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Friday, January 11, 2008


I would call it an allegorically rich environment, On Christmas eve Robert Schoff of Des Moines, Iowa, decided to unblock his septic tank by hand. Why, you may ask, and I would answer; possibly because he’s a 77 year old fart who has always been too cheap to call a plumber, or possibly because he’s a 5’ 5” tall control freak with a Napoleon complex, or maybe he’s on a fixed budget and was trying to save a couple of hundred bucks. But really, how expensive would it have been to tell his wife where he was going and to have her standing by in case he needed help? Because, he did need help; because when he reached into the septic tank the little old fart fell into the opening and got stuck with his feet flailing about in the air, while his head was suspended just inches above all that crap. And there he remained suspended for an hour, yelling and screaming for help. But nobody could hear him because he was upside down in a big concrete container buried in the earth, sort of like a great big burial vault or a crap filled tomb. And there he remained until his wife, Toni, noticed his flailing legs and called 9-1-1 and eventually two Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to pull Robert back to earth. Merry Christmas, Robert!
And then there was the drunken idiot who stepped into his allegory. On a recent Monday evening Bill McDonald of Durham, North Carolina, was awakened by his daughter, who reported, “Dad, there are headlights right outside my bedroom window.” When he checked Bill found a section of his fence flattened, several bushes destroyed and a damaged car stuck in his yard. The driver was nowhere to be seen, but Bill was grateful that none of his dogs had been outside at the time of the crash. Bill called the cops and Sergeant Dale Gunter responded. He was recording details for the accident report when his flashlight revealed that the driver, upon exiting the automobile, had planted both feet in a big steaming pile of dog poop.
Luckily the McDonalds own Snowball, a chow, and Comet, a Great Pyrenees, because if they had owned daschunds the driver likely would have escaped. As it was Sgt. Gunter was able to follow the trail of poop encrusted foot prints down Channing Court until a white van loomed out of the darkness. Sgt. Gunter waved it down and asked the passenger to step out. His shoes were encrusted with “evidence”. And later, at the station, the man, 18 year old Josue Herrios-Coronilla, blew an alcohol level of 0.11, well above the legal limit of 0.08. Josue had really stepped in it this time.
Last October Christopher Kelly, 31, of Lancaster, England, spent a night celebrating a friend’s birthday by mixing vodka and beer. Somehow (Christopher cannot recall how) he ended up alone, on the beach of the river Lune. There he evidently decided to take a dip, because a bit later Christopher found himself dry but without shoes, jacket or pants. He then weaved his way to the town hall, where he found an open window and crawled in. He searched several offices before uncovering a cell phone, with which he tried to call his dearly departed friends. But he was unable to manipulate the tiny buttons. Nor was he able to find a rest room in the ancient building and “soiled” him self. So he removed his underwear and stuffed them into a trash bag.
At this point Christopher was drunk and naked inside the Lancaster City Hall and carrying his soiled underwear in a plastic trash bag. Opportunely, Christopher uncovered a Halloween costume in one of the offices and, like Adam and Ever, used it to cover his nakedness. And that is how he left the Lancaster City Hall, dressed as the Grim Reaper, carrying a bag of stained underwear. As he wandered the streets of Lancaster, trying to remember where he lived, Christopher stumbled upon a closed police substation. And there he docilely waited for three hours until officers arrived to open the station and take him into custody. He was charged with burglary, having taken the cell phone and a camera from the offices in city hall, and given a six month suspended sentence. And that is how you fall into a pile of your own allegory and come out not smelling too badly at all.
Or maybe you are just so damn cute that you actually find people eager to help you escape your allegory. Such was the fate of three year old Charley Thomas, of Cullopton, Devon, England, when on a kite flying expedition he spotted what seemed like the perfect Harry Potter Wizard’s hat, and pulled it firmly down on his head. Unfortunately it was not a Wizards Cap, nor a Choosing Cap, but a traffic cone, which was now jammed firmly on Charley’s head and refused to come off. His mother explained, “We tried to pull it off, tried laying him down and wiggling him free but that didn't work. We tried soapy water but that didn't do the trick so we had to call the fire brigade to cut it." Yes, after trying and failing for half an hour his parents finally called the fire department. And, as we all know, firemen can fix anything. Forty-five minutes later six firemen arrived and, a half hour after that, after pouring water down the open top of the cone for lubrication, managed to cut and pry the plastic cone off the little kid’s unbearably cute head. His mother explained, "We shouldn't have laughed but we had a chuckle - he looked so comical even though he was a bit upset." In fact, his parents even allowed photo’s of Charley’s traumatic hat-tas-trophy published in several London tabloids so that the entire nation could laugh at their unbelievably cute son.
And in the year 2027, when Charley tip toes into his parent’s bedroom and murders them while they sleep, those photos will make powerful evidence of parental abuse at his trial. The traffic cone, you see, will be a perfect allegory for his cone headed parents.
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