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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Organized Misdeeds

Al Capone was successfully prosecuted, but his distant cousin,
Joan Capone, continued to operate with impunity.
Most people are unaware that such an organization exists, that the vast majority of petty nuisances and minor social infractions are masterminded by a tightly-knit body.

Organized Misdeeds grew up in Sicily as the slightly simple-minded and more annoying baby brother of Organized Crime.  

In addition to bootlegging, drugs, prostitution, and gambling, Organized Crime, or as it was called, Cosa Nostra, "our thing," extorted small businessmen for protection money with veiled threats such as, "Vinnie, nice bakery you got here.  It'd be a shame if something happened to it,"  Whereas, Organized Misdeeds, or the De Chi E Questa Cosa, "whose thing is this?" operated more insidiously.  Typically, they'd see a sandwich, say, that Vinne was saving for later, or maybe a slice of red velvet cake, and they'd say, "De chic e questa cosa?" and when no one answered, they'd eat it themselves.

While Mafiosos faced occasional criminal prosecution, Organized Misdeeders operated below the law's radar, and thus wreaked havoc with impunity.  For one example, 1931, the year Al Capone was found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to a dose of syphilis, his half-cousin, Joan Capone, was caught with fourteen items in a "ten items or less" grocery lane, and got nothing worse than a "Oh, come on," from the exasperated fellow-shopper behind her.

Today, Organized Misdeeds is a vast international network coordinating such misbehavior as taking up two parking spaces by parking over the white line, being rude to restaurant wait staff, or talking loudly during movies.  The internet has opened a whole new field for Misdeeders, allowing them to post pictures of food on Facebook or take constant selfies or text friends during meetings.

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