“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.

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