The incident: A woman fatally ran over a 17-year-old boy.
The appropriate response: A lifetime of regret.
The actual response: She is suing the dead boy and his family.
On the night of October 28th 2012, 17-year-old Brandon Majewski was out for a bike ride with two friends in Alcona, Canada.
Around 1:30am, the three friends were struck from behind by an SUV being driven by a woman named Sharlene Simon. Brandon was killed instantly, while his friend Richard McLean sustained several broken bones. The third friend, Jake Roberts, received only minor injuries. According to the police report, Sharlene was driving six miles per hour over the speed limit.
To add to the family’s grief, six months after Brandon died, his brother Devon also died, after overdosing on pills and alcohol.
Earlier this week, Sharlene, the driver of the SUV, filed a suit against the dead boy for the emotional trauma she’s received as a result of the accident. Also named in the suit are the two other kids she ran over, as well as Brandon’s family.
She is claiming $1.35 million in damages due to her “psychological suffering,” including “depressions, anxiety, irritability, and post-traumatic stress.”
"They did not apply their brakes properly," her claim reads. "They were incompetent bicyclists."
Smoking Coffee to Get High Will Make You Feel Like Shit
If you’re in the minority of teenagers without access to pot, you’re liable to do some pretty stupid shit to catch a buzz. Lately, the parent-fear-machine, aka the internet, has been ablaze with warnings about kids smoking coffee grounds. The side effects of ingesting caffeine in this fashion include convulsions, diarrhea, dizziness, hallucinations, vomiting, fever, and a bunch of other scary nonsense that has little to do with the method of ingestion. This potentially fake fad is nothing new; in 2011 a Reddit user outlined his experiences as a bean-head, and a post on Erowid from 2007 summed up the stupidest way to consume caffeine. Obviously, I had to try it out. Luckily for my dumb ass, my friend Elizabeth was there to both capture the magic and call an ambulance if I started hallucinating and shitting uncontrollably.
First we scoured YouTube for tutorials, and after stumbling across multiple videos of grade school-aged children rolling coffee joints using Post-It notes and cotton balls (unfortunately taken down), I realized that it was up to me to blaze the trail. As a veteran smoker, I started with the classic: a spliff.
I pulled out my coffee grinder, cigarettes, rolling papers, a cotton ball, and George W. & Laura Bush rolling tray, and I mixed a hefty portion of ground hazelnut flavored dark roast in with my tobacco. I managed to roll one of my least impressive spliffs to date, complete with a homemade filter, because despite the years of abuse my lungs have suffered in the name of “chillin’ balls”, I still wasn’t quite ready to subject them to something I had just watched a child almost vomit from without the benefit of a barrier.
Out on the balcony, I shouted “TURN UP!”, lit the tip, and took my first drag. I thought I could make out the faintest hint of hazelnut, but beyond the artificial flavoring, there wasn’t much of a difference from a regular cigarette. Perhaps I hadn’t used enough grounds. I rolled a second spliff with twice the fun, and went for a hefty pull, expecting to come up heaving. Surprisingly, the smoke came in smooth, although a bit bitter and lacking in any recognizable coffee taste. I felt stupid and Elizabeth asked if this was supposed to make me hallucinate. I didn’t think so, but I was truly hoping it would help clear a two-day blockage in my lower intestines. I felt a little lightheaded.
As any self-disrespecting toker, I was anxious to kick it up a notch, so I grabbed my vape pen and did my best to clean out the remaining wax before filling it up with some finely milled Turkish coffee my grandmother had given me before going on vacation. I hope she never reads this.
The incident: A family in Colorado installed a wheelchair ramp on their home.
The appropriate response: Nothing.
The actual response: Their neighbors are threatening to take legal action against them.
Vincent and Heidi Giesegh have a 16-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. Because of this, they installed a wheelchair ramp on their home.
In an interview with 11 News, Vincent said, “We’re trying to do our best to assist our daughter with her daily needs to get in and out of the house.” Adding, “As she goes into her spastic modes, we could just tumble down the stairs and both of us could get massively hurt.” But, really, he doesn’t need to explain any of that. Having a ramp on your house if someone who lives there needs one is a no-brainer.
According to the Gieseghs, their neighbors got in touch at some point last week asking them to remove the ramp, as they were afraid it would lower the value of their property.
They said that if the Gieseghs refused, they would take legal action against them.
A lawyer from the Denver-based Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center told News 11 that the ramp is completely legal due to something called the Fair Housing Act. If the neighbors do take legal action, they’re unlikely to win.
11 News tried to speak to the neighbors to get their side of the story, but they declined to comment.
Last weekend, I attended America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California, which attracts thousands of people for a host of reasons: they love pets, they volunteer with rescue organizations, or they’re interested in buying their cats some quality business cards. One of the biggest draws, though, was the celebrity pet event—a showcase of trained dogs and cats who act in popular TV shows.
Like normal, non-dog-dominated events, the expo had its own black market: shortly after I stepped into the long admission line with the rest of the non-celebrity pets and humans, I got approached by a sketchy, nervous-looking guy who mumbled at me, “You guys want to buy some passes?” Yes, this man was a Pet Expo scalper. I bought a pass.
Although I was primarily there for the celebrity pets, there was no shortage of other entertainment. While walking through the expo, I watched several rounds of dachshund racing, pet an 18-pound rabbit, and spotted more than a few dogs who were better dressed than I was.
Working with the same little group of writers each day gets to be intimate feeling. You read their writing. You get a sense of what they’re good or bad at. Before long you’re casually thinking about what their pajamas smell like, and then you ask them to make you a mix tape. Really you could demand it, because, you know, you pay them. But you ask nicely because otherwise it would feel perverted and illegal.
William Cody Watson does our Sad-Ass music column, and was nice enough to make me my very own Sad-Ass mix. The only guidelines he was given were to make it the “saddest sad fucking sad thing you’ve ever done.” Here’s what he put on my mix, which I will now review for you all.
There was this boy I had a crush on in grade school. His name was Eric and he had that floppy hair. You know, like that style of hair that was basically all bangs that boys who listened to Depeche Mode had in the 80s? Eric was into cool music, but he was also into being a dick. It got back to him that I had a crush on him and one day, out of the blue, he walked right up to me, flipped his hair bangs, and was like “can I talk to you?” He led me over to a dead patch of grass on the playground and was like “do you wanna go out?” My eyes welled up because I was so happy and I said “really??” And then he laughed and was like “no,” and walked back to his friends. This song could have been playing in the background as all that happened. Anyway. I bet I’ve fucked like 75 more girls than he has by now.
From note numero uno this song had me by the crotch seam. Oh, you’re Southern AND sad? Fuck yes. I’d listen to this and flop around on the grass for almost any reason. Like I could listen to this if I was sad about something, or If I accidentally ordered the wrong ice cream cone. Whatever. For any reason. Yes.
I love the drum in this. It’s a good way to keep time with the top of my head hitting the wall of the interior of my closet while I’m in there having a fit about something. The funny thing is I never really get sad about stuff. But this is all making me want to fall into a wet blanket of picky sadness. It’s working!
Sometimes I mix up love feelings and sadness feelings. Like I was just listening to this and thinking “can you imagine if someone sang this song to you? Like maybe while sitting at the lake or something?” And then I remembered that I was supposed to be surfing a depression wave, not a wave of pussy juice.