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Archive for March, 2010

"It wasn't me." Photo by JMita Studios, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/junie_moon_photoshare/3329480222/

Here in the soothing, aromatic offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we have the most modern air exchange/purification system in our bathrooms that is yet possible in this age of super technology.  Yes, amid all the research of the human genome, cloning, new weapons, and medical development, some scientist actually spent his research money developing new ways to keep your bathroom from stinking.  Too bad we can’t install the system in the atmosphere over the state of Indiana.

Even as I write this to you, Indiana is being run over by giant poop bubbles.  And they smell bad.  The foul bubbles are caused by animal poop on the dairy farm of Tony Goltstein, who like most diary farmers, puts the waste from his animals in a giant lagoon.  Way back in 2006, small bubbles began poking up on the surface.

Now, 6 years later, the bubbles are the size of small houses and can be seen in satellite photos.  The fear that the bubbles may begin to float on air a little, and begin rolling across the state chasing people like The Rover giant bubble on The Prisoner, has politicians squirming for a solution, since they rightly assume the bubbles will target them first.

Farmers are an industrious breed, and Goltstein is no exception.  He has a plan.  It’s a bold plan requiring the kind of courage that made this country great.  He and his 19 year-old son, against all logic, would go out on a paddle-boat and slice them open with a knife. The Indiana environmental agency is considering the idea.  But they have some serious concerns.

“Not knowing how much volume of gas is there and how much pressure it’s under,” said Assistant Commissioner Bruce Palin, “we’re concerned with just cutting a hole.”  Yeah, what it if it stinks up the whole state?  Nobody wants to smell what’s on the inside of a giant poop bubble.  And don’t forget how damaging methane can be to the ozone.

I, Crusty, have a much bolder plan.  Capture the bubbles in an extra large butterfly net, transport them overseas and put them at various strategic locations throughout Iraq.  Then, whenever our troops have to conquer a village they can simply pop one of the balloons and move in when the inhabitants get all discombobulated.  It’s a win win situation.
Poop balloons are dangerous with documented evidence.  Just last year, a hog farmer in Minnesota was launched rocket-like 40 feet in the air when a poop balloon exploded in his manure pit, burning him and singeing his hair.

The Wall Street Journal was told by Goltstein that he had “no fear of popping them.”  All I can say is Mr Goltstein is a patriot.

He makes me proud to be an American.

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Photo by Thomas Hawk, flickr, Fair Use Rights, http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/4401212638/

Here in the mysterious offices of The Curmudgeon, we are accustomed to people disappearing only to show up two months later, like Jim in the research and development department who went to his office to work on a “new project,” and then wasn’t seen again for two months.  So it was for a Memphis woman who disappeared while staying at a Budget Inn and then showed up two months later—stuffed under the mattress.

The stunning part of the story is that the room had been rented out 3 times and the staff had cleaned the room on several occasions.  That means guests at the motel were sleeping on her corpse.  Finally, motel staff investigated the aroma coming from the room.  Did it really take two months for the body to smell?  Wasn’t there a 1 week smell and a 1 month smell?  Nobody complained to the office about the odor or the lumpy mattress.

The Memphis police are baffled at the whole thing, which the police do very well—they are superb at being baffled, but they do have an awful lot of bizarre crimes going on around them and they’re expected to sort everything out.  Just another of the reasons they shouldn’t be screwing around with busting citizens for harmless activities, oh…like, say, marijuana possession and driving 60 in in a 55 mph zone. Whether the room is now haunted is unknown, but I would guess even her ghost wanted to check out after two months.

On the customer survey card, the ghost would write:  “Stay was not satisfactory.  I was murdered.  Most unpleasant!”  But I imagine the management would try to make it up to her by offering her two free nights.  Of course the customer survey card asks the most pressing question of all:

How did you sleep?

(Information for this story came from myfoxmemphis.com.)

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Here at the writerly offices of The Curmudgeon, we are well aware of the travails of the Detroit school system.  At the helm, the school board president Otis Mathis, fighting the good fight to drive the system on the right road; to provide an education to Detroit students. By the way, in terms of school achievement, Detroit is the worst big city district in the nation.  It’s a hard enough task, even harder since Otis Mathis can’t write.

“How bad can’t he write, Crusty?” you ask?   Here’s an example”

If you saw Sunday’s Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason’s he gave for closing school to many empty seats.”

As one of his colleagues put it, “He has…communication issues.”  Oh, just say it:  Dude can’t write.  In his student years, he was kicked around from school to school, but always managed to graduate.  College too, but it took ten extra years because he couldn’t pass the English proficiency test.  Does it strike you as odd that the guy running the district can’t even do what every student should be required to do?

That’s the enigma of the nation’s education system.  It’s often so bad even the slightest improvement seems like a complete reversal.  And by all accounts, Mathis is an improvement.  In all other ways, people like his style—his honesty, his ability to lead, his knack to inspire—and view those qualities as enough to do the job.  He just can’t write, that’s all. If being a nice guy can get you an inappropriate career, I want to be an astronaut.  I’m coming, NASA.

“I’m a horrible writer. I know that,” says Mathis.  Horrible?  Some of his emails seem cryptic, like code, but its not:

Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?”

Quickly, Robin, put that secret message into the Bat translator!

Mathis himself says that because of his own travails and educationally challenged life, he is a role model.  But the other side of that coin says, sure, you ‘re a role model to kids who don’t think they need to read or write.  Well, whichever side the coin lands on, the Detroit school system has been bleeding a long time.  I hope he truns out to be the band aid.

Thanks you, for talking this.  I preciate you times took.

(Information for this story came from the Detroit News.)

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Photo by Dave-F/flickr/Fair Use Rights/

Here in the natural habitat of The Curmudgeon, I guess we’re what you call animal lovers.  I’m personally not militant about it, but I think animals are cool and we should probably keep them around, and when I hear about “vanishing species” and animal abuse, it really gets my goat.  So I was tickled to hear that Switzerland is considering giving animals the right to legal representation.  This could really happen.  Orwell’s Animal Farm come to life: “Four legs good; two legs bad.”

You know what this means?  There’s gonna be more lawyers. Packs of them. Whenever there’s a new addition to the legal system, specialized lawyers spring up from nowhere and everywhere.  They’ll come out of the woodwork.  Entire litters of pre-law students will shift their classes to animal law.  You couldn’t make more lawyers if you started a vigorous repopulation program.  Have them mate in captivity then return them to the wild, just like they’re doing with the wood rat in Key Largo.

And it could spread around the world with an unstoppable momentum.  There will be animal lawyers everywhere and it will be fabulous.  Milk cows can sue for “cruel and unusual punishment,” and Pigs will give a teary, heartfelt speech from the witness stand, “He forces me to live in squalid conditions.  It’s like…a sty, you know?  Just mud.  And I’m supposed to wallow in it?  I don’t think so.

Oh, the possibilities are endless.  And eventually legal rights will be extended to lower species.  Before you know it rights will be extended to crustaceans…then to worms.  Yes, even two-headed hermaphroditic invertebrates will have a voice.  And what of plants?  Aren’t they living things?  Don’t they have feelings?  You bet they do.  And they feel it when we pull them out of the ground and eat them without mercy.  Free the turnips, I say!

Well, I for one hope this all comes to pass.  I think I might have a new career here.  I’ll get cases, even if I have to chase the city’s “dog catcher” trucks.  My phone number will be 1-800-274-8837.  That’s
1-800-CRITTER.  I’ll have a slogan in my advertising to attract new animal clients.  I’ve written the slogan already:

“Hoof & Mouth. Your Hoof, My Mouth.”

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“Empty your car before the thief does it,” Photo by Valla/Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/10318765@N03/2765890678/

Here in the expensively-adorned, thief-worthy offices of The Curmudgeon, we are no strangers to boneheaded burglary attempts.  There was the “Spongebob incident,” where a man posing as a singing telegram attempted to smuggle several large paintings out stuffed under his shirt while he sang, “I Shot the Sherrif.”  He looked like Spongebob.  But this one even made us shake our heads in imperial disbelief: two car thieves called 911 while they were committing the crime.

How it went down was when the two burglars – 19 and 13 years old – began looting from the vehicle, one of the Einsteins hit the auto 911 button on the phone.  A dispatcher answered and listened to their conversation.

“Hello? Hello? What is your emergency?” the 911 dispatcher asks.

“Help,” the criminal said, “Burglary in process!  I’m the dumb ass crook.  I can’t stop my stealin’ ways. Help me stop!  Send backup!”

Well, not exactly.  Instead the bumbling bandits argued over what was worth more and should be stolen, all the while the dispatcher listened, passed the ongoing conversation along to the police, who had already dispatched cars to the scene.

“When I beep the horn it means the cops are on their way, you hear me? You promise you hear me?” the callers’ say.

Hearing the conversation must have been quite interesting to the dispatcher.

“Look in here, in the glove compartment. They have, like, GPSs or something,” says dumbass #1.

“Oh, I didn’t even think about that,” says dumbass #2

“That’s where the GPSs are at,” dumbass #1 replies.

“You got to break the SIM card. Take that SIM card out. They can trace it,” one of the cloddish crooks says. “If there’s nothing there, leave it. Trust me, God always works in mysterious ways. If you be greedy, that’s when you get caught up, alright?”

“That’s right, dumbass # 1,”  said the other, “They would be as stupid as if we called 911 on ourselves!”

“Ha, ha!  That would be really stupid.”

There was also a conversation about Karma.  Appropriate under the circumstances.  They still had the stuff in their hands when cops showed up and arrested them.  How could such an amazing screw-ups happen to these two kids?

Bad karma.

(Some facts were published at WESH.com, the Orlando NBC affiliate.)

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Photo by brighterworld, flickr, Fair Use Rights, http://www.flickr.com/photos/13309333@N00/1994537800

Here in the star chamber, i.e., The Curmudgeon offices, we are no stranger to frivolous lawsuits.  We have expressed our outrage over them previously, not to mention that we were once sued by a man claiming that his head exploded after reading one of our posts.  So when a Kansas City man sued the Royals over a wiener, our interest was peaked.

When a fan sits close to the field, they are on the lookout for foul balls possibly conking them in the head and causing serious injury, but they are seldom on the lookout for a flying frank, especially one that is thrown from the field.

But that’s what happened when the Royals mascot, Sluggerrr, pitched a red hot into the stands and hit John Coomer in the eye, causing serious injury.  Or so he claims in a $25,000 lawsuit against the franchise.  What injuries could a wind-up with a wienie cause?  According to Coomer, the meaty missile caused a detached retina and the development of two cataracts, necessitating two eye surgeries.  Furthermore, he now has permanent impairment and is a greater risk for future eye problems.

“When they took me to the first aid station, they offered me a free wiener for my trouble. I accepted it and it was terrible. Tasted like dogsh*t.  I should sue ’em just for severing substandard hot dogs. If they had seved Ballpark franks…that would have been different.”

“We’re not going to comment of future litigation regarding our wieners,” spokesman David Holzman told the Curmudgeon.  “The size of our tube steaks is a matter of public record…they’re just average wieners.”

According to several reviews, the Royals stadium has Aramark hot dogs, suppliers of crappy bulk food, and the hot dogs are awful.

Apparently, Sluggerrr agrees.  So does John Coomer.

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A 40 year-old inmate at Mississippi State Prison secretly dug his way out of his cell using an 8-ton Cat backhoe, prison officials said Tuesday.  The inmate, Roscoe Lee James Obidiah “Bucky” Robinson is thought to have tunneled his way out slowly over a period of 10 years.  The escape was discovered by prison officials during a routine bed check.

“We just can’t figure out where he’s been hiding that sucker.  I mean, a backhoe is pretty darn big,” said prison spokesperson John Diddleheimer.  “He might have been keeping it under his mattress and we just thought it was lumpy.”

The large hole was discovered at 6:00 AM, and led down three floors and through the back wall of the prison.  The wall was reinforced concrete 2 feet thick and thought to be escape proof.  The backhoe was found nearby.  Bloodhounds, search teams, and helicopters were dispatched but failed to locate the felon.

“It’s like he just disappeared…like a regular David Copperfield.”  Copperfield is a famous magician best known for making the Statue of Liberty and the country of Persia disappear.

Further investigation revealed Robinson had checked out the book, “How to be a Hypnotist,” on several occasions from the prison library, and one theory suggests he “hypnotized” guards whenever they entered his cell.  Further infuriating officials was speculation about where Robinson got the backhoe in the first place.

“The only thing I can think of is his girlfriend smuggled it to him inside a cake,” Diddleheimer said.  “She was kind of burly, like she could hold her own in a bar fight.”

Mississippi State Prison is no stranger to daring escapes and controversy.  In 2007, 11 inmates walked out of prison dressed as the football team the Miami Dolphins, and in 2009 several inmates drove out on minibikes and miniature cars dressed as circus clowns.

Robinson was serving 15 to 20 years for illegal possession of a dictionary, a felony in Mississippi.

“We’re reviewing and tightening our security measures so this type of thing can’t happen again,” spokesperson Diddleheimer said.  “Furthermore, guards will be warned to be on the lookout for not only backhoes, but for dump trucks and Zamboni’s too.”

In an unrelated story, the Mississippi Municipal airport located next to the prison reported a missing 747 jumbo jet.

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