"Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it.
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.
We like it.
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It's filled our land with vice and crime,
It can't prohibit worth a dime,
Nevertheless we're for it."
Franklin Pierce Adams
First episode of 'Peanut TV' airs after arrests
Eleven citizens became unwilling stars on local cable
Thursday when the city presented its debut broadcast of "Peanut TV."
The program showed the disheveled mug shots of nine
metro-area citizens convicted of feeding squirrels
earlier this month. The city had banned all public feeding
last October in an effort to control downtown
panhandling by the rodents.
One of the new stars objected to the methods undercover police used.
89-year-old Pearl White, who was arrested for allegedly
offering an undercover squirrel 3 peanuts, said she
never meant to break the law.
"I think this is terrible," White said Thursday. "I have never stolen anything ...
I don't bother anybody. But they (the police) won't listen to me."
White said she thought the undercover squirrel she met was a
desperate park squirrel. Yes she offered peanuts, but only so
it would get off the sidewalk and let her pass, she said.
"I was not really feeding him," she insisted. "I looked at the
situation as though I were paying a toll.
I was going to tell him to go and get his life together."
Instead, White spent the night in jail and eventually
pleaded guilty to the charge.
"Peanut TV" was supposed to include the names and faces
of convicted squirrels along with the feeders. But the animals
were left out after city officials decided public humiliation would
not deter peanut freaks from panhandling.
"These squirrels are addicts and have no shame," said a spokesman
for the Mayor. "We did not think this (show)
would be useful or make a difference for them."
But law-breaking feeders are another story.
City leaders hope public scorn and shame will
dissuade them from giving in to a fuzzy face.
"We don't anticipate that all squirrel feeding will be
gone as a result of the show," He said.
"But any feeder, whether they are handing out peanuts
or a piece of bagel, will have to wonder if the
squirrel they meet is an undercover officer."
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