Dear Copleighanne,

I don’t really watch movies, but one that stuck with me was the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Now, whenever I go on a road trip, I’m scared shitless that a bunch of gobbeldy-goos are gonna trick me into driving to some remote place and torture me and my traveling party, and kill us all. But it’s summer, so I wanna go on trips. Now, all these horror-movie incidents would all be avoided if there were cops there to save these characters. Luckily, there are cops in real life, and we have cell phones. So, what I’m wondering is how real these freak abductions and violent harassment incidents are. How often do cops in Utah get to these types of reports of people having been jacked up, scary-movie style on the road in Utah, before it’s too late? If I call 911 when I feel like there’s a kooky claw man in a Winnebago following me for too long, what’s the general reaction to these sorts of fears?


Dear Butterfly,

I think you watch movies, and I think you watch them a lot. I don’t think movies are bad, but I do think scary movies are bad for YOU.

Since you’re adept at recognizing “gobbeldy-goos,” I believe that you being tricked by them is unlikely, and you’re probably good to go on trips. As you suggest, traveling with other people is always a good thing—especially if your travel destinations are remote. Even if you did have cell service, the chance of a cop/samurai getting to your remote post in a timely fashion to save the day is equally remote. My suggestion to you, if you really feel you could be the potential target of a violent harasser intent on abducting you, is to do what the cops do: Arm and be prepared to defend yourself or to attack your pursuer, depending on the circumstances. By arming yourself, I’m telling you to become proficient (lots of practice) with a firearm, so that if it becomes necessary to deal with a kooky claw man, you can do so with the correct mindset and capability.

Yes, there are instances where citizens in Utah have ended up in remote areas, and they were tortured and killed. The chance of this happening to you is very low. In fact, it’s so low that if you were to call 911 and report Freddy Krueger in a Winnebago following you, you’d probably be considered the kook. My suggestion, if you do have to call 911, is to change your terminology to concepts such as “road rage,” “aggressive driver,” “asshole driver” or other acceptable descriptors, and by all that is holy, don’t tell the dispatcher that a “gobbeldy-goo” or a “kooky claw man” is after you. If you throw those out, the dispatcher is going to think things like mushrooms, lots of marijuana, LSD, etc.

So, Butterfly, to recap: Arm yourself and become proficient, as no samurai is coming to save you.Abductions and torture do occur, but the chance of them happening to you is almost nonexistent. If something does happen, use reasonable terminology and demeanor in order to receive the proper reaction from law enforcement. And don’t watch scary movies.

Not Your Samurai

Have a question for the cop?
Email him at