Having gone this far in my life without ever striking another human being in anger, I'd like to keep that going. Maybe that could supplant the currently planned "He Never Wore Sandals" on my tombstone.
But every now and then, something pops up, and I feel myself slowly, almost involuntarily, balling my hand into a fist, just like George McFly did in Back to the Future, right before he laid out Biff Tannen.
• There's a guy in Florida who is stinking rich (not through any of his own doing). He owns an international polo club, which bleeds money, but apparently not at a rate that can keep up with how fast he inherits it.
A while back, he killed a guy with his car.
While driving with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit, John Goodman blew through a stop sign at an estimated 63 mph and struck a car being driven by 23-year-old civil engineer Scott Wilson. Goodman's car T-boned Wilson's Hyundai and pushed it a couple hundred feet before the Hyundai went over an embankment and landed upside down in a canal.
Goodman then waited for about an hour before he called his man-servant and then his girlfriend before eventually calling 911. The really awful thing is that Wilson did not die from the crash: He drowned in the canal, a situation that Goodman might have been able to do something about had he not decided to run away from the crash site (and reality) while he tried to concoct an alibi.
This case probably wouldn't have received a whole lot of publicity, seeing as how the 1 percenters have so much power, they can make children of the 99 percent fight to the death on national TV. (No, wait; that's just a movie ... for now.) No, the reason it hit the national news is that Goodman adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend to help shelter at least part of his fortune from inevitable lawsuits. Even setting aside the fact that Black's Law Dictionary defines incest as "sexual relations between family members or close relatives, including children related by adoption," one's initial reaction is still, "Really?! That's all you care about?"
Goodman reportedly reached a financial arrangement with Wilson's family, and then last week got convicted of criminal charges that could land him in jail for 30 years. This, despite having hired infamous defense attorney Roy Black. Alas, the best "defense" that Black could come up with is that Goodman's $250,000 Bentley malfunctioned and basically stepped on its own gas like a scene out of Christine. And then, as the story goes, Goodman spent the next hour after the crash drinking until he became double-drunk.
Further complicating matters was a Florida law that says Goodman probably couldn't be found guilty of negligent vehicular homicide if he wasn't exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph or more at the moment of collision. Um, excuse me, but what exactly is the speed limit at a stop sign?!
The jury was out for a couple of hours and came back with a guilty verdict. His attorney is promising an appeal. I wonder if Black's fee is coming out of the daughter/girlfriend's share.
• Arizona state senator and GOP congressional hopeful Frank Antenori is too busy/cool/important to stop at red lights like us mere mortals. He's apparently part of the vast majority of people who (incorrectly) believe that they're above-average drivers. Well, senator, you're not, and the reason that you're not is that you keep breaking the freakin' law. A good driver, by definition, doesn't break the law, or at least doesn't do so repeatedly.
But now, because Antenori had to spend a couple hundred bucks to keep his driver's license from being suspended, he wants Arizonans to shell out millions in tax money to relocate underground sensors to match his new definition of what an intersection is. Yes, he has taken time away from his run for Congress to draft and push legislation telling civil engineers that they've been wrong.
The really bad thing is that no matter how broad his re-definition of "intersection" is (like the person who thinks that a phallic symbol is anything that's longer than it is wide), the video that's on the Tucson Weekly website shows that he still would have cavalierly blown through a red light in his big-ass truck without ever even applying the brakes.
Shame on you, senator.
• Finally, there's Daniel Patterson, the albatross around the Arizona Democratic Party's neck. It's weird; you would think that with so few Democrats in the state Legislature, the odds of having such a complete jackass among them would be rather slim.
Patterson is in a real mess after being charged with four counts of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend, who herself later got arrested in La Paz County for possession of meth. She got so mad that she even changed political parties.
Look, dude, lots of guys have crazy girlfriends, but that doesn't ever give you the right to get physical with them. If she's hitting you, you just take that ass-whuppin' and go home. If you're already home, then you take that ass-whuppin' and go someplace else.