Nick Nunn

Nick Nunn

By Nick Nunn

Surely, it could be considered the civic responsibility of any person to report being witness to a crime – consider the last episode of Seinfeld, where the main characters were arrested for being “guilty bystanders” by watching a crime take place and doing nothing – but how far should one stick their neck out in order to make sure that an actual crime is taking or has taken place?

We can all think of examples; in Hitchcock’s film Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart gets thrown out of a window after watching a murderer from his apartment’s window.

Crime: yes. Outcome: not so good.

Or the recent Zimmerman trial, when Zimmerman suspected that a crime was taking place and intervened.

Crime: not until the intervention. Outcome: worse.

Oh, wait. Never mind: supposedly the act of killing Trayvon Martin wasn’t a crime.

Anyway, a couple of witnesses in Columbus, Ga. made a less dangerous mistake when they reported what they believed to be a severed head floating down the Chattahoochee river.

In hindsight, however, they should have taken a closer look.

The head in the water was really… a basketball.

Oops.

Were the witnesses Oompa-Loompas? Otherwise, why would you think that something the color of a ripe pumpkin is someone’s head?

I mean, fake tanning cream can do crazy things to an epidermis, but that’s a little ridiculous.

Despite the one Phoenix City officer seeing only the basketball in the water, the local police department devoted a few more man hours before giving up on the search.

“Nobody’s been reported missing on either side of the river,” said Assistant Chief Robert Futrell of the Columbus Fire Department to Columbus’ Ledger-Enquirer. “There wasn’t enough evidence to go on, so we called the search off.”

Unfortunately, since only the basketball head has been found, it doesn’t look like the family will be able to have an open-casket funeral…