Maybe it is punishment enough to be the sort of screwball loser who mimics a gag from MTV's Jackass.

It's one thing to be a practical joker; it's another thing not to have grey matter enough to think up your own dumb stunt.

But if the law allowed pardons for stupidity, we wouldn't need prisons.

Granted, the dim bulbs who dressed up a stuffed animal in baby clothes and gave shoppers at Albertsons cause for concern last week aren't candidates for prison terms.

But they likely committed a crime as they drove around with a andquot;babyandquot; in a car seat on their roof.

It's disappointing the Baker City police officer who responded to the incident failed to issue a citation. The appropriate imposition of a fine or a stern talking to is a matter for the District Attorney or a judge to determine, not the police.

Because the incident has all the ingredients of a crime: intent to cause other people distress, and a recklessness that could have resulted in an injury to a selfless party attempting to save the andquot;baby.andquot;

The difference between monkeyshines and manslaughter is a moment no one anticipates and no one can forget. A trip through the juvenile justice system might have helped these pranksters reflect on the impact of their decisions and realize that the only fools involved were those who let a television program think for them.