Though it bothers me to admit this, every now and then I have a shitty day. Such is life. Take last Monday, for example, when I was stuck at work until 3 a.m. doing layout, all because I couldn’t fit a three-inch block of text into an empty space. In my angst, I called up my best friend at Berkeley to vent. As it turned out, my night wasn’t so bad after all when compared to his. He had just gotten a ticket for furnishing alcohol to a minor, an offense that can land you with a fine upwards of $1,000. Not that he’ll pay that much, but any way you look at it, he’s not sitting pretty. Immediately upon hearing him tell me this, I assumed he was hosting a party, had minors over and got rolled. But oh, my naiveté.
What really happened was this: He got caught in a sting operation, buying a 40 for a “couple in disguise.” So here’s this top-notch guy, who dreams of one day being the leading rhinoceros veterinarian in the world, minding his own business as he walks up to his local liquor store. It’s been a long day. He’s been in and out of labs, dissected a shark and put up with a whole lot of painfully boring biology nerds. All he wants is a few brews to take home so he can relax with his friends and forget about the shark intestines he spilt on his new, obnoxiously tight white jeans from Sweden. Just as he’s about to walk inside the store, my friend is confronted by an innocent looking guy and his “girlfriend.” The guy, who looks no younger than 20, asks my friend if he would buy a 40-ounce beer for the “couple,” in order for them to have a quiet night together.
Being the nice person he is, my friend obliges, takes their money and buys the 40. Then, when he goes to hand the bottle over to the “couple,” a policeman appears and slaps him with the ticket. All the while, the fake boyfriend is standing by, looking like the jackass that he is. Naturally, my friend wanted to sock this douchebag mole — who, five minutes earlier, was beyond himself in gratitude — in the face. The nerve of the guy. It boggles my mind as to what type of person could take part in a sting operation like this and be able to sleep at night. It downright infuriates me to know that taxpayers’ money is helping fund asinine operations like these.
Just last June, a fourth-year student at UCSB was arrested in the same manner. Reading about the incident in the article, “Underage Decoys Aid Police During Sting Operation,” (Daily Nexus, June 2) I was taken aback. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard of this happening, yet it still got me riled up. The most interesting part of the article was reading the quote from the victim, who questioned whether the cops’ actions could be seen as entrapment. As he says it himself, had the cops never instigated the situation, he never would have committed a crime. My friend in Berkeley voiced this same opinion. All he wanted to do was go buy some beer and go home. He hadn’t the slightest plan of buying liquor for a minor. Yet, being the nice person he is, he felt obliged to help out the couple.
No matter what laws are put in place or how many underage decoys roam the streets, minors will continue drinking alcohol. So, in effect, all these illogical sting operations do is target friendly, helpful individuals like my friend. If my buddy were an asshole or an alcoholic, he probably would have brushed off the couple and avoided the ticket. Instead, like the old saying goes, the nice guy finished last. I’d maybe even understand the ticket if he were buying them handles of Captain Morgan that they could get blacked out from. But it’s a completely different story when he buys a fucking 40.
Alas, the ticket will stand, and the money my friend pays up to the police will end up in the pockets of more soulless decoys and new sting operations. Meanwhile, uneducated students will continue to binge drink, fall off cliffs to their deaths and drive drunk. God forbid the police use our taxpayers’ money to fund more beneficial alcohol awareness programs. But that would be too easy and no fun. Catching an evil-minded biology student with an elaborate sting operation is infinitely more exciting. You get ’em boys. Yeehaw.