Makin' the rounds with the Grinch

According to Dr. Seuss, the Grinch lived in a cave north of Who-ville, where he indulged his annoyance for the Christmas season. But this season the Grinch's handiwork has been popping up in Medford, Jacksonville, almost anywhere.

Bill and Jenny Gallagher of Medford told police a person or persons unknown (can we say G-R-I-N-C-H-?) stole a handmade wooden snowman and his stuffed cloth sidekick from their front yard on White Oak Drive in Medford. The snowman was a gift from Jenny's mom, she said.

The victim is described as being about 5 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a stovepipe hat, red mittens and a scarf. Bill Gallagher asks anybody who's seen him to call 621-5402.

That's low, but the Grinch can get way lower. How low? He broke into a Medford church and stole a gift for a needy child. This time he made off with a safe, cash and checks, a guitar, Xbox games and, in the unkindest cut of all, a donated necklace with a pink, heart-shaped charm.

An angler later found some of the church stuff where he was fishing the Rogue River at Touvelle State Park. The cops recovered the safe, minus the cash. They ask informants to call 770-4784.

But the Grinch doesn't stop at stealing. He likes spreading unhappiness. On a roll this time, he sped over to east Medford to lodge a complaint against the saxophone Santa, aka Ron Bartlett, who every year puts up an elaborate light display for the holidays and plays his sax for passersby.

But somebody (wink wink, nudge nudge) called the cops. Citing the city's noise ordinance, they gave Bartlett the old cease-and-desist, or else.

Deputy Chief Tim George speculated that the complainant was a new neighbor. Duh. Like new and green.

But this one has a happy ending. The authorities relented, and Bartlett will play up to 10 p.m. until Christmas, and life will go on. Oh yeah. George later made it official, identifying the whistleblower as the Grinch.

Taking a break from his Medford rounds, the Grinch beat it out to Jacksonville, where he ratted out the Victorinan Christmas carolers strolling the streets. It seems Mr. G. had contacted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and snitched on the carolers.

Their offence? Singing copyrighted songs on the street. ASCAP promptly billed the celebration $300.

The carolers perform such songs as "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger" and "Silver Bills." The latter falls under copyright protection.

The Grinch was foiled this time, too, when an ASCAP spokesman finally said the organization would not pursue the matter.

Suffering an identity crisis after being twice foiled, the Grinch apparently departed the Valley for parts to the north. In Spokane, a man dressed as Santa Claus was knocked unconscious by a thrown object that hit his face as he was riding on the back of a truck done up as a sleigh. Santa, aka Kevin Smith, never saw what hit him. But it broke his nose and gave him a concussion and two black eyes.

"One second I was up there waving to people, and the next minute I wasn't," Smith said.

He was taking part in Santa Run, sponsored by the firefighters union, with firefighters handing out candy to children.

"It pretty much cold-cocked him," fire Lt. Scott Himelspach said.

The Grinch moved on. In Danbury, Conn., a mall Santa Claus said that a woman who sat on his lap was naughty, not nice. The Danbury Fair mall Santa said the woman groped him.

The woman, Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, was easy for the cops to catch, since she was on crutches. She was charged with sexual assault and breach of peace. Police said Santa, 65, was shocked.

You can't make this stuff up.

In Florida the Grinch donned a badge to stalk the John Young Parkway in Orange County with a radar gun. It seems a deputy sheriff has a friend who is a makeup artist, and well, Deputy Marcus Robinson quickly became Deputy Grinch. Deputies handed out 208 tickets in under two-and-a-half hours. Motorists were not amused.

Nor is Santa safe from the Grinch in South America. A helicopter carrying him on his way to distribute gifts in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, came under fire when it flew over a Rio shantytown. The chopper was hit by two rifle shots. Santa wasn't hit.

The cops blamed gang members they said mistook Santa for the cops. Santa later took a car into a poor neighborhood and distributed about 700 gifts.

"As a Santa Claus, I was very sad to see the children frustrated," he said.

What do you expect from a guy whose heart is two sizes too small? That's why he's the Grinch. May he return to Who-ville, where they seem to know how to handle him.

Reach reporter Bill Varble at 776-4478 or e-mail

Share This Story