Thursday, March 23, 2006

Survival Tale, Part II

The San Diego Times-Union has this story on the survival adventure of the Higginbotham family.

They confirmed a suspicion of mine that, being in a 36' RV, they had power and heat during their time in the snow. That was fortunate for them, and makes things much easier (as well as more pleasant).

They also confirmed my assumption that these folks were, at some level, survival oriented (although the story sort of makes that sound like a bad thing):

Elbert Higginbotham was a self-described survivalist who spent many years in the desert with no electricity or running water. Six years ago, he stockpiled rations for the never-realized Y2K disaster.

What I find the most interesting is local law enforcement's view of these people going missing and their actions, compared to the views and reactions of those who actually know them. Let's do a compare and contrast

Law enforcement says:

"“It's not against the law to be missing,"” he (Ashland Police Detective Brent Jensen) said.

and

The younger couple did not show up for work and phone calls went to voice mail. Peter Stivers works for a 7-Eleven, his wife for a video rental store.

"These are not lifelong careers,"” Jensen said. "They are minimum-wage jobs. It is not unusual for people to decide they want to take time off."

That sort of sounds like, "Hey, these people are at the bottom of the ladder, so they're expendable." Nice.

Now here are the views and actions of friends and coworkers:

Relatives filed a missing persons report three days after the family was due back.

OK, given they were on a road trip, that sounds reasonable.

Renate Cherry, who owns the 7-Eleven, said Stivers had been due for the midnight shift March 5 and knew there was a problem when he didn't show up.

Which seems to me to indicate that, bottom of the ladder or not, Mr. Stivers was a good employee who was always punctual. He didn't care if it was a minimum wage job, he still took it seriously.

There's been a lot of discussion over the years on just how hard it would "disappear" yourself in this country. The answer seems to be get yourself a minimum wage job, then just...go. The cops won't put much effort into looking for you.

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