moral for today: don’t snort the mystery brick you found in the ocean

originally i had a legitimate idea for an update this week (i don’t want to ruin it, as i am going to run with it as soon as possible, but suffice to say it was a listicle), but events spun out of my control (a solid excuse) and thus i am forced to fall back on the old stand-by of “making fun of random articles i find in the news on the internet.” it’s not so bad, really: at least you know what you’re getting instead of really on my “wits.” so let’s get right to it.

Billy Joe Madden
it amazes me that such a classy-looking gentleman could find himself in this situation

man intoxicated, lets 8-year-old son drive, say police

well, there’s pretty no two ways to take THAT title, so i think we know what we’re in for from the jump: a sad tale of a father picking the wrong location and method to teach his son how to drive! wait, no, it might actually be something worse than that:

“State Police arrested a man who was intoxicated and let his eight-year-old drive while the family drove from Mississippi to Texas, according to State Police spokeswoman Trooper Melissa Matey. State Police stopped the truck around 6:30 a.m. on Interstate-12 near Holden, La. Police pulled the truck over after a call from a concerned motorist said the truck was driving erratically and a child was at the wheel, said Matey.”

see, now, if you ask me, it’s not really necessary to point out that the vehicle was “driving erratically” if you’ve started your call to the police with “i’m driving on Interstate 12 and i just passed a car being driven by an eight-year-old.” the erratic may be a given, is what i’m saying.

“Troopers determined that the driver was an eight-year-old with his four-year-old sister in the rear seat and their father, Billy Joe Madden, 28, of Hattiesburg, Miss., in the passenger seat,” said a statement from Matey.”

for one thing, i appreciate the fact that despite this arrest taking place in Louisiana, our suspect here has helpfully allowed me to shake my head and make a joke about the classiness of Mississippi. for another, with a name like Billy Joe, i suppose you’re bound to end up in some kind of tragic alcohol-related arrest at some point in your life… so i guess you might as well make it memorable. success, Billy Joe Madden, success!

“According to police, Madden was intoxicated and sleeping in the the truck while his son drove the truck from Mississippi to Dallas, Texas.”

this does make me wonder, though, if the child was asked/forced to drive, or if this whole “eight-year-old driving” thing happened AFTER the father was asleep. because i could see that: dad’s drunk, passed out in the passenger seat… but that eight-year-old is not missing tonight’s episode of whatever it is that eight-year-olds watch! i mean, i have no idea, i’m old now.

“Madden was arrested and booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container, and two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt, according to police.”

two counts of no seatbelt? now we’re just piling on, guys.

mysterious brick... building
this came up while searching for “mysterious brick,” although i suspect it was not snorted by a fisherman

report: man finds brick of unknown substance, snorts it, dies

well, that title about says it all. actually, so does the subtitle: “bizarre fishing trip ends in tragedy.” INDEED. actually, i’m reminded of an older story i once made fun of where some Russian fisherman thought they caught an alien… and then ate it. what i’m saying is that fishing trips lead to some seriously ridiculous events.

“A Merritt Island man died after a bizarre trip out on the water with his brother Wednesday. Thomas Swindal, 53, was offshore on Marathon when he and his brother Kenneth discovered a brick of an unknown substance, possibly cocaine, floating in the water.”

so far, not two crazy: two guys are fishing and they find what looks like cocaine floating in the water. now, i think we generally expect a story like that to go three ways: one, they take the cocaine and sell it to someone; two, they call the police and notify them of the cocaine’s location; or three, they just ignore the mystery brick and keeping on fishing. i would PROBABLY go with number three myself, mostly because in my experience there’s no way police are going out on the water to search for a “mystery brick” i told them about.

“They ended up tossing the package into a bait well until a short time later, when Kenneth said he turned around and saw his brother snorting some of the substance.”

so i GUESS they were going to go with number one… until the one brother decided to turn their nice, relaxing fishing trip into some kind of coke party. seems counter-productive to me, but then i’ve never been much of a fisherman.

“Kenneth told investigators that about 90 minutes later, Thomas began running around the boat, throwing things into the water, including a cell phone and a VHF radio. Thomas also picked up knives, pliers and a gaff and removed the cowling from the engine, which fell overboard and sank, leaving the brothers stranded.”

at this point in the story, i have to suspect that either this was something other than cocaine having been snorted, or there’s a more nefarious truth to this story, because i’m not sure why a nose full of cocaine (even incredibly high-quality cocaine) would cause you to flip out, throw radios overboard and disable your boat. now, to be fair, i’m not a cocaine user, so maybe i just can’t relate to the way you part when you’re coked up. anyone want to call this “normal coked-up behavior?”

“To avoid further dangers, Kenneth said he tossed all remaining sharp objects into the water, as well as the package of the mysterious substance.”

this would be less funny, i guess, if Kenneth’s brother “mysteriously disappeared” and Kenneth was telling the police, “yeah, he snorted this mysterious brick and flipped out, so then i threw all the knives, including the murder wea- i mean, all the knives, nothing special about those knives, into the water so that my brother wouldn’t hurt himself. and then he just jumped in the ocean and disappeared.”

“Kenneth then climbed to the top of the boat to signal for help. A passing vessel picked the men up, and arrangements were made for paramedics to meet them at shore. Thomas Swindal was rushed to Fishermen’s Hospital, then transferred to South Miami Hospital, where he died on Thursday.”


“An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death and perhaps the type of drug Swindal ingested.”

well, we have GOT to have some follow-up on this story, because either the answer’s going to be “your brother personally snorted a pound of cocaine” or “your brother is full of arsenic, and you’re under the most arrest possible.” or maybe it was some kind of alien fish he snorted, who knows.

Anthony Romo
well… that van is certainly now in a lake

son drives dad’s van into Central Park Harlem Meers lake

“Dad, where’s your car? Try: sinking fast in Central Park, where a driver with a few father issues steered a speeding minivan into the waters of the Harlem Meer yesterday afternoon, eyewitnesses said.”

well, i suppose there COULD be a good reason to drive your father’s car into a lake, although i admit i am drawing a blank on what one could be. i guess it helps that my father a) isn’t a huge jerk or anything and b) doesn’t drive a van. however, if there is one thing i WOULD expect to come out of that opening, it would be a female driver. those ladies, they love to have the father issues.

“After fleeing the sinking vehicle, the sopping wet driver, Anthony Romo of the Bronx, was helped up to shore by rescuers who just minutes earlier had been enjoying a summer afternoon in the northeast corner of the park. “He said, ‘My father cares more about that van than he does about me,'” recounted witness John McBride. “Then he sat down. He didn’t try to resist or run. … It was insane.””

well, i was wrong about the gender of the driver. and “i’m jealous of my father’s van” is not really what i expected to hear from the suspect regarding his motivations. still, i guess when you’re involved in a ridiculous scenario, you can’t have a reasonable explanation for your deeds. especially when those deeds culminate in “…and then i angrily drove my father’s van directly in the lake. that’ll show him!”

“Romo, 30, also mumbled something about his girlfriend before police, firefighters and EMTs reached the scene.”

one follow-up story i read had the dad remarking that this was all about his son’s girlfriend making the son ferry her around to balloon-animal-making jobs and the son thus racking up major parking tickets, causing the dad to cut off use of the car. which is insane enough to make sense, considering that this relates to a story where a son crashed a van into a lake FOR REVENGE.

that said, the son also later claimed that he wanted to crash the car “because I am tired of being used as a taxi driver and I don’t like to be talked to by my family,” which may make sense to insane people, but not so much sense to people saying, “but wait, it wasn’t your car…”

“Romo was alone inside the vehicle as he sped down a pedestrian path toward the water. McBride, in the park with his pregnant wife, said they had just put a blanket down when the van appeared. “He blew right by us,” said McBride. “And he blew right into the lake.””

i don’t know why this guy with the pregnant wife has a fascination with the use of the word “blew” … but i believe there might be some subtext there.

“A man who identified himself as Romo’s father said last night that he got into a fight with his son earlier in the day. The dad said he called the cops after Romo’s girlfriend and her father refused to leave his apartment. Romo drove off in the 1997 Nissan Quest about noon, and his father said he hadn’t heard from his son since. “He’s actually a really wonderful person,” the dad said.”

sorry, father of a crazy person, but really wonderful sons don’t crash their father’s 1997 vans into lakes. although i might point this out to MY father so that i can get a little credit for respecting the structural integrity of his Mercury.

that’ll do for this week, kids, but i’ll do what i can to make that “real update” happen for next week!

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