Vail Daily Mountain Mischief: The Mystery of Reefer Reef | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily Mountain Mischief: The Mystery of Reefer Reef

Note: Every few days we take a stroll through some local police reports, confident that it will help improve your outlook on life because you are not these people.

Liar, liar, dope on fire

You go to jail for smoking dope while driving a car and weaving like a Middle Eastern rug maker. You’re doing time in someplace south of heaven for lying that you were driving like that because you needed to get to Salt Lake City before you son died in the hospital, when he wasn’t. Your stay in purgatory is extended because you lied and said he was in an LDS hospital, and no one lies on the Mormons and gets away with it, because those are among the sweetest people on God’s green earth. There’s a good news/bad news joke that has Jesus phoning Jimmy Swaggart to tell Jimmy the good news, that He has made his much-anticipated return. The bad news is that He was calling from Salt Lake City. But because this chronicles the human condition and is not funny – unless we can figure out ways to make it funny – we would never tell that joke, even though your Beloved Uncle Randy is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and thinks it’s really funny.



Anyway, Dope on Fire attracted the attention of his fellow motorists and they called the Sheriff’s Office and a deputy pulled him over. The deputy, being a curious sort, asked Dope on Fire why he was driving at 107 mph. Dope on Fire started to cry and lie, telling the deputy that he had to get back to Utah before his son died of lymphoma cancer, which could be any second, Dope on Fire told the deputy between sobs.

Dope on Fire’s believability was hindered when he rolled down the window and a green cloud rolled out and assaulted the deputy’s nasal passages like a marijuana mushroom cloud. So the deputy phoned Salt Lake City, from where Jesus phoned Jimmy Swaggart, and talked to the Latter Day Saints hospital staffers who know you can go to hell for lying just as fast as you can for cheating and stealing. They had no patient named Dope on Fire Jr., they told the deputy.



Well, replied Dope on Fire, he must have received the bad news from his son’s girlfriend. So the deputy called That Girl, who told him that she had been the bearer of no such news, and the Dope on Fire is normally very stable.

Events took another unfortunate turn for Dope on Fire when motorists began pulling over tell the deputy that he had misbehaved, trying to run them off the road and being a disruptive influence.

That was about enough for the deputy, who pulled Dope on Fire from his car and patted him down. When you are dealing with law enforcement officers of any sort, you have the right to remain silent, which Dope on Fire would have been well advised to invoke. But, in the immortal words of Blue Collar comedian Ron White, he had the right to remain silent, but not the ability.



During the routine pat-down, Dope on Fire told the deputy that he had never been felt up before by a gay cop. He also conjectured that if he left the security camera’s eye, the deputy would beat him. Beat him at Scrabble, perhaps, but that’s about it.

The deputy, curious about how much marijuana might be in the car, summoned Fantom The Crime Dog to sniff around a little. Fantom really enjoys his work, and got really excited when he found a wooden box with some dope and a pipe in it. Fantom did not find a medical marijuana card because Dope on Fire is from Utah and the good citizens of the Beehive State have had better sense than to allow that sort of thing.

Dope on Fire began screaming that he was being tortured, beaten and robbed by the deputy, who was now joined by one of his amused colleagues and whom Dope on Fire accused of being an accomplice.

The deputy then read Dope on Fire his Miranda Rights, the ones where it’s explained that he has the right to remain silent. Dope on Fire’s inability is another matter entirely, but he did scream that he did not want to talk to the deputy.

After he’d been advised of his right to remain silent, and was being booked as a guest at the Eagle County Crossbar Hotel, Dope on Fire proclaimed his intent to sue, made some unfortunate assertions about the deputy’s mother, and that he was going to hire Johnny Cochran.

Alas, the deputies did not have the heart to break the news that Johnny Cochran had gone on to that Big Courtroom in the Sky, where he was likely helping Jimmy Swaggart prepare his defense after Jimmy’s phone call from Jesus in Salt Lake City.

Radar O’Really

Police radar will outrun almost any getaway car, especially a Japanese subcompact.

Radar Runner stole his getaway car from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Rifle, drove to the Highway 6 store in Gypsum, and pointed his gun at two people and stole a purse. This is bad for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that the pilfered purse did not match his shoes.

Radar Runner’s stolen subcompact is a perfectly reliable vehicle good for just about any run-of-the-mill transportation need. But a getaway car needs to have a little something extra. In this case, Radar Runner’s cars’ “something extra” is supposed to be one of those keypads that work a little like a Sudoku puzzle and are supposed to keep him from operating a motor vehicle when he’s under the influence of alcohol, drugs or being generally silly-headed. The subcompact had no such keypad, which the zillions of police officers soon learned when they pulled over Radar Runner and pointed most, if not all of their weapons at him. This is called a “high risk traffic stop.”

Of course, the two robbery victims called the police, and were understandably upset after being on the business end of gun held by a drunken car thief. Radar Runner wasn’t hard to spot. He was the only one driving a stolen subcompact between Gypsum and Edwards at 95 mph.

Lots of mistakes were made by Radar Runner, and not the least among them was jumping right back on I-70 after stealing the car and the purse. I-70 is actually pretty easily controlled environment. Police sealed off the exit ramps, a couple followed him with their lights flashing and sirens screaming, and admonished him to give up the chase. He did so, rolling to a stop on the Edwards exit ramp. They found the gun, the purse and a 40 ounce bottle of beer that had been mostly consumed by Radar Runner, which may have contributed to his lapses in judgment, or at least to the smell of beer emanating from his person when police were slapping the cuffs on him.

Radar Runner started complaining of chest pains, perhaps pangs of guilt from being such a bonehead, but his health was declared robust enough to withstand a trip to the Eagle County Crossbar Hotel.

The Mystery of Reefer Reef

You can lead a horde to culture, but you can’t make them think. Which pretty much explains the political process during most election years, including this one. It also speaks to why someone would go to all the trouble of putting a dope growing operation on an island in the middle of the Colorado River above Dotsero.

We’ll call the island Reefer Reef.

A sportsman enjoying Colorado’s Great Outdoors spotted the operation when he was fishing, harking back to a more simple lifestyle in which we were hunters and gatherers. But alas, agriculture has always usurped hunting/gathering, and agriculture also gave us beer, which goes well with rafting and rafting turned out to be an important part of solving The Mystery of Reefer Reef.

So, in the name of fact finding and investigation, and because it was a stunning autumn afternoon, a couple sheriff’s investigators jumped into a raft with a couple BLM guys and floated down the Colorado River from Anderson Camps in search of Reefer Reef, which isn’t quite as swash bucking as Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth in Florida, but it’s still a pretty good way to spend an afternoon.

Eventually, our investigators found it – Reefer Reef, not the fountain of youth.

They were most impressed by the tender loving care the Reefer Reef horticulturists had provided for their cash crop. Camouflage biodegradable bags contained rich potting soil – like you’d grow pot in anything else but potting soil. The plants were about 3 feet tall and impressively healthy.

In fact, the investigators and BLM guys were so impressed that the kept the entire garden for evidence.

If you know anything about it, the Sheriff’s Office would like to know. They could use a little help investigating ways to improve next year’s tomato crop.


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