If you read the front page of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, you already know there’s a tuba crime wave sweeping America. That’s right. Thieves are making off with musical instruments that can weigh as much as 40 pounds and stand about four feet high on average. The Mario Corso sousaphone belonging to the creative director of the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band was the latest tuba to go missing, pilfered from an open van while the band was loading up. Chances are this particular instrument was worth more than the $2,000 starting price tag for tubas, which apparently can fetch as much as $20,000.
I guess that’s enough incentive for some thieves (big, brawny ones). Tubas have been heisted from high school music programs, instrument stores, and even someone’s garage. Who knew tubas were the hot thing? I have to say that if I were to take up a life of crime, I think I’d go for something that could fit in my pocket. The New Orleans police are hot on the trail of Ben Jaffe’s prize instrument. I hope he gets his tuba back soon.
Then, of course, earlier this week there was the incident with Frances McDormand’s Best Actress Academy Award, which was stolen at the Governors Ball after the Oscars program last Sunday night. The guy who hoisted it was stopped on his way out by a photographer, but not before he posted a video of himself holding it up for all the world to see and claiming he was the true recipient. Just a tad delusional, you think? He is now facing a charge of felony grand theft.
These two incidents got me wondering about other weird incidents of stealing. Apparently food is a big item. I came up with cheese (reputedly the most shop-lifted item in the world), nuts (by the truckload), barbecued eels (by the caseload), ice cream (I’m still scratching my head over that one), and Nutella among other delicacies (source).
Then there are the items that veer closer to the kinky and morbid, such as caskets (yes), human hair, bull semen (never thought I’d be using that word in this column), body parts, worms and snakes, ladies lingerie, and inflatable dog poop. And that’s just scratching the surface.
If Tracy and I and the kids still lived on Long Island instead of New York City, I’d be setting up my lawn chair to make sure no one rolled up my sod and made off with it to barren lands.
I wish you and yours an enjoyable and crime-free weekend.