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The grinch that stole Halloween | Marcel Strigberger

Friday, October 08, 2021 @ 1:06 PM | By Marcel Strigberger


Marcel Strigberger %>
Marcel Strigberger
This was not Mark Metzger III’s day though it should have been. The Galveston, Texas, lawyer who values humour wanted to lift the gloomy doom mood in the midst of a threatening storm and so he dressed up in a costume of the Halloween film murderous character Michael Myers and walked along the beach, mask, fake knife, phony blood and all.

Other beachgoers were amused, taking photos with him and the beach patrol even played the Halloween theme song. However, one humourless person called 911 resulting in the police rushing down, removing the Michael Myers mask, handcuffing Metzger (the III) and charging him with disorderly conduct.

Metzger blamed the arrest on meddling people who don’t have a sense of humour. He noted he did not see the illegality of his actions. Where does a charge of disorderly conduct come from? The Michael Myers costume? What if he would have dressed like another character, say, Moses? Would the snitch have called 911? “Hey y’all, I see a guy down here by the beach. I think he’s trying to part the Gulf of Mexico. Come quickly.”

Or had he dressed up like say the Michelin man? This for some dull folks might definitely definitely be cause for a 911 call.

“Hello 911? The Michelin guy is terrorizing our beach. Please send the SWAT team down before he changes somebody’s flat tire.”

I think Metzger should have thought about his costume more carefully. He could have gone as someone more innocuous, say Nostradamus. I don’t know what the whistleblower would have done but at least Metzger would have been able to predict the ultimate outcome.

And what will the judge do should this matter reach a trial? If the judge has a sense of humour (as the police obviously do not), the judge may laugh and dismiss the charge. Or he might also want to inject a little bit of positivity in the gloomy doom and hold down the hearing and return to the bench dressed up like someone, say like Henry VIII. Hey, this is no crazier than that humourless dude calling 911.

Is Mark Metzger III remorseful? No way. He said that if a silly walk down the beach during a storm in a costume resulted in a charge of disorderly conduct but generated some laughter and restored our faith in humanity through humour, he would do it again. Certainly bad weather aside, with COVID-19 we all have enough gloomy doom to put up with.

Thinking about “III,” my concern for this Good Samaritan is that some American jurisdictions have these three strike laws. On the third offence they can put you away for periods rivalling that handed out to Jean Valjean. I would hate to see him pull a similar couple of stunts and he gets before a hanging judge who says,” Hmmm. First Michael Myers. Then you did not learn from this heinous crime, and you walked along the beach dressed like Josef Stalin. And now, you really did it; Homer Simpson. I sentence you to life in prison.”

Metzger certainly has faith in local access to justice. However, given this incident and the possibilities of me too falling victim to some dull, narrow-minded, lacklustre weasel, I don’t think I would feel safe walking along that beach even wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.  

Marcel Strigberger retired from his Greater Toronto Area litigation practice and continues the more serious business of humorous author and speaker. His just launched book Boomers, Zoomers, and Other Oomers: A Boomer-biased Irreverent Perspective on Aging is now available on Amazon, (e-book) and paper version by pre-release sale order. Visit www.marcelshumour.com. Follow him @MarcelsHumour.

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