On my first full day working at Creative Loafing, I was dropped off at the police station.
Not that I had done anything wrong; it was, in fact, quite the opposite. I was being entrusted with a great privilege: I was to be the next author of the literary marvel known as The Blotter.
As you may know, The Blotter is a weekly, and downright uproarious account, of crime in Charlotte. The column is made up of real crime stories pulled from real local police reports; and that's why I'd been dumped at police headquarters as a neophyte Loafer. The "Cop Shop" (aka the media room where the police reports from the day before are piled a couple of feet high) is a magical place populated by pretty, heavily made up ladies in high heels. These women are TV news reporters and use the police reports to find break-ins, armed robberies, and if they are lucky, a peeping Tom (which always boosts ratings, they've told me). I was searching for their rejects: bizarre, twisted or stupid crimes.
Perhaps this best of The Blotter issue needs no introduction. You know the drill. You, my loyal readers, recognize the lasting fulfillment that reading these snippets can bring to your life. In these fast-paced times, you just don't have the time to finish a whole romance novel or slasher mystery. Wisely, you turn to me.
Or maybe you are a casual reader -- your interest piqued by evocative phrases such as "dirty crack whore" or by those "witty" zingers hilariously tagged onto some entries.
Perhaps you don't read it at all. These true crimes are depressing, you say; exploitative of the socioeconomic disadvantaged and worse yet, scribing and promoting morally reprehensible acts in a way only Judith Regan would appreciate.
To you I say, carplooey. Yes that's right: carplooey. Is that even a word? I'm not sure. What I am sure about is these Blotters are the best of the best; that perfect combination of bizarre, stupid and really stupid that makes us chuckle out loud, guiltily, as we take solace that at least our problems aren't "Blotter" bad.
That's Gotta Hurt
STILETTO TO THE FACE: At a certain Morehead Street bar, a 22-year-old Chapel Hill man sustained an injury from an employee of the establishment -- surprisingly, not from a bouncer or bartender clocking him upside the head. According to the report, "The man received an injury to his tooth while watching a female dance on a pole." Both he and the dancer stated it was an accident and no criminal intent was involved. The fact that he still filed a report must be charity to this Blotter writer.
HOT THINGS IN THE FACE: At the drive-thru of a Wendy's (where only good, yummy things are supposed to happen) a man became irate when his fries were cold. An employee went outside to deliver hot, fresh fries to the man's vehicle in the parking lot. The man got out of the vehicle and began cursing and yelling at her. As she turned to walk back into the restaurant, the man threw the hot fries in her face.
A FINE LINE: An Iron Station man reported a crime this week that happened on Feb. 2 of this year. The man thought "the suspect was his friend and they were going to hug, instead the suspect started punching him in the face."
- Courtesy www.thesmokinggun.com
- Mel Gibson
I DID WHAT?: According to a bouncer at Amos' SouthEnd, an inebriated patron was asked to leave after climbing onto the stage during a performance. The patron resisted the "escort" and spun around to try to free himself of the bouncer. He grabbed the cigarette machine and held on for dear life as the bouncer tried to pull him off. During the skirmish, the man chipped his front tooth on the ground. He denies climbing on the stage and is requesting documentation of the incident.
MIKE TYSON WANNABE: Police responded to an assault call on Woodlawn Road. Once there, they found two males had been assaulted with cutting instruments and a third male had the top of his ear bitten off. Marijuana (valued at $20) was found at the scene. Sounds like the perfect anti-pot ad: smoking dope will make you crave human flesh.
DON'T TRUST THE ENFEEBLED: A 64-year-old woman reported a caned man used his walking implement as a weapon, pressing the stick against her neck.
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?: An employee at an Old Nations Ford Road business attempted to unclasp his overalls with a pry tool and in the process accidentally stabbed himself in the chest. He was treated for life-threatening injuries.
LARRY 'N MOE IN JAIL: A hungry inmate was dining on some jailhouse grub when her cellmate began poking her fork into her plate. She asked the fork poker to stop, but instead of relenting, the poker switched poking devices. In classic Three Stooges form, she poked her finger into the woman's eyes before the victim could employ the classic hand-in-front-of-the-nose block. The assaulter then abandoned her cutesy methods of attack and slugged the hungry inmate two times in the face, breaking her nose.