The following email was sent to the Columbia student body under the title of CLERY CRIME ALERT, but The Federalist strongly suspects that this email was actually intended for McShane’s estranged daughter who lives in Seattle:
How are you doing in quarantine? It’s been a while since we talked, and I have lots to tell you. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve been binging Outer Banks on Netflix––I think you might really enjoy it. I’m sorry that I have to email you, but you’ve left me no other choice since you blocked my phone number.
As you know, I am the Vice President of Public Safety at Columbia. Unfortunately, my job has been incredibly boring these past few months. Everyone stuck at home means no crimes, and no crime means no Clery Crime Alerts. I miss sending those little updates out to the kids. I miss letting them know that it’s all clear on Amsterdam and 115th, or that the stolen purse has been returned. It’s such a rush to send out a mass email to 30,000 people. I hope one day you get to experience the same.
During this time, I’ve written up a few pigeons for shitting on Low Steps, but they keep coming back. Jane, I’ve truly met my nemesis in these birds. They have no shame and, therefore, no imperative to stop their shitting. In the end, they are nothing more than vandals! I’m thinking of putting up barbed wire everywhere to keep them out, but for some reason, Lee isn’t super into the idea.
I’ve also returned the same “lost” ball to a nine-year-old at least six times. He keeps turning up at the Public Safety Office and asking for it back. Even though I know I’ve given him different balls each time, I don’t mind because I enjoy the fifteen minutes of interaction with him. I’m so lonely!
Recently, I’ve been playing with this idea of committing a crime myself so that I can investigate it. It should be something pretty significant, but nothing that can get me fired. It’s a fine line to walk. So far, I’m thinking that maybe I should burn down Low Library, or pirate a bunch of software while on the Columbia network.
Anyway, those are the updates on my end. I hope you are doing well, and I’d love to hear back from you at some point…
James McShane (your dad)