Confederacy of Dunces 

A weekly roundup of embarrassing behavior

"There are people in there that drink, people in there that beat their wives, people in there unfaithful to their wives."

Kings of the stone age

Don’t ask a Tennessee legislator that famous trick question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” You may get a serious answer. Last week, after our state lawmakers scrambled to congratulate Rep. Rob Briley for his apology about his alcohol-fueled misconduct, Rep. Charles Curtiss of Sparta tried to put his colleague’s actions in perspective. “I don’t think there are any criminals here,” he assured The Tennessean. “But we’re a cross section of society. There are people in there that drink, people in there that beat their wives, people in there unfaithful to their wives. No question in my mind about that?”

And to think all this time we thought state legislators were a bunch of pigs. Turns out, we regarded them too highly.

The cookie monster terrorizes East Nashville

It’s like a really lame sequel to Falling Down. Last week, upon arriving at the East Nashville Community Center for a meeting about senior citizen issues, a 41-year-old man became absolutely irate when he discovered the guests had already gobbled up all the complimentary cookies. The suspect, who may or may not look like Michael Douglas, then got a whiff of popcorn blowing from the community center kitchen and demanded the staff share the buttery snack. Otherwise, he’d start throwing punches. A security guard, who probably didn’t expect much action from this gig, promptly responded to the disturbance only to come upon the enraged suspect, who spat at him and hurled a string of expletives before storming out of the building. Police caught up with the irritable perp at the corner of Main and South Fifth streets and arrested him for disorderly conduct. If only Rep. Curtiss had been there to defend him: “There are people who drink, people who beat their wives and people who start a fight in front of senior citizens when they don’t get their Milanos. No question in my mind about that.”

The Nicaraguan Scene?

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, except when it pisses us off. When editors at the Nicaraguan daily paper, El Nuevo Diario, read our cover story on Megan Volz (“The Other Volz,” Jan. 17,) which detailed the young woman’s stormy relationship with—and subsequent filing of assault charges against—two Uruguayan illegals, the newspaper couldn’t resist reprinting the story (without our permission) in its “entirety.” Oh wait. Turns out, El Diario editors removed all references to Eric Volz’s trial being a sham—not to mention other salient facts of the case that point to the young man’s innocence. In all, the story the paper “reprinted,” “La Otra Volz,” is about half the length of the English version that we first published two weeks ago. Adding injury to insult, the paper misspelled our reporter’s name, though perhaps it’s for the best. Nobody wants his name on bootleg news.

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