03-31-2004: Today, ladies and germs, we're taking a break from the other projects that have been keeping us so busy, to bring you a treat: a dual AOTD award!
By now, you've all heard of the "Nigerian 419" scams, or simply "419" scams. They almost all start the same way - some complete stranger emails you out of the blue, stating that they are relatives to a very wealthy person, or that they've been exiled, or that their country is in disarray, and they need assistance moving millions of dollars to the United States.
However, the catch (and there is always a catch) is that they need some up-front money for bribes, taxes, Big Macs, whatever. They need a small amount of money from you (you know, the complete stranger), and they will share the BIG MONEY with you when the transfer is complete. Wow, what a deal!
We will admit - these people are pretty resourceful sometimes. If you're determined enough, you can often get them to send a picture, "proving" their identity. Some of these photos are hilarious, by the way, but be careful who's looking over your shoulder.
So anyway, onto the asshats!
Asshat #1: Weldong Xu, a professor from Harvard University, received a copy of a 419 scam email. He turned to 35 friends, colleagues, and students, asking for money for "SARS research in China." His associates poured out their support for such a worthy cause (one of them remortgaged his house), accumulating over $600,000. $600,000 that Xu promptly shipped off to the scammers. Xu is an idiot.
Xu was arrested, and handed over a notebook containing the details of his own scam. But it's not over yet - police say that Xu still will not believe he was scammed! Read the Register story for the hilarious details.
Asshat #2: Carl Fratzke, a businessman from Winona, Minnesota, USA, was also approached out of the blue by a complete stranger via email, asking for help in transferring money to the US.
Fratzke, unlike Xu, pitched in $500,000 of his own money in addition to the $250,000 he scammed from seven friends, before turning it over to "Ialways Chokezondik" or whatever the scammer's "name" was. Fratzke's scam? He was going to buy gloves and sell them to Wal-Mart at a huge profit.
As the Register's story puts it so well, he had better hope for a long sentence. He's safer in jail.
Congratulations, Xu and Fratzke, you're both blithering morons. Welcome to the hallowed halls of the Asshats Of The Day.
03-11-2004: So, question and answer time - you've had too much to drink, and so has your buddy. You need to get home.
... And home is 200 miles away.
... And you just picked up your eleven-year-old son for weekend visitation, from your ex-wife.
Why not just have the boy drive?!?
Yes, ladies and germs, that's the incredible leap of logic that Robert Lee Crider recently made in Big Spring, Texas, USA. You see, Crider had just driven 200 miles to pick up his son from his ex-wife, as part of their custody agreement. Once they left with the boy, Crider and a friend decided to have a drink at a bar. So, with 11-year-old son in tow, they proceed to get shitfaced at a local bar, 200 miles from home.
Wouldn't the obvious choice be to get drunk once they got to their destination?
But no, they drank too much, with 200 miles still to drive. And then they handed the keys to their rental car to the eleven-year-old boy, and began the long drive home. Needless to say, it didn't take long for them to be pulled over by one of Texas' State Troopers for speeding and weaving, as the boy could barely see over the steering wheel.
According to the story from Yahoo and Reuters, Crider is being charged with child endangerment, public intox, and open container. His son got to go home with his mother, and somehow I doubt that Crider will retain unsupervised visitation rights.
There is something mindnumbingly ironic about the fact that Crider was picking his boy up for visitation, only to have flipped on the Stupidity Black Hole button miles from his ex-wife's house. Welcome to both Texas jail, and the hallowed ranks of the Asshats Of The Day, Crider.
03-08-2004: Almost one for the Darwin Awards...
Brad Shorten, a 33-year-old handiman from Victoria state, Australia, almost lobotomized himself while joking around with his friends. He and his friends were having a few beers, and the topic turned to industrial accidents.
In an unprecedented flash of brilliance, Shorten picked up a air-driven nail gun, placed it to his head, and pulled the trigger. He did shut down the air compressor as well as remove the nail clip, but he made a few miscalculations - there was still a single nail in the chamber, and the gun still contained enough air pressure to drive a 1.25 inch nail into his head.
The nail lodged itself in his skull. According to Yahoo and Reuters' story, Shorten offered to pull the nail out with a pliers. Instead, neurosurgeons at the Royal Melbourne Hospital opted to operate, and after a four-hour surgery Shorten is expected to make a full recovery.
"I did a very stupid thing," he was quoted as saying. We at Stinkweasel agree, and bestow upon Shorten the coveted Asshat Of The Day award.
03-02-2004: So, who wants to beat the holy snot out of a 17-year-old boy? Ooooo! Ooooh! We do! We do!
In Oakland, California, USA, a 19-year-old mother recently suffered a tragedy. Allana Booze's 22-month-old child, Ania Walters, passed away at the Oakland's Children's Hospital. Ania would have been two in April.
Little Ania was not the victim of SIDS, nor was she a crack-addicted baby, nor did she have any incurable disease that doomed her from birth.
She didn't have any defects - her heart was normal, her brain was normal, she was not diabetic. Her kidneys and liver functioned fine. She was a normal, beautiful little toddler.
So, what did Ania die of?
Ania played with Booze's 17-year-old boyfriend's Playstation 2 console game.
That was Ania's ailment - she played with her mother's boyfriend's PS2. That ailment turned out to be fatal, as the boy, enraged, struck her in the head hard enough to cause cranial bleeding and eventually death on last Wednesday morning.
Upon initial questioning, the boy told police officers that the child had fainted without warning. During interrogation later, he told police that he had indeed struck Ania in the head.
According to the story from the San Francisco Chronicle, the boy is being charged with murder as a juvenile. He is also one of the younger recipients of the Asshat Of The Day award. Congratulations, unknown 17-year-old, you just ruined your life and the lives of others over a PS2.