Man Cleared of Uranium Trafficking

(Nucla) A local furniture auctioneer has been released from custody this morning after being found not guilty of selling weapons-grade uranium to Naturita. The jury, composed entirely of out-of-work cherry pickers, deliberated for two days before communications broke down.

“They didn’t speak much English and we don’t speak much Spanish,” said quart recorder Muriel Etchabarren, “so we had to pull in a bi-linguist from the county seat.”

In a matter of minutes the jury acquitted Melvin Toole, 98, of Pea Green. Now they are seeking another courtroom drama, contending that serving the court system as jurors is far better than agricultural labor.

According to Toole he was attempting to wrestle with a butcher’s block table and some assorted wicker ware when a small metal box crashed to the ground, frightening the crowd and breaking open to expose a chunky bowling ball of what was clearly uranium 235. Encased by the mineral, pitchblende, the element was quickly identified as high quality by West End experts.

“They may not know everything around these parts but they damn sure know what comes out of the ground,” said Toole, explaining the proceedings. “The possession of uranium is illegal and it showed up at my auction. I was caught with my gavel down.”

The uranium was confiscated and Toole placed in protective custody until federal interrogators from Utah could get a bus from Green River. His bail was set at $100. He was not able to raise the sum and has spent almost two weeks in jail. A three-time loser, Toole was indicted for sneaking into the drive-in theater in 1963 and spitting tobacco on the local shuffleboard court some 20 years later.

This uranium caper is his third offense and carries with it mandatory non-beer diet and three hours a day on the much feared Uravan Treadmill.

“The hold-up was forming a jury in such a high-profile case,” said defense attorney Ralston Morstern, who is handling the case gratuitously.

“How can we expect to find anyone who has not already formed and opinion on this kind of case? After a week we finally found this nice family of migrant workers who had no prior opinion of uranium, Toole or buses schedules from Utah. None had watched the nightly news or read a paper since arriving here from Chihuahua in May. If it weren’t for the language barrier my client would have been free in a matter of minutes.”

Although the source and the present whereabouts of the uranium remain a mystery, Toole is free to continue his auctioning. He has promised to be on the lookout for further contraband that might be tucked away in dresser drawers, footlockers or taped to the insides of lampshades.

Naturita is allegedly building a nuclear facility designed to kick out biodegradable uranium heirlooms and fissionable radioactive pellets for sale to phantom cruise passengers in the non-existent local bazaars and kiosks which do not dot the riverbank there.

“The mining days are over but we still have a lot of visitors with an interest in nuclear weapons,” said Toole. “We want to keep that up.”

-Small Mouth Bess

Filed Under: Fractured Opinion

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