Yesterday’s edition of the Valley News had an article on profiling. Profiling occurs when
law enforcement personnel use personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make
generalizations about a person.
I want to tell you a story about profiling. I think you will enjoy this story as it has a twist
We all know guys like Bobby. Bobby is a good guy who likes to drink. Indeed, Bobby
likes to drink a lot. It is no secret. Everyone who knows Bobby knows that Bobby and beer have
the same first initial.
It’s Monday evening in early fall. I would say it’s about 9 p.m. Bobby is driving his
vintage 1978 International Scout. Bobby is driving on a major route in one of our local towns.
As Bobby drives, a deer runs out in front of Bobby’s Scout. Bobby tries to brake but
doesn’t do so in time. The Scout hits the deer.
The deer is now on the side of the road. It’s flopping around. Within a short period of
time, the deer expires.
Bobby decides to drive away. On the way home, Bobby stops at his friend’s house.
Bobby’s friend is Tom. Tom is married to Helen. Helen is dressed in a her negligee – a garment
she likes to wear when watching Monday Night Football. Go Patriots!
Bobby tells Tom about hitting the deer. Tom immediately thinks of getting the deer meat.
Tom then calls the local Police Chief. “Chief. Bobby just hit a deer. We’re wondering if we can
have the deer meat.” The Chief says: “Did you say Bobby hit a deer?” “Yes, Chief,” Tom says.
The Chief then says: “Meet me at the scene.”
Only Tom goes to the scene. Bobby stays behind. Bobby says he’s too nervous to go for
the short ride.
While Tom is gone, Bobby sits in the kitchen. Bobby sees a fresh bottle of Seagram’s
Seven on the floor. Feeling a bit nervous, Bobby reaches for the bottle. Bobby pours a glass –
straight Seagram’s. Bobby figures the ginger ale will make you ill – so it’s all booze.
The Chief gets to the scene. He’s looking for Bobby. Tom says: “Bobby stayed at the
house.” The Chief is upset to hear the news. He knows Bobby is drunk. Bobby is always drunk.
The Chief jumps into his car and heads to Tom’s house – leaving Tom behind to deal with the
Once at Tom’s house, the Chief rings the door bell. Helen comes to the door in her
lovely outfit. “Is Bobby here,” says the Chief. Without waiting for an answer, the Chief brushes
Helen aside and heads toward the kitchen. When the Chief gets to the kitchen, he finds Bobby.
Bobby is very drunk. Bobby is holding a bottle of Seagram’s Seven in his hand. It is only
The Chief arrests Bobby and charges him with driving while under the influence. Bobby
pleads not guilty. Bobby maintains he got drunk in the kitchen. Bobby maintains he had nothing
to drink at the time he hit the deer.
The case goes to a jury. The County Attorney is giving his closing argument. The
County Attorney says to the jury: “Ladies and gentlemen. Use your common sense. Look at this
man (pointing ominously at Bobby) Do you think he could drink 3/4 of a fifth of whiskey
straight in 45 minutes?”
As the jury ponders this question, Bobby is indignant. Bobby turns to me and says in a
voice loud enough for the jury to hear: “Is he saying I couldn’t drink 3/4 of a fifth of whiskey
straight in 45 minutes. Hell, I could have consumed the entire bottle in that period of time!”
At first, I don’t know what to say. Pulling myself together, I decide to tell Bobby the
following – in a voice loud enough for the jury to hear – “Bobby, this ain’t no time for bragging.”
The case goes to the jury. Within a short period, the jury returns a verdict. Curiously, the
jury has a note attached to the verdict. The verdict says “not guilty.” The note says: “Judge – we
found the defendant not guilty because we can’t tell if he got drunk in the kitchen or was already
drunk out on the highway. But, can you take his license anyway?”
Profiling doesn’t always work out as planned.