She Took Your Money, But Hopefully Not Your Independence

This story of someone befriending and then ripping off a blind lady is another example of something I could see very easily happening to me if I just did one thing wrong. It also illustrates why, when someone offers to “help me” by taking my stuff, I’m not exactly willing to hand it over. I actually had a woman come up and without a word try to take my groceries. She couldn’t understand why my response wasn’t brimming with gratitude, and was more brimming with scream and flail. For future reference, words are wonderful things. Ask if you can help, and ask how. In that case, if she opened the door, that would have been immensely helpful. I had no problem carrying the stuff, but it made it hard to reach in my pocket for keys. Silently stealing my food out of my hands isn’t exactly immensely helpful.

The woman, who wished to be identified only as “Sally,” took a bus from her home in Sudbury, Ont. to Toronto for a medical appointment. She chose to make the journey on her own, without her daughter at her side.
Sally said she passed the time on the hours-long chartered bus trip by chatting with a woman seated beside her, who spoke of a rough life, marked by a failed stint in rehab and sadness over the death of her mother.
“I felt sorry for her. And then she was telling me she had no place to go,” Sally told CTV Toronto, explaining that her travel companion asked if she could go to Sally’s hotel room in the city.
“She asked to stay here, and I told her she could,” Sally said, recalling how they chatted for hours. But when Sally went to the bathroom, she says the woman rushed out of the hotel room.
“I came back out, and she was passing by me to go out. She said she was going to the vending machine,” Sally said. “(It) seemed weird, so I went and checked my jacket and my wallet. All my money was gone. I had $800 in there. She took my money.”
Sally said she rushed to the front desk, shouting after the woman. She was told the stranger was last seen getting into a cab. All she had left was the $100 she hid in her bra.

Good on her for having $100 in her bra. I would not have done that. But I also don’t carry that much cash. But that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t try to take something from me. One time, when I was in the states, I had some US cash, but since the bills all feel the same, I had different denominations in separate bundles with paperclips on them. After some money had been spent out of the 5’s bundle, it had the same number as the 50’s bundle. I went to tip the airport guy, and was quickly trying to find the right bundle and the right bill. If he hadn’t been honest, he could have taken me for 10 times what I was intending to offer. It can happen that easily, and especially for someone who might not be used to doing a little extra planning, like this woman who’s only been blind for 8 years.

I would like to believe that \I have a good gut instinct and 9 times out of 10, I obey it if something feels wrong, but there’s always that 10th time. I remember some circumstances where I have taken a ride or an offer of assistance during a particularly snowy night, and that gut has been screaming “Do you want to get killed? What the hell are you doing?” and I have done it anyway. Thankfully it’s turned out ok, but I’ve arrived home questioning if I have lost my mind.

I don’t know if I would have let a stranger share my hotel, but I am not blaming Sally. I’m just saying that a slick con artist probably would have found another way to get what they wanted if I didn’t pay attention.

Thankfully, the person who did it surrendered to police, and Sally got her money back and more thanks to a GoFundMe campaign, but still.

As one blind person to another, I really hope that Sally continues to travel alone, and her daughter doesn’t try to persuade her that she can’t do this. Honestly, most of the world isn’t made up of arseholes like that. Just learn from this, and I don’t mean turn into a hard-hearted person. Just develop a gut instinct and if you want to help this poor stranger, figure out a way to help without bringing the person too far into your world.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Draws In Their Eye

When I heard about this woman and her eyeball tattoo gone wrong, all I could think of was this really old post.

I guess this woman is really into body modification, i.e. adding and subtracting things from her body just for fun. She’s even had her tongue surgically split. Yeesh! So she thought tattooing the sclera of her eyeball was the next big thing she should try.

The problem was she didn’t realize how risky it would be, and that not everybody should be allowed near her eyeball with a needle. Allow this sentence to run through your head for a moment.

It was deduced that the artist had made a series of mistakes, including over-injecting her eye, failing to dilute the ink with saline, using a needle that was too big and going too deep into the eye.

Those are some big mistakes that could prove rather costly. At best, she could have vision problems for the rest of her life. At worst, they might have to remove the eye because the ink could start an inexorable march toward her brain. Yeah, this sounds like a good idea!

*shiver*. There are people who need injections in their eyes for medical reasons. I cannot understand why someone would voluntarily go for them just to make their eyes look different or something. And, if you did, for the love of Pete, pick someone who knows what they’re doing!

Every time I write one of these, there’s a tiny voice that wonders if some day I’ll do something that warrants one of these posts to be written about me. I guess if it happens, I’ll deserve it. Until then, I’ll shiver at the thought of what people will do to their bodies just for looks. Eek.

I’ve Got A Trombone To Pick With You…

This story, although kind of sad, makes me laugh. It’s definitely odd.

It seems this fellow who just moved to a new apartment discovered that someone in his midst has a hate on for trombones.

Sam and a lady friend had been living in Dixon. But this summer she got a job offer in Peoria, so they found an apartment near Pioneer Parkway. In mid-July, they began moving in stages: they brought a small number of items (including the trombone) about a month ago, while a maintenance crew cleaned and painted their place. Then they returned with more items at the end of the month.
On that second trip, Sam glimpsed the bedroom closet. That’s where he’d placed his trombone, zipped inside its canvas case. But the case had been torn open — “They didn’t even bother to use the zipper,” Sam says — and the trombone left disheveled.

So he didn’t even manage to play it in his new apartment and tick off his neighbours before someone decided to wreck it? There’s a part of me that wonders if the damaging of the trombone was a bit of, ahem, preventative maintenance. You have to wonder, since it later says there was no signs of forced entry, and maintenance crews were in there when he dropped it off.

I used to play the trumpet, although if I picked it up now, it would probably sound like a wounded cow had gotten loose in the apartment building. I have to wonder, if I’d continued to play, if my poor trumpet would have been messed with.

It seems like the trombone does him some good, so I hope he can fix it. But maybe he should figure out how to sound-proof his apartment too.

Come On, Man! You Lied About Everything Else!

I don’t wanna be that guy, but fuck it, I’m gonna be that guy. Now where’d I put my tiny violin?

A Mexican man who spent almost two decades living in the United States was deported back to his home country late Tuesday, separating him from his US-born wife, who voted for President Donald Trump.
Roberto Beristain, 43, had been in custody since he was detained on Feb. 6 during a routine check-in with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. After spending almost two months in detention centers across six states, the Indiana resident was suddenly taken alone to Juarez, Mexico, late Tuesday night, he said in a statement released by his attorneys, who had filed legal petitions requesting his release.

Under Obama-era directives, ICE had concentrated mainly on deporting criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety. However, following President Trump’s signing of an executive order in January on immigration, emboldened ICE agents have been detaining hundreds of undocumented immigrants, including those not charged with any crimes.
Helen Beristain told Indiana Public Media she voted for Trump, believing he would not deport “good people.”
“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” she said.

Huh. So you can’t trust a mentally unstable bigot. How about that.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel pretty terrible for Roberto. Sure he technically broke the law, but in the process he seems to have made a better life for himself and his family, something everyone should strive to do no matter where they are or how they got there.

But Helen? She can get fucked. Trump didn’t exactly hide who he was on the campaign trail, and anyone who had been alive for more than ten minutes could see that an immigration system under his control wasn’t going to have the word restraint in its mission statement unless it was in the shackling section. If you voted for him based on that track record, you deserve to live in your own private hell when the bulbous sack of Cheeto dust decides he’s going to follow through on something and it bites you on the ass. It’s just too bad you had to take one of the “good people” there with you.

Keister Surprise

I know in the grand scheme of things Kinder Surprise eggs are pretty small, but you know what’s even smaller? Your exit hatch. So the fact that now current Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre resident Damian O’Reilly seems to have set an unofficial record by managing to fit eight of them into his is, in its own way, almost as impressive as it is stupid.

O’Reilly figured the quickest way to get arrested would be to throw a rock at a police cruiser in front of the courthouse and, sure enough, he got the job done in minutes flat. It helped that he was already on probation, so when he was arrested, he was held for bail and shipped off to the old Innes Road jail. 
And that’s where his plot unravelled.
It’s not known if the guard noticed O’Reilly was in some discomfort but whatever the reason, the guard had suspicions that O’Reilly might be smuggling drugs. The young inmate was escorted to dry cell No. 9. A dry cell has no plumbing and guards will either attempt to seize the contraband or wait for it to be expelled.
In this case, it was O’Reilly himself who, once alone in the dry cell, removed eight Kinder Surprise eggs from his rectum. A guard had to then collect the eggs and photograph them before securing them inside the Ottawa police drug safe at the jail.

In all, the eight eggs contained 59 grams of marijuana, a gram of MDMA, tobacco, rolling papers and matches.

Earlier reports that O’Reilly *was* the drug safe are erroneous.

by the way, if Drug Safe isn’t his nickname by the time I hit publish on this, there’s something wrong with this world.

Anyway, O’Reilly pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and was sentenced to sit in jail for a year and some change, although standing may be more comfortable for a while.

As for the possible record mentioned above, he doubled it. The previous mark was set by an unidentified man in 2010 who only managed four, the friggin amateur.

My Love For This Team Is A Burning Love. To The Second And Third Degree, To Be Specific


There’s nothing wrong with making a friendly wager on a sporting event. I’ve been known to bet a few bucks or a dinner here and there. And if fire didn’t scare the living shit out of me and if the things weren’t so god damned expensive, I could maaaaaaaaaaybe see myself making a loser burns the jersey bet like this couple made on last weekend’s Cowboys Packers game. I could also see myself perhaps getting a little buzzed up while watching said Cowboys Packers game because hey, why not? But what I absolutely, positively, 100% cannot see myself doing is lighting the poor sumbitch on fire and then putting it on.

A witness told Sebastian Daily, “He was set on fire after losing a bet on the Cowboys game … Skin was hanging off his arm and back.”
The man suffered third-degree burns on his right arm and right hand and second-degree burns to his back.
When the woman’s team won, her husband went outside to light his jersey on fire. He told deputies that he was drunk and tried to put the jersey on while it was burning.
Family members pulled the jersey off the man at the Vero Beach residence and rushed him to the Indian River Medical Center.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It…In The Papers We Don’t Pay People Fairly For Delivering

I know times are hard in the newspaper business, but have things really gotten so bad that a company the size of Metroland has to resort to ripping off a couple of 10-year-olds?

Looking to make some money over their summer holiday, the boys took on a paper route with the Beaches Mirror, delivering newspapers to 100 homes for Metroland Media Group. It only paid about $2.50 per hour, or $20 per week, which they’d split between them.

It was straightforward enough. A selection of flyers was delivered to their doorstep, which they would organize. Then the newspapers would arrive. Elias and Ezra put the flyers in the papers, wrapped them in a plastic bag and delivered them. Since the route isn’t in their neighbourhood, Golden would drive them to the area.

Then one Friday morning, after the boys had made their deliveries, the paper unexpectedly dropped off a big stack of flyers. There was a note: these particular flyers hadn’t arrived early enough to make it into the Thursday paper and they needed to go out. 
But there was a hitch. The boys would be paid for their work, but just two cents per flyer — $2 total, one for each of them. To make things worse, Golden said, the paper told them this same scenario would start happening more frequently, since fall is the busy season, so they’d better get used to it.

Since this is obvious bullshit, mom and the boys had a chat and decided that Metroland could take this job and shove it. Metroland, in turn, decided that because they didn’t give the 30 days notice required in their contract, that they wouldn’t be paid for the last three weeks of work they’d done. But since mom happens to be a workplace and human rights investigator by trade, she was not fucking having this and after taking the story to Facebook, Metroland thankfully decided that it might be in their best interests to stop being assholes for a few seconds and pay up.

That’s nice and all, but beyond this one garbage instance we should probably be asking a pretty big question here. Why is it ok that any company, especially one this size, is allowed to pay virtually nothing to the people who are basically the reason that anyone reads their work and sees the ads that tag along with it in the first place? I know when you’re ten it’s often just cool to have a few bucks in your pocket, but that’s not an excuse. We’re not dealing with Mr. Smith down the street getting little Joey to mow his lawn for $5. Hell, we’re not even dealing with a small town, hand to mouth, independent newspaper. Metroland, to hear them tell it, is kind of a big deal. There’s a lot of horn tooting going on here, so we’ll cut it down to the relevant bits about newspapers and flyers.

Metroland Media provides local news and advertising media/information in Canada’s heartland.  More than 100 community newspapers are published that span from London in southwest Ontario to Ottawa in the northeast, with concentration around Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.  The combined distribution of the community newspapers published by Metroland Media is approximately 4 million copies a week.
Metroland Media also publishes two award-winning daily newspapers, The Hamilton Spectator and the Waterloo Region Record. Click here for newspaper publications.

Metroland Media is one the largest distributors of flyers, circulars and product samples in Canada.  With almost total coverage of households throughout central and eastern Ontario, combined with delivery verification systems, Metroland Media excels at delivering advertisers’ flyers to their customers.

And Metroland is itself owned by Torstar, which seems like it should have a few bucks on hand to pay some kids and down on their luck adults a fair wage.

I wish I could say I was going to boycott them, but when they own a not insignificant slice of the news coverage in your area (the Record, the Post, the Chronicle, the Cambridge Times and the digital husk of the Guelph Mercury/Tribune), that’s not a thing that’s realistically going to happen. But in my way I can call them out for their uncaring and terrible treatment of important workers, so consider that done.

More Like Sputtering To A Sad Halt Like A Couple Of Losers ON Empty


Before you run from the police, you should really think long and hard about the potential ramifications of that decision. What if you don’t get away? Is whatever this is worth going to jail over? What if you cause an accident? Is possibly killing yourself or someone else a risk you’re truly willing to take? When the police begin caving in your skull for making their lives difficult with your idiocy, can you take it like a man? You should consider all of these things, but let’s be honest. You’re not going to. You have a split second choice to make and there’s just not time for that. Plus you’re probably drunk or on drugs. But snap decision or not, there’s one thing you should always take the time to do before you say screw it and take off. Have a quick gander at the gas gauge.

The Des Moines Police Department says the chase began at SE 5th and Army Post around 1:30 a.m. when an officer attempted to pull over a Ford F-150 truck for an equipment violation.
The chase went through Norwalk on Highway 28 south and continued on to Highway 92 east through Indianola. Police say it finally ended when the suspect vehicle ran out of gas near Pleasantville.

Caleb Wood and Mark York, who police say were involved in another, presumably more successful chase not long before this one, were arrested on outstanding warrants. Wood was also hit with new charges of failure to have a valid driver’s license, eluding, possession of narcotics and a few traffic violations for good measure. York faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Based on that, I guess we know which one was driving. Which one is responsible for not filling up, however, is still a mystery.

Lawyer Lawyer Pants On Fire

Something tells me Stephen Gutierrez is going to have a hard time living this one down.

A Miami defense lawyer’s pants burst into flames Wednesday afternoon as he began his closing arguments in front of a jury — in an arson case.
Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

He rushed out of the Miami courtroom, leaving spectators stunned. After jurors were ushered out, Gutierrez returned unharmed, with a singed pocket, and insisted it wasn’t a staged defense demonstration gone wrong, observers said.

Instead, Gutierrez blamed a faulty battery in an e-cigarette, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

If it was a stunt, it wasn’t a very good one. The Jury convicted his client, Claudy Charles, of second-degree arson in connection with the burning of his own car. Why he was burning his own car was not reported.

Get On My Lawn!


Generally speaking, you probably shouldn’t take the law into your own hands. But sometimes it’s pretty funny when someone does.

Police in La Puente, California, got a call from someone claiming he was being followed. When they arrived, what they found was a man jumping from rooftop to rooftop for some reason and refusing to come down. For hours it went like this, even after a crisis negotiator was called in.

And then he got to Wilford Burgess’ house.

“I’d made up my mind. I said, ‘He’s on my roof? Whatever it takes, he’s coming off,’ ” Wilford Burgess told ABC7 after he pushed the man off his house’s roof.
Burgess said he told his neighbor he needed to borrow his ladder to get the man down.
“I’m going on that roof. That sucker’s coming down,” Burgess said.
In a video of the incident, Burgess is seen pushing and shoving the man and giving him a few “choice words” before the man is launched off the front of the roof and slams onto the hood of Burgess’ car. The windshield was wrecked with a circular web of cracks and breaks from the man’s impact.

The jumper, who was not named and appears to be physically ok, was taken for a mental evaluation.

As for Burgess, who for the record is 83-years-old, he won’t be charged with anything. He just gets to be everybody’s hero for a while.