Thank Baby Jesus, Christmas is Over!

You're humming the Dragnet theme right now, aren't you?
I didn’t know how much I missed depravity and idiocy until I spent a week writing about Christmas. Oh, sure, there’s a lot of violence and booze associated with the holiday, and that’s just the officially sanctioned stuff, but it wasn’t the same. Most of it was historical and I missed the immediacy of the real world. Not that sharing how Christmas caroling evolved from stoning your neighbors wasn’t fun, but it’s not like I could share a video or anything. And, really, is there a holiday story that can warm the heart like hearing about a guy who crashed a $380K sports car that he’d won earlier in the day? Sure it was lime green and from the Utah equivalent of a Quickie Mart, but, really, less than 6 hours after he picks it up he drives it into a tree? Memo to fellow Hippoers, just because a car CAN do 200 mph, does not mean it’s a good idea to do so on an icy road in the middle of bu fu nowhere.

Okay, you’re starting to get in the spirit of things. Let’s jump over to a lovely story about a man who took a dump in a bank parking lot just prior to robbing the bank.

A Connecticut man with a drug addiction and a spastic colon allegedly defecated in the parking lot of a New Milford bank before robbing the establishment. The man’s wife and kids were with him and sat in the getaway car, police said.

Russell Mace, 55, was arraigned in Bantam Superior Court Monday, charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny and two counts of impairing the morals of a child. Judge Richard Marino set Mace’s bond at $100,000 and ordered him to appear in court again on Jan. 4.

Mace’s charges stem from a bizarre bank robbery that occurred on the afternoon of Dec. 16 at the Union Savings Bank on East Street in New Milford. While the robbery itself was par for the course, police said that Mace’s alleged activities prior to the heist were far from normal.

“It’s a first in my career,” New Milford Police Lt. Lawrence Ash told The Huffington Post.

Minutes before the robbery, a female witness saw Mace exiting a white Toyota Camry that was in the bank parking lot. Afterward, he squatted down and began “pooping,” the witness said according to the arrest affidavit.

“The customer told me that the man was going to the bathroom and [said] ‘he’s not doing what you think he’s doing,'” the teller told police. “The customer said he’s doing a number 2, and he’s not being discreet.”

After allegedly finishing the bowel movement, Mace, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, headed for the bank entrance.

“Before they had any time to react to what was occurring outside, the accused robber entered the bank and demanded money,” Ash said.

Mace, whom a male teller later described as “sweating” and “nervous,” allegedly put his hand in his pocket and said: “This is a robbery. Give me all your money. Don’t include any singles … and don’t do anything stupid.”

The pooping bandit was given more than $3,000 in cash. Money in hand, he exited the bank and got into his waiting getaway vehicle, where his wife and two children, ages 1 and 4, were waiting, police said.

It did not take long for investigators to come up with a suspect in the case.

“He was identified by bank surveillance images,” Ash said. “Some of our officers recognized him from prior contact.”

Yeah, his list of “prior contacts” would take too long to get into here. If you’re curious, just click on the link above and have fun. The police do note that Mr. Mace has a “nervous bowel.” Well, you’d be nervous too if the guy you were in kept standing in front of people with guns and trying to steal money.

Of course, no stupid criminal blog would be complete without a story from Florida. And this one’s a winner.

It has a bank robbery and beer. What more could you possibly want?

Authorities say a Tampa Bay area man ordered a beer at a bar, left to rob a nearby bank then came back to finish his beer.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old John Robin Whittle was arrested at the Hayloft Bar in Port Richey on Thursday afternoon. Deputies say he’s the man who robbed a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch earlier, but not before stopping off at the Hayloft for a brew.

A bartender there says Whittle ordered a beer, disappeared for about 30 minutes and then returned to his beer. Deputies say they arrested him at the bar about 10 minutes after he left the bank.

Whittle remained in jail early Friday on $10,000 bond.

Now that’s either the calmest person on the planet or the dumbest. The two, however, are not mutually exclusive.

Of course you’ve been suffering through a week of me trying to be cheerful. Yes, I know I failed miserably, especially with that whole Google is Racist holiday blog. I did find out that they have very funny lawyers. I haven’t laughed so hard in years.

Anyway, I couldn’t end without a couple of stories about the joys of air travel. First the, poorly trained and woefully over empowered, TSA brings a holiday smile to us all by confiscating a teacher’s cupcake that she’d gotten as a gift from her students.

A woman who just flew back home from Las Vegas says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be a security risk.

Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport took her cupcake Wednesday, telling her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives. She said the agent told her the frosting was conforming to the jar it was inside.

“I just thought this was terrible logic,” Hains said Friday.

Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the agent didn’t seem concerned that the cupcake could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited. She said he even offered to let her eat it away from the airport security area.

Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA in Boston didn’t do its job.

The TSA, which is entrusted with protecting the nation’s transportation system, was reviewing the situation, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said. Passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints, he said.

Hains ultimately surrendered the cupcake. But she said the situation highlighted a lack of common sense by the agent and the ludicrousness of TSA policies.

“It’s not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake,” she said. “It’s about an encroachment on civil liberties. We’re just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they’re doing in the name of security, when it’s really theater. It is not keeping us safe.”

I have noted before how my ex had her lipstick confiscated on the same flight that saw me bring home a disassembled Glok in a carry on bag. I can promise you that my ex-wife had no intentions of doing Extreme Makeover: Terrorist Edition. I guess an automatic weapon is less of a threat than a tube of Ruby Red.

But what about airports in other countries where they actually train people to be security specialists? In fact many are retired police and other law enforcement workers. Well, in those countries they don’t confiscate cupcakes or roust 90 year old women with colostomy bags. They do, however, catch criminals.

A 33-year-old woman was arrested by Italian police after she tried to smuggle more than five pounds of cocaine in her breast and buttock implants.

The woman, who was not identified, hoped to sneak by police with help from her plunging neckline and tight clothes. Instead, she attracted the attention of airport security, according to a Daily Mail story.

When she couldn’t explain her trip to South America, two female security officers searched her and found the fake implants, which had cocaine crystals molded into them, the newspaper reported.

“They stopped her for questioning because she was so alluring and her story about why she was in South America just fell apart,” Antonio Di Greco, police chief at Fiumicino airport, said.

After being pulled aside, Di Greco said the model became aggressive with officers. She was being held at the Rome airport on charges of international drug trafficking.

Had she been stopped by the TSA they probably would have given her a ride to her flight.

Because, as we all know, drug dealers and terrorists all look like little old ladies or Girl Scouts and not hot models.

Okay, I have gotten some flack for not writing stories that parents can share with their kids. I had not realized that was part of my job description. Actually, I didn’t know this job had a description. Still, it’s that time of the year where I’m supposed to be nice, so I’ll give it a shot.

A pet named Fluffy was saved by a brave farmer and dedicated vets.

A young crocodile named Fluffy is back to her cranky old self after being hit by a bus while duck hunting in a city in northern Australia, a veterinarian said on Thursday.

The 4-foot, 3-inch (1.3-meter) saltwater crocodile underwent emergency surgery and then spent 11 days recovering in the Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital after the late night accident in a beachside suburb of Cairns, Doug English said.

“It was pretty dopey for a couple of days and then it got fairly cranky so obviously it was feeling a lot better,” English said.

While young crocodiles were often killed by cars on Cairns’ roads, Fluffy – so named by vet nurses because she was found with a “fluffy duck” in her jaws – was the first English said he knew of to survive such an accident.

He praised the bravery of sugar cane farmer Andrew Herrington in bringing the injured reptile in.

“Crocs go off like a steel trap – bang! – in a split second,” English said of their powerful jaws. “That’s how they can catch a duck in the air.”

Herrington said he was driving home after midnight on Dec. 10 when he came upon a bus driver trying to coax the injured crocodile off the road with a stick.

The crocodile had caught a duck and was headed across the road with it toward a creek when it was hit.

Herrington said he distracted the croc with a flashlight in the eyes before throwing a pair of overalls over her head.

He then used electrical tape to secure her jaws shut before bundling her into his SUV and taking her to the veterinary hospital where English immediately performed surgery.

“She was quite agitated, but I didn’t think there was any great risk of personal harm,” Herrington said.

“My main concern was for saving the little thing,” he said.

“She’d bagged herself a beautiful little Pacific Black (duck) and was heading back down the creek for dinner and didn’t quite get to eat it, the poor thing,” he added.

Fluffy was transferred Wednesday to the Cairns Tropical Zoo, where she will continue to recuperate before she is returned to the wild.

Crocodiles have become plentiful across Australia’s tropical north since they became protected by federal law in 1971.

Saltwater crocodiles can grow to up to 23 feet (7 meters) long and are the world’s largest reptile.

Isn’t that just the cutest story? They named the little critter after the little critter it killed but didn’t get to eat.

It just brings a tear to my eye.

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Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, Friday morning around 9:10,
for his version of a New Year’s special!

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