In a world full of horrible, violent crimes, I find myself seeking out and clinging to the weird crime stories. Luckily, this past month has given us two excellent examples to ponder. Even better, they both involve women perpetrators (#whorunstheworld #girlcrimebosses).
First, a woman in Wichita Falls, Texas was banned from the local Walmart. Her crime? Driving an electric shopping cart in the parking lot while drinking wine from a Pringles can between the hours of 6:30 to 9 in the morning.
There’s a lot to unpack there. First off, wait a hot second….you can drink wine out of Pringles can???? How did I not know this?
Writer Matt Pomanz at Food & Wine had the same thought, so he got scientific about it, and Pomanz conducted an experiment “testing the viability of Pringles’ packaging as a wine vessel.” He found that, if you can get past the chip smell, a Pringles can is actually a pretty inspired drinking vessel. It’s waterproof, the plastic top does a good job containing liquid inside and it can accommodate 750 milliliters of liquid, the equivalent of a whole bottle of wine.
That durability and adaptability might also be why Pringles cans seem to be the vessel of choice for smuggling things like Californian coral to Mexico or king cobras from Hong Kong or a live bird from Malaysia or the can inventors remains, or yes, even something as pedestrian and expected as drugs or money. It really is a surprisingly useful and ingenious container.
I actually agree with VICE’s take, which declared the incident as indicative of the national mood of 2019. I can actually relate to this. The idea of just riding around in circles in a parking lot drinking wine out of a Pringles can while watching the sun come up before heading off down the road for breakfast at a restaurant actually sounds sort of meditative—a form of self-care. Vice stated that the mystery wine drinker “is truly the hero that we, as a country, deserve right now.”
And, unlike our next weird crime, nobody got hurt. (Besides, there are certainly much worse things that have happened in Walmart parking lots in Texas recently.)
The other story involved the resignation of a Florida city commissioner who was accused of sexually harassing a fellow city official by licking his face back in 2012.
You read that right: she licked his face.
Words fail. Unlike our previous weird crime story, I cannot relate. I cannot imagine the circumstances that would drive someone to lick a relative stranger’s face and neck. And I do not understand how one would derive sexual pleasure from performing such an act. But I will say, it is certainly invasive and would be incredibly off-putting for the victim.
The Washington Post had a very thorough, 1,144-word story on Madeira Beach City Commissioner Nancy Oakley’s assault on then-City Manager Shawn Crawford.
“…after the otherwise low-key meeting concluded, Oakley walked up to Crawford again. She allegedly licked his neck and the side of his face, slowly working her way up from his Adam’s apple, and groped him by grabbing at his crotch and buttocks.”
And apparently, it wasn’t the first time she had used her tongue as an assault weapon, according to at least three other men who testified before the Florida Commission on Ethics that Oakley had also licked their faces in public without their consent.
The Crawford face-licking incident occurred at a commission meeting that occurred at the King of the Beach fishing tournament, and at the time, I honestly thought that there might not be anything is more Florida redneck than a city commission meeting held on the beach with alcohol at a fishing tournament.
Then I read about one of the other incidents involving another male former Madeira Beach city employee, who
“told investigators that Oakley had licked him during the opening of a Bubba Gump’s restaurant. Maxemow said that Oakley had been intoxicated at the time, and licked his face and neck in the presence of her husband, who quickly escorted her from the building.”
Yup, an incident at a ribbon cutting for a Bubba Gump’s restaurant in front of her own husband. Not to get all Jeff Foxworthy, but Nancy, you might be a redneck.
For the record, Oakley, who has resigned as city commissioner, admits she had been drinking the day of the King of the Beach fishing tournament (“some beer and possibly a cocktail,” according to Oakley. “A Tervis tumbler filled with alcohol,” according to another witness. To which I say, as one does.)
Nevertheless, the woman nicknamed “Nasty Nancy” maintains her innocence against all complaints and charges, and says she’s looking into avenues to clear her good name.
My favorite quote is towards the bottom of the Washington Post story, where one co-worker is being asked by the state ethics commission investigating the complaint if she ever told anyone else about the licking assault she had witnessed. “I mean, she licked a lot of people, sir. So everyone kind of talked about the fact that she licked people. That’s what she did when she got drunk.”
At least she wasn’t operating an electric shopping cart.