04-30-2003: Fox News and contributing editor Mr. M bring us today's asshat: Kelley Marie Ferguson. Ferguson is a 20 year old lass from Laguna Hills, California.
Ferguson was slated to go on a cruise with her family aboard the Legend Of The Seas. She apparently didn't really want to go, so she decided to try to cut the cruise short.
Now, most people when faced with this situation, would fake stomach flu or maybe an ugly touch of the squirts. Oh no - Ferguson must not have thought that was a strong enough excuse. What did she do?
She penned two notes threatening to kill all US Citizens aboard, and left the notes in a restroom for someone to find.
You know, something a crazy person or a terrorist might write?
After diverting the cruise ship, more than 100 FBI agents went through the ship with a fine-toothed comb, looking for weapons/bombs/terrorists. They also questioned the 2,400+ passengers. Ferguson finally admitted to writing the notes during the investigation
and was arrested Saturday.
Mr. M pointed me to the
Fox News story with all the details. After much giggling, I knew I had today's AOTD.
04-29-2003: Today, we honor another bank robber wannabe. Today, we honor John Gladney of Columbus, Ohio.
Gladney robbed the National City Bank in downtown Columbus. Er, allegedly. Unfortunately for Gladney, he .. allegedly .. stuffed the money down his pants, and the money included an explosive dye pack.
Ow. SFGate has a story, as does the Democrat and Chronicle.
04-28-2003: Today, I give the AOTD award to a person (I refuse to call him a gentleman) so very deserving of the AOTD, it almost hurts.
You know all that annoying unsolicited bulk or commercial email you get? Ie, spam? Well, chances are much of it has been sent to you by Alan Ralsky. Ralsky is one of the handful of "spam kings" that are responsible for the bulk of utter crap we get dished every day.
The Freep has an article about this creep, and how he is living the life of luxury off of sending millions of spam emails. In fact, he just moved into his three-quarter of a million dollar house just last fall. That house was bought with spam money.
A memorable quote: "I'll never quit," said the 57-year-old master of spam. "I like what I do. This is the greatest business in the world."
04-27-2003: Not in my country, asshat.
Paul Alan White was sentenced on Friday to pay over $5000 in fines, as well as an eight month stay in prison. His crime? White impersonated a Vietnam War hero, wearing a warrant officer uniform to various speaking engagements in 2000 and 2001.
His "uniform" included the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart. Prosecutors say he never served in Vietnam, nor in combat for that matter. And why did he attend these speaking engagements? To speak about his combat experiences in Vietnam.
Read the Newsday story about this whole thing (Newsday has since removed the story from their site). White deserves a lot more than eight months, in my opinion - you never mess with our veterans, and you NEVER insult those who have earned medals of such a high honor.
04-26-2003: I'm going to give another AOTD award to PETA, faux paux be damned.
Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, announced on Thursday that she wanted her flesh to be barbecued, skin made into leather, feet made into umbrella stands, and her liver be sent to France when she dies.
Now, to those of you saying "Huh?", she wants these things done to make a statement. Well, yeah, that's a statement all right - "Hi. I'm Ingrid, and I'm an asshat!"
Reuters brought the story to our attention (Reuters has since removed the story from their site). We promise, we won't give PETA or any of its members an AOTD award tomorrow. Unless they do something even dumber.
04-25-2003: Big, hot, tasty slab of cooked beef flesh, anyone?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, recently contacted Hamburg, NY, officials asking them to rename their town to "Veggieburg." Hamburg Supervisor Patrick Hoak immediately declined the offer.
PETA offered area schools $15,000 worth of non-meat patties to make the name change.
According to PETA, the name Hamburg ".. conjures up visions of unhealthy patties of ground-up dead cows." Several years ago, PETA asked the town of Fishkill to change their name to "Fishsave", because the group believed the name brought violent images of dead fish to mind.
SFGate has a story with some more details.
Personally, I think PETA should turn that $15,000 to better use - perhaps in distributing mild sedatives to its members? They sure seem to get wound up over things as silly as a town's name, maybe they just need to relax a little. Maybe a nice vacation would do the trick. Sadly, I doubt their nice, shiny new AOTD award will help.
04-24-2003: Imagine, for a moment, that you are a computer software corporation that did well in the past, but in recent years has slipped into irrelevance. When people are asked about you, they look surprised and ask things like "You mean they're still in business? I thought they were gone years ago!". You don't have a product anyone wants, and your revenue is in the toilet. What do you do?
Do what SCO does - sue! There are literally billions to be made out there through litigation, so if you can't actually produce and sell a product anyone wants to buy, sue your way to riches!
In an interview with CRN, SCO CEO Darl McBride talks about their lawsuit with IBM (talk about David and Goliath - I don't think SCO even qualifies as David's fourth cousin), and their future lawsuits against RedHat and SuSE. Note that "for legal reasons", he won't even state the alleged intellectual property that IBM has supposedly stolen from SCO.
Quit giggling. SCO really is still in business! Honest!
Read the above article, and read some of the comments. SCO has a history of litigation rather than actually worrying about a product anyone will buy. In McBride's words, "From what I hear, IBM will blacken the Utah sky with lawyers." For one of the first times in history, I hope they do.
Enjoy your AOTD award, Darl. What an asshat.
04-23-2003: Oh sweet lord, let it end.
America's love affair with so-called "reality shows" has gone way, way over the line. For some reason, we can't seem to get enough of these incredibly stupid shows that show people in everyday life (or not-so-everyday, like in Survivor). Let's face it, folks, Survivor was pretty cool. The first time around.
Well, guess who's getting his own reality show now?
O. J. Simpson. I think I'm going to be sick now. Enjoy your AOTD award, O. J.
Please, let the madness end...
04-22-2003: Ouch! Machine operator Keith Sanderson accidentally chopped off the tip of his thumb while working at Macy Panel Products in the UK. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens within the industrial sector - no matter how ISO-certified you are, accidents will happen.
Apparently, the injury wasn't too severe, as Sanderson was able to demonstrate to his managers exactly what happened. This time he lopped off his entire index finger!
Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird has the blurb - scroll down about two-thirds of the page to "News That Sounds Like a Joke."
04-21-2003: As a twelve year old kid, getting the chance to fart on someone might be a dream come true, especially a head shot.
However, as a police officer, one should probably resist the urge. Unfortunately, this asshat didn't.
He was one of four officers responding to a possible suicide call. Upon finding the woman unconscious in bed, he farted on her face while saying "This ought to wake her up."
Let me say that again for those of you in the cheap seats - he farted on her face. A police officer. Head shot.
The Fullerton, CA officer has been suspended for 60 hours without pay.
04-20-2003: Warren Preston Brown is today's lucky AOTD. Brown is a minister at the Bible Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma.
Brown also allegedly robbed an assload of banks - five banks and a credit union, to be specific. He even admitted robbing the banks in a signed affidavit. I guess preaching doesn't pay very well.
Oh - and he used a church van as a getaway vehicle, too. See the Yahoo story for more details.
04-19-2003: Let's all give the executives at American Airlines a big friggin' hats-off and a cheer. They are the lucky recipients of today's AOTD award.
American has been negotiating with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants for some time now. Unfortunately, American has been less than ethical - they have basically been blackmailing the union to accept concessions, or they'll file for bankruptcy.
And so, the union finally accepted the concessions just hours before the deadline was up. Yay, American gets to stay in business! Now, take a moment to reflect on the meaning of bankruptcy - it means that you're out of money, or damned close. Companies file for bankruptcy when they run out of money.
So why would they announce to the SEC on Tuesday that they are offering bonuses to top executives, as well as supplementary pensions for those executives? The bonuses for Donald J. Carty (CEO) and five other senior executives were equal to twice their yearly salaries! That's a helluva bonus.
Keep in mind, American is asking its employees to accept a 15.6 to 23 percent pay cut.
Read the entire story here.
The unions are scheduling a revote of their decision to accept the concessions.
04-18-2003: You should always be able to trust a nun.
However, it appears this is not always the case. Reuters reports on three Catholic nuns in Colorado that actually broke into a Minuteman III silo and sabotaged cables (Reuters has since removed the story from their site). Once they were done with the cables, they made the sign of the cross on the lid of the silo in their own blood.
Very well, then - three AOTD awards to the spunky nuns from Colorado.
One big bonus AOTD award to the guards that didn't notice three nuns breaking into a freaking
Minuteman III silo!
04-17-2003: You know the story - you're broke, you have no food, you're sick of Ramen noodles, and you're out of beer. What's a person to do?
There are many choices you could make in this situation... You could look for a better job, or buy a lottery ticket, or even rob a bank. Yes, rob a bank... That sounds good. A quick "in and out", and you're rich beyond your wildest dreams, ready to retire at the ripe old age of 33. Hell, you could finally move out of mom and dad's place, and get your own place!
OK. So, you're going to rob a bank. The absolute first thing to do is to pick your target carefully. Unlike this guy.
You know, the guy that tried robbing a bank in the same building as the local FBI office. Note to those unfamiliar with American law enforcement agencies - the FBI is the federal agency that handles - you guessed it - bank robberies.
Did I mention that the bank was also across the street from the city police department?
Enjoy your AOTD award, as well as your sentence, you asshat.
04-16-2003: OK, imagine this scenario: You have 30,000 live chickens that don't lay eggs any more, and you can't use the meat because of a local virus and subsequent quarantine. What in heaven's name do you do?
The immediate solution that comes to mind - wood chippers!.
No, I'm not kidding. Two poultry farmers in California came to that very same conclusion when presented with this dilemma. They ran 30,000 live chickens through wood chippers to dispose of the birds. And what's worse - a senior veterinatian with the Department of Agriculture told them they could do it!
Personally, I don't care if the President of the United States himself tells me "Benny, it'd be just fine to run those chickens through a wood chipper!", I have something that places me above the rest of the food chain - common sense. Obviously, these two poultry farmers do not.
Reuters reported this story originally. It's an appalling read, especially when you come to the "we're not going to prosecute" part.
04-15-2003: When you just gotta have a pork chop, you gotta have a pork chop! To hell with the five pound keg of gunpowder next to you.
In Lake Worth, Florida, they make their pork chops spicy. Like, "let's blow up the house" sort of spicy. Artist Douglas Ferrin was cooking pork chops in a workshop behind the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, when a grease fire spread to a nearby keg of gunpowder.
Local television station channel six reports (story has since been removed from site) that no one was hurt, and no one is expected to be arrested. While it all appears to be an honest, simple mistake, perhaps the next time Ferrin decides to cook in a workshop, he'll move the gunpowder next time.
The workshop and a nearby sport utility vehicle were destroyed.
04-14-2003: I believe in romance. I believe in love, and red roses, and such things. I like to think that couples can buy each other gifts all in the name of love.
However, some gifts are just silly. Take today's asshat, actor Ben Affleck - he just bought his fiancee (Jennifer Lopez) a gem-encrusted toilet seat, one he designed himself. Ben Affleck designs toilet seats?
OK, so Affleck gave her a toilet seat. Now, as asinine as that sounds, wait till you hear the price he paid for it - $105,000! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, one hundred and five thousand dollars. For a toilet seat.
How many of you have bought a toilet seat for your fiancee? None? That's right, because it's a stupid friggin' gift for your fiancee! Not to mention actually spending $105,000 on one...
Enjoy your AOTD award, Affleck.
04-13-2003: We go around the world for today's AOTD, to beautiful Yokohama, Japan. Yokohama is almost directly south of Tokyo.
Twenty-seven year old construction worker Minoru Hasegawa slipped up behind a young female police sergeant and gave her a grope. Yes, I said a police officer. No, I do not know if she was uniformed.
So, Minoru runs off, with a [presumably] furious female cop in hot pursuit. The chase was on! Well, until Minoru bounced off a riot squad officer 150 meters later.
Minoru was apprehended shortly. The original report appeared in the Mainichi Daily News (the original story has been removed from their site).
04-12-2003: "He was a lonely man, a thirsty man" - today's AOTD award goes to a British businessman in London by the name of Mr. Robert Tyrrell. Tyrrell owns the North Star Inn, a pub an hour to the northwest of London.
On New Year's morning, Tyrrell wanted a drink after pub hours. His own staff refused, so Tyrrell went on a rampage ... wait for it ... with a bulldozer.
Tyrrell attacked his own pub with the bulldozer, damaging walls and collapsing the roof. The sixteen people inside including his own son were not injured.
See the story here.
04-11-2003: Normally, I try very hard to respect the various organizations that support or protest the actions our country makes. Protestors or supporters alike - they all have their beliefs and I'm cool with that.
However, every now and again I run across a group whose beliefs are so out of whack with the real world, that I just have to say something. Take, for instance, Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Check out this this story. Granted, it's not exactly good journalism, but it does pick out a few good points. I especially like the last three paragraphs.
04-10-2003: We turn to Canada for today's Asshat Of The Day (AOTD) award. You may want to do a little bit of reading on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), if you're not familiar with it. The World Health Organization has some information.
So anyway, today's AOTD award goes to some unnamed potatohead in Toronto, who ignored instructions from public health officials to stay home. Said asshat is infected with SARS.
As a result, 197 of his or her coworkers have been told they must stay home in self-quarantine.197!
A little common sense would be helpful here. While people should not be freaking out or anything, if a public health official tells you to stay home because you're infected, stay the hell home!
04-09-2003: Today's AOTD award is another dual award, going to Charles and Diana Ingram of the UK. The couple was convicted of cheating their way to the top prize on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?".
Special honorary AOTD goes to their accomplice, Tecwen Wittock.
After a little over fourteen hours of deliberation, guilty verdicts were returned on all three. They were heavily fined, and given suspended sentences. "Thank your lucky stars that you are not going to prison," Judge Geoffrey Rivlin told them.
Oh, and how did they cheat? By coughing at strategic times indicating correct answers, and at one point, actually shouting "No!" masked by a cough.
Read the story here.
04-08-2003: If you're familiar at all with using email, you have probably seen something about the Nigerian 419 Scam. This is a long-running scam, and it has bilked the world out of over five billion dollars.
Suppose you weren't familiar with this scam... Would you wire money half way around the world to complete strangers, after receiving an email promising millions of dollars if you'll just help them transfer some money? Well, they need some money up front, you know, to help with taxes and bribes and such.
Or, would you say "balls to the wall!" and embezzle 2.1 million dollars from a law firm to cover the upfront costs? A law firm! You know, the folks that sue people?
Well, that's exactly what Ann Marie Poet did. She has earned a joint AOTD award, along with the Bank One employees that allowed her to make the wire transfers, even though she's not authorized to make such transfers on behalf of her employer.
Take a bow, folks, you've earned your awards.
04-07-2003: Seth Yatovitz of Burlingame, California, doesn't like people to show their support for our troops. "I find the yellow ribbons on city property offensive to my senses," writes Yatovitz in his complaint.
Yatovitz also mentions that he considers our men and women in the military in Iraq are criminals instead of heroes. OK, let's clear a few things up. First off, our troops in Iraq didn't all meet up on a Friday night, and say to each other "Say, let's go invade Iraq!" They were sent there by their commander-in-chief, the President. They didn't make a choice.
Second of all, Saddam Hussein has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. And by
killed, I don't mean by accidentally hitting one with a car, I mean murdered. Shot in the forehead in the village square. Mustard gas delivered by artillery. Beatings, torture, electrocution, etc. I don't care about the Bush administration's motives - if our troops over in Iraq are able to save civilians from such grisley fates, I consider them heroes.
04-06-2003: Ota fisherman dies after eating improperly prepared pufferfish.
The pufferfish can (obviously) be fatal if prepared improperly. The fish contains the poison tetrodotoxin, especially in the liver and kidneys. The linked article quotes: "Even as members of his family urged him not to dig into the toxic treat, he carved out its kidneys and ate them raw."
This story would almost be funny, if the deceased didn't have a family.
04-05-2003: Paul Tay, a politician that ran for the mayor's office in Tulsa, OK, is arrested after throwing a bottle through someone's windshield. Too bad for him that wearing body armor in the commision of a felony is also a felony - Tay was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
Did I mention that he was also riding a bike with a giant inflatable penis on the back? Someone, please, keep this asshat off the streets...
Read the story here, compliments of KOTV channel 6 news.
04-04-2003: Today's AOTD award goes to Mohammed
Saeed al-Sahaf, Information Minister of Iraq. Granted, he is just doing his job [most likely], but his statements at
press conferences are just .. well .. raving lunacy.
His statements accuse the coalition of targetting civilians directly (hate to tell you this, asshat, you've never seen a military effort on the face of this earth that has put as much effort into preserving civilian life and infrastructure as this coalition), of lying about the Baghdad airport falling to coalition forces, and how "coalition troops at Baghdad's international airport were isolated, surrounded by Iraqi forces." Um, right. I thought you just said that we didn't take the airport?
The only people that believe the wild stories coming from his mouth are the very people that are shuddering in fear under Saddam Hussein and his band of murderous thugs. And they're the ones we're coming to rescue.
04-03-2003: This is the first AOTD award, and it goes out to a certain war protester or protesters in France. It seems they felt it necessary to desecrate the cemetary where thousands of British troops who died in France during World War I are laid to rest.
You can see the details here, here, and here.
I think these protesters are missing one important point - it wouldn't BE their soil, if it weren't for the sacrifices of the allied forces in World Wars I & II. Keep in mind, this AOTD award is given to the vandals that did this, not France as a nation.
French President Chirac has since sent a letter of apology to Britain's Queen Elizabeth (Reuters has since
removed the story from their site).