Dudes this week highlights some drunken, ill-advised methods of transportation.
In a general sense, it is best said that for men, chivalry takes many forms, some of them drunken.
For our purposes, however, perhaps it is best said that for men, drunkenness takes many forms, some of them chivalrous.
Exhibit A: Jan Rudnicki, 40, of the village of Jarnoltowek (population 820), in southwestern Poland.
After a night spent tippling at his local pub, Mr. Rudnicki decided to impress a woman for whom, to put it colloquially, he had goo-goo eyes.
According to a June 13 post on the website of the Croatian Times (“We’ve Got Croatia Covered”), Mr. Rudnicki, already half-naked, left the pub, mounted his horse, and galloped through town to the woman’s house. There, he rode the horse through the woman’s garden—and front door.
The woman, who goes by the marble-filled-mouth name of Gosia Domolawska, was watching TV with her daughter when Mr. Rudnicki crashed into the entryway.
Sadly, his scheme, while courtly after a fashion, proved ineffective.
“He’s a loon,” Ms. Domolawska 38, told the Times. “I never fancied him before, and I certainly don’t now. If this was supposed to win my heart he must be seriously off his rocker.”
Even Mr. Rudnicki’s friends seemed bewildered by his blotto if gallant gesture.
“At first, we thought Jan was joking,” an ally with the singsong name of Mirek Nowak said. “But then he went outside, climbed onto his horse—which he’d ridden to the pub—and set off bare-breasted and barebacked. The next thing we know, he’d been arrested.”
True enough, because unlike Ms. Domolawska and also Mr. Rudnicki’s drinking entourage, the police appear to have been less befuddled than unyielding.
“Smashing into someone’s home uninvited is a crime and he will be punished,” an unnamed police source said, sounding unusually stern even for an officer of the law from a former Eastern Bloc country.
Mr. Rudnicki, a divorced father of seven, has offered his regrets and to restore the horse-shattered door. Still, he faces five years in prison.
There is no indication on Wikipedia, that source of information of dubious provenance, whether or not Polish prisoners, as part of their rehabilitation, are allowed to ride horses.
If so, and should he find himself incarcerated, Mr. Rudnicki could discover that horseback jaunts undertaken without alcohol’s consciousness-softening effects may prove a crashing bore.
But better a crashing bore than a crashing door, don’t you think?
Is it preferable to take a drunken joyride on a horse or on, say, a steamroller?
We wish we could ask a man hailing from Sudbury, Ontario (pop 157,857 in 2006), unnamed in a June 13 Toronto Sun account, who elected in the wee hours of June 12 to steal one of the machines.
One imagines that the ride was very, very slow. One knows, alas, that the ride also was very, very painful. The Sun reported that the man lost control of the steamroller, which tipped over and crushed his ankle under its wheel.
The man, it turns out, was not altogether in his right mind at journey’s outset. As the Sun dryly noted, “Police said alcohol was a factor.”
The no-doubt currently limping man faces charges of theft and “impaired driving.”
We trust that the Sudbury police, legal eagles all, will further charge him with “impaired thinking and drinking.” After all, a man, age unknown, who, while deep in his cups, cannot perform the simple task of piloting a steamroller ought not be allowed near the goddamned machines—nor, come to think of it, near the bottle, either.
A man, aged 20, who, while deep in his cups, performed the simple task of coupling pugnacity with animal harassment, all the while claiming to be a lycanthrope, was apprehended by police, charged with underage consumption and hauled off to the slammer, according a June 8 story in the Cleveland (Ohio) Morning Journal (“Serving Lorain, Erie, Huron and western Cuyahoga counties”).
Or, as the story’s lead put it, “A man who allegedly acted violently after drinking ‘copious amounts of vodka’ told Lorain County sheriff’s deputies he had been scratched by a wolf in Germany and now ‘goes on the attack when the moon’s out,’ deputies reported.”
After reading and rereading this sentence, we found ourselves scratching our head, not unlike a wolf might. Yes, we were perplexed. But also we felt deep admiration for the craftiness of any allegedly violent criminal who blames his actions on being, in effect, a werewolf.
Morning Journal reporter Adam Mawson wrote that on May 29, the man, who bears the severe-sounding name of Thomas Stroup, of Sheffield Township (pop. 4,117), allegedly fought with a few people and, peculiarly, “kicked a dog cage” at the Timber Ridge Campground, 51900 Portman Road, in Brownhelm Township (pop. 7,782).
A caller alerted police, who discovered Mr. Stroup “passed out inside a trailer filled with knives, swords and other edged weapons.”
Here Mr. Mawson is quoting a police report, one apparently written by an appallingly cagey officer. How on earth, given such a paucity of detail, is Mr. Mawson supposed to answer the questions that will trouble the sleep of his curious and diligent readers?
Questions such as, why fill a trailer with “knives, swords and other edged weapons”? And what kind of trailer was it? A U-Haul one or, say, a doublewide? And how full was it filled with the weapons? Up to the ceiling? Or just to, like, shin-level? And what were the “other edged weapons”? Machetes? Scythes? Adjectives?
The answers to these sorts of questions make or break a story. Casually written police reports, therefore, are the bane of those Fourth Estate members nobly attempting to convey key facts to a details-starved public. This negligence is irritating in cases concerning knives and swords, but is especially exasperating in those involving the impossibly mysterious “other edged weapons.”
For this, the police should be roundly rebuked from on high.
Then again, perhaps the police are to be forgiven. They often deal with lunatics, and writing a comprehensive report about an episode involving one has to be, at times, dispiriting.
For example, Mr. Stroup told a deputy he was going to kill the officer’s cousin, Keith, although, it turns out, the officer, while possibly possessing a multitude of cousins, has none named Keith.
In fairness to Mr. Stroup, however, we must keep in mind that he was very drunk. Indeed, according to Mr. Mawson’s account, Mr. Stroup told officers “he drank too much vodka and blacked out.”
This is not the first time such behavior has brought him to the attention of the authorities. Last year, German police arrested him for doing the same.
So you see, drunken foolhardiness appears to be international in scope and counterproductive in effect. In a general sense, then, it is best said that for men, chivalry is not dead; it is just staggering a bit.
Dave Ford is a San Francisco writer whose work has appeared in Spin, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly, The Advocate, and a host of other periodicals. He writes the blog First of All, and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches at various venues in his home city.
Illustration by Bion Harrigan. Bion Harrigan keeps his head firmly planted in the clouds and has done so since the earliest days of a youth misspent idly daydreaming, reading Mad magazine, and drawing scary monsters and super creeps. He continues to spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming and drawing at his home in Maplewood, New Jersey.
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