I understand my responsibility on Hair Balls is to provide sports-related content. But frankly, sometimes a story comes across my desk that is so transcendent in its dysfunction and so detrimental to my faith in mankind that it must be covered in this space, as a public service announcement, if nothing else.
(The litmus test is "Did the story find its way onto my SPORTS TALK radio show?" If the answer is "Yes" and the alert level on the quality of sports news for the day is firmly set at "BORING," then expect to hear about it.)
With that in mind, no setup is needed on this story. Just check out the first sentence (courtesy of the Charleston Gazette Web site):
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police say an Alum Creek man high on bath salts killed his neighbor's pygmy goat and that neighbors found him in his bedroom, dressed in a bra and panties, next to the dead animal, said Lt. Bryan Stover of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.
If you need to go back and read that sentence again, (a) I understand and (b) do so at your own risk. If you read that sentence in the middle of eating your dinner, my apologies for the freshly spewed chunks on whatever device you're reading this story on.
Just so you can put a name with the face (hello mugshot!), this twisted redneck's name is Mark Thompson, 19, of Greenview Road in Charleston, West Virginia. He is charged with animal cruelty after police got a phone call from a woman who said he stole her goat at about 3:15 a.m. on Monday.
I could go on and on about how, based on his mugshot, Thompson clearly "outkicked his coverage" by having relations with a pygmy goat. I could lay out the hilarious details of the "police raid" on Thompson's home, which included Thompson supposedly screaming "Don't come in, I'm naked!" (pronounced "nekkid" in West Virginia-ese), or the gory details of the crime scene which included blood coming from the goat's neck and a pornographic magazine laying a few feet from the goat. (You can't make this shit up.)
(By the way, how very "West Virginia" for Thompson to be the last bastion of "dudes who thumb through actual porn on paper." Thompson, let me introduce you to this little thing called the Internet, where the porn is free and the pictures move! It's called streaming video. Hold still, Thompson, calm down...)
Instead, I will convey my feelings on this story by pointing out everything that is wrong with the first sentence of the story that I blockquoted above. Not factually wrong. Just WRONG, as in "God damn, son, that's just WRONG!"
1. "Police say an Alum Creek man" Webster's defines "alum" as "an alumnus." Webster's, in turn, defines "alumnus" as a "male graduate of a school, college, or university." If Thompson is any indicator, I would say one commodity that Alum Creek is bereft of is "alums." Of high school, of junior high, of clown college, of anything.
2. "high on bath salts" I'm not a "drug guy," so inherently I'm not up to speed on what the kids these days are taking to get their "high" on. But bath salts? Really? I'm not even totally sure what bath salts are, so I had my producer, Brandon "LeBrain" Strange, look them up on Google. The first story to come up was a story about this exact phenomenon -- high via "bath salt" -- coming from Fulton, Mississippi. That was enough for me. The first two stories of "bath salt high" brought to my attention are from West Virginia and Mississippi. Not Southern California. Not suburban Chicago. Not Fairfield County, Connecticut. Not Katy, Texas. Translation: It's an inbred, redneck designer drug. Continuing....
3. "killed his neighbor's pygmy goat" Like bath salts, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a "pygmy goat." A "pygmy goat"? Pygmies are funny. Goats are funny. Pygmy goats are fucking really funny! Definite "whole is greater than sum of the parts" situation. Apparently, the goat was a gift from someone named Lisa Powers to her grandson. Whatever happened to Hot Wheels or board games being suitable gifts for a four-year-old. Livestock?
4. "neighbors found him in his bedroom, dressed in a bra and panties" This calls into question the goat actually being "stolen." How can we be sure that Thompson didn't look so alluring in the lingerie that the goat decided to go check him out? How do we know the goat wasn't some kind of peeping Tom that was caught in the act and then invited inside by Thompson, or even worse forced himself into the domicile?
5. "next to the dead animal" Even worse, with the bloody crime scene, how do we not know that Thompson wasn't defending himself from the goat's unwanted advances? I think we're all very quick to persecute a 19-year-old young man who was just innocently sitting in his own house, minding his own business in a bra and panties thumbing through some porn. Maybe Thompson is the victim, ever think of that?
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According to detective Cpl. Sean Snuffer, police are continuing their investigation and Thompson was taken into custody by Adult Protective Services.
Yes, the detective's name is "Snuffer."
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.