The municipal government of Washington, D.C., has a culture with striking similarities to Logan County's. Recently I saw a Washington Post article about the murder of a waiter from a local restaurant, Annie's Paramount. I read it with interest because Annie's has long been favored by Monthly employees for its reasonable prices and friendly atmosphere. The article, in explaining the lack of police protection in the neighborhood, quoted an official as saying one Factor was that so many policemen were on sick leave. How many, I wondered? Was it disproportionate, a la Logan County, to the number of employees on sick leave from comparable organizations?
My assistant, Soyoung Ho, called the police department to inquire. First they said they weren't sure they had the figures. Then they said our request had to be submitted in writing, and referred to their legal department. We wrote the letter but haven't received a reply. But why did we have to write? And what on earth did the legal department have to do with the matter? It's not as if we're asking for names.