I'm waiting so skillfully

So this is the stuff of a slapstick comedy from the silent era, the kind of thing Charlie Chaplin would have been falsely arrested for before bumbling his way through an accidental escape from prison. Headlines are improbably awesome, given the ostensible gravity of the situation: "Grown man pretends to be 12 to lure boys for sex" being perhaps my favorite, though "Man cons 2 Arizona men into thinking he's 12" is right up there, and "Sex offender applies for school as a boy" has its own wily charm.

Picture it. A creepy, rundown flophouse on the seedy side of town. Inside, three convicted sex offenders, and an uber-creepy 61 year old, the funny-looking Lonnie Stiffler (no joke, he's a Stiffler). They're all sitting around a card table. One of them looks suspiciously young -- if you were to inspect him, in the military way, you would find not so much as a body hair on him. This is Neil Havens Rodreick II. Suddenly, Stiffler whoops with excitement, like one of those old codgers in the movies about prospecting for gold. He stands up and says, "Consarnit, I've got the dag-blastedest idea! I'll pretend to be yer gran-pappy, and we'll sign you up as a 12 year old in school, and you'll make friends with boys, lure 'em back to our dungeon, and we'll take a-turns pokin' 'em!" Then all four fire their guns into the air gleefully. And I mean that like you think I mean it.

It's strangely fitting: All these motherfuckers have strangely Southern Literary names in the great Faulknerian tradition. There's Lonnie Stiffler, then there's Neil Havens Rodreick II, Brian J. Nellis, and Robert James Snow. They're even in Yavapai County, Arizona, which I gather is about a fifteen minute bike ride from Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and you can stop by Preston Sturges's house on the way for some pie and milk.

It's one of those stories that I just have to love because, as far as I know, nobody got hurt. I mean, really, a 29 year old man named Neil Havens Rodreick the second was trying to convince people that he was 12 with some shoddily-forged documents and some silly pre-pube clothes, which seems a bit like me trying to board a space shuttle a few minutes before launch in landscaper's overalls and a fishbowl on my head.

By far the best part of this story, though? This was a two-way con.

'Stiffler and Robert James Snow, 43, "were very upset when the detectives told them they had been having a sexual relationship with a 29-year-old man and not a pre-teen boy," [Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan] Quayle said... She said detectives learned in interviews with the men that Rodreick convinced Stiffler and Snow that he was a boy after meeting him two years ago over the Internet. Rodreick apparently shaved his body hair and used makeup to keep up the guise.'

Motherfucker looks just like a thin Corey Haim, too. With a personal trainer, a lettuce diet, and some Nair, there's a starring role in here somewhere, Frog Brother.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention: The Sea and Cake prolly shoulda been the biggest band in the world. You know, if the world was fair and all that. I'd probably have a girlfriend, though, too, so I probably ought to have bigger bones to pick with the world and its cruel realities.

Also: WHO DAT SAY THEY GON' BEAT THEM SAINTS?!? Oh, yeah, the Bears are going to beat the Saints. Fucking Bears. I'm in the unfortunate position of seriously liking two of the four teams in the Divisional championships (Saints & Pats), while being completely indifferent to the Colts. The fourth, the wretched Bears, is my least favorite team in the history of time and space and sports, surpassing even the Yankees (but maybe only tied with the Cardinals). This means, inevitably, the Bears will win the Superbowl against the Colts in a turgid "battle of field position"-style Super Bowl, which will be about as interesting to watch as a regular-season AA high school football game. Though the Saints playing the Patriots would be just as bad -- my underdog fetish and my fondness for the home-team Red, White, and Blue would probably look something like borderline personality disorder to anybody watching me watching the game. I am God's plaything.

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