PHOENIX, March 29, 2016 — The law is the law, or something like that.
Let us set the stage: Law enforcement officers Wendell Johnson and Luis Sanchez arrive at the home of Mr. Donald Wynchless. They have a warrant for his arrest.
Officer Johnson: Sir, are you Donald Wynchless?
Donald Wynchless: Yes.
Johnson: And do live at 1642 East Yucca Drive?
Wynchless: Um, sure. You’re at my front door. The address is right here. (He points to the house number on the side of the house near the front door.) What’s going on?
Johnson: We’ve got a warrant for your arrest.
Wynchless: What? A warrant? For what?
Johnson: It’s bad, Mr. Wynchless. We’re looking into a possible 938 violation. Back in 2002 you rented a VHS copy of the movie “Pluto Nash” from, it says here, the Nogales Video and More store. You never returned it.
Wynchless: I tried to return it, but they went out of business a week later.
Johnson: We really don’t care about your excuses, Mr. Wynchless. Cuff him, Sanchez. We’ve got a search warrant too.
Wynchless: This is crazy! “Pluto Nash” was a lousy movie, why don’t you arrest Eddie Murphy?
Johnson: That’s out of our jurisdiction and I suspect the statute of limitations has run out as well.
The cops begin searching the home of Donald Wynchless. They make some interesting discoveries.
Johnson: Found it. “Pluto Nash.” Oh, this is bad, much worse than I thought, Ernie. He didn’t rewind it. It says right on the box “Be kind, rewind.” Don’t you follow any rules, Wynchless?
What else is here? Here’s “Spy Kids 2” Really?
Wynchless: Hey, I bought that. My kids loved it.
Johnson: We don’t really care if it’s actually yours or not. Being in possession of “Spy Kids 2” could be a misdemeanor. We’ll have to check on that.
Hey, Sanchez, check this out. I found an 8-track tape of Captain and Tennille. Does this one have “Muskrat Love” on it? Yep, there it is. Always hated that song. And here’s another one. The Starland Vocal Band. You’re kidding me, right?
Johnson starts singing, “A…a…a…afternoon delight.” Wynchless isn’t amused.
Johnson: You’ve got a lot of VHS tapes here. You know, they had DVDs back in 2002.
Wynchless: I’m slow to embrace new technology, okay? Can’t you go after real criminals? This is Nogales, Arizona, there are more illegal immigrants here than legal residences.
Johnson: We can’t do anything unless they break the law.
Wynchless: They broke the law to get here, doesn’t that count?
Johnson: Ha! You’re funny. We’ve got a comedian here, Sanchez. Mr. Wynchless, they’ve got to really break the law. Coming across the border illegally isn’t really breaking a law-law. Nobody pays attention, anyway. They need to really break a real law for somebody to do something. We’re only interested in the serious stuff.
Wynchless: Sure, like renting a movie.
Johnson: It wasn’t the renting of the movie that got you in trouble, it was the fact that you didn’t return it.
Wynchless: So, using that logic, couldn’t we say that if you aren’t going to arrest people for coming into the country illegally, you could at least arrest them for not returning – themselves?
Johnson: Stop trying to make a federal case out of this.
Wynchless: I just saw the other day that a Mexican drug smuggler was finally convicted after the 24th time he’s been arrested. Finally, after 24 times!
Johnson: That’s part of the new 24 strikes and you’re out rule.
Wynchless: How many strikes do I get?
Johnson: There is a zero tolerance policy on movie rentals.
Wynchless: But nobody rents movies anymore. When was the last time you saw a Blockbuster? It’s been years. What’s the big deal?
Johnson: Look, you broke the law. We are either a nation of laws or we aren’t.
Wynchless: Except, I guess, immigration laws. Or Hillary Clinton.
Johnson: Stop nit-picking. And why bring up Hillary Clinton?
Wynchless: Well, if we’re a nation of laws, why doesn’t she have to follow any of them?
Johnson: You’re still trying to make a federal case out of this, aren’t you? We’re not concerned with Hillary Clinton.
Wynchless: Oh, so she puts America’s national security at risk with her own email server and what happens? Nothing. I don’t return a movie and I’m looking at hard labor.
Johnson: If you’re lucky. I don’t really care what Hillary Clinton does. National security isn’t my concern.
Wynchless: Your position on illegal immigration makes that pretty clear.
Johnson: Besides, our borders are plenty secure. Remember a few years back when Customs agents intercepted a huge shipment of hair dryers that didn’t have the proper warning labels on them? Just think of how many people would have been killed using those hair dryers in the bathtub if those came into the country.
Wynchless: Who users a hairdryer in the bathtub?
Johnson: Hopefully, nobody does, thanks to the warning labels.
Wynchless: That’s just dumb.
Johnson: Look, Sanchez, here’s a Mr. Mister CD and one for…oh, this is incredible, Rick Astley. Rick Astley, you are a comedian, Wynchless? At least we’re into the eighties now.
Wynchless: So, I own a Rick Astley CD, is that a crime now?
Johnson: No, but it should be.
Wynchless: Is this really all you Nogales cops have to do?
Johnson: Oh, we’re not the police, we’re border patrol agents. We’ve got nothing to do so the Nogales Police Department asked if we’d help them out with their case backlog. We’re going after some guy who keeps tearing labels off of his mattresses next. We think it’s a serial case.
Wynchless: Oh, God…help us!