1 March 2006
"Mopery," said H. Allen Smith in Low Man on a Totem Pole, is the "old English misdemeanor of exposing one's self in front of a blind man on a public highway."
I ... was threatened with arrest for "mopery" back in 1970 by a gendarme in the employ of the Columbus, Ohio police department. As I knew I was guilty of no crime beyond a bad attitude and a subversive haircut, I presumed he was joking and simply walked away. But several days later I heard that a friend had actually been arrested, booked and jailed for "mopery," so I guess the relevant law really existed on the books (and, knowing Columbus, I'd guess that it probably still does).
The Detective's interpretation:
"Mopery," at least in Columbus, Ohio, consists of "walking down the street with no clear destination or purpose." "Mopery" is thus essentially "loitering while walking," and, like laws against loitering and vagrancy, functions as a sort of legal wildcard, a one-size-fits-all charge that can easily be applied to annoying people by irritable authorities.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee, reports Triticale, has "approved an ordinance calling for fines against persons who 'loiter in a menacing fashion'." I wonder if this is like Oklahoma City's "aggressive panhandling" minus the actual request for spare change.Posted at 6:17 AM to Almost Yogurt