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Doug Clark: Criminal snackers are likely slackers

Listen up, crime fighters.

Today’s caper is to catch the Manito Munchies.

That’s the nickname I’ve given to the two big-footed stoners who burgled the landmark Park Bench Café at Spokane’s Manito Park sometime during the dark hours of Monday night.

Whoever successfully fingers these miscreants will receive free Park Bench food for the summer.

Having eaten at the Park Bench several times I can attest that this is a fine and sumptuous reward.

Sam Song promised that payback Tuesday afternoon after I dropped in on the scene of the crime. Dating to 1923, the Park Bench Café is a rustic wood-and-rock eatery located at Tekoa and Manito Place.

Song, 37, oversees food and beverage concessions for the city parks department. He’s one of the hardest-working, nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Spokane is truly lucky to have him.

Now I can’t say with absolute certainty that this break-in was committed by a couple of cannabis culprits.

But after Song told me the details, well, let’s just say that in my mind all signs point to potheads.

Here’s why. After busting into the café through one of the front serving windows, the intruders then gobbled a fat tub of vanilla ice cream, a number of yummy pastries and a load of Tootsie Pops.

If that ain’t the munchies, man, then what is?

The Park Bench cash registers are left open with no money in them, by the way.

“I think they were high,” said Song.

No shootin’, Sherlock.

It should be pointed out that Song called the cops before ever turning to yours truly. Some of Spokane’s Finest showed up to take notes and eyeball the evidence.

Song dialed me sometime after the law left. He loves the Park Bench and rightfully sees what happened as an insult that everyone should be made aware of.

He also has faith in the police.

But it’s a pretty safe bet that the SPD does not have the time or resources to focus on a snack heist.

I, on the other hand, have absolutely nothing but time on my hands.

(COLUMNIST INTERJECTION – Yes. I’m aware that perennial candidate Barbara Lampert filed the requisite paperwork Tuesday to run for Spokane mayor. In fact, I’m announcing my role as Lampert’s unofficial and unwanted campaign manager and will be unveiling my “Keys to a Mayor Lampert victory” just as soon as I can think of any.)

Song said the intruders left two sets of footprints that both appear to be in the size-11 range.

Hmm. This clue suggests to me that the perpetrators are fully grown guys or gals burly enough to buck hay bales.

Anyway, in my mind the crime went down like …

BEAVIS – “Dude. That killer chronic’s giving me the hungries.”

BUTTHEAD – “Hehhh. Hungry.”

BEAVIS – “Let’s see if we can get into the Park Bench Café. Dude. There’s gotta be some major treats in there.”

BUTTHEAD – “Treats. Hehhh.”

BEAVIS – “Whoa. Dude. Ice cream. Pastries. Tootsie Pops. Dude, let’s eat.”

BUTTHEAD – “Hehhh. Tootsies.”

All right. The game is afoot.

Anyone with information regarding the Manito Munchies should contact me via the information below.

They shouldn’t be too hard to spot. Just look for two total dopes with cherry, orange or grape tongue stains.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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