“Right, did Miikka lodge a complaint?”


“So his coach did?”

“Well, he complained, but he didn’t lodge a formal police complaint.”

“But we still need to get laser pointers off the street?”

“No, not the streets. Just at hockey games.”

“So Chief, hypothetically speaking, if someone at a Lions game were to…”


“Got it. Watch football games too.”

“We need to clean up this mess, gentlemen – and Trudy. We want to show the public we’re serious about crime here in B.C.”

“Right. Got it. Stick it to the pointers.”

“Any questions?”

“What’s the charge, Chief? Pointing? Laser Abuse?”

Shelly, who mans the detachment’s switchboard, bursts into the room.

“Sergeant Bucklebee, we have a man on the line with an anonymous tip about the Canucks incident!”


“Yes, he says he can identify the person who brought the red laser pointer to the game. You want to take the call in your office?”

Bucklebee sighs.

“It was green, Shelly. The laser pointer was green.”

Shelly shrugs.

“I’ll hang up, sir.”

“Let’s get this creep, gentlemen – and Trudy. The city isn’t safe while he roams the streets.”

“Stands, sir, while he roams the stands…”

“Thanks for pointing that out, Henderson.”

Officers laugh.

“Another good one, Chief. You’re on a roll.”

“Meeting adjourned. Shelly, get me some aspirin.”

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you the humor column Loose Change every Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

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