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  • Paul Davidson

If I Were In The Witness Protection Program

I am such a huge tattle-tale.

Ever since I was a kid fighting with my sister…she was always the one inching over the imaginary line of demarcation in the back seat of the car… She was always the one eating the cookies from the hidden cookie jar on the top shelf of the pantry, behind the flour. And she was definitely the one making hundreds of dollars of calls to those 976 numbers. She was acting in the wrong, and I was not shy pointing that out.

So, the local authorities probably wouldn’t be too surprised when I ended up on their doorstep with the biggest secret of the world. A secret, that if I were willing to testify to knowing, would probably put some of the meanest, dangerous, violent criminals behind bars for the rest of their lives.

So, yeah. Being a tattletale would have helped me get to this point in my life…

I wouldn’t mind telling on these people. I mean, I was bred for such backstabbing. But what I wouldn’t realize until the end of the case (because I would be so overjoyed to be a part of the case since it was airing on Court TV and my family could watch me) was that I would have to enter the well-known, secretive, exclusive U.S. Government Witness Protection Program.

Boy, would I have a blast.

I would change my name to Rick Sandstrom III, having come from a long lineage of Sandstroms. Having been well known for inventing the very first tea bag in Europe, the Sandstroms then moved to Switzerland and that’s where I grew up. But the American midwest was always calling my name, and that would have been the reason for my arrival in Nebraska, where my running of the local General Store seemed to be the most logical next step for the son of a tea bag magnate. Sell tea. And much much more for really reasonable prices.

If they wouldn’t allow me to choose my name and/or profession, I would have to have a very serious conversation with the people in charge. I mean, I’m the guy putting these people away for good. In the slammer! The least you can do is make me the rich son of a tea bag inventor and place me in Nebraska. Right? Right.

The Nebraskians would welcome me with open arms, I’m sure, especially due to my sparkling personality and openness to discuss tea and all things related to hot water. I would sit for hours on the front porch of the Sandstrom General Store (I’d change the name when I arrived) and tell the locals stories about boiling water and boiling points of water and just how hot you have to be to have water boil in your stomach. Some would be silly stories and jokes that I’d just try to play on those silly single-minded Nebraskians, but while I was taking part in such nonsense, we’d all grow closer and get to know each other really well, sharing our deep dark secrets with one another.

The Government better let me tell them some of my deep dark secrets. Hell, they don’t have to be about the person I used to be, but they could be my new made-up secrets for Rick Sandstrom III. I’m not sure how many people handle the Witness Protection Program, but there better not be some kind of approval system when it comes to signing off on my deep dark secrets. Now that I’m Rick, I have to be able to make up some stuff on my own or this deal is not happening people.

I could obviously commit small, teeny crimes in the local area since what are they gonna do, arrest me and put me away under a fake name? Uh, no. I’m above the law now, people. I would commit minor infranctions like, you know, not paying parking tickets and stealing purses from unlocked cars and periodically calling the Mayor’s wife a “card-carrying Liberal.” I would use this money to supplement the General Store income (which wouldn’t be that huge), which would convince the locals that I had all this money coming from out of my ears, which would gel perfectly with the fact that I was the son of the inventor of the tea bag.

These people would so love me. It would be like that moment at the end of Doc Hollywood when Michael J. Fox decides to stay in the small town with the pet pig, all because the rest of the townfolk fell in like with the guy and wanted him to stay and remain friends with them.

As Rick Sandstrom III, in the Witness Protection Program, I would be that beloved of a guy.

But I’m serious about this. If the Government can’t get their shit together and give me the identity that I want with the eerie deep dark secrets and inventor father crap that I’ve outlined here, then all the ultra-secret information I have buried deep inside my head about the Mob and those other smuggler-guys will remain buried in my head. At that point, you can count me out.

Count. Me. Out.

But if you can make me Rick Sandstrom III and promise me that everyone in the small town will flock to me like small liquor bottles flock to Britney Spear’s hands, well then… I’m your tattle-tale.

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