Category Archives: But Seriously

I Make New Friends Everytime I Check My E-Mail


I don’t mean to brag, but I have a lot of friends.

It must be because I’m such a likable person. People lay eyes on me and think, “Hey, now there’s a guy with a positive, outgoing countenance.”

That’s all it takes. Why, just last week, on two separate occasions, beautiful women wearing skimpy dresses came up to me on the street, out of the blue, and started asking personal questions. Who says Las Vegas isn’t a friendly town?

But apparently people don’t need to even see me to know they can call me a friend.
Consider these three e-mails I received recently from people I had no idea existed.

In each one, I found a friend I never knew I had. And instead of just writing to say “Hi” and ask about the family, each friend had found themselves in the strange situation of having to pick somebody to receive an outlandish fortune left behind by a dead person. And they all picked me.

At first I thought these e-mails might be a part of some “Nigerian scheme,” where bored computer nerds in third-world Internet cafes cast a multitude of lures into the in-boxes of American vics, easy prey because of their greed and stupidity.

But after reading the first two carefully, as my new friend Mrs. Mario Zema from the Bank of Africa in Burkina Faso admonished me, I found no reference to “Nigerian” or even “scheme.” None. However, she/he did begin our formal introduction by calling me “Dearest One! ,,” which won me over like Romeo (or Juliet).

She/he sought me out because she/he “seriously” needs my “Assistance For the betterment of our life’s.

Mrs. Mario Zema wrote to say there is $12.5 million left orphaned in an account belonging to “one of our Foreign Customer Who Died Along with his entire family at the THE WORD TRADE CENTER on september 11 .2001 AMERICA ATTACK.
Mrs. Mario Zema says the client’s name was Joseph F. Grillo, and says he “is the Manager Of petrol chemical service, A Chemical Engineer by Profession.

A Joseph F. Grillo did die Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, but according to Mr. Grillo’s biography, he worked as a risk finance analyst for the Port Authority. He counted himself as a hopeless basketball junkie and was a committed friend and husband.

He was 46 when he died, but fortunately his family was not with him.

(Mental note: write back to Mrs. Mario Zema and tell him/her to fire his/her assistant and send the $12.5 million to Mr. Grillo’s widow.)

Barrister Allen Walters, who must have forgot to tell me where he was writing from, introduced himself as a “friend” to tell me that, “Since the demise of my client I personally have watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of US$28.5m(Twenty Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollar) and all the relevant documents in the bank has no record of any next of kin.

Allen said he found a jackpot, if only I would pose as a next of kin. But what Allen really found is himself in a moral quandary. I plan to write him back and tell him that he should give the money to charity, or just leave it alone. It might sound great at first to be a millionaire, but knowing Allen, and I like to think I know Allen, he would be crippled with guilt if he tried to pocket the money. Who wants to be rich if it means getting rich by being less than honest?

The third e-mail, from my new pal “Mr Daniel Ehinme the director in Charge Of Auditing and Accounting Section of (Bank Of Industry Limited),” does mention Nigeria.

But I didn’t want to hold that against him, I know Daniel has had a rough time lately.

And wouldn’t you know it, Daniel has the same problem as my first two friends, a fortune sitting in an account with nobody to care for it. Daniel has always been one of my more pragmatic buddies, and knew that he needed “a foreigner who is reliable and a honest person who is capable and fit” to lend a hand. So he wrote to me. For my assistance he offered me a 40 percent cut of “(US$28.5 Million) Twenty Eight Million and Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars.

Daniel is also a very devout person.

I am revealing this to you believing in God that you will never let me down when the money is transferred into your foreign nominated bank account.”

He is right to believe in God that I would never let him down, that’s one of the perks of being my friend, but I knew I could never take him up on his offer.

Or could I? I have to admit, it gets a little dizzying making so many friends, so quickly. I read Daniel’s e-mail again, and figured, “What the heck, if it will make Daniel happy.”

But then I read to the bottom, and I began to doubt that Daniel really meant to contact me.

Below Daniel’s letter was this, legal boilerplate sometimes tacked on the end of e-mails:

The information contained in this message may be CONFIDENTIAL and is intended for the addressee only. Any unauthorised use,dissemination of the information or copying of this message is prohibited. If you are not the addressee, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail

I punched the reply button and wrote this message:

Dear Sir,
I was intrigued by Mr. Ehinme’s predicament, and I wanted to help him – and myself, no less – but I must confess that I have never heard of any of the people mentioned in the e-mail and realized that this message must have been sent to me by mistake. This didn’t bother me, but when I reached the bottom, after reading the proposal very carefully, I found the legal boilerplate that says if I am not the intended recipient, I have to contact you. You can imagine my disappointment. In any case, please tell your secretary that he or she should take better care when sending such offers via e-mail. And please give Mr. Ehinme my warmest regards.

Hank Stamper

PS – I will delete the original message post haste.

(I signed the e-mail “Hank Stamper” after the main character of the novel, “Sometimes a Great Notion.” It’s a little inside joke, it’s Daniel’s favorite book.)

Ninjas Among Us

ninja_true ninjas.gif
Ninjas Mean Business

This post may not at first appear to have anything to do with Bremerton, but that’s just what the ninjas want us to believe.

The truth is we are one throwing star away from a complete ninja infestation. Don’t believe me? Are you thinking to yourself, “OK, sounds like old Andy has gotten into the horseradish?”

You have the luxury of skepticism. But not me. We in the mainstream media know the truth, the truth that we are bound not to reveal, the truth that I will reveal here on the Bremerton Beat.

We are surrounded by ninjas.

Once thought to have gone the way of pull tabs on cans of Schlitz, this report of a ninja suspected of menacing school children shows us that we can’t be too careful.

It also reminds us that when somebody reports a ninja lurking near a school and the police find a camp counselor dressed in a karate outfit on his way to a costume party, we need to dig deeper.

If I disappear tonight, you know who to blame.

Shhh. They’ll hear us.

Sympathy for the Rich

Let them eat organic

We’ve heard that food banks are struggling, we’ve read stories about schools with budget deficits and we’ve heard the stories about making do without utilities.

Gas prices are skyrocketing, diesel is at $5 a gallon, which is hiking the price of everything that is trucked to market, which includes about everything.

Most of us received checks in the mail from the government, encouraging us to buy consumer goods, most likely built in China.

What’s missing from this discussion is perspective.

Comes now this story, from the New York Times, about just that, perspective. And strife. Strife that keeps men awake at night, worrying that they have to tell their trophy wives to stop spending. Worrying how long the country club will notice that you’ve been stopping by every day for almond butter and cranberry saffron sliders. Worrying if your neighbor will notice that you have been siphoning gas out of his Hummer to keep your Hummer rolling.

As for perspective, this story really puts it … in.

For further perspective – like that’s always a good thing – check out this comic. It’s called Big Fat Whale, and while it often strays into PG- and R-rated territory, it’s funny. In it, our comic author examines the tough choices the leisure class is facing.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words When A Couple Will Do

Photo Credit (By the way, this site is neat)

Given the bottomless well of creativity of Bremertonians, plus our flair for rudeness as illustrated by the comments on the, it might be a matter of time before someone expresses their displeasure with the city’s new traffic cameras with selective nudity.

By “selective nudity” I mean mooning, that borderline obscene but very distasteful form of communication that involves dropping trou and smiling in the direction of the target. By “smile” I mean “show your bum” and by “expresses their displeasure” I mean, well, let’s leave it at that.

Click here and read this story about a BMW owner who took the initiative, possibly received a crick in their neck and immortalized their nuanced views on the intrusion of red light cameras. It was forwarded to me by the Sun’s spectacular North Kitsap reporter Derek Sheppard, who suggested I file a records request and get to the bottom of this story. Pun intended.

Some rear ends are prettier than others, some are downright scary, but if you feel like sharing yours with the poor police officer assigned to review the videos of drivers blowing through red lights, you should know that the cops won’t be that surprised.

First of all, as police officers, nay, Bremerton police officers, they are fairly unflappable.

In addition to that, an officer I spoke to, who was watching the videos, told me they figured it was a matter of time before somebody got the idea to pull a stunt like this.

Again, this is not an invitation. Everything has a place, and the place for your butt is in your pants. And if you think the red light camera tickets are hefty, $124, imagine what happens to a person cited for disorderly conduct. Explain that ticket to your boss.

Hooters in Bremerton? What Day Is It Again?


Photo: Cecelia Newberry
Two Bremertonians look skeptically at a presumed April Fool’s hoax Tuesday, an announcement that Hooters (“Where the skin trade meets bar food!”) is setting up shop downtown.

Binion here:
There’s a saying in the food service industry: If the boss is willing to eat the food, you know he’ll eat anything.

And so today we at the Bremerton Beat are proud to present a column from our direct supervisor, a mostly good and decent man, David Nelson.

If you’ve followed the downtown revitalization campaign you’ll have noticed
a theme: announcements, press conferences, flyers, and Mayor Bozeman shaking
hands like your usual Bremerton blogger does his moneymaker. With that in
mind, the banner I noticed this morning announcing the newest crown jewel
seemed a little subdued. Under the radar hasn’t exactly been the gameplan
behind the looming Tim Ryan building under construction at 6th and Pacific,
so when a construction worker I talked to on the corner midday was more
interested in the nearest Burger King than the sign behind him announcing a
‘HOOTERS’ restaurant as the new tenant, well…

Others in the neighborhood also doubted the “announcement,” and asked for an
explanation. So, by popular demand: No, there’s no Hooters coming. Happy
April 1st.

Even though no one will be using chicken wings as an excuse for oogling the
short-shorts on bar waitresses anytime soon, I was smiling. Because a
Hooters sign always makes me smile, and not for the reason most red-blooded
American men would admit (at least not completely).

See, when I was 15 my parents took my brother and I on an East Coast swing,
and historic Baltimore was a stop. My father is a calm person who doesn’t
unnecessarily hurry himself, but when on vacation in those days he’d put on
his Clark Griswold cap and hustle his teenage sons along at a quicker pace.
Time was money, and he wasn’t driving his family up and down I-95 to fritter
away either.

So one summer night we’re in Baltimore’s inner harbor, looking for dinner
when the old man spots a restaurant a hundred yards away with a sign that
appeared to fit the Red Robin/TGIFridays/Tipsy McScratchys class of eatery
we indulged in. What my old man didn’t get: ‘Hooters’ don’t mean owls in
that context. But my younger brother and I understood, and couldn’t stop
giggling at the prospect our father was going to not only allow us into a
small town kid’s land of cheap thrills costumed in orange shorts, but then
pay for it.

That is, until my dad reached the entryway ten yards ahead of us. Before his
teenage boys could get their heads inside the door for a peek, the wordplay
hit him. And all of a sudden one party next up for a table became “too long
for us to wait for,” and, much to his sons’ dismay, we were eating
elsewhere. He may not have been culturally savvy, but the guy could cover.

PS – Builder Tim Ryan confirmed that the Hooters banner was a joke. In a note to the Sun, Ryan wrote that Hooters has “‘busted’ out of the pack to be the first tenant at 6th and Pacific.” Depending on your point of view, that’s good news, or bad.

There’s Always A Premium on Dignity


Whoever said there aren’t high paying jobs for people who want to work apparently hasn’t been keeping tabs on the Little Nickel.

This week’s Peninsula/Kitsap issue features an ad calling for exotic dancers to work in Alaska for minimum wage and tips.

I called the number and inquired about job opportunities for men. I’m a reporter now, but becoming a stripper would mean more money a step up in prestige.

The receptionist was very nice and suggested that male dancers might have a better chance in the big city. That is, Anchorage.

“Male dancers don’t go over too well here,” she said.

It’s Goat Time


I don’t … I can’t …

I really don’t know what to say about this. I want to think up something funny, something that will weave the strange, asinine elements of this story into a blog entry. I can’t. Maybe I’m too tired, maybe I’m not smart enough.

So I have decided to let you, gentle readers, do the work for me.

First, read this. It is the press release from the independent media office for the Animal Liberation Front, a group of “terrorists” who wear camo, balaclavas, and cuddle cute, pink piglets.

Received anonymously
February 12, 2008

Goats Liberated from Future Animal Abusers of America (FFA)
Carpenteria, CA Gets First Visit from Animal Liberation Front

In the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 9th 2008, three young goats were liberated by the ALF from the Carpinteria High School FFA in California. After cutting through one lock and one fence, we took them from their small pens with concrete floors and carried them to freedom. They were taken to a place where they will be able to live their lives free from cages and fences, able to enjoy sunshine and grass as opposed to steel bars and concrete floors. As we brought them to their new home, they immediately stopped crying, began eating the grass around them, and enjoyed their surroundings. They listened to us and licked our faces as we soothed them before leaving the three of them on their own. They will no longer be victims to animal exploitation or slaughter for human greed.

The FFA is an organization that teaches kids from a young age how to carry on the (f*****) up tradition of anthropocentrism, where they are taught how to raise animals for exploitation, abuse, and eventually murder. FFA is known for keeping animals in small, dirty, unkempt, confined places where they lack nurturing and stimulating interaction with other animals.

As long as the FFA continues to raise animals for the meat, dairy, or egg industries, the ALF will continue to take actions against these practices. -ALF

Now, read this. It is the Associated Press’ follow-up.

High school’s kidnapped goats found wandering in hills

Thursday, February 14, 2008

(02-14) 05:03 PST Carpinteria, Calif. (AP) — Three goats abducted from Carpinteria High School by animal rights activists have been found wandering in a rural area where predators roam.

The Animal Liberation Front took responsibility for freeing the infant goats, which are part of the school’s Future Farmers of America program.

A day later, hikers found the goats and notified Santa Barbara County authorities.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Alex Tipolt says the “young and defenseless” goats were found in an area between Carpinteria and Montecito where mountain lions and coyotes are known to inhabit.

Animal Liberation Front spokesman Jerry Vlasak says the school was exploiting the animals.

The whole reason I even got the first press release list is because of an incident at the Bremerton Kentucky Fried Chicken, where vandals trashed the building with anti-meat/pro-vegetarian slogans. The press office could not confirm or deny the group was involved.

Common Sense Solution for Speeding

A reader sent this video to me. It’s in German, I think.

With Bremerton set to embark on the use of traffic cameras for stop-sign runners, here’s a solution for speeding the city could consider in the future. I found a translation on the Web, but I can’t verify that it’s accurate. It’s below the video.

“What are you doing Gisela? The camera is already running. Come here. I will show it to this guy! He won’t drive through here any more. Gisela, don’t film the flowers, come here! He’s coming. Let me hold the camera. Boy oh boy!!!! Great !!!”

No Place to Potty

This kid shows us all how to come prepared for an extended splashing in the fountains along Bremerton’s waterfront. It’s this or a long walk up the stairs and into the ferry terminal.

At Wednesday’s Bremerton City Council study session, City Councilman Brad Gehring asked about a situation at one of the city’s unexpectedly popular locations.

Folks in the city figured the Harborside Fountain Park with the five bulbing fountains would be nice.

What they apparently didn’t expect was people hanging around long enough to need a bathroom.

Gehring asked why there were none. Councilman Will Maupin said Gary Sexton, the city’s economic development guy, didn’t expect that kids would want to stay in the fountain water as long as they have. They’re designed for water play and wading, but people have been lingering. As a parent, I can tell you if I have time on my hands, the weather is nice and the kid’s digging the fountain, I’m staying planted on a bench with a book.

This all makes me less critical of the kid I saw peeing in the fountain right after it opened. He had nowhere else to go.