Lenny Dykstra: America’s greatest disgrace continues … disgracing America, i guess

continuing the string of updates marked with “full disclosure,” another full disclosure: i am in incredibly decrepit shape this fine weekend, which basically means a) i am sitting here miserably nursing my fragile body that includes the over-exerted knee i MAYBE also dropped a CO2 tank on and b) since i should have completed this update on Friday, this is all a secret, terrible excuse. anyway, we’re going to ignore B for right now, because the point was supposed to be “i’m too tired to come up with great comedy, so i’ll going to resort to picking on an easy target.”

and this week, i suppose that means Lenny “Nails” Dykstra.

Lenny
clearly this is the face of a man you should trust to give you complicated financial advice

Lenny Dykstra: America’s greatest disgrace

so once upon a time, Lenny Dykstra was a former MLB player for the New York Mets (or, as they are sometimes known, “my favorite squadron, the Ny Mets”) and the Philadelphia Phillies, who i would insult, but sometimes my sister reads this website, and that might make her angry, and she has painful, bony fists that punch kidneys. he was supposedly nicknamed “Nails” for his “for his tough-as-nails personality and fearless play,” which seems reasonable, but it also means i do NOT want to know how he got the nickname “Dude.”

now, given that many baseball players are insane, or criminals, or both, it might seem a little unnecessary to point out that yet another once-respected athlete who played baseball for money has gone down to the level of “retired crazy baseball guy who’s lost all of this money and then done some insane stuff, possibly to regain some of the money he wasted.” and maybe you happen to know that i am not a huge baseball guy and might be ripping those players when i’d give other athletes a pass because of reasons like:

–i found baseball to be a depressing and maybe humiliating game to play as a child, which i can exemplify with a sad, sad story i won’t get into here, but which some people know;
–i sympathize less with baseball players than, say, football players because of the guaranteed nature of the contracts;
–i’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, so baseball only brings me feelings of sadness and anger.

but “Nails” is on a whole different level of insanity… so i’m going to try and go through this chronologically and make some jokes.

I Sold It On eBay
show me all the signs and logos and stores you want, i still don’t think any of this is real

Dykstra once had a venture to develop several “I Sold It on eBay” stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California

now, once Dykstra retired from baseball, he got into a variety of businesses, including car washes, refueling stations and real estate, the latter of which seems to always appear in cases where athletes lose all their money spectacularly and the rest of us sitting around saying, “wow, i can’t believe Mark Brunell lost so much money that he has to play second-strong quarterback for the New York Jets.” and now i feel a little bad for ripping on Brunell for no reason. he seems like a nice man.

however, while i periodically see people making stores that are based around some loose connection to eBay… i ALWAYS assume it’s a joke. maybe it’s that 40-Year-Old Virgin movie ruining a legitimate field of business for me; maybe it’s my inherently negative nature. but whatever the cause, i refuse to believe the business concept is NOT a joke if eBay figures prominently in the prospectus. so this definitely seems funny to me.

Dykstra once began a high-end jet charter company and magazine marketed towards professional athletes known as Player’s Club, as well as generally pretending to be some kind of financial wizard

now, this one is a complicated joke that, if you don’t know the specifics of it, takes a while to keep building. hang in there.

anyway, mostly the way a professional athlete makes money from investing is to earn a shitload of it (the legal term) playing their sport, and then to turn over a large portion of it to trained professionals who can work with them to grow that money and make a profit for everyone involved. note the “trained professionals” and “to turn (it) over” parts of that, which don’t involve the ATHLETE becoming some kind of financial mastermind. so of course Dykstra himself became a financial “mastermind.”

now, at one point this actually seemed to be working for him: the guy had those businesses; he once wrote an investing column for Jim Cramer’s TheStreet (i think this was back when people had a lot more respect for Jim Cramer) and had a website for his “Nails Investments” investment ideas, and he was making big deals like purchasing Wayne Gretzky’s $17 million estate with the hopes of flipping it. people used to be able to do that with properties back in the day before teachers and public-sector employees ruined our economy.

however, it turns out this was LARGELY a scam, as seen when people began to publish extensive (and HILARIOUS, if you’re not one of the people involved with Dykstra) articles detailing his financial shenanigans: Kevin Coughlin ripped him for GQ (“You Think Your Job Sucks?”), covering allegations of fraud, failure to pay rents and costs, bounced checks, lawsuits, and possibly the murder of a nun. ALLEGED murder, that is. and then Mike Fish went into even greater detail for ESPN (“Dykstra’s business: a bed of ‘Nails'”). he’s now declared bankruptcy and apparently lives out of his car, as all those homes he owns/owned are “unlivable”… for some reason…

all of this seems funny in a businesslike way (of COURSE the athlete doesn’t know shit about business), but i imagine that what you’d really like is jokes about his personal life (especially to explain why i consider this a current story). so let’s get to that!

Lenny
clearly not a physique constructed through normal means

Dykstra used steroids, making him the worst person a human being can be

let’s start with the light stuff: he supposedly used steroids, a fact aired out by the lawsuits of former business associates (like Lindsay Jones, who also claimed Dykstra told him to bet on Phillies games while Dykstra played for them), former professional associates (like Jason Grimsley, who stated this in his affidavit) and MLB investigations (remember that Mitchell Report?)

so even if you don’t give a shit about baseball (and i have to struggle to, if you’ll remember that above list that i posted), you have to consider this aspect of it funny: Dykstra wasn’t only a fraud at his post-baseball business dealings we should have all seen coming, he was ALSO a fraud at his baseball skills that would seem to be the only thing he was ever legitimately successfully at in his entire life.

Dykstra also bounced a check… to a porn star escort

so apparently after his wife divorced him, Dykstra was a little lonely, because he hired “adult film star and escort Monica Foster” (although i don’t know why we can’t just call prostitutes prostitutes and be done with it) … and then wrote her a bad check for $1000. and i don’t know which is funnier: Dykstra thinking he could get away with giving an escort a bad check (which i’m sure has identifying information on it), or an escort being willing to take a check from Dykstra. didn’t you see him in the news being disgraced and think, “maybe i should insist this guy pays cash?”

side note: the internet also tells me that “Monica Foster later posted a copy of the bounced check on her blog.” so she’s posting checks for her escort work on the internet, and there’s no cops out there saying, “wait a minute… maybe there’s some kind of prostitution going on here we should look into?” i remember some internet escorts getting slammed out here on the east coast, so maybe it’s just not as pressing a matter out west.

Dykstra was arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud

the thing that’s weird to me about athletes doing some nonsense (like the above-discussed frauds and so on) is that i would think they’d think “hey, with the increasing attention i get as a celebrity, you’d think it would be harder for me to get away with my shenanigans.” but you would ESPECIALLY think they wouldn’t go right back to the well again. however, you then have Dykstra, who was arrested for grand theft charges related to the purchase of vehicles (i guess he’s decided to embrace crime full-time)… right after he’d JUST been indicted, ONE DAY EARLIER, for bankruptcy fraud.

see, apparently after he filed for bankruptcy, he stole a pile of stuff from those mansions, ranging from sports memorabilia to sinks, and then sold it. did he think that they wouldn’t notice the sinks had been ripped out of the $17 million estate? those things tend to come with sinks. or maybe he just thought that the guy down at the pawn shop wouldn’t think “hey, this guy trying to sell me a used toilet is that national failure Lenny Dykstra?” i don’t get the thought process, i guess.

also, apparently Charlie Sheen keeps bailing this guy out (and calling him “a warlock”), which just makes me wonder why the fuck Sheen doesn’t loan him a couple of dollars if he thinks Dykstra is such a good guy. although i think, to be honest, that if Sheen has such money to waste, he should just give it directly to me.

Lenny
“the only thing i’ll be wearing during the oil massage will be this hat. you don’t have a problem with that, do you?”

and the latest… Dykstra has a series of problems with his housekeepers

this all just gets creepier and weirder. to start, Lenny Dykstra accused of sexual assault by housekeeper:

“Former pro baseball player Lenny Dykstra’s housekeeper accused him of sexual assault … a female housekeeper alleged Dykstra would force her to give him oral sex on Saturdays. However, the 41-year-old woman’s case seemed to flounder because of an apparent lack of evidence that the activity was forced.”

for one thing, “on Saturdays?” this is too specific of a claim for me to think that it’s not true. and i don’t want to make light of this too much, since it’s sort of depressing that Nails is extorting blowjobs from a maid in her 40s, but it definitely seems like he’s taken a step down from scamming porn stars with fake checks if he’s using the threat of job loss to get sexual favors from middle-aged amateurs. how the mighty have fallen.

“The woman told investigators she “needed the job and the money so she went along with the suspect’s requests rather than lose her job,” … according to prosecutors, the woman did not report the alleged assaults until after Dykstra failed to pay her $2,000 he owed her.”

okay, now i suppose i can make a SMALL amount of fun about the situation, because she’s coming off as much more of a willing participant in the situation. and i have to be honest, i think if you feel victimized by a celebrity, you go to the police and report them, and then you sell your exclusive to a tabloid, and then you find another job. still… how many weeks do you clean someone’s house and then blow them before you realize that the guy isn’t paying you?

“In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Dykstra denied the allegations, saying the woman was trying to extort him to buy drugs. “If she was assaulted on Saturdays, then I’m a … ballerina dancer on Sundays,” Dykstra said. “This is a maid.””

and then Dykstra does his best to make this woman seem 100% honest. problems with this statement include:
–what is this “extort him to buy drugs” nonsense if the whole thing is false? wouldn’t you just say she was lying to extort you and leave it at that? is it less extortion if she does it to buy food and gas?
–the “ballerina dancer” remark, which a) smacks of protesting too much and, even worse, is b) redundant, as all ballerinas are dancers;
–the “this is a maid” remark, which doesn’t prove her wrong (unless there’s some statistical thing about maids lying i am not aware of) and would work better as a “that’s beneath me” remark if he wasn’t the kind of guy who’d fuck a porn star and then give her a bad check.

only as bad as that is, it seems like it continues. woman alleges Lenny Dykstra stripped naked, asked for massage during her job interview:

“Ex-Met Lenny Dykstra is denying an allegation that he stripped naked and asked for a massage from a woman interviewing for a housekeeping job. … [Lawyer Mauro] Fiore said Dykstra led her to a guesthouse, gave her a box of oils, disrobed and jumped on a bed. “He said he had a lot of injuries from being an athlete and needed her to massage him as part of the job,” Fiore said. “That’s when she ran out.””

but, okay, this could be one of those things where, since i don’t interact with people, i don’t really know the limits of what’s acceptable to do in a job interview with a housekeeper.

“The woman’s lawyer said she plans to sue. He declined to release her name or a police report she claims to have filed. “She’s really traumatized. She had to see a psychiatrist. She said she can’t sleep,” said lawyer Mauro Fiore.”

which is, to say the least, not a ringing endorsement of Dykstra’s post-baseball physique. and then we go on to learn that she answered an ad on Craigslist, which i THOUGHT we all knew in 2011 was a breeding ground for mysterious prostitution and possible murder.

“Dykstra, 49, who has been beset by money woes, is the target of at least two financial probes.”

honestly, they could just remove “money” from that sentence and make it more accurate, because the way i should personally have written it would be something like: “Dykstra, 49, has made a serious of poor decisions that have turned his life into a shambles.” and honestly, a few generations ago, he would have just shot himself by now. or walked off a tall building or something.

in closing, let me just say this: Lenny Dykstra, you are no Andy Van Slyke, a classy baseball-playing gent if there ever was one. and next week, no baseball talk! yes!

in which we unnecessarily rank FFV jobs because we’re very cool

full disclosure: in talking with the Irishman last night, i acknowledged that, given my “total lack of anything better to write an update about,” i was going to make a completely unnecessary post rating the various jobs featured in the game Final Fantasy V. and i say “unnecessary” in the sense that NO ONE has asked for this, not in a more general sense, under which ALL of the updates on this site would probably qualify as “unnecessary.”

so if you’re the kind of person who fears this is going to get incredibly nerdy incredibly quickly, well, we’ll see you next week. but if you… uh… think Final Fantasy V is cool (and i am going to be arguing that it is the coolest of all the Final Fantasies), then here we go!

A BRIEF (AND PROBABLY UNNECESSARY) INTRODUCTION

so there are two kinds of people who play role-playing games, and while i could follow that with any number of jokes about sex perverts or turbo-nerds, i’m going to follow it with “dudes that like character classes” and “dudes that don’t.” i’m in the former class for any game that involves some kind of adventuring party. now, while these Final Fantasy games have always been down with the “party of adventurers” concept, they have ranged from “no character classes” to “sort-of character classes” to “classes, but they’re rigidly attached to specific characters” to “character classes”; my argument remains that the best of these games are in the last group, and this includes Final Fantasy V.

now, the games with character classes (I, III, V, Tactics) usually give you some number of options to choose from, but with the job system in V, you get an extreme amount of choices: 26 jobs (or classes) in the version of the game with the most. III had 23 classes under the same standard, which is also awesome, but i played that game sparingly given the fact that it didn’t get imported when i was a kid. whereas i am fully devoted to the awesome of V, which i also recall having light swearing. and i LOVE profanity.

so with all that said, let me get into rating these classes.

summoner, oracle, beastmaster, berserker, cannoneer
apparently, in the cannoneer circumstance, one of your loyal companions is transmogrified into a cannon. nice

26. Summoner
description: “Summoners (召喚士 Shōkanshi) use Summoning Magic, which calls on powerful entities known as … simply Summon Monsters (most other games in the series).”
full disclosure: i hate summoning spells in ALL Final Fantasy games, as they take forever and i don’t like to sit back and watch the pretty graphics. i never use them unless required to by the game. and the Final Fantasy V summoners with their “horn on a headband” look appear to be stupid as fuck, and there’s nothing i want less than looking ridiculous and only being good for casting some bullshit spells i don’t want to cast in the first place. fuck this class.

25. Oracle
description: “Soothsayers who can predict natural disasters – and direct them at foes.”
ah, another class with a stupid-as-hell headband outfit and some vaguely described magical powers. however, what’s really going on with this FFV Advance class is a deal where you COULD get some benefit… but so could your enemies. and frankly, i have little (or no) patience for this “random effect that might not even benefit me” nonsense when i could be ramming an axe down some horse-looking enemy’s gullet. declined!

24. Beastmaster
description: “Beastmaster (also known as Tamer or Trainer) can control or even capture and train monsters.”
a novelty class with a stupid-looking outfit. if you’re bringing one along, it’s 25% of your party sitting there hoping to capture a monster … so that it can be released as some kind of stupid summon later on. as the kids would say, “miss me with that shit.” and any class that has ANOTHER party member weakening monsters so they can catch them to attack things with later seems massively counterproductive. and the name is terrible as well!

23. Berserker
description: “The Berserker is a pure physical class focusing on high strength to defeat their opponents.”
i think the description says it all: terrible. i find myself NEVER in need of a berserker. “yes, let’s see, i need someone who’s very strong and completely out-of-control!” look, we all think the Hulk is cool… in theory. but if you were making up a team of Avengers, you’d never bring the giant psycho who can’t be fully trusted. Berserkers have no job commands because they just attack randomly; it’s a total novelty for random battles and thus it earns my scorn. note: classes dressing up like animals seem to be a sign of novelty lameness in this game.

22. Cannoneer
description: “Tinkerers with the know-how to combine items into weapons both beautiful and destructive.”
so it sounds like something good… but it turns out you’re just a douchebag dressed up like a privateer dicking around with a giant cannon, and your whole job deal is about “random effects.” there’s nothing i like worse than hearing a job is about “random effects.” i’m trying to slay an ogre here, not shoot a cannon and find out if something useful is going to happen. anyway, it’s a FFV Advance only class, so suffering through it is limited to that version alone.

chemist, time mage, geomancer, mime, gladiator
if the time mage DID actually have a clock on his head, he would actually look better than the above-shown mess(es)

21. Chemist
description: “The Alchemist or Chemist class is generally focused on consumable restorative items.”
oh, focused on consumable restorative items? just what i want in an adventurer on an epic quest! pathetic. true, they have cool Middle-Eastern outfits… but that’s about all they bring to the table. i mean, i already have a pile of potions and tents and whatever else, so wouldn’t i rather my party be filled with buff dudes chopping shit in half and wizards casting fireball? who’s thinking “hey, i’ve got a fighter and wizards and a thief, but what i REALLY need is a guy who mixes up potions?” so not necessary.

20. Time Mage
description: “The Time Mage (時魔道士 Tokimadōshi) is a specialized wizard with the ability to manipulate the space-time continuum to speed up, slow down, or completely halt the passage of time; control celestial bodies; or influence the pull of gravity.”
i don’t think i actually hate them the most, but Time Mages ARE my go-to job to mock in this game; when i joke about the number of classes, i always accuse the designers of making up the additional classes randomly: “we’ve got black, white, red, and blue mages… fuck it, put a clock on one of them.” still, all jokes aside, i think the class is lame and i never use them, as with any other “specialized wizard.” they just seem like a waste of my time … get it, time? very funny stuff we’ve got here.

19. Geomancer
description: “Geomancers (風水士 FÅ«suishi) channel the powers of the surrounding environment; therefore, their abilities differ depending on their location.”
see that joke i made about how the Time Mage class was created? so this is a “Geomancer,” and that seems completely necessary. that said, it seems more useful than a Time Mage in practice (maybe that’s just my style of play), even if it DOES mean that some of your characters appear to be cruising around fighting evil and rescuing crystals dressed in their finest star-covered pajamas. still not going to use it, though.

18. Mime
description: “Mimes can replicate the previous action of another party member with the Mimic command.”
not a very helpful description. anyway, Mimes are basically like secret, late-game Freelancers with this “mimic” ability. however, no matter how powerful they supposedly are (and i guess there’s an argument for it, as we’ll see with the Freelancer), there’s absolutely no way i want to play as some ridiculous class whose name brings to mind dudes in face paint and French clothing acting like dickheads in public places. i’m stubborn like that.

17. Gladiator
description: “Skilled Warriors who can master any blade.”
although what it probably SHOULD say for this FFV Advance class is “skilled warriors who are really, really fond of wearing cool masks.” i don’t normally think that masks are that cool, but that’s just me. anyway, i don’t really like the idea of being a gladiator, as it makes me suspect i’ll be poorly-dressed and rocking some kind of Kirk Douglas haircut, but i suppose there are worse things (say, a Time Mage) that you could find yourself being.

necromancer, mystic knight, ranger, bard, blue mage
i enjoy the part where the female blue mages look sort of like half-assed Batgirls

16. Necromancer
description: “The Necromancer (ネクロマンサー Nekuromansā) is a job in Final Fantasy V Advance utilizing Dark Art spells [that are] gained by killing particular enemies.”
the bigger question for me regarding this FFV Advance class is “why are a bunch of wizards who are all about the Dark Arts dressed up in incredibly gaudy purple robes?” and to me, that ruins anything cool there is in talking with the dead or whatever the hell Necromancers do. i gather their magic spells are awesomely powerful in the context of the game, but i just can’t cruise around looking like some Caligula replica. i can’t do it. and the class always seems like a lot of Blue Mage-style work.

15. Mystic Knight
description: “Mystic Knights are warriors that can cast magic on their swords to perform attacks with the power of the spell for several rounds.”
let’s get this right out of the way: Mystic Knight sounds lame, but so do the other options for names (Magic Knights, Mageknights, Sorcerers), so i guess there’s no getting away from it. still, the lameness of the name makes me never want to use this class, even despite the fact that they also have cool Middle-Eastern apparel. i’m sure someone can explain to me why a dude packing a magic sword is a great class, but i simply do not care, and i’m pretty sure my Knight/Fighter/Warrior is running around with Excalibur or Masamune or SOMETHING that sounds magic. top THAT, “Mystic Knight.”

14. Ranger
description: “The Hunter (sometimes called Archer, Ranger or Gunner) is a physical class specializing in long-ranged weapons—such as bows, crossbows and occasionally guns”
let me be honest: if Rangers packed guns in this game, i would probably be telling you the story of why i play this game with four Rangers. the Irishman was telling me about another game we might play co-op wherein there’s a character with guns who’s also a girl, and my response was basically, “i guess i’m playing that game as a girl. my name shall be J-Low.” all that being said… you don’t have guns in this game. you’re a Link-looking goober with a fucking bow. and any time a wiki has to call a job “interesting” is not a good sign. pass.

13. Bard
description: “Bards (吟遊詩人 Gin’yÅ«shijin) use songs to cause effects, often buffing the party or debuffing the opposition via the Sing command. They generally equip harps as weapons.”
now, you’d think a guy who’s been identified as “the bard of Wales” would appreciate a class known as a Bard that’s apparently singing all the time … but then you see that “harps as weapons” thing i threw in there to clue you in on why i am not a huge fan. i generally dislike them in most any game; here i don’t burn with hatred for them, but consider them unnecessary. and why would i need anyone to use the Sing command when i can just make up some nonsense song myself? that’s what i do!

12. Blue Mage
description: “The Blue Mage (青魔道士 Aomadōshi) is a mage who is able to replicate the special attacks of his/her opponents.”
to me, Blue Mage is one of these classes that seems like it SHOULD be excellent, as you can fight a more than a normal wizard can and you learn special magic based on enemies’ attacks. and yet i never really use Blue Mages that much, since the magic they learn seems mediocre compared to the standard black/white stuff. also, the excellence of a “collect all the moves” concept comes with the negative part of me feeling compelled to use the Blue Mage class to collect these moves even when i really don’t want to. i hate feeling compelled to do things due to the (possibly imaginary) whims of Japanese men.

dragoon, samurai, freelancer, red mage, monk
i wouldn’t describe any of those monk outfits as being particularly monastic, but maybe i just have higher standards than most

11. Dragoon
description: “The Dragoon (竜騎士 RyÅ«kishi) (also known as Dragon Knight or Lancer) uses spears and their Jump ability and usually wears heavy armor.”
i will never understand the contradiction between “being the knight class that wears heavy armor” and “being the knight class that soars through the air to attack using their Jump ability.” it literally doesn’t make sense. that being said, i find their Jump ability to be hilariously awesome and they always seem to have some saucy armor. so basically, the class has some serious pros in its favor.

10. Samurai
description: “Samurai (侍 Samurai?) are Japanese-styled fighters who fight primarily with katana.”
to be, this class never really makes sense, since samurai are traditionally basically Japanese knights… and these games already have Knights. then, to make them different, they seem to always give them the ability to hurt people by throwing a handful of cash in their faces, causing the Samurai to enter my list of “classes that i don’t use given their nature, but which i find hilarious thanks to something random they do,” which in this case is defeating foes by hurling gold coins at them. keep it classy, Samurai!

09. Freelancer
description: “The Freelancer (すっぴん Suppin), also localized as Bare or Natural, is usually the default job in the games in which it appears.”
so, like the description says, there isn’t a lot awesome going on with this class. there’s some randomly good things about it in V (something about inheriting stat bonuses and passive abilities in a way that make this class the most powerful by the end of the game, or whatever), but in other games you might end up in your underwear. still, it’s your default (the two sweetest words in the English language) and doesn’t involve some of the ridiculousness other classes do. plus, the class name makes you sound like a cool space pirate!

08. Red Mage
description: “Red Mages (赤魔道士 Akamadōshi) are members of a hybrid class, able to cast spells associated with either Black or White Mages, as well as wield swords.”
same deal as the Blue Mage (less excellent than it should be) because it has the “weaker because i’m a jack-of-all-trades” nature going on… but still more awesome than a Blue Mage because they’ve always got a cool hat with a feather. i personally would have just stuck with the cool hat, but apparently the Red Mage is the “pimped-out” character of the Final Fantasy world. anyway, i always tried playing them and gave up in disgust to flee back to a traditional White Mage/Black Mage combo, but i see how they seem neat.

07. Monk
description: “The Monk (モンク Monku) is a master of martial arts who favors barehanded fighting, sometimes supplemented with claws. In some games, they can use meditative techniques, which improve their power or heal their wounds. They can often counterattack against physical attacks as well.”
Monk is another one of those “sounds better than it is” classes; i also hold a slight grudge for the incredibly nerdy reason of hating the way Third Edition D&D brought back monks and assassins, but only made the former a real class while the latter (which i often played in my youth) was tossed in as some bullshit “prestige class” nonsense. (i warned you that was going to be incredibly nerdy.) additionally, i really miss when this class was called “Black Belt,” as it seemed so out-of-step with the Fighter/Thief/White Wizard/Black Wizard dynamic.

ninja, white mage, black mage, knight, thief
to paraphrase Hank Hill: a ninja is fine, but a thief is a force

06. Ninja
description: “The Ninja is generally both fast and powerful; however, to achieve this level of dexterity, Ninja are unable to wear heavy armor.”
the issue with Ninjas seems clear from the description; while most of these seem descriptive, the Ninja’s seems preoccupied with how AWESOME NINJAS ARE. in actuality, they’re like pirates: once cool outlaw-style until everyone beat the coolness out of them by hyping them to death. still, back in the day when a Thief grew up, they became a Ninja, and they’re still the “fast class with speed and no armor” type of class, so i have to give them some love, even if they couldn’t kill Richard Chamberlain in Shogun.

05. White Mage
description: “A White Mage (白魔道士 Shiromadōshi) uses White Magic, which emphasizes defensive spells such as replenishing party members’ hit points with spells such as Cure, reviving the fallen with spells such as Raise or Life, and curing status conditions with spells such as Esuna.”
White Mages have the problem of being completely necessary (there’s no one better to have as support) while being weak physically (how lame) and completely uncool (also lame). so you drag them along, but you always kind of resent them, so i can’t rank them low (so useful) but can’t rank them THAT high (so lame).
tangent: this dynamic was shown best for me in Dragon Age, where the “white mage” character (Wynne) seems useful as a concept, but was NEVER used by yours truly as i found her infinitely lame. even more lame than ranking FFV jobs on the internet!

04. Black Mage
description: “One of the most iconic classes of the Final Fantasy franchise, the Black Mage (黒魔道士 Kuromadōshi) is a magic user specializing in attack magic, Black Magic.”
yes, this dude and his awesome “robe and giant wizard hat” appearance, and it should be clear such things figure prominently in my rankings. really, there’s nothing bad about a class that allows you to blast your enemies with ridiculous magic, unless you don’t like packing nothing more than a dagger; ultimately someone in every party has to spend time as one and so it’s the kind of class that has get credit for its essential nature. plus you know every nerdy swords-and-sorcery game HAS to have awesome wizards in it somewhere. these are those wizards.

03. Knight
description: “The Warrior (戦士 Senshi), formerly translated as the Fighter, is portrayed as an expert of the sword and/or axe who uses some of the most powerful armors and weaponry. As such, it is a well-rounded physical combatant with high attack and defense statistics.”
V’s version of the Warrior/Fighter deal is the Knight, and there’s nothing wrong with that. to be honest, the Knight gets a lot of credit with me for being this game’s version of the “dude with the crazy shock of hair and the biggest sword chopping the shit out of stuff,” and i think that’s fine. there’s nothing wrong with chopping the shit out of stuff, be it the final boss or some random wasp. and you’re ALWAYS bringing one of these guys along, no matter what game it is.

02. Thief
description: “The Thief (シーフ ShÄ«fu) is generally a nimble and agile physical combatant whose main weapon includes daggers or short swords. They usually have very high speed, accuracy, and evasion but low defense due to light armor. Steal is their trademark ability”
let’s get nerdy again: i hated the way D&D made their thieves into “rogues.” what the fuck is that about? i don’t want to be “roguish,” i want to stab dudes in the back and make wisecracks like a real anti-hero. anyway, this is always the class i play in any game where i have options (as i feel it suits me best on a personal level), and i’ll always bring one along even if i shouldn’t according to some nerd breakdown, so the ranking is what it is. haters are going to hate.

DANCERS
like you didn’t see this coming

01. Dancer
description: “Dancers (踊り子 Odoriko) use special Dances to cause status effects or damage to enemies on a battle field.”
given how much i joke about this class (and i think i once wrote a long-ago update extolling the virtues of it, so i guess you should have seen this coming), you’d have to know it was coming in at #1. and it makes your characters wear the WORST outfits; your main guy looks like he’s not so much about to save the world as he is about to teach your wife (also known as his future lover) the secrets of the forbidden dance. you know, one that will make sex look like a church? it’s the class i know i probably should not play… but cannot resist.

wow, that was … nerdy. anyway, next week may be better. you never know.

caution: contains a sentimental talk about children feeling good about themselves

one of these days, i’m going to write an update about positive, happy things that i’m just ecstatic about, but until that time, we’re going to keep raging at all this goddamn nonsense i keep seeing on this here internet. it’s a mess, people, quite a mess.

ecstatic dog and some red pandas
meanwhile, this dog is waiting on a red-panda-funded payday that is PROBABLY never going to happen

Couple are ordered to pay surrogate mother £568 a month for the baby they will never see

sometimes it’s nice when i can produce a story wherein the legal system does something COMPLETELY ridiculous… and then it turns out that it’s not the American legal system we’re actually talking about. i know, i know, this is something that can be hard to believe, and yet it occasionally happens. this is one of those rare occasions:

“A couple who lost custody of their baby daughter to her surrogate mother have been ordered to hand over more than £500 a month maintenance for the child.”

now, the matter of being a surrogate mother is a complicated one, and to be totally fair, i am sure it’s weird and ridiculous for everyone involved. being a surrogate mother who’s too attached to a child she’s carried to give it up may be one of those circumstances where i really cannot relate, but can attempt to academically appreciate it, right?

“Today they spoke of their disgust that they would be forced to pay for someone else to raise the child they will never see. The father, a leading chef, said the decision by the Child Support Agency ‘added insult to injury’ and that he would appeal against it.”

hmmm… so this doesn’t seem EXACTLY like one of those “last minute thoughts” situations… but again, i’m sure there’s a lot of emotions involved, and maybe everyone’s just extra tense… and a little sensitive… and the hurt feelings are coming out? maybe?

“He and his wife, who had suffered six late-stage miscarriages including four sets of twins, used a surrogacy website to find a single mother of two on benefits who was willing to carry the baby they longed for. They made an informal agreement to pay her £10,000 in expenses.”

ouch. well, okay, the miscarriages thing is pretty bad as well. but what really makes me wince is the notice of the phrase “informal agreement.” seriously, i wouldn’t recommend you loan your good friends money without something approaching a formal agreement; i would damn sure tell anyone about to pay a woman to have their baby inside her to get SOMETHING on paper before everything got so serious.

“But halfway through the pregnancy she decided she wanted to keep the baby and a judge ordered that the woman, who was also the biological mother, could keep the child despite her earlier promise.”

but of course.

“The couple … later relinquished their contact rights because they said it would be too difficult emotionally and that it was unfair for the baby to be split between two homes [and] allowed the surrogate, known as Miss N, to keep the £4,500 they had already given to her. But now Mr W must also pay £568 in child support every month as the biological father of the eight-month-old girl.”

which is something like, if i do the math correctly, $924 a month for a baby that the man has a) no contact with and b) would certainly never have had with this woman were it not for the surrogacy arrangement. which is surely the unfair rub that a court HAS to recognize, right? that this woman should essentially not be able to back out of the agreement –and remember, the court didn’t dispute the agreement, but rather, simply said it was cool to back out of it– AND still claim support for the child, right?

“She cannot say, “I am keeping your child and now you must pay for it,” he said.”

well, that’s where you appear to be wrong, reasonable-thinking dude. although i am going to be honest: writing and requesting “a change in the law” does not seem like the most efficient way to handle this situation.

“Mr W said he now suspected it may have been Miss N’s plan all along to have a child with a wealthy man from whom she could claim child support over the next 18 years. ‘We should have seen the signs when she started asking for more than we had agreed. I don’t think this was ever about her suddenly wanting to keep the baby, I think this was about getting an income.'”

well, okay, perhaps we’re being negative and, despite the fact that this was very rough on Mr. and Mrs. W, there really was a deeper level of attachment between Miss N and the child? tab this remark, because we’re going to need to refer to it later.

“After she and her husband contacted her via a website, Miss N agreed to be inseminated with Mr W’s sperm, meaning they were both the baby’s biological parents.”

let me also note that, in my humble opinion, meeting a surrogate through a website ranks right up there with “informal agreement” on my list of “things that are likely to become serious problems for you later in the process of hiring a woman to carry your baby.”

“But the relationship between the two parties turned sour after Miss N apparently began asking for more money. Three months before the baby was due, she sent a text message to the couple to say she was keeping the child.”

see, and that’s just mean. if you’re going to tell someone you’re keeping their baby despite your prior agreement and you still expect them to pay for your beer and cig- i mean, to pay for your baby’s clothes and food, you should at LEAST give them the courtesy of not doing it through a text message. at LEAST pick up the phone and let them hear your voice as you extort them for more money, you know?

“In July last year she gave birth to baby T and a bitter six-month custody battle ensued.
Miss N accused Mr W of being violent towards his wife, which the couple denied. They accused Miss N of neglecting her sons and of living in a filthy home.”

oh… i see… Miss N already HAS multiple sons. huh. and of course, and forgive my sexism, but i also note that having multiple sons has not encouraged her to become anything approaching a MRS. N. huh. still, surely a woman with a house full of dirty sons wouldn’t be so callous as to get impregnated by a random couple purely to extort money out of them down the line, right?

“At the time, Mr Justice Baker warned that the risks of entering into a surrogacy agreement were ‘very considerable.’ Surrogacy agreements are not legally binding in court, even with a formal written contract.”

so then i guess when we said “informal agreement” earlier, we actually should have said “infor- eh, actually, as formal as it gets, given the weird law” instead of implying there was more this couple COULD have done to get legal support for the arrangement. not that THAT matters. anyway, call me bitter, but i have to be honest: i expected something like this to be happening in San Francisco, not the UK. not my precious UK!

but let me not stop my outrage with the poor decisions of people with only British people…

seven-year-old girl getting plastic surgery
plastic surgery: now you too can solve all of your children’s problems in life with a simple medical procedure! oh wait…

girl has plastic surgery to prevent bullying

i should have known when i ragged on that one article where the woman got plastic surgery that she didn’t need so that she could wear designer shoes that this circumstance of “poor plastic surgery decisions that anger janklow” would continue. maybe next week we’ll discuss all those random ladies who keep dying after wanna-be medical dudes shoot their asses full of mysterious chemicals for cosmetic purposes? anyway, let’s focus:

“How far would you go to spare your child from being the victim of bullying?”

now, i would think that the correct answer(s) should be limited to “letting your child go to a different school” or “beating the hell out of the bully’s father to even the karmic balance of the universe,” or at least things along those lines. it’s true that some of us don’t have the upper-body strength or assortment of powerful kicks to just go around beating up poor parents… although luckily i don’t have that problem! anyway, you know where this is going; this kid’s mother went for option C:

“One South Dakota mom allowed her seven-year-old daughter to get plastic surgery to have her ears pinned back after she was teased about them.”

once again: how is this not taking place in California? or even New York? really, South Dakota? my understanding of your culture was that you were composed primarily of Native Americans and hearty pioneer stock the size of Brock Lesnar… but apparently you have decided to surprise me with a healthy dose of disappointment. but besides that, my MAJOR objection is that this whole thing is counterproductive for many reasons:

“Telling her story on Good Morning America (and thereby subjecting her daughter to further scrutiny)”-

01. it simply exposes her child to a GREATER amount of bullying.
and actually, i don’t think it will increase that much, as the percent of kids who are sincere assholes is probably not going to increase, nor will the percentage of not-truly-mean kids who are just going with the flow. but this IS going to make her more widely known as “that little girl with the huge ears.” good job, caring mother!

“-Cammy Shaw acknowledged that her fellow adults actually tended to be meaner than their kids, but defended the operation: “This was a preventative way, so she wouldn’t get bullied.””

02. this doesn’t seem to address the larger problem. and also…
03. this doesn’t stop any bullying by any kids that are already aware of the situation.
so for one thing, if parents are being mean, this doesn’t address that at all, since they’re fully aware of what’s going on and will PROBABLY be making fun of both mother and daughter now. and for another, won’t the kids just continue to bully her on the grounds that she’s “the girl that used to have big ears, but now had plastic surgery because her fat mom was embarrassed about how ugly her daughter was?” see how easy this is?

“Samantha, all cheerful sweetness with her blond bob, tells the camera, “I really don’t like people asking about my ears.”

good thing that’ll be nipped in the bud by your mother taking you on NATIONAL TELEVISION regarding this matter. oh, anyway, we were giving reasons.

04. it sends children the wrong message.
full disclosure time: i am a short guy. now, i wasn’t much bullied, if at all, as a child, partially because i had some larger friends and partially because i would like to believe that i am a fairly likeable guy. but the thing is, you get bullied for reasons like “being short” sometimes. and you can’t just run out and get plastic surgery for THAT, not like you can for ears, anyway. instead, you appreciate the fact that you’re you, and you have good qualities DESPITE your shortcomings, and that some kids are just going to be fucking assholes. oh… now we’re getting all sugary and sentimental in here…

“Statistics show that plastic surgery is on the rise for teenagers. And studies suggests that young people seek out plastic surgery most often to help boost their self-esteem or to avoid bullying.”

05. this is not really even about bullying, but about all that self-esteem nonsense.
which is my largest beef with American society. look, cosmetic plastic surgery is fine and well for the free man and woman who can afford it, but we should draw the line somewhere, and it should PROBABLY be around the point where kids, who are still fucking GROWING, are getting it to boost their self-esteem. i am assuming that there’s a legion of parents buying into this ‘self-esteem is the most important thing’ garbage, but not being able to make their sad kids feel better, and not wanting to put in the effort, and just resorting to cutting a check for the surgery. fucking disgusting.

oh, and let’s not forget…
06. KIDS ARE STILL GROWING.
you have no idea what your daughter will look like when she’s older. her ears might have been totally fine. but now we’ll never REALLY know, because you’ve decided to have a medical professional chop and alter them because you’re afraid a bully might call your daughter “jug-eared,” and you lack the intellectual ability to explain life to her, or make her feel better, and you’re too fucking stupid to know any better. NOT THAT I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS.

okay, let’s end on a slightly lighter note:

Louis Farrakhan
actually, if anyone on Earth HAS actually been on a UFO, i could see Farrakhan being that guy

Nation of Islam looks to UFOs to save the world

let me be honest: i think the Nation of Islam got Malcolm X killed, and i do not hold them in particularly high esteem. and i think Farrakhan is a crazy person, although it would be fair to say that in the mix he and the NOI have occasionally espoused decent ideas (self-discipline, for example, is a great concept for everyone to have) and sold me tasty bean pies. so i’m not going to pile on or make this a big “the NOI sucks” diatribe; i just have some questions about their UFO theories… and there was this recent article…

“And on top of all that, UFOs are an important aspect of the teachings of the NOI. Elijah Muhammad gave detailed accounts of a gigantic Earth-orbiting “Mother Plane” equipped with many weapons, but it’s never been clear what takes place on board this ship.”

i mention this to mainly give you a taste that this is not merely some “we think aliens may have propagated the earth with original life” type of theory that i might find personally unbelievable but also difficult to disprove. we’re going to a whole other level of “what the hell is going on here.”

“But it’s not aliens flying around in these things, they say. Nation of Islam mythology teaches that the circular craft were somehow built by humans on Earth, many centuries ago, reportedly under the guidance of God. According to the story, the original “wheel” was built by scientists on what is now the island of Japan, at a cost of $15 billion in gold. And, so the tale goes, these original UFOs were used to create mountains on Earth.”

oh, well, this makes sense, what with ancient Japanese black dudes making this ship to make mount- NO, IT FUCKING DOES NOT. anyway, that’s the deal: it’s likely that some of this stuff was originally tossed out there as a self-esteem move (in line with the whole “achievements by blacks have been hidden or stolen for years” idea, but with WAY more crazy) and then was embellished from there until people were talking about gigantic magical “mother planes.”

“Part of the problem with all of this is that it raises more questions than it answers:”

INDEED.

“Who really had the technological know-how millennia ago to make circular craft that could perform impossible aerial maneuvers? What happened to these ships? Are they the UFOs that are reported today? Why build these things just to make mountains?”

the last one is actually the best, because it’s basically saying, “we’re not going to argue about ancient Japanese black dudes making them… we’re not going to argue about them hovering in space… we just want you to explain why the fuck you’d make them to make mountains.”

“Referring to the countless UFO stories over the decades that people have dared talk about, Farrakhan told a huge group in Chicago at the recent annual Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day, “Many have died or have been killed to keep from sharing what they have seen.””

yes, Farrakhan thinks there’s a vast conspiracy to cover up this Mother Plane… despite the fact that something so powerful would hardly be able to be easily suppressed. and yes, he thinks the UFOs will destroy the world on Judgment Day because, let’s be honest, when you believe in a more out-there religion, you kind of HAVE to expect such a dramatic end to the whole mess. and sure, they see to think that the FBI “took all of the files that he had, including detailed diagrams on these UFOs.” but it can get even crazier!

“During a speech from last year’s Saviours’ Day convention in Chicago, Farrakhan spoke of a 1985 vision or encounter he claims to have had with “the wheel,” or UFO. He told his followers how he’d been taken aboard the craft where he heard Elijah Muhammad talk to him.”

and yet none of this can be proven thanks to a carefully orchestrated government conspiracy. that’s lucky.

“meanwhile, dudes across the internet immediately assumed the paint and caulk were part of some additional sexual depravity”

to be honest, everyone dodged a pretty big bullet this week, because why i have been flirting with actually completing these updates on time these days (and i know that’s shocking), all this drama with the will-we-or-won’t-we matter of the government shutdown was forcing me to strongly delay the “attempt at humor” update you’re about to get and replace with a “janklow is SO fucking bitter” update. maybe that’s for the worse, as i suppose it might still have been funny AND containing something approaching serious commentary, but ultimately i suppose i should stay off my high horse and just make with the jokes, right?

so let’s get right on with those jokes which are, as usual, being made at the expense of current events. we start with a doozy.

ATF agent at work
see, this is the way i expect to see ATF agents (well, this or storming a compound somewhere), not… you know… committing unspeakable acts with a door

federal gun regulator accused of damaging Metairie hotel room

now, granted, this story is a LITTLE aged at this point (as in, “published: Tuesday, December 08, 2009” late), which really does go against my desire to rip on relatively-current news and events, but what happens sometimes is that you find out about an under-the-radar story well after the fact … and you can’t NOT make it part of your update. and i’m going to be honest with you about this: the title’s premise (“gun regulator damages hotel room”) may not do the events of this story justice.

“An employee of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was arrested on charges of disabling the fire alarm system and damaging property in his Metairie hotel room, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest report.”

alright, pretty mundane stuff. either you can go with the generic “look at this, another federal worker up to no good on the taxpayer’s dime” spin that a lot of people probably will (and you can throw in “OVERPAID” if, you know, that kind of thing brings joy to you), or you can take the slightly less popular stance of “what else do you expect from those ATF guys?” the latter is probably a little more popular if you’re pro-gun and/or work for the federal government.

“Russell Vanderwerf, 44, of Houston was booked Dec. 1 with simple criminal damage valued at $500 to $5,000 and interfering with fire prevention after staffers at the Residence Inn, 3 Galleria Blvd., began investigating a malfunctioning fire alarm system, the arrest report said.”

now, what are you thinking at this point? “oh, just some smoker who was trying to get around the smoke detector in a non-smoking room who happened to be an ATF dude, and thus make the story slightly more ironic,” most likely, which is a reasonable position to take at this point.

“A technician who was summoned Nov. 30 tracked the alarm problem to the second-floor room registered to Vanderwerf, the arrest report said. Inside, staffers found the smoke detectors in the bedroom and kitchen-den had been removed and the horn that blares alarms was hanging out of the wall.”

well… he might still be a smoker, just one who’s not particularly adept at removing smoke detectors, or clever about the whole scheme, right? after all, you have to presume that the point of doing so would be to smoke undetected, but a massive bill for repairs to the room is going to defeat that purpose AND maybe get you slammed when your supervisor back at the ATF finds out about what got charged to your government card, right?

“But the staffers and a deputy sheriff also discovered that someone had removed the bedroom door from its hinges and replaced it with a 5-by-4-foot piece of plywood affixed to the frame and the drywall with hinges and screws, the arrest report said.”

so that’s weird. it certainly has nothing to do with smoking… and it’s not like you’d need to replace the bedroom door with random wood for any logical reason, right?

“The door had two locks attached from the bedroom side and a circular hole padded with duct tape. The deputy noted in the arrest report that the hole appeared to be used “in some sort of sexual act.””

what. the. fuck. so, two thoughts on this most ridiculous twist:

01. how stunned do you think this technician was when he went up to fix some smoke detectors and found a makeshift glory-hole (or, if you prefer, “sex-hole,” since its use is still vague at this point) installed where a door once was? further, here’s the question: if you’re this technician, do you just back out of the room slowly, or fucking run?

02. call me a glutton for punishment (or ridiculous stories, whichever), but what was the basis for the deputy saying the hole “appeared to be used “in some sort of sexual act?” semen all over the place? a sign written above the hole saying “insert penis in here?” the fact that a man built a goddamn glory-hole in the place of a door in his hotel room? wait, maybe it’s the last one.

“A front-desk staffer told authorities that she’d received a complaint from a hotel guest who said the door to that room had been propped open on the night of Nov. 30 and that she noticed several “young men” entering and exiting. The guest also complained of hearing “sex noises” coming from the room, the arrest report said.”

oh, this story just gets better and better, for at first i was thinking this guy was just engaging in some clandestine affair while out of town… but now it’s a string of young men? also, two more thoughts:

01. why is “young men” in quotes there when the rest isn’t? it’s not like those two words have to be some verbatim recital of the staffer’s words. are we implying they weren’t that young? that they weren’t men?

02. having stayed in a hotel once or twice in my life, i sort of have an idea of what “sex noises” COULD be. it may also be sad that i am basing this knowledge on that and not something more along the lines of “once i personally touched a naked girl and events transpired from there.” anyway… what the hell kind of “sex noises” come from a string of “young men” visiting an ATF dude’s homemade hotel glory-hole that don’t get immediately upgraded from “sex noises” to something much worse?

“Vanderwerf was taken into custody at ATF’s New Orleans area field office, located at 1 Galleria Blvd. across the street from the hotel, the report said. When questioned about the damage, Vanderwerf admitted to disabling the smoke detectors because he said they were repeatedly triggered by steam from his shower, the report said. He also admitted to putting up the plywood door but would give not other details.”

there’s the mistake right there: trying to claim some totally innocent reason for disabling the smoke detectors (“steam from his shower?” really?) … but then admitting to putting up a plywood door, something that there can be NO innocent reason for. “oh, i just like to use this personal door i bring with me everywhere, since it reminds me of home when i am on the road.” see how fake that kind of story sounds?

also, if you’re going to cop to the door, you might as well give SOME details, because now we’re just going to assume the worst possible details about you, Vanderwerf.

“The arrest report said hotel staffers found paint and caulk in the room, suggesting he might have intended to fix the damage himself.”

“meanwhile, dudes across the internet immediately assumed the paint and caulk were part of some additional sexual depravity that the police couldn’t even fathom at that point.” and really, that’s entirely possible. after all, we’re talking about a guy who travels with supplies needed to make a homemade hotel glory-hole.

also, here’s a final consideration to mull over: do you actually believe that he removed the smoke detectors for an innocent reason? and if not, given that this guy ALREADY has been busted making his homemade hotel glory-hole … what depraved reason could there be for the smoke detectors being removed?

alright, this is going to be hard to follow, so let’s see what else i have this week.

apparently legendary turtle and... friend
i don’t know a lot about rescuing turtles… but someone appears to be enjoying it far too much

Vietnam finally nets legendary turtle for treatment

one of the funny things about this story is that periodically, someone claims to have seen some mysterious animal that many people don’t believe exists (like, say, Bigfoot), and usually that someone turns out to be covered in alcohol and/or an inbred yokel. so whenever the opposite is true (like, say, in the case of this turtle, i guess), it’s funny because all the Bigfoot fanatics and the like think it proves THEIR case. it doesn’t, geniuses! there is no Bigfoot!

“Experts in Hanoi captured a legendary giant turtle for medical treatment on Sunday, a milestone in a case that has grabbed national attention and cast a spotlight on environmental degradation in Vietnam.”

now granted, at this point they HAD confirmed the turtle existed, so is it really necessary to use the term “legendary?” actually, it probably is. people care a lot more about turtles than are legendary. although i recently read an unrelated news article (which was serious and thus not funny) wherein a man was described as someone who loved to “play football, read and collect turtles,” so i guess SOME people really do think turtles are cool.

“Several dozen people including special forces soldiers swam and used boats to pull three rings of nets around the rare beast the size of a car door with a head as big as a human’s, in Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the Vietnamese capital.”

so this cuts right to the part of this article i find priceless: “including special forces soldiers.” because you know you’re a legendary beast (despite underwhelming descriptors like “the size of a CAR DOOR” and “a head as big as a HUMAN’S”) when special forces have to be scrambled to detain you. it’s like you’re a super-villain, and now S.H.I.E.L.D. (and maybe the Avengers, ooo) is going to take you into custody!

“Experts believe the turtle, weighing some 200 kg (440 lb), may be suffering the effects of pollution, snaggings by fish hooks, attacks from smaller red ear turtles that have proliferated in the lake, or all three.”

however, it’s a black mark against your record of legendariness (although i doubt that’s a word) when you’re getting your ass kicked by “smaller red ear turtles.” because you know hippos don’t get knocked around by pygmy hippos. and why are all these tiny turtles fucking around with the turtle THE SIZE OF A CAR DOOR? “oh, look, there’s a turtle that’s much, much larger than us! let’s all go bite its shell, neck and feet!”

“According to Vietnamese legend, a giant turtle in the same lake — some believe even the same animal — reclaimed a magic sword given to king Le Loi in the 15th century that he used to win independence from China’s Ming Dynasty. The lake was thereafter named ‘Ho Hoan Kiem’, or ‘Lake of the Returned Sword’, and Hanoi has been built up around it.”

so at least we proved that this mystical turtle of legend existed… but i think we can all agree that this turtle did not reclaim a magical sword. no turtle is that bad-ass. it’s almost like some Vietnamese guys heard the tale of King Arthur and said, “hey, pretty good story, we should steal it for Vietnam! but let’s Vietnam it up. instead of a lady in the lake… maybe a moistened turtle is lobbing scimitars at everyone?” and let’s be clear: strange turtles lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

“Scientists have said they believe the turtle caught on Sunday may be more than 100 years old and a member of the critically endangered ‘Rafetus Swinhoei’ family of turtles, although others have dubbed it an independent sub species, ‘Rafetus Leloii’.”

WELL, WHY DON’T YOU ALL FIGHT ABOUT IT? actually, look, i get it, there’s serious debate about this kind of thing, but i cannot take it seriously. i just can’t.

“”Nobody wanted to take responsibility if it died,” said one Hanoi resident who lives near the local government office facing the lake and declined to give her name.”

i can’t imagine this woman’s decision to not give her name is that solid of a decision when you consider that she’s already revealed that she lives near the local government office facing the lake. ma’am, if you’re going to talk trash about the government’s lack of responsibility-taking, just be aware they’ve already got special forces on the scene. they’ll be by to visit you just as soon as they finish moving this turtle.

oh, and:

more guns arriving at- err, near my house in a box!

Star Model B

ah, the Star Model B: a 9mm version of the 1911 that was often found popping up in place of actual 1911s in movies and television programs before the advent of higher-quality .45 ACP blanks. (i give you several guns in the Untouchables and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, for example; the latter gives us the trivia factoid that while his identification of his gun as “Mr. 9mm” is often see as a mistake, it is actually accurate.) also, as mine came from a Spanish-made, Bulgarian-purchase, Soviet-captured batch that the Soviets dipped, the extractor is now purple. this may be of interest to all the Baltimore Ravens fans with C&R licenses out there.

things that might be worth shooting a man over: burritos, horse sex, dog defecation

i should probably use my opening statement to saying something along the lines of “guns are awesome” and “this update is in no way meant to imply anything negative about firearms and/or the people that own them.” because both of these things are true, but i ultimately still feel a small amount of guilt related to the fact that my jokes are based around people being ridiculous with them.

except for the horse sex stuff, as we’ll see that any shooting related to THAT matter would be a) no joke and b) totally justified. anyway, on with the show!

burrito-triggered spree response
break out the tactical gear, gentlemen: someone is furious about burritos

the Beefy Crunch Burrito incident

actually, the title implied by the URL for this article is even better: “burrito price leads to shooting stand-off.” i’m a little loath to make light of it, since it smacks of “those Texans and their guns,” but i assure you that there’s a twist coming. for now, though, let’s enjoy the absurdity of it all. here we go:

“The price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito had gone up from 99 cents to $1.49 and the man at the Rigsby Road Taco Bell drive-thru had just ordered seven. The fast food customer was so disgruntled by the price hike he shot an air gun at the manager, displayed an assault rifle and pistol while in the restaurant’s parking lot, fled as police were called, and pointed one of his weapons at three officers who pulled him over. Fleeing when they opened fire, he barricaded himself in his hotel room – all over $3.50 plus additional tax.”

so right here we have everything foreigners love to mock about America: they’re fat, they love guns, and they combine the two excessively. yeah, yeah, yeah. but we’re not cheap! anyway, my theory is this: if you’re going to shoot a gun at a manager because you’re mad about the price of your burritos, it might as well be a real gun. because i guarantee this guy is getting slammed as hard as possible by the Texas legal system right now. but wait…

“All three of his weapons were found to be air-powered and not firearms.”

so the initial paragraph that talked about “an assault rifle and pistol” was false… just like every other piece of reporting on the incident… and this was known to the author(s) before they published the final articles… and yet they STILL let the implication that this was a guy with actual firearms go through into print? classy. see, THIS is why we bash the reliability of the media.

“The final incident in the burrito-triggered spree happened Sunday afternoon at the Rodeway Inn on North W.W. White Road, engaging SWAT negotiators in a more than three-hour standoff, according to officials and witnesses.”

however, it is probably still worth it to get phrases like “burrito-triggered spree” into the “breaking news” category.

“It all began about four hours earlier when the man put in his order at the Taco Bell/KFC two-for-one restaurant … manager Brian Tillerson, 41, said his employees told him a customer was upset about the price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito. “They did use to be 99 cents, but that was just a promotion,” Tillerson said.”

see, now this is something i don’t understand about Americans: the continual flipping out when they realize that things change at fast-food restaurants. look, i get how frustrating it is when you discover a price has changed or a product isn’t being carried any longer (i am always experiencing the latter at the grocery store). but this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME, especially at fast-food establishments. and yet, as we’ve seen before, Americans will lose their minds and/or call 911 over some fast-food-related nonsense. come on, people, get it together.

“Police initially reported Jones exchanged fire with the officers. But on Monday, an SAPD spokesman said investigators could not be sure about that because his rifle was also a BB gun and they could find no spent BBs. It was unclear who shot out the windshield of a police patrol car during the shooting.”

okay, so, i understand the fast-food manager thinking he saw an assault rifle and pistol. but this is where it gets depressing: first, police think a guy with a BB gun is “exchanging fire” with them? then they try to claim it’s “unclear who shot out the windshield?” clearly, that would have to be the people who had actual guns: the police. seriously, like we haven’t seen police officers lose it and shoot up their own car before? anyway, at the very least, it’s not “unclear” who did it.

“The weird thing is,” Tillerson said, “He was here a week ago around the same time last Sunday. He yelled at me then too.”

well, that is ALSO weird, Tillerson, but given the fact that he went on an air-gun-waving, burrito-triggered spree this time, i think the current events remain “the weird thing.” but it’s not like this is the only time America’s had a guy do something weird…

preventing sex acts with horses since 07.31.2009
i will be able to use this photo for updates on this website until the end of time

probation for man who twice pleaded guilty to having sex with horse

i think i talked about this guy once before (under the title of “”sex with a horse” generally leads to comedy gold,” no less, so the article popped out at me… although, to be honest, any time a news article features the phrase “having sex with horse,” i consider it mentally for inclusion in an update.

“A South Carolina man who twice pleaded guilty to having sex with a horse has been released from prison after 16 months and ordered to stay away from the stable where the animal lives. … Vereen must complete two years of probation or he will have to finish the five-year sentence he received in November 2009 after pleading guilty to buggery and trespassing. The Sun-News of Myrtle Beach first reported Vereen’s release.”

so i imagine there’s an element of “this type of prisoner is not worth spending the money on keeping in jail” at work here, and i can respect that … but come on, ordering him to stay away from the stable? you don’t think the FIRST time they busted him for having sex with the horse they told him the same thing? clearly he feels driven to have sex with this particular horse. if he does it again, are they going to release him with the statement, “stay away from the stable where the animal lives, AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT?”

“Vereen was arrested after the owner of the horse staked out her stable and caught Vereen sneaking inside. She held him at gunpoint until police arrived. The owner said she spent several nights in the barn after catching Vereen having sex with the animal on surveillance tapes. She feared he had returned because her horse was acting strange and getting infections again.”

honestly, it would probably have been better for everyone involved if she had just shot the guy, because here’s what we’re dealing with here:

–a man who cannot stop fucking the same horse;
–a woman who’s quality of life is ruined by worrying about some guy breaking into her stable to fuck her horse;
–a horse that keeps getting raped (and infected).

any time a crime victim can be described as “a horse that keeps getting raped,” there’s a problem that might take a little more than probation to describe. and for crying out loud, the horse was “acting strange and getting infections” as a result, and i note this as someone who doesn’t have major sympathy for horses.

“Vereen was caught having sex with the same horse in late 2007 and was on probation from that incident when he was arrested a second time, authorities said.”

EXACTLY

“He said he wasn’t taking his medicine for schizophrenia when he went to the stables and promised to keep taking his medicine when he got out of prison.”

i don’t know THAT much about schizophrenia (beyond that it’s not about multiple personalities like they used to tell us), and i do hope that if this guy takes his medicine, he will stop fucking this horse … but really, i have never heard of another schizophrenic going off his medication and fucking a horse as a result. so i admit that i am skeptical about this.

“Vereen also must continue to register as a sex offender.”

this is actually the best thing about this. i have had issues with sex offender registries, mainly a) that they include lesser offenses alongside the blatantly terrible ones and b) that they’re made public … but if there’s anything beyond convictions for rape and child molestation that i’m okay with being publicly noted on the internet for the good of the public … it’s convictions related to the (repeated) fucking of a horse. ugh.

an emphatic
sounds like SOMEONE should have invested in one of these classy signs

defecating dog sparks US shootout

let’s get this upfront: when i read a title like this, i immediately assume it’s going to be a completely fictional (if not at least “based on truth but WILDLY misreported”) story along the lines of “Americans are so crazy!” i’m pretty sure we do this about foreigners all the time, so i suppose turnabout is fair play. but when it comes from a generally anti-gun country (the UK) and involved some “US shootout,” i have to assume some shenanigans might be at work.

that won’t stop me from repeating a story for comedy purposes, though. here we go:

“Two neighbours in the US state of Mississippi drew weapons and fired at each other as an argument over a defecating dog ran out of control.”

so i think you see what i am talking about: Americans in a shoot-out? over a defecating dog? in MISSISSIPPI? exactly. but we must press on!

“Associated Press news agency said Jerry Blasingame, 60, has been charged with assault for shooting Terry Tehnet, 52, with a shotgun. Mr Tehnet was angry because he thought Mr Blasingame’s dog had defecated on his lawn, in a rural part of the state. Mr Tehnet, whose injuries are not life-threatening, may also be charged.”

even the names seem kind of fake! anyway, true or not, throwing in “in a rural part of the state” is a nice touch, as if this kind of thing commonly happens in cities. actually, i suppose it could happen in a city in Mississippi, despite that state long holding the title of “classiest place in America.” any time there’s a negative statistic, the number one answer is invariably “Mississippi.” it’s like the opposite of cinnamon.

“The two men gave AP different versions of what happened.”

i cannot imagine why, in a circumstance where a man is accused of shooting a man over a dog’s defecation, that that might be.

“Mr Tehnet said he visited his neighbour to complain about dog “poop” on his property. Mr Blasingame blamed him for shooting his dog the week before, Mr Tehnet said, and told him: “Just meet me at the levee and I’ll shoot you down.””

you know, call me a dog person, but there’s a solid chance that i would shoot a man for shooting my dog. although, as my dog is deceased, i would probably have to shoot him for shooting my dead dog… and yes, i would probably still do that (and i don’t even live in Mississippi). however, i don’t want to dwell on this lest we miss the excellence of a call-out for a duel (in the South, no less) that involves the declaration “meet me at the levee.”

“”The two men confronted one another again and each claimed the other produced a weapon first. “He shot twice, I returned fire,” said Mr Blasingame. Mr Tehnet said Mr Blasingame opened fire first with his shotgun so he took his pistol from his car and fired back. He said he was hit in both hands, the shoulder, chest and side by shotgun pellets, AP reported.”

the moral of the story? stop shooting guys with goddamn bird-shot in your shotguns! this happened to a relative of mine when a disgruntled drunk he’d roughed up took a shot at him (huh… maybe i SHOULD live in Mississippi), and he was mildly wounded by pellets. granted, i wouldn’t have wanted that to turn out worse for him, so maybe the moral is actually going to be “good job continuing to load your shotguns with bird-shot, morons of the world.”

“Washington County Chief Deputy Sheriff Billy Barber said: “Homeowners and property owners need to respect each other’s property… If a dog did that in your yard, call the law. Don’t take matters into your own hands.””

this sheriff probably also appreciates the ability to look like a goddamn genius simply by pointing out the obvious.

so, see, no hip-hop this week! hooray for our readers! except me, because, you know, i love that stuff.