Jason Arias
The Baffler,  July 12

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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One Stop Kidney Shop

A Philadelphia man abandoned his attempt to rob the 1 Stop Smoke Shop when he realized the several hundred dollars in the register apparently wouldn’t be enough to pay for his daughter’s kidney transplant—which necessitated the robbery in the first place. The owner of the shop told local media that “he actually had the money in his hand and refused to take it.” Despite the police captain saying he guessed the best type of robbery was one where the robber had a change of heart, the desperate father-cum-would-be robber is facing an armed robbery charge regardless. Nothing to see here, just the best healthcare system in the world doing its thing.

 

Cuffing Season

NYPD offices have been furtively lurking near turnstiles this week to catch fare evaders. Here’s hoping New York’s finest don’t cop a play from their counterparts in New Zealand, who recently posted photos to Instagram of two teens in handcuffs. The muddy boys—one had allegedly breached bail conditions—were rotorwashed back to shore where a police dog unit (@newzealandpolice regularly post #fridayfloof photos of their ‘heckin doggos) “eagerly” awaited them. 

 

Paved Paradise

Crime does pay, especially if you’re a hedge fund billionaire. Take Noam Gottesman, who literally carved out his own parking spot by forcing a public West Village sidewalk to do an impression of a personal driveway. The Department of Buildings say it’s an illegal and unauthorized curb cut, but Gottesman’s lawyers maintain his innocence, claiming “we believe we’ve complied with everyone we’re supposed to comply with.”

 

Nature’s Best

An intensely blue and extremely Instagrammable lake in Moscow also happens to be a waste site for a coal plant; but worry not—officials claim it isn’t poisonous and that the radiation level is “normal.” They do however, “strongly” advise Insta-fiends “that while hunting for selfies you don’t fall in the ash dump!” (As for the declining supply of water that doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction, investors are thirsty for when it becomes a damn fine investment opportunity!) Elsewhere in the realm of disaster tourism, people are flocking to the newly ruptured grounds of California, where a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck on July 6. It’s not a great idea, given the land can still collapse but definitely safer than people who recorded the earthquake while it was actually happening instead of heeding the call to drop, cover, and hold on!

 

Tired Genders

The grand American tradition of gender reveals gone disastrously wrong has made its way over to the other side of the ditch. Video of a gender reveal burnout on the Gold Coast in Australia released this week shows a car engulfed in flames after puffing out blue smoke. The twenty-nine-year-old driver—who bystanders rescued from the flaming wreckage—isn’t allowed to drive for six months. But the gender reveal tire market is still booming—and for around $200 you, too, can be in the intensive burns unit for your baby’s birth. 

 

The Bride Wore White Nationalism

A Michigan couple held a #MAGAPatriotWedding on July 4, featuring a “Trump train” wedding dress and an anti-abortion petition on each reception table. The bride’s lifelong friend, a registered Democrat, couldn’t stomach wearing a MAGA hat so compromised by just donning a red cap. And they say civility is dead.

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