Wednesday, June 01, 2011

How Low Can You Go?

Those who know me know that I am at least a quasi misanthrope at the best of times. But occasions such as that which occurred just this evening serve to solidify my longstanding motto, Populus es haud damno bonus (“People Are No Damn Good”).

My wife and I are just back from our cemetery tour, first watering the planters at my parents’ grave, then heading out of town a ways to the little country-church cemetery where my wife’s grandparents and great aunt repose. At the latter venue we discovered that the planter of flowers that my wife and her mother had put together and placed for Memorial Day is nowhere to be seen.

While we were marveling at this turn of events, a couple who had been driving slowly through the small cemetery stopped and struck up conversation. Seems their family’s grave had been looted as well, with a couple of hanging pots of plants appropriated from shepherd’s hooks.


I can easily excuse a starving man who steals a loaf of bread—or money to purchase a loaf of bread. In the grand scheme of things, that’s an awfully petty offense. But to steal plants and flowers from graves? That is a crime of near-complete depravity. Not depraved as in murder or child molestation or other heinous crimes, obviously, but depraved in the sense that it is a completely pointless crime. Nobody needs a planter of flowers. There’s no black market on which to sell them. It’s just stealing for the sake of stealing.

Much of the drive back to town was spent pondering exactly how low a person must be to steal from a grave. I think such an act ranks below even stealing from the church poor-box. It may not be the lowest act of theft, but I’m hard pressed to think of anything worse offhand.

Mostly what I think are the immortal words of Daffy Duck:

 “You’re despicable.”

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