Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – actually, it was last month in Portland, Ore., but just go with me – a valiant knight of the revered order of Jedi suffered two great injustices at the evil hands of the galactic empire. Such aggression will not stand, my friends, so I humbly beg of you now to join me in my effort to liberate David Allen Canterbury, one of the last remaining Jedis in the Pacific Northwest.

Canterbury, known to some as Obi-Wan Canternobi, must have witnessed some sort of horrible crime at a Toys R Us store because he did what any honorable Jedi would do and acted to stop it, unsheathing both of his deadly lightsabers and attacking three would-be perpetrators. Sure, the three claimed later that they were actually customers minding their own business, but if they provoked an attack from a Jedi master, they must have been up to no good.

And we can rest assured that Canterbury is, in fact, a Jedi master and not some random crazy guy for a couple of reasons. First of all, none of the people he attacked was killed by his lethal weapons. That not only shows his excellent command of the lightsabers but also proves that the attack was motivated by a quest for justice rather than a murderous rampage. Just what you’d expect from a Jedi, right? Amazingly enough, the second reason is even more convincing, as you will see.

Strange as it might seem to you and me that anyone would call the cops when a Jedi is handy, somehow the Portland police were summoned to the Toys R Us. There, they mistakenly assumed that Canterbury was the criminal and that the criminals he tried to stop were innocent victims. Mind you, this is just another example of the systematic persecution of the Jedi, but that’s a whole other column.

We can probably assume that Canterbury used the old Jedi mind trick to help the police see the error in their ways, but it was to no avail, as the cops attempted to Tase him. That’s when Canterbury really flashed his Jedi credentials. He couldn’t be Tased because he was able to deflect the wires of the Taser with his lightsabers. That’s right: He deflected the wires with his lightsabers! You think anyone other than a Jedi master could manage that? Methinks not.

Ultimately, the police were able to subdue Canterbury – by which I mean he allowed himself to be subdued – when a number of uniformed stormtroopers wrestled the brave Jedi to the ground. And then last week, in one of his great injustices, an Oregon judge sentenced Canterbury to 45 days in jail and a mental-health evaluation.

The evaluation should be interesting, as Canterbury confessed that he is already seeking mental-health treatment, which, of course, is Jedi code for “undergoing secret Jedi training,” but I have some concerns about the jail time. I suppose I shouldn’t worry too much – he is a Jedi after all – but it won’t surprise me if the evil empire has some of its goons rough Canterbury up while he’s behind bars. That’s why we need to get him out.

Bad as the jail time and mental-health evaluation are, however, the second great injustice is even more troubling. It seems that in the wake of his arrest, Canterbury has been banned from Toys R Us. Normally, one might think that a 33-year-old man being banned from a toy store is no big deal, but it’s a physiological fact that Jedi need access to Star Wars action figures and other merchandise to survive. Indeed, I fear for Canterbury’s very life if he is denied such toys.

So that’s why I’m spearheading the Liberate Obi-Wan Canternobi movement. I say “liberate” instead of “free” because by the time we get organized and make some noise, Canterbury will likely already be out of jail, but we’ll still need to make sure his Toys R Us ban is lifted.

In closing, let me just say that I find this whole episode more than a little disturbing. Given the way things are going right now, the world needs more Jedi, not fewer, and the police in Oregon should know that. I don’t know about you, but I personally