“Bless Me, Father, For I May Have Sinned…..”

Yep, it’s true.  The first time a student cheats in Introduction to Computer Science, a course taught by Harvard Professor David Malan, the offender has 72 hours to confess the crime.  Doing so will result in the student flunking the assignment, but the student will not be subject to further disciplinary action for the misdeed.  (Chronicle of Higher Education, January 23 online)

A version of the professor’s policy has now been adopted outside of the classroom in Elkins, West Virginia.  According to Elkins Police Chief Lemuel “Lum” Turley, “If you shoot someone in our city and turn yourself in within 24 hours, we will not arrest you, and you will not be prosecuted.  Of course, you will be required to apologize to the victim’s next of kin.  This policy only applies to first-time shooters.”

Initiated on January 1st, 2020, the policy has had mixed results.  On the one hand, the number of homicides in Elkins has increased from 2 in all of 2019 to 117 in January 2020 alone.  “Apparently, this town is home to a lot of folks who are mighty pissed off,” Turley observes.  “Nearly all of the January shootings were carried out by wives who were sick and tired of being treated poorly by their husbands.  To be honest, I can’t blame the ladies.  Elkins men are notorious for being nastier than a bunch of turkey buzzards with an ass rash.  I’m confident that the number of domestic-violence calls we’ll get in 2020 involving female victims will show a large drop compared with 2019, and that’s a good thing — a damn good thing!  And I can say for sure that I’m a much better husband to my wife Thelma these days, ever since she started keeping a revolver inside her Spanx and enrolled in that firearms training class over in Parsons.”

Addendum:  Hallmark reports that sales of Valentine’s Day cards “for her” have gone up 876% in Elkins this year, the biggest increase of any city in the nation.