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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Man Attacked by Rabid Bobcat Strangles Animal to Death With Bare Hands

By James King in Animal Use and Abuse

Officials at the Arizona Game and Fish Department say a Yavapai County man was attacked by a rabid bobcat on Monday. Rather than panic, he strangled it with his bare hands.

The man's name is not being released because of privacy laws, but AGFD officials say the attack happened in the front yard of his Crown King Trail home, about 12 miles north of Lake Pleasant.

"This was particularly unusual because the gentleman killed the animal with his bare hands, and that was very advantageous because the animal wasn't out potentially exposing other people to rabies," Randy Babb, spokesman for the AGFD, tells CBS 5 (KPHO).

Arizona is seeing record numbers of rabid animals in 2009, with 244 that have tested positive for the disease. That is an increase from the 176 cases reported last year, which was the previous record.

However, Arizonans prove to not be backing down to these rabid rascals.

Just last month, a Chino Valley woman was attacked by a fox while she was jogging. The fox bit down on her arm and wouldn't let go, so the woman kept jogging for about a mile and a half, with the fox clamped into her flesh.

She finally reached her car with the fox still attached, where she managed to pry the thing off and put it in the trunk. It was later determined that the maniac fox had rabies.

Officials at the AGFD, however, don't recommend taking matters into your own, um, hands if you can help it. They say that if confronted by an animal that has allowed you to get close to it, or has no problem with getting close to you, get the hell away as fast as you can because it may be rabid.

Original here

Killer Tripped on Baggy Pants, Plunged to Death after Slaying Three


By LARRY CELONA, JOHN DOYLE, and LAURIE KAMENS

(The New York Post) - A career criminal who slaughtered three members of a family in their apartment in New York's trendy Upper West Side Thursday plunged to his death after tripping over his baggy pants.

The bloodshed began when the killer barged into the family's third floor apartment and opened fire at around 1:45 p.m. Thursday, near a string of upscale shops.

Gunman Hector Quinones blew away 24-year-old Carlos Rodriguez Jr., and his father Carlos Rodriguez Sr., 52, and then repeatedly stabbed grandfather Fernando Gonzalez, 87, to death before the elder Rodriguez's wife and adult daughter walked unwittingly into the carnage in the apartment they all shared.

As soon as Gisela Rodriguez, 49, and her daughter, Leyanis, 28, walked inside, Quinones, 44, opened fire again at the mother, grazing the back of her head, police said.

He then went after Gisela's daughter, who scrambled for safety and ran to a nearby bedroom. The killer was inches away from grabbing her but tripped over his low-slung pants, sources said.

The horrified woman managed to slam and lock the door just in time, only to find the bloodied bodies of her brother and dad inside.

A relentless Quinones kicked the door in and lunged for Leyanis, but she was able to make it to a fire escape, screaming for help to construction workers on the roof of the building next door.

"She just ran in and told the contracting guys there was a shooting, there's somebody who got shot," said the building manager, who declined to identify herself. "She was hysterical, she couldn't talk."

Meanwhile, her wounded mother scrambled to safety out the front door.

Fleeing empty-handed, Quinones ditched his gun, a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets, and made a dash down a rear fire escape.

But again, his low-slung pants fell to his ankles, tripping him and sending him falling three stories to his death, authorities said.

Investigators found a "significant amount" of heroin and a smaller amount of cocaine inside the apartment, as well as a cash-stuffed lockbox that police confiscated, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The suspect, who has 14 prior arrests for offenses that include manslaughter, assault, drugs and robbery, knew Rodriguez Sr. from when they were in prison together, sources said.

Original here

Top 7 insane homeowners association rules


The astonishingly restrictive ways of homeowners associations (HOAs) came under scrutiny this month when a Sussex Square, Virginia, HOA demanded that a 90-year-old World War II vet remove an unapproved flag pole from his front yard. After receiving support from members of Congress, and even the Obama administration, Medal of Honor recipient Van T. Barfoot, who once singlehandedly took on three Nazi tanks, triumphed in his quest to fly Old Glory. Other homeowners haven't been as lucky in their battles against their own HOAs' "fascist" rules. Here are seven of the most controversial commandments:

1. Thou shalt not plant too many roses
A Rancho Santa Fe, California, homeowners' association targeted Jeffery DeMarco for exceeding the prescribed number of rose bushes allowed on his four-acre property. When DeMarco balked, the HOA levied monthly fines, threatened foreclosure, and ultimately defeated DeMarco in court. After a judge ruled that the willful rose enthusiast had violated the community's architecture design rules, DeMarco was forced to pay the HOA's $70,000 legal bill — and lost his home to the bank.

2. Thou shalt not use "inconsistent" shingles — even after a plane destroys thy house
After a plane crashed into the Sanford, Florida, home of Joe Woodard, killing his wife, Janise, and their infant son, he decided to rebuild a new home on the same lot. But his reconstruction came to a screeching halt when his HOA informed him that he'd positioned the new structure unacceptably and failed to achieve a perfect shingle match with his neighbors' homes. Threatened with a lawsuit, the grieving widower told a local reporter that he'd hoped to change things up to avoid "reliving" painful memories — but eventually capitulated to the unsympathetic HOA.

3. Thou shalt not post a "For Sale" sign
When Denise Hicks placed a "For Sale" sign in front of her Lebanon, Tennessee, residence, the Spence Creek homeowners association quickly reprimanded her for a breach of contract, citing a rule prohibiting signs, banners or billboards. Ultimately, Hicks was forced to display her realtor's signs in her home's windows, hidden from view.

4. Thou shalt not offer thy homeless granddaughter shelter
Assuming guardianship of their six-year-old granddaughter, Kimberly, after her drug-addict mother was ruled unfit, Jimmy and Judy Stuttler brought the child to live with them in their Clearwater, Florida, retirement village. Since Kimberly was not technically "over 55" or arguably "retired," the alarmed HOA tried to force the girl out. Attempting to move, the Stuttlers failed to sell their home even after slashing its price from $250,000 to $129,000 and were eventually sued by the HOA. Kimberley's fate is now in the hands of the courts.

5. Thou must carry thy dog at all times
After Pamela McMahan, a geriatric who walks with a cane, was fined $25 every time she failed to carry her cocker spaniel through the lobby of her Long Beach, California condominium, which stipulates that pets' feet must never touch the floor of common areas. "There are just too many things going on in the lobby," said Stormy Jech, the building's assistant property manager. "The dog might jump on someone or go to the bathroom." After racking up hundreds of dollars in fines, McMahan was forced to move.

6. No smoking — even in thy own bathroom
HOAs' ban on smoking in all public areas — including balconies, patios, courtyards, and swimming pool areas — has recently been extended into residents' homes. Citing the negative health effects of secondhand smoke, multiple court hearings have ruled in favor of HOAs. As Realty Times points out, "The Constitution does not guarantee Americans the right to smoke in their homes...."

7. Thou shall maintain a consistently green lawn
The Beacon Woods Civic Association in Bayonet Point, Florida, took 66-year old resident Joseph Prudente to court for failing to properly maintain his lawn after a $600-per-month increase to his adjustable rate mortgage threw him on hard times. Though Prudente was ultimately jailed for failing to resod his lawn, other members of the community took pity on the faulty landscaper, and paid for new sod, flowers, mulching, and functioning sprinklers. Their charity was enough to spring their elderly neighbor from the slammer, but Prudente still faces court and association fines.

Original here

When I grow up I want to be just like mom, a letter

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Plot Thickens, The Legend Grows: Camano Island Teen Suspected of Idaho Airplane Theft

By Damon Agnos

catchmeifyoucan.jpg
It's hard to tell if this kid is really an epic fugitive along the lines of Jason Bourne and Frank Abagnale, Jr. or just a convenient scapegoat for sundry thefts in the rural Northwest. Colton Harris-Moore is now suspected of stealing a plane in Idaho, "hard-landing" it in Granite Falls, and walking away. This followed a series of thefts--in which he is apparently suspected--of handguns, food, and beer at an airport in Creston, B.C. Who knows what the international element could add to his chase, but the cross-state foray has brought the FBI to the list of those investigating him, which already includes local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration.

If he is indeed guilty of the crimes of which he's accused, someone has to make a movie of his unprecedented run. He's an unlikely super-fugitive, having grown up in a trailer in the woods and honed his skills stealing equipment form his middle school. But, police allege, he quickly moved on to stealing and flying planes, having taught himself to do the latter by reading flight manuals and Internet articles. And he jumped from a stolen Mercedes he was driving during a police chase, letting it crash into a grocery store while he disappeared into the woods, laughing at his pursuers.

Of course, all of this sucks for the victims of his crimes. But time heals wounds and Hollywood loves a precocious lawbreaker. See you on the big screen, Colton.

Original here

School bus crashes into Wis. home, flees the scene

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Photo by NIOSH
A 49-year-old man is in custody after he crashed an empty school bus into the side of a Kaukauna, Wis. home this morning and then tried to flee the scene in the bus. We've tried to outsmart police while driving a damaged bus too. Totally escaped. You just head to a school and blend in with the yellow sea of mayhem.

Richard Kleiber is being held on charges of eluding an officer and reckless endangerment. Might have just been smarter to stay on the scene of the crash, dude.

Kleiber crashed the school bus into a home around 7:10 a.m. The home was occupied by one woman and two children who were nearly hit by the bus as it crashed into the room they were sleeping in.

When police arrived on the scene, Kleiber tried to take off in the bus lodged in the house. He managed to free the damaged bus and take off through a backyard nearby.

More from the Post-Crescent:
"The driver was told several times to stop the bus and get out," Shepardson said.

But Kleiber freed the bus from the house and drove away from officers through the backyard of 634 State St., in the process hitting the front end of a Kaukauna squad car.

After a short chase the bus turned south and pulled over on Fairway Street, but started to pull away from that location until police blocked his escape route with a squad car.
Police say there is no indication of alcohol involved in the crash and the bus wasn't stolen.

Check out photos of the scene here.

Original here

7 Hilariously Failed Attempts at Politically Correct Toys

By Adam Brown, Kristi Harrison


Sometime in the 1970s, toy makers realized that not all the children of the world are rich, healthy, white Americans. Eager to get their hands on some non-white dollars, they got busy redecorating their dolls with new ethnicities, diseases and unwanted teen pregnancies.

And really, who better to handle sensitive racial and social issues than toy makers? As it turns out, just about anyone.

#7.
Happy Family Pregnant Midge

Wanting to stay vigilant at the forefront of producing children's toys that make everyone horribly uncomfortable, Mattel identified three universal truths about little girls:

1. They love dolls.
2. They value - no, cherish - no, get high on the institution of marriage.
3. They love uncapping pregnant bellies to get sneak peeks at unborn fetuses.

Using this wisdom as a blueprint, Mattel conceived (get it?!) Happy Family Pregnant Midge and Baby (her original name "Unwed Janet and Bellysack Full Of Jason the Blockbuster Clerk" was deemed too controversial).

So What's the Problem?

The pretty picture of wholesomeness starts unraveling the minute you lift up Midge's dress, which every single one of us would do within two seconds so there's no point in denying it.

She looks pretty much the same as our moms did, minus the tattooed stretch marks and appendix scars. Things don't get offensive until the kids want to play C-section with Midge, which by the way they totally fucking can. Her baby gut is magnetic, so snap that son of a bitch off and boom, it's upside-down fetus time.

Whip that placenta-less baby out and it's ready to play dress up, but don't forget to snap Midge's skinny belly back on or else Daddy will have to beat the pretty back into her.


The quickest way to tight abs? Child birth, apparently.

Shockingly, Knocked-Up Midge and her creepy ass baby were scrapped shortly after their launch.

#6.
Chinese New Year Barbie and Amazonia Barbie

Much like Madonna, Barbie is super great at bastardizing other people's heritages in the sexiest, most gap-toothed way possible, and Mattel decided she needed to give the ladies of China and the Amazon a makeover. Check out the picture above; the Chinese is practically radiating from her body.

Meanwhile, Barbie's visit to the southern hemisphere yielded similar results in the form of a doll that doesn't look a thing like Megan Fox.


Clearly modeled on actual people living near an actual river called the Amazon.

Mattel captures the spirit of both of these mighty nations flawlessly, from the feathers atop Amazonian Barbie's sleek, gleaming hair and the tribal tattoos on her pasty white thighs to the distinctly European facial features of Chinese Barbie, these dolls scream EFFORT from the get-go.

So What's the Problem?

In the case of Amazonia Barbie, "effort" means crapping out a design of a white woman wearing enough make-up to pass for a gay guy passing for a white woman posing as an Amazonian disco queen.

Looking at authentic pictures of Amazonian women, we can see where there'd be some confusion:

And their depiction of a Chinese woman can be excused provided that your definition of "Chinese" is "Catherine Zeta-Jones."


Chinese.

Besides the full-on disregard for a major physical trait of Asian races (THE SHAPE OF THE FUCKING EYES), Mattel went through the trouble of actually painting on eyebrows that were distinctly lighter than the color of the doll's hair, as if they weren't quite ready to go "full-Chinese" just yet.

It's much better to imply that this pale-skinned, sedately smiling beauty is gently aware of the people of China and honors them with her wig and Mandarin dress, but at the end of the day she can still take all that shit off and go back to being white.

#5.
TheSock Obama and Cuddle with Me Lil' Monkey

During the presidential election race in 2008, a Utah-based company called TheSock Obama Co. released what they referred to as "historical presidential memorabilia" and what everyone else in the world referred to as "a sock monkey Barack Obama."


Basically the same thing.

They began selling the doll on their website www.thesockobama.com, proving that some marketing campaigns never move beyond the weed-fueled play on words they began with.


"Dude, you know what totally rhymes with Barack? Like... sock. Do we have any more cheese?"

Meanwhile, Brass Key Keepsakes, a company known primarily for manufacturing children's dreams in the form of Disney Princess dolls, recently introduced a line called Cuddle with Me, which features racially diverse infants packaged together with a stuffed animal companion.


This can do nothing but succeed.

Depending on which version you buy, that companion is either a panda bear or a monkey, animals that rank just below "crocodile" and "scorpion" on the list of things you should never let anywhere near your children. Both dolls were available in white, black and Hispanic and were sold in Costco warehouses, presumably bundled together with 200 AA batteries and a triple pack of Frosted Flakes.

So What's the Problem?

This may come as a surprise to people who've lived their lives completely isolated from all black people and black culture as a whole, but they tend not to like the "black people are monkeys" thing. Yes, it's truly political correctness run amok when you can't even stereotype an entire race as subhuman.

As you may have noticed, both Barack Obama and the Lil' Monkey baby doll are in fact black people. Media outlets across the country picked up the story on both, as tends to happen with this sort of thing.


"Damn! They're on to us!"

TheSock Obama Co. defended their product, calling it "cute and cuddly" and insisting they hadn't meant to upset anyone with their "charming association" between a black man and a monkey.


Pictured: charm.

In fact TheSock Obama is still available for sale online along with a sock monkey Joe Biden, which was probably meant to be given as a gift to misbehaving children.

Lil' Monkey, meanwhile, was pulled from stores and the line was discontinued, presumably teaching Brass Key Keepsakes to spend a little more time developing their next product before unleashing it on an unsuspecting public.

#4.
Spirit and Airborne, Native American G.I. Joes

Hasbro upped the racist ante in the early 80s with not one, but two Native American G.I. Joes. On the left up there is Charlie Iron-Knife, AKA "Spirit," a mystical tracker. On the right is Franklin E. Talltree, a thrill-seeking airborne specialist creatively nicknamed "Airborne."

So What's the Problem?

Despite their somewhat confusing and stereotypical last names (Talltree, OK, fine, but Iron-Knife... what?), there doesn't seem to be anything immediately objectionable about these two NavaJOES. Except for, well, Spirit has an eagle on his arm and seems to be wearing an apron for no reason... but Native Americans get those standard issue on the reservation, right? Maybe his file card clears that all up:

"Spirit comes from a family so far below the poverty line that they never realized they were poor." Yes, seemingly unhappy with the regular old "Indians are poor" stereotype, they decided to go all-out and have Spirit be so fucking broke he doesn't even know it.

He was a hunting guide, because hunting is all Native Americans know how to do, and after Vietnam he rejoined the Army for "reasons inexplicable to anyone but a Native American mystic warrior," which might as well read "because of some Dances with Wolves bullshit."

Sadly, Airborne fares no better:

See? He's wealthy, he's smart, an accomplished lawyer-OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD:

You look at him and sometimes he's looking right through you. Must be the Indian in him. The Navahos [sic] call it "the far-seeing look." Spooky!

Those crazy Native Americans. If they're not summoning spirit devils with their mystic mind powers, then they're just looking at you, all aloof-like. Damn them and their crazy injun ways!

#3.
Pink Ribbon Barbie

In 2006, Mattel (again) had the nutty idea that they should honor breast cancer fighters/survivors with a special Pink Ribbon Barbie and donate a percentage of the profits to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is so noble that 17 bald eagles exploded when you read that sentence.

So What's the Problem?

Imagine creating a doll whose sole purpose was to honor people born with flipper arms, but instead of crafting actual flipper arms for your doll you give her the most beautiful arms mankind had ever seen and a withering, condescending smile to beam back at the mutated horror-children she is meant to honor. This Barbie is kind of like that.


Mattel's approximation of someone with cancer.

Women battling breast cancer frequently lose their hair from chemotherapy and, in extreme cases, end up having one or both breasts removed as a last ditch effort to save themselves from the disease.

So "honoring" survivors with a fully coiffed pink princess and two gigantic, perfect boobs, who's on her way to the Healthy Lady Ball didn't quite sit well with a few people.

What makes this more confusing is the fact that the creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler, was a breast cancer survivor herself. So why was Mattel--who had the nerve to mass produce a doll with a fetus inside of it--too squeamish to make a toy actually depicting the symptoms suffered by the very woman who created it?

Oh right, because nobody would've fucking bought it.

#2.
Preemie Cabbage Patch Dolls

Following the phenomenal success of the Cabbage Patch Kids, Coleco chose to expand the doll line in a new direction, wisely targeting the whimsical joys of life-threatening premature births.

The Cabbage Patch Preemie dolls featured smaller bodies than their full-term counterparts, tiny diapers and baldish heads that smelled like they'd been rolled around in baby powder for seven hours.

So What's the Problem?

You know what's not all that cuddly? A one and a half-pound infant fighting for its fragile life in a coffin-shaped incubator with more tubes and machines attached to it than Weapon X. Don't forget the bandages that keep the light out of its underdeveloped eyes, or the little heating beds it has to lay in because it can't maintain its body heat. Toss in some weeping parents and a couple of nurses probing and prodding its frail little body and you've got the must-have toy of the season.

Coleco didn't even remotely try to emulate actual premature babies, which was probably for the best because other dollmakers have and this is what they ended up with:

Transforming delicate babies into big, fat-headed Cabbage Patch dolls is hardly endearing to preemie parents, but Coleco stepped up to the plate with this brilliant commercial, telling us once and for all that all it takes to keep a premature baby alive is a shitload of cookies:

#1.
Oreo Barbie

Sigh. Yeah, we had a sneaking suspicion that we weren't done with Barbie.

In 1997, Mattel joined forces with Nabisco in a cross-promotional effort that delighted fat little girls nationwide. And to prove once again that Mattel has the racial sensitivity of a package of Handi Snacks, they picked the one cookie in the universe that could ever be construed as offensive, ever.


Not a Photoshop.

Marketed as a toy that girls could feed their Oreos to after school (what?), Mattel manufactured both white and black dolls each sporting clothes that had "Oreo" written all over them as if they had just been attacked by a crazed team of Nabisco executives armed with magic markers. Early plans to pair the white doll with Ritz and stencil the word "Cracker" all over her clothes were nixed before production.


Cracker Barbie.

So What's the Problem?

"Oreo" happens to be a derogatory term used within the African-American community to describe a black person who, on the inside, really wants to be white. Get it? Because an Oreo is a chocolate cookie with white filling. It's the kind of thing it would take the whitest toy design team in the world to miss.

That's why it wasn't until the dolls were on shelves and baffling people across the country that Mattel realized their mistake (thanks to a collective "Are you shitting me?" from members of all races).

The Oreo Barbies were yanked from stores and discontinued, immediately turning them into sought after collectibles and leaving us with the riddle of what ethnic group Mattel will offend with their next promotion.

Original here

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Denmark: Selling a lie


Selling Denmark with a lie: Karen and August as they appear on YouTube. But Karen is a Danish actress, and August is not her son - it was all a tourist gimmick.. - Foto: Privatfoto
A Youtube video purporting to represent a pretty young Danish single mother looking for the foreign father of her son, may have garnered Denmark’s national tourist agency VisitDenmark some 800,000 clicks – but the story behind the video is a lie.

According to confirmed reports, the national tourist agency VisitDenmark generated the story of a one night stand with a foreign man producing a son, to get more people to visit the home of Shakespeare's 'To be or not to be'.

The video, however, is definitely 'Not to be' – the young woman in the video is a Danish actress and the baby is not hers.

”I don’t understand the advertising agency that has produced this story. What do they think people will think,” says Roskilde University Sociologist and Women’s Affairs Researcher Karen Sjørup.

”They’re obviously trying to sell a type of promiscuous Danish woman and exploit the idea that you can lure quick, blonde Danish women home – without a condom,” Sjørup says, adding however that foreigners who come to Denmark with that idea will be very disappointed.

Broad-minded
VisitDenmark disagrees.

”Karen’s story shows that Denmark is a broad-minded country where you can do what you want. The film is a good example of independent, dignified, Danish women who dare to make their own choices,” says VisitDenmark CEO Dorte Kiilerich.

Why have you chosen to market Denmark as a country with drunken women who have unsafe sex with casual acquaintances?

”That is not a story that I recognise. We tell a good and sweet story about a mature, responsible woman who lives in a free society and shoulders the responsibilty of her actions. And she uses a modern social medium,” Kiilerich says.

Ad agency
The Grey advertising agency that produced the video says it is a major success.

”It is the most successful viral advert ever. We have got through the media noise and it cost the same as a 30-second spot shown a couple of times on TV2,” says Peter Helstrup from Grey’s.

Since last Thursday, the video has notched up 1.9 million Google searches, 773,000 YouTube viewings and is linked to 83,000 websites.

No reproach
In the video, the young woman, claiming to be called Karen says: ”I don’t reproach you, but I think you should know that (a young boy called) August is here.”

Karen, however, is the actress Ditte Arnth Jørgsensen, the baby is not hers, and the viral advert was produced using taxpayer’s money.

The fabricated story behind the video is that the young woman met a tourist by chance in the Nyhavn area of Copenhagen, introduced him to the Danish concept of ’hygge’ or cosiness. The next morning his side of the bed was empty when she woke up, and nine months later the now one-and-a-half-year-old August appeared on the scene.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The 5 Most Maddeningly Unresolved TV Plotlines

By Dan Seitz


Writing TV shows is hard. We think. Actually it probably depends on the show.

Either way, with all those characters and plotlines going on it's apparently really easy to lose track of what you're doing. That's why even good shows have plotlines that they've just discarded like so many Egg McMuffin wrappers on the street.

#5.
Peter from Heroes Dumps his Girlfriend... in the Future

In season two of Heroes, superpowered protagonist Peter Petrelli and his girlfriend Caitlin time-travel to a virus-riddled, post-apocalyptic New York City.

Peter's time travel powers conveniently wonk out, stranding Caitlin in the future. Once back in the present, Peter thwarts the world-ending pandemic, thereby altering the timestream, saving humanity and scoring another cheap victory for bullshit TV physics.

But wait! Before you uncork that champagne, Peter, we have one big elephant in the room to address: Where the hell is your time-displaced girlfriend?

Why It's Maddening:

Who knows? And frankly, who cares? Certainly Peter doesn't, seeing as how he never mentions Caitlin again.

It's not actually Peter's fault here. Caitlin was a casualty of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. NBC aired only half the season's episodes, effectively shelving Heroes' spring storylines.

When the next season rolled around, Heroes creator Tim Kring was eager to jump-start the flagging series, sans time travel and pointless tertiary love interests. When asked if Caitlin would ever return, he blithely responded, "No, we passed it, we leapfrogged it."

Fair enough, but Peter's total lack of concern for Caitlin raises some disturbing implications for his character. At best, he's left her in a hellish alternate reality where 93 percent of humanity is dead. At worst, he's erased her from existence, or at least consigned her to some unfathomable living death.

Any way you cut it, he's whatever the diametric opposite of a hero is. What's that term? Oh right: douchetard.

Though if NBC had renamed the show Heroes (and One Huge Douchetard) it would probably still beat Chuck in the Nielsen ratings.


"For the last fucking time, I am NOT Jim from The Office."

#4.
A Loose End Bugs Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Early in season one, Xander Harris, Buffy's endearingly pathetic sidekick, catches the eye of a substitute teacher who's really a giant, sex-hormone-secreting praying mantis. Sadly, this fling is the apex of Xander's sexual competence throughout the entire series.

She mates with virginal men and kills them post-coitus, thereby sparing them either the embarrassment of losing one's virginity to a giant insect, or at least the burden of a lifelong giant insect fetish, Spider-Woman notwithstanding.


We know spiders aren't insects. We just felt like posting some classy art.

Luckily, Buffy saves the day and preserves Xander's innocence. Unluckily for Sunnydale High, the episode ends with a cache of hidden she-mantis eggs hatching in the science room!

Why It's Maddening:

We never see the creepy sex-mantises again.

Plenty of lesser shows allow minor plots to meander off into nothingness, but this is Buffy, a show notorious for never, ever letting plot threads die, no matter how mind-bendingly convoluted (see: Dawn, Buffy's magical, whiny real-not real hallucination of a sister).

So yeah, Joss Whedon, we're calling you out on this: Where the hell are our sex bugs? And while we're at it, can we have Eliza Dushku too?


Scratch that. You can keep the sex bugs.

We get that the episode's statutory rape subplot may not have jibed with the WB's family-friendlier fare, but this is Buffy. Every other week some vampire/demon/yeti tries to kill Buffy/enslave mankind/take Willow to a gay pride parade. In Sunnydale terms, some Mary Kay Letourneau action would register on the low end of the weird-o-meter.

#3.
Mr. Turner Eats Pavement on Boy Meets World

During the season five finale, Cory's motorcycle-riding "cool" teacher Mr. Turner discovers that sometimes, despite the charm of that old Irish saying, you really don't want the road to rise up to meet you. Indeed, he crashes his bike off-screen and ends up in critical condition.

As far as season finales go, it's a doozy. The episode concludes with Mr. Turner still laid up, a young Ben Savage blissfully unaware of his future unemployment, and Topanga looking equal parts totally hot and totally like Janice from The Muppets.


Our libidos have no idea what to make of this.

Like getting gored in the torso with a flaming scimitar, this finale is heartwarming and heartrending. Surely, Mr. Turner will make a full recovery!

Why It's Maddening:

Aaaaaaand that's the last we hear of Mr. Turner. Ever.

In most cases we'd accept this turn of events, as characters on sitcoms vanish all the freaking time. Hell, Topanga's older sister Nebula had already disappeared from the Boy Meets World cast.

The crazy thing here is that Mr. Turner was one of Cory's favorite teachers and an important, recurring character on the show. By the time the season six premiered, Mr. Turner's name was completely verboten. It's like everyone discovered he was a kiddy-fiddler during the off season.


#2.
Tony Soprano's Unkillable Russian

In the 2001 episode "The Pine Barrens," Tony Soprano's nephew Christopher and capo Paulie shake down Valery, a mouthy Russian mobster.

Valery proceeds to piss off Tony's muscle to such an extent that Paulie smashes the Russian's prized universal remote control. And his wind pipe.

A broken universal remote is a tragedy, but a broken Russian is all in a day's work for Christopher and Paulie, so they drive to the New Jersey Pine Barrens to dump the body. Unfortunately, Valery isn't dead and promptly beats Paulie's ass with a shovel. As usual, Paulie totally overreacts and puts a bullet in the Russian's head.

To everyone's surprise, Valery shrugs off the headshot and capers off into the woods. At this point, the mooks get a concerned call from Tony:

According to Tony, Valery is a nigh unkillable ex-Russian military man. And what's this? Christopher's car has been stolen! Looks like the NJ Turnpike will run red with borscht and blood tonight!

Why It's Maddening:

This episode hints at an epic Goodfellas versus Eastern Promises style mob war. Valery is bulletproof, Tony's browning his trousers out of fear, and chances are Viggo Mortensen is en route for some naked wrastling with Edie Falco. There's enough material here for a decade worth of story arcs.

That is, if Valery ever reappeared on the show. Seriously, the one guy who could bring the full brunt of the Red Mafia down on the Soprano family never appears again.

Discounting some half-assed foreshadowing from Tony by episode's end ("Paulie, [...] he's your problem, not mine."), the entire cast totally forgets that there's an invincible Ruskie on the loose, plotting his revenge. What's the deal? Is chronic amnesia an obscure Italian stereotype we've never heard of?


"I cut off your leg and I don't-ah know why!"

Anyway, fan reaction to Valery's disappearance has irritated the show's writers so much that they'll just tell you to piss off should you dare bring him up.

Which is too bad. Imagine if instead of the "cut to black" series finale, we got a gunshot to Tony's head, and a pan up to the missing Russian mobster! Holy shit! We'd have bought multiple copies of the DVD just so David Chase could have the extra cash.

#1.
24 Silently Impeaches the President

In season four, President John Keeler suffers an audacious aerial assault on Air Force One. He survives, but is hanging onto his life by a thread! To make matters worse, Charles Logan, Keeler's Machiavellian vice president, now controls the Oval Office! Will Keeler pull through?

Why It's Maddening:

Eh, he's just the leader of the free world. Who gives a rat's ass?

See, 24 pulls this stunt so often that fans have a slang term for it: "Behroozing," after Behrooz Araz, a key player from the fourth season who inexplicably vanished from the face of the franchise. This example is particularly insane as the character the writers "Behrooz" is the goddamn President of the United States.


Behrooz, prior to his Behroozing

We realize that a lot of exciting stuff happens in the world of 24. Heck, it's so thrilling that no one has the time to drop a deuce. But the fact that Logan was permanently installed as president kind of indicates that, you know, the actual President fucking died.

Not that the show mentions it, ever again, in any capacity. In the universe of 24 the passing of the leader of the free world was met with no media coverage, no national day of mourning, no US Weekly retrospective. Hell, the writers didn't even bother to placate us with a throwaway line here and there ("We need the extra security for the President's funeral!")

Then again, in the world of 24 they've been through nine presidents in seven seasons, so maybe we can't blame them for reporting a dead president somewhere under the hockey scores.

Original here