Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Knows What's Best?

As the year winds down, I thought I'd share some of the high? lights in random categories.

Best text messager: Andy House, who drove his $2 million Bugatti Veyron into a lagoon because he was texting at the wheel and what was left of his brain was allegedly distracted by a low-flying pelican. The link's headline says "$1 million," but other sources put the price at around $1.8 million." Although--what are a few zeroes among friends?images

Best explanation of why we need to have our handguns with us AT ALL TIMES. The gun enthusiast's website, Frontsite goes through how to do just this. What about when you go to the bathroom?their newsletter asks. A question that has often worried me. And the answer is both logical and practical.

"If your gun is in a holster attached to your belt, keep it there. When you pull up your pants, the gun will still be there. Where you get into trouble is when you are not using a holster and set your gun aside in the bathroom. THIS is at least an embarrassment and at worst a tragedy waiting to happen. Do people leave guns in bathrooms? ALL THE TIME simply because they set their gun aside rather than keeping it in the holster or (if not wearing a holster) placing it on top of their dropped trousers between their legs...Private citizens, law enforcement, and government agents leave their guns in hotels, airports, and restaurants on a regular basis... DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. The result of your carelessness will cost you and can be tragic."images-1

Or ludicrous, depending on your sensibility.

And, while we're on the topic, Most creative marketing plan of the year goes to beer vendors at the Washington, DC, pro football stadium.

Best book moment of the year: Amazon's decision to remove some 57000 authors it deemed riské or offensive, from its rankings and search engine. These included most LGBT authors, including James Baldwin. Just a computer glitch, they assured us after 18000 people signed up for a boycott.

Best politician of the year. This is such a crowded field I wouldn't presume to decide, especially since I'm biased in favor of my own Rod Blagojevich, who shook down a children's hospital for campaign contributions, and wanted to put Barack's Senate seat onto the market.

South Carolina's Mark Sanford, flying to Argentina to see a lady friend, claimed he was hiking the Appalachian trail instead. The state recently fined him $73000 to cover the cost of using the state plane for the flight, which seems kind of cheap, but the cost of living is lower in the south.

Jenny Sanford is much duller than Patty Blagojevich, who ate tarantulas on some TV show.

And then, New Jersey, which is always stealing Chicago's corruption thunder, gave us some Brooklyn rabbis and the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, involved in a money-laundering scheme so complex that V I Warshawski threw up her hands in despair over trying to unravel it. Suffice it to say that a yeshiva's papers were taken as part of the evidence, and that human kidney trafficking played a role.

Please let me know the many wonderful stories I missed.

17 comments:

Barbara D'Amato said...

Thank you for this, Sara. I'm reading--again--for a crime-writing group award, and I'm really suffering through the question "what is BEST?" We're always comparing apples and oranges, aren't we? This means I don't have suggestions, only angst. But I like to see people talking about their favorites because it rewards writers who have given us pleasure.

Happy holidays to all.

Sara Paretsky said...

Yes. I'm on the Edgar short story committee this year, and our picks are so very wide ranging-stories that some loved seemed badly put together to me and I'm sure vice versa. How you separate your own taste from an objective evaluation I don't know.

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Mike Dennis said...

Sara, you could've included a Best Non-Politician of the Year category, which Caroline Kennedy would've easily swept. The image of her wading through Buffalo and Syracuse as though they were foreign countries (well, to her, really, they were), and refusing to admit that she'd never been there before was pretty laughable. Plus, the media wondered aloud, "How will she handle Utica?"

But I can fully understand how you might've missed that, because I'll have to concede, a slow day in Chicago politics is still the busiest, most corrupt day anywhere.

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