Via Michelle Shinghal comes this Houston Chronicle account of an apparently insane assistant fire marshall in Texas:
Kathryn "Kristi" Fridge made a last-minute stop at the Wal-Mart at FM 1764 and Interstate 45 with her mother and 2-year-old daughter.
Finding the batteries shelf bare, she expressed her displeasure and disbelief to her mother.
"I was like, 'Dang.' I looked at my mom and said, 'They're all —-ing gone," Fridge recalled.
Suddenly, Capt. Alfred Decker, the La Marque assistant fire marshal, appeared from around the corner, dressed in a fire department uniform.
"He said, 'You need to watch your mouth,' " Fridge said.
Perplexed by who the man was—his badge said "fire department"—Fridge offered a scant apology.
"I was like, 'Oh, OK. Sorry?' " she said.
Fridge walked away, but said the man ordered her to come back. She then protested, telling him she was having a private conversation with her mother that was none of his business. When the man ordered her to come to him and she refused, she said he pulled out his handcuffs.
Turned out the guy was an assistant fire marshall with very sensitive ears. As he was hauling Fridge away, this priceless exchange occurred:
[Capt. Alfred] Decker ordered Fridge to come out to his car because that's where his citation book was stored, [Fire Chief] Zacherl said. Fridge eventually complied, but admits she used the offending word again when she turned to a crowd of onlookers while being led outside and yelled, "Can you believe this? He's —-ing arresting me for saying —-!"
I don't know about you, gentle readers, but I really can't fucking believe it. Only in America!
Fridge was booked on a disorderly conduct charge and ticketed. She can either pay a fine or show up in court to argue some more. She shouldn't have to do either. And Wal-Mart really ought to keep its shelf stock up better, even when hurricanes are approaching (as was the case when this took place in early August).
Take a break and watch the excellent South Park episode (legally! for free! right on your work computer!), "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes."