In many ways, crime is something that seems to be hard to swallow. It’s not likeable and treacherously dirty, not to mention illegal in many countries and downright dastardly wrong. But in some ways, crime does pay a little tribute to those who most likely wish that it wasn’t for them.

Some TV shows are based on real-life crime and trials, but others focus on the bumbling crook, the guy who probably wishes that he never got caught that way again, yet, you expect him to, anyway. A famous one is the guy who gets caught stuck in the chimney posing as Santa, or in a more dramatic case, where the storekeeper fights back with little more than a stick of gum and wins.

In the Cree world, we have our bumbling crooks too. Take for instance, the times local stores would be robbed, only to have hot contraband sold in overnight enterprises, dealing cigarettes and booze. This leads everyone to believe that they were the culprits because of the noticeable flow of customers to and from their midnight store – usually the back door of their home – immediately after the heist.

Robbery used to be confined to a little five-finger discount for a pack of cigarettes or a pop and chips. But somehow, for many who dared try their luck at theft, it became addictive, probably more addictive because easy money can feed so many addictions at a time. So the scale of theft becomes more of the armed robbery type, done by the same age group that used to steal the pop and chips back in the day before easy tabs on your can of cola.

Speaking of pop and chips, in those days, most of us had to carry around a can opener. For a few others, they just chewed a hole through the thick tin, not the flimsy aluminum cans we have today. Back then, you had to work out in the gyms for days on end just to bend the can with your bare hands and you were considered top gun if you could crush more than three cans in a row. Unfortunately for those who dared to use their teeth on a frequent basis they had the occasional crack develop in their enamel leading to some weird sense of accomplishment and insane headaches. ‘Nuff said.

But today’s crooks can be quite the handful for our local CSI (Cree Style Investigators). Take for instance – again back in the day – when an island-wide manhunt for a young lad, who had ripped off a gin bottle from an old lady, ensued the day after the incident, and the young lad was walking off a bad hangover. The local CSI drove up to him and shone a flashlight in his bloodshot eyes and asked him if he had seen the culprit. “No, I didn’t,” he answered truthfully, as he was not the type of guy to look at himself in mirrors or any other reflections. The manhunt continued vainly, as the young lad escaped and slipped back into obscurity, back into the night he walked, scot-free.

Today, crime is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. As in all crimes, there are victims, and they usually have nothing to laugh about.

So on another matter, I will change from crime reporting, as many loyal fans are committing crimes now for notoriety’s sake and a mention in the famous Nation magazine. I hereby pledge not to write about further crimes, thereby reducing crime as a result – albeit extremely slightly.