May 20th, 2010

Barney Fife

"Surreal" Doesn't Begin To Cover It

Welcome to the Junior Matlock Club, where we look at criminals who really should consider another line of work, as they don't have what it takes to make it in the field.  Per tradition, we start with the oath, as stated by Barney Fife --

"Now it is from little misdemeanors that major felonies grow.  And it my duty -- it is ANYBODY'S duty! -- to stop them before they get too far.  NOW THE LAW MUST BE UPHELD!"

Australia is an interesting place.  They have their own little reality there.  I was friends with a native of Australia and the things she would tell me were something else (they don't use as many colloquialisms like you see in the movies and on TV, but when they do, yes, they are that hyperbolic).  For example, the only place you can get Foster's beer in Australia is at touristy spots.  Everyone loved the commercials, though.

So, as anyone who has watched Australian rules football or seen a Yahoo Serious movie or got into a bar fight with Australian sailors (not me, my dad, got thrown twice through a window) will attest, you want to be careful when dealing with Australians, because you just never know what's going to happen.

In Sydney, a 27 year old medical student had just gotten off the train when three toughs tried to mug him, relieving him of his cell phone and iPod.

This happened right across the street from the Ninja Senshi Ryu school.  You read that right.  It is an actual ninja school.

A student was just coming out of class when he saw what was happening.  He immediately called out to the others what was happening.  So the student, three fellow students, and the sensei, Kaylan Soto, shot out to rescue him.

Now, imagine the scene.  You are a mugger.  Based on criminal Darwinism, you are looking for targets weaker than you.  So you pick this medical student coming off a train.  Then you look and see five ninja in their uniforms rushing right at you from across the street.

I'm not sure I would have run.  I'd be too distracted by how awesome it would be to see ninja and probably get my ass kicked.

They weren't distracted.  They ran like hell.  Sensei Kaylan Soto told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "We started running towards them and they took off. They would have seen five of us in ninja gear ... all in black with our belts on, running toward them.  I think they're probably still running if I'm not mistaken."  Well, not exactly.  Police have caught two of the muggers, a 16 year old and a 20 year old.  The third is probably still running.

Being a criminal is just like running a restaurant -- LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!  And if you're looking for a location, you might not want to do it across the street from a ninja dojo.

On second thought, you might not want to try criminal activity in a country that was originally a prison colony in the first place.

Oil's Well

Second hand info, standard disclaimers, but still....

One of my coworkers hangs with some engineers who work for BP.

She learned something interesting.

Part of the problem with the Gulf Oil spill?

Turns out the US is the only country in the world that does not require oil rigs to have an emergency shut off valve.

BP didn't want to spend the $100K to install it.  After all, what were the odds something would go wrong?

How about that?  Your toilet is better engineered against failure than a multi-million dollar oil rig.

There's just no end to the bullshit that went into this accident.
Bill Nye

Bringing Everyone Into The Loop

I've gotten a couple of IM's from people who read the latest Junior Matlock Club installment and asked about the back and forth between Mornblade and I about Australians and "The Queen takes it in the shitter."  So, for the curious, here's what happened to my dad.

My dad served in the Navy during Vietnam.  He first gets there and eventually is approved for shore leave.  So he heads for a bar to meet with some shipmates of his who've already been there.

As my dad is looking around the bar, his friend is pointing out all the sailors and their countries of origin.  He points to a table with a bunch of sailors sitting, drinking, and yukking it up.  "Those are Australian sailors," he tells my dad.  He gives them a brief rundown of their culture, including how much they love the British queen.  He leans close to my dad and tells him, "Whatever you do, DO NOT say, 'The  Queen takes it in the shitter.'"

My dad says aloud in incredulousness, "'THE QUEEN TAKES IT IN THE SHITTER?!?'"

Suddenly, all the Aussies at the table stand up and move in.  "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?"

A bar fight broke out, and my dad gets thrown through a window.  He hobbles back to the ship.  As the doctor is stitching him up, he asks my dad what happened.

"I said, 'The Queen takes it in the shitter' around a bunch of Australian sailors."

"Well, you know not to do that again, don't you?"

Next night, my dad goes back to the same bar.  The Aussies are there, same table, they wave hi to my dad like nothing happened.  At the bar is a guy my dad went to training with and hadn't seen since.  He looks at my dad with all the bandages and asks, "What the hell happened to you?"

My dad pointed to the Aussies and said, "They threw me through the window."

"What did you do?"

My dad leans in and tells him, "Whatever you do, DO NOT say, 'The Queen takes it in the shitter.'"

His friend says aloud in incredulousness, "'THE QUEEN TAKES IT IN THE SHITTER?!?'"

Suddenly, all the Aussies at the table stand up and move in.  "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?"

Another fight broke out, with my dad being thrown through the window again.  Thankfully, they hadn't replaced the glass.  He hobbles back to the ship.  The doctor takes one look at him and says, "I thought you said you weren't going to do that again?"

Next time he's at the bar, the Aussies wave hi to him and even by him a beer.

My dad kept his mouth shut.  And stayed close to the door in case he needed to get out of there in a hurry.

But now you know...the rest of...the story.