I’m An Incremental Criminal


It’s okay to break the law – as long as you don’t go to far. You won’t get a speeding ticket for doing 71 mph in a 65 zone, and with my latest epiphany, you don’t go to jail for leading a life of incremental crime.

The benefits of incremental crime became apparent as I drove 71 miles per hour down the highway, in blatant violation of the 65 mph speed limit. I wasn’t alone. Hundreds of other criminals were speeding, all of us streaming by a cop, who brandished his radar gun for the bigger game – the 80 mph guy.

I’m not sure when it became okay to take a clearly-posted speed limit and make it fuzzy. It’s like we gauge crime by the percentage: Five to eight miles over the speed limit is acceptable. As long as we’re not pushing it by 10 percent or more, we’re considered law-abiding citizens.

If this type of behavior is okay, I decided to extend it to walks of life beyond breaking the speed limit on the interstate. Thus began my life of incremental crime, and it began with a trip to the grocery store.

I was hungry, and I wanted a pickle. Instead of stealing a whole jar of pickles, I just popped open a jar and took one. Then I closed it back up and put it on the shelf. No one said a word, although I did get a few envious looks.

Next, I headed over to the housewares aisle. Again, stealing a whole jug of Tide would warrant arrest and lifelong imprisonment. But I acted incrementally, pouring half a capful of detergent into my pocket, to be used later.

At this point, you’re probably wondering about the big crimes, particularly the biggest of them all: Murder. Everyone would like to kill someone, and chances are someone would probably like to kill you. So how can you kill someone incrementally? I’ll tell you.

Killing My Parents and My Wife


I’ll admit, growing up, I wanted to kill my parents. They had a lot of restrictive rules, like don’t smoke crack while driving the family car, don’t smoke crack while operating a forklift, and the worst one of all – don’t smoke crack. It irked me to no end, so l plotted their incremental murder.

You can’t incrementally murder someone, like with a gun or a knife. That’s over the 10 percent threshold. But can chip away at a clip of 5 to 8 percent per year.

How? By engaging in asinine behavior, and accelerating their aging process. The faster you make them age, the sooner they die. See? Incremental murder!

I thus smoked crack and drove a forklift through my parents’ living room on a daily basis. My father turned prematurely grey, and my mother endured sleepless nights, wondering how to get the tire marks out of the carpet. They aged right before my eyes!

As I turned into an “adult,” my wife also made the list, with overly restrictive rules such no Belgian beers for breakfast. I began to incrementally murder her, with bouts of emotional immaturity.

For example, I can tell you who played starting cornerback for the ‘78 Packers, but I forget our anniversary date at the drop of the hat. So every year, it’s another missed anniversary, another set of grey hairs. In forty or fifty years, she’ll be done for!

The danger in my incremental killing spree? I believe my sly kids have picked up on old dad’s tricks. From their perennially untidy rooms to junior driving a forklift through the dining room, I’ve got my own grey hairs sprouting like dandelions. The apple doesn’t fall far from the killing tree.

I guess in the end, we’re all guilty of incrementally murdering each other. Maybe that’s why 71 miles per hour in a 65 zone is okay. So go ahead folks, step on the gas pedal a little harder. Just don’t do it driving a forklift and smoking crack, ok?

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  1. I like your style! This needs to be shared by the masses, so we can up the ante subtly..kinda like how we went from small fries to supersize…and then we can take care of business (like the murders) just a little bit faster. Great post!

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