High-School Wrestlers Bash Roadside Raccoon

More stupid criminals—and the merely criminally stupid—in this week’s Dudes in the News.

The jury is out on whether teenage boys are simply adult men who happen to be housed in muscular and often hormone-soaked bodies (with or without marijuana-clouded minds), or adult men are simply teenaged boys who happen to be housed in doughy and often beer-soaked bodies (with or without marijuana-clouded minds).

Whichever it is, it’s plain that the male of the species, be he adolescent or “adult,” appears to have an inbred instinct for inanity, as this week’s items amply illustrate.

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FARMINGTON, Conn.—On the evening of Feb. 3, a Farmington man employed a novel way to determine whether or not he’d get into legal trouble were he to grow a marijuana plant at home—he dialed 911 and asked.

West Hartford Patch reporter Kaitlan McCallum wrote in a Feb. 4 post, “The dispatcher told the caller he could be arrested, and the man reportedly said ‘Thank you’ and hung up.”

While American men would do well to learn from this man’s courtesy, most only manage to match his senselessness. The dispatcher traced the call to the residence of Robert Michelson, 21, whom Farmington narcotics agents arrested Feb. 4.

They seized what Ms. McCallum reported was “a small amount of marijuana,” as well as “paraphernalia, both for growing and smoking the plant.” Ms. McCallum’s stringent professionalism prevents us from knowing whether she’s referring to accoutrements of the Krunkenstein lifestyle such as, for example, grow lights, bongs, and small pipes sculpted from driftwood by artisans in Santa Cruz, California.

Mr. Michelson told police he spent a good deal of money buying marijuana-growing supplies online. Alas, it was all for naught. He has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal cultivation of marijuana, and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana.

He also has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory, a bewildering charge that calls to mind images of Oompa-Loompas closely inspecting Indica buds while stoned out of their gourds.

Ms. McCallum’s Patch piece noted that before Mr. Michelson left the cop shop after posting bail, “police reported Michelson gave the dispatchers two middle fingers ‘presumably for doing such a good job.’”

This last is just a bit of dry police wit. What’s curious is that Mr. Michelson doubly flipped off the dispatchers, an act more befitting a crackhead than a laid-back stoner.

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GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Many high-school-aged boys are pranksters, so it is not surprising that members of a wrestling team in Carrington, North Dakota (pop. roughly 2,000), thought it would be hilarious to stow a dead raccoon in the storage section of the bus they were riding to a tournament.

Many high-school boys are also idiots, and of none is this truer than of the wrestlers from Carrington High School. It turned out that the “dead” raccoon was, in fact, alive.

The Carrington High wrestling coach also appears to be distinctly dimwitted. A Feb. 9 story posted on the website of the Jamestown, North Dakota, Sun reported that Carrington superintendent Brian Duchscherer said Coach Mark Pazdernik “stopped the bus on the way to Grafton to allow ‘four or five athletes to leave the bus.’ Duchscherer then said the athletes hit the raccoon with a pail and placed it in a storage compartment under the bus.”

Let us get this straight. A bus full of Carrington High wrestlers, along with their coach, is barreling toward Grafton, North Dakota (pop. roughly 4,000) to compete in the North Dakota Region 2 dual-high-school wrestling tournament. Tensions are running high; the team hopes to capture its fourth consecutive title at the annual contest. On the bus, some of the wrestlers are doing deep-breathing exercises. Others are praying. Still others are madly spitting out the window in order to make their weight class.

Suddenly, a few of the boys spot a roadside raccoon. They plead with the coach to pull over. He says sure. The bus stops. “Four or five athletes,” one carrying a pail, pile out. They capture the defenseless raccoon. Then they do what teenage boys evidently do in small-town North Dakota—they beat the animal to death, or what they think is “to death.” Satisfied, they toss the carcass, or what they think is “the carcass,” into a storage area of the bus. They clamber aboard. The bus rolls merrily along its way.

What on earth, you may ask, were those boys thinking? Well, Dudes in the News spends an inordinate amount of time writing about dullard criminals, so we understand the danger they pose to society. Raccoons look like burglars. It is possible the Carrington wrestlers thought the animal was going to rob unsuspecting motorists and felt it was their civic duty to prevent crime by clubbing it to death.

It is also possible that the Carrington wrestlers, and their coach, are complete—and we mean this with love—morons.

Indeed, they weren’t even able to kill an innocent raccoon correctly. When the storage compartment of the bus was opened the following day, the animal “just trotted away,” a Grafton police sergeant, who goes by the superlatively sophisticated name Anthony Dumas, told the Associated Press.

The AP further reported that “[t]he animal didn’t scratch or bite anyone, but it’s not known whether it had rabies,” and that “The Grand Forks Herald reports school officials brought the team home as a precaution.”

Thus the team forfeited its shot at the title. No doubt the shame-faced boys, perfect examples of men-in-training, returned home with their (raccoon?) tails between their legs.

Incidentally, in its efforts to provide readers with well-researched reports, Dudes in the News (“The Internet’s most up-to-date site”) generally seeks out local sources of the news we’re reviewing. But GrandForksHerald.com (“The Northern Valley’s most up-to-date site”), which originally reported the raccoon story, charges visitors to view articles.

There are limits to the lengths to which we will go to cull information, and one of them is paying good money for stories about high school wrestlers and raccoons. Were it a story about high school wrestlers and, say, tractors, or about tractors and raccoons, we might have relented. But it was not, so we didn’t. We are sorry; it is just the way we are.

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TUSCON, Ariz.—FBI agents arrested a man named Frank Tanori Gonzalez in early February on charges that he used a computer to splice a 37-second clip of pornography into the 2009 Super Bowl broadcast in the Tuscon area, according to the AP.

The report added that in the wake of the incident, Comcast offered $10 credits to its 80,000 subscribers whether or not they saw the dirty, filthy, disgusting clip.

Writing for the Tuscon Citizen (“The Voice of Tuscon”), reporter Mary Shinn quoted a Phoenix FBI Special Agent, who is fittingly named Nathan T. Gray, as saying that minors may have seen the lewd, vulgar, smutty stuff.

Neither Special Agent Gray, Ms. Shinn, nor the AP was civic-minded enough to detail the contents of the contested clip nor who saw it. How, then, are we citizens supposed to assess whether or not Mr. Gonzalez did a disservice by offering it?

If the “minors” who viewed the clip happened to be high-school wrestlers, perhaps it gave them something to think about, and therefore to do, other than running around thumping innocent animals into the grave. If this is the case, Mr. Gonzalez should be hailed as a hero to sentient beings the galaxy over.

We hope he will be released on recognizance of his fitness to one day lead the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals into the next chapter of their long struggle to uphold the rights of animals, including raccoons, which, while undeniably irksome, deserve to live to a better purpose than that of being the playthings of sadistic teenage hellions, don’t you think?

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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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