Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkins, poison, floorboards, and just basically more ways to get yourself arrested

I'm not a violent person, and I don't think I have anger issues, but sometimes I think some very terrible things.

Not just ha ha let's fling poo at people. No.

More like oh, what's a little murder here and there anyway.


It started when Nick suggested we have a pumpkin carving contest. And then he carved them both, since I'm not such a pumpkin carver.

Also, the inside of pumpkin gunk really grosses me out. Although Maude told me that the seeds are high in zinc and good things to feed men to improve their baby missiles. If that's up your alley.

No pun.

The second pumpkin is mine, and we both like it better. So basically, I win. Don't you think?

Anyway, more on-topic, we live in this urban neighborhood with a lot of post-bar foot traffic on weekend nights. So Nick didn't want to leave our pumpkins out front for drunken idiots to smash. Which I think is only smart.

But it got me thinking.

"What if you put poison all over your pumpkin and someone stole it and died? Could you get in trouble?"


"But why? If it was on your property?"

His explanation had something to do with using force out of proportion to the crime, if I recall correctly.

"But you could use rat poison. You could pretend you were just trying to kill neighborhood rats. And if someone stole it and died, well, that wasn't your intention."

"It's a pumpkin, Lisa."

He went on to say that people used to be jailed (or maybe it was put to death?) for hunting on a land owner's property. But then over time chattel property became less important and a higher value was put on human life and a lot of other details that I didn't really listen to but basically you can't shoot someone for breaking into your house.

And of course I am in favor of gun control, and I can't imagine actually shooting someone. Or more likely stabbing someone, as that's my constant refrain. But you'd have to be really close and strong and I just don't seem like a good stabber, you know?

Unless it were my husband and he was sleeping. But I haven't felt like doing since the PPD, I don't think.

So Nick gave the example of setting up a shotgun to shoot if the front door was opened. So if you weren't home and someone broke in, they'd be killed. Which apparently people have actually done.

And somehow, although I will never own a gun, I understand this.

"But you aren't actually shooting them yourself. And they're breaking in."

"You can't protect property with murder. It's not a good enough reason to kill someone."

"What you should do in that case is have rotting floorboards just inside the front door. And you keep them covered with carpets. And then the person who breaks in falls through to the basement and dies."

"What's up with you and the killing imaginary people?"

I don't know. I really don't.

Although, seriously, look at this: This guy in London moved out for a week for his house to be decorated, and squatters moved in and changed the locks.

Would that not make you violent?


  1. Why do I sometimes feel like I'm going to end up getting subpoenaed one day for having read your blog?

  2. I like your pumpkin better too...more character. I don't think it's a good idea to fantacize about killing drunken pumpkin smashers...on principle. I'm with Brunch Bird...don't want to end up in court. Maybe I'll change my name, ha!

  3. The reason that there is so much crime is because we don't punish people like we used to. I believe that. Have you ever read Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault? YOU NEED TO READ IT. So, basically what I'm saying is that I'm on board with the poison pumpkins. And shooting people who break into your house.

  4. Oh, and I'd like to say that you can fully hold these beliefs and still be a Democrat. I don't know how, but I can, which means you can too.

  5. You win! LG and the Great Pumpkin! I think Nick's knowledge of the law is another reason he is a perfect match for you (prevention of arrest for scheming against imaginary people). I always struggle with the "what would a layman do" concept of the justice system, because rigging one's front door with a shotgun or front porch with rat-poison-laced Halloween decor seems reasonable to a lot of people. Hypothetically speaking of course.

  6. In Florida, you actually CAN shoot someone that breaks into your house, but they have to be trying to kill you, so technically, Nick is correct. Just because they broke in, you can't shoot them, but if they look like they might hurt you, you can! (Hooray for loopholes!)

    This reminds me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy where she has the gun pointed at her abusive husband, calls the police and says "I just shot an intruder" Hangs up and shoots him!

    OK. I think I MAY be enjoying this too much. . . .BTW, I like your pumpkin best.

  7. After googling Texas gun law and deadly force, I can only hope that I, too, do not get subpeoned for researching things for your blog...

    Anyway, in Texas we're covered by the "Castle Doctrine." Which means Texans can shoot people trying to steal their stuff, while they're both in the house... but I don't think you are allowed to set up lethal booby traps.

    Although, poisonous pumpkins sounds like the plot from an Agatha Christie novel - the Brits LOVE poison plots!

  8. When I still had a car that I deeply adored (unlike you, I am a car girl), I used to fantasize about being able to rig my car alarm to electrocute the bad guys looking to assault it.

    Real shame that's not legal.

  9. We have an office lunch thief. I thought about putting laxatives in my packed lunches with a little sprinkling of cat litter, but was informed that I could be sued if someone stole my lunch and became ill after eating MY STOLEN LUNCH.

  10. LOVE what Brunch Bird said! funneee! Bring on the courts Lisa I'll lie for you any day! :-)

    PS destroy this message so I don't go to jail

    oh and tell Betty winter came today. Blizzard in Minot at the moment... And ask Nick if I could use the SADD as a legal excuse to kill all the idiots that have moved here for the oil boom? uh, and thier kin too?

  11. That squatters thing got my blood boiliing. Apparently such thing exists in DC, one of my friends just bought a house and found out her neighbor is dealing with a squatter in his basement (they were renovating, and hadn't been there in a couple of weeks, and the dude broke in, been living there, and by law they cannot kick him out!)

  12. Brunch Bird - Oh, you make me laugh. I've asked before and I'll ask again...please come back to blogging.

    Kate - The funny thing (to me) is that I had absolutely nothing to do with either of them. I just claim the second one because it was allocated to me...until Nick asked if I'd just rather he carved it.

    And I think it's probably bad energy to even think about it. These things just pop in my head, unbidden! I do revel in them, though, it's true...

    Kate - No, I've not read anything by Foucoult. (And I didn't get very far in Eco's Foucoult's Pendulum, either. Very difficult.) But at your recommendation, I will!

    Also, I believe you can think these things and be a Democrat as well.

    HKW - I win! With no effort whatsoever! And it is true - he keeps me out of a lot of real and imaginary trouble. And there are so many things I'd never do that actually do seem reasonable, even though I don't think they should...

    cla517 - Yes - apparently if your life is in danger, that's totally different.

    Was that the Julia Roberts movie? Ugh, that man was dreadful. I think I'm very in favor of vigilante justice.

    nys - I promise you - and everyone reading, actually - that I'm not going to do anything violent that'll get me thrown in jail. So you should be safe in this regard.

    I would kind of expect people in Texas to be able to shoot each other pretty much anywhere, anytime. Except maybe in Austin. You have the benefit of rattlesnakes and scorpions, though, which would be a very sneaky way to off someone while looking like a total accident. No?

    And I love Agatha Christie. I might love poison plots as well, now that I think about it. I've always wanted a poison ring.

    Keenie Beanie - Car lover or no, I would be up for that. I really would.

    kerrie - This is just like the pumpkin thing. They shouldn't be able to do that. Steal it at your own risk. Grr.

    Lynn - Brunch Bird is hilarious.

    And thank you for the offer! I promise I won't get you put in jail.

    AND noooo! Blizzard in Minot already! But I thought the idiots who have moved there for the oil are a good thing because the economy in your state is just booming while the rest of the country is going down the hole???

    Carla - The squatter thing is completely infuriating. And the fact that they can't be kicked out by law doesn't make any sense to me.

  13. Gawd, Nick is such a buzzkill sometimes (though, really, it's probably a good thing. You not getting arrested and all that.) I totally support poisoning your pumpkins. Recently an office bandit was stealing my Babybel and I was so tempted to poison the remaining ones to teach the bastard a lesson. I couldn't ruin perfectly good cheese though.

  14. Nick's Pumpkin looks mad crazy, Your pumpkin looks kinda baffled. We dont carve pumpkins here but now I want you as my chief pumpkin carver. I might give one a go for the party this weekend and I will send you a pic.
    You and Nick are such a good balance, you keep him healthy, he keeps you out of gaol. Perfect match really. :-)

  15. I would definitely get violent over the squatter situation. Heck, I've briefly considered stabbing people for being in the public restroom when I really need to take a poo. I hate to poo with people around.

  16. Hillary - I know. Always with the "don't get arrested" with him. However, it's not on my list of things I ever want to do, so I do heed his advice. As for the cheese...you could put something sharp in it? So it wouldn't be ruined...but it would be painful?

    I'm a bad person.

    Go-Betty - It's Nick you want. He gets all the credit. I think you should absolutely carve one for the party. I love carved pumpkins with candles inside. So glowy and fun!

    Lisa - This really makes me laugh. I wonder how that defense would go over in court? But your honor, I really had to poo. Alone.

  17. this is why your posts make my nausea-filled days.
    i can't even get started on rules like people can sue you for injuring them when they break into your house. bleh, anyway, i like the lion trap idea best... but how do you make that work with tile floors? i've gottan figure this one out.

  18. Yes Yes I shouldn't complain about the economy in my state. Jeeze. I am thankful. After all my guy is an oil guy.... (from South Dakota)But can I say, without too many trolls killing me, that most of these oil folks are from W's country? Between the winters and the braggarts and the republicans....I go through a lot of Crown Royal.And pison pumpikins sound totally sane to me.

  19. Did I say pis-on pumpkins? See Crown Royal at work again! HA!

  20. Texas Penal Code 9.42 says that a person is justified in using deadly force to protect land or tangible, movable property. There is even a subsection that says if someone is breaking into your car at night, you have the right to shoot them dead (Sec 9.42(2)(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime).

    And actually, in Texas, you would be justified in using deadly force to prevent someone from smashing your pumpkin (falls under the criminal mischief description). I am totally taking a criminal justice class right now and I just had to answer a question about this on my last test. :) More information than you wanted to know, I'm sure.

  21. jen - I don't know. You might have to make kind of a trap door - which would then be an obvious thing if the police came looking.

    Lynn - I have absolutely NO problem with complaints about asshats, particularly of the W variety. Or even just generally annoying people who get in your way. Seriously. I was just commenting - so totally not judging or anything. Winters and braggarts and Republicans would definitely make me turn to liquor, if not poison. Or pis-on. HAHAHAHAHAHA! I adore you. I really do.

    Jenn - Can I tell you how much I love knowing this? I do. I truly truly do. I read it to Nick, who assumed it was one of my high school friends who is a lawyer in TX. This is great. Thank you!

  22. Tee hee. I'm back, I'm back! Just started Monday:

  23. I always wanted to put up a sign that said the property was patrolled by Boa Constrictors - hubby wouldn't let me He said it would attract curious people too

    So then I though about having the floor boards inside the doorway on a hydraulic jack, that could be left down - then if anyone broke in they'd end up in the basement with broken legs and wouldn't be able to run away ..

    He said that wasn't fair either and we'd be sued, sued and better sued.

    Oh and Pumpkin No 2 it has I see what you're doing eyes ...

  24. your poison jack o' lantern could be considered an "attractive nuisance" and you would be liable if anything untoward were to happen, so put the poison away!! :)

  25. Preface: I'm in Georgia.

    At a neighborhood watch meeting I attended, someone asked a police officer, "If someone breaks into my house and I shoot them, who goes to jail?"

    The police officer replied, "If you shoot them good enough, nobody is."

  26. Brunch Bird - And there is much rejoicing in the known world!

    Rio - You have a much more sophisticated imaginary system than I do. And your husband is right. Even though it seems so unfair. I'm all for the basement leg breaking.

    And you are right about the pumpkin!

    LJ - No poison, no poison! I promise!

    Anonymous - Wow. That's very telling, isn't it?


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