Weird Crimes: Pringles Wine and Face-Licking Edition

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.”

For true enlightenment, scratch out “cup” and replace with “Pringles container.”

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.”

Somebody needs to get Nancy this $57 Face Licker lollipop. 

At least she wasn’t operating an electric shopping cart.

Links: Naked and Afraid of Sharks Edition

Hope everyone had a great weekend. My personal master-of-the-remote XFE and I certainly did. I suppose you heard that we’re having a heat wave up here in the Northeast, so we did the safe thing, and spent Sunday lying on the couch with a couple of pitchers of watermelon-mint-tequila-aqua-fresca watching the first four episodes of Naked and Afraid. Let me tell you: I was Clothed and Stressed Out. That show is nuts! (Pun: INTENDED)

naked and afraid

While we all ponder why exactly the contestants have to be nude, let’s peruse this bounty of links provided by the Internet, shall we?

  • I’m just so genuinely happy that this exists. And it’s in Alabama, of all places. I present to you, the Prancing Elites.
  • Unfortunately, this Cynthia Rowley gold wetsuit being hawked on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is already out of stock. Question: Would a gold wetsuit promoted by Gwynnie make me more or less attractive to sharks?
  • This other wetsuit maker thinks they’ve got something to repel sharks. Not nearly as exciting as the Cynthia Rowley option.
  • Speaking of sharks, Discovery Channel’s new commercial for Shark Week had is pretty damn hilarious.
  • This amazing collection of vintage travel posters from the Boston Public Library will totally keep you busy for a while. With this heat wave, Antarctica is looking pretty good right now.
  • What else looks good? Beer. Any type so long as it’s cold. I just noticed the date on this beer map is kinda old, but I don’t care. There’s no expiration on beer. Well, actually, I think there is. But everyone knows expiration dates are just a suggestion.
  • In case you’re ever stuck in a room with one and don’t know what to say, here’s a list of things Texans like to talk about. Although, I’d argue that everyone likes to complain about how hot it is outside. And George Strait IS a badass. Everyone knows that.
  • Carrying on the Texas theme: 34 Things Austinites Love. 11 and 12 crack me up. I would just combine numbers 10 and 13 and say “floating down a river of queso” is my favorite thing. And I did just wait in line for four hours for Franklin’s brisket about 3 weeks ago, so obviously, that’s spot on.

I think I saw that Austin thong guy in those last two links on Naked and Afraid. He sure looks familiar….

Austin thong dude

Food Porn: Meyer’s, Louie Mueller

Before we went to the king of all BBQ festivals, we had our own little mini festival after touching down in Austin.

Last year, my personal-pit-master-for-life XFE and I made the pilgrimage to Lockhart for Smitty’s and Black’s. This year, we went to Elgin for sausage and Taylor for everything awesome about BBQ.

We started about 30 minutes drive from the airport with a stop at Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse. We got there right around lunch and the place was hopping, but no line. We bought about a pound of sausage (beef and pork) to share amongst the four of us, since we knew we’d be having a second lunch in about another 30 minutes.

BBQ from Meyer's Elgin

The sausage is, of course, very good. I like a courser sausage more like the kind you get in Lockhart, but this was good as well, just more smoothly processed. Also, I like a bit more snap in my casing. Again, that’s just a personal preference. We didn’t try any sides other than the standard white bread, onions and pickles that comes with it. I was pretty tempted by the banana pudding though. They had two fancy barbecue sauces, both of which were pretty good. I’d give the honey chipotle one a slight edge because of the smoky flavor from the chipotle.

Meyer’s doesn’t serve beer or alcohol, so I loaded up on a childhood favorite, Big Red. From a fountain machine no less. You can’t get this in DC for some reason.

Happy customers at Meyer's Elgin

After refilling our Styrofoam cups and loading back up in the car, we headed north to Taylor to pay our respects at Louie Mueller Barbecue.

XFE and I had Muellers’ at the BBQ festival last year and it was hands down our favorite. It was one of the last spots we visited and even though we were stuffed, we both finished our tasting of brisket and ribs. We loved the thick peppery crust on their brisket and XFE is a beef rib fanatic, so he was very happy. Plus, since the lines at the festival had died down, we were able to just shoot the breeze with the two guys manning the booth (including Wayne Mueller, grandson of Louie), and they were really, really nice guys. We were quite surprised that they didn’t win in any of the categories last year. Redemption was theirs though, and they won People’s Choice for best beef ribs and best sausage this year.

Texas Monthly Barbecue Fest 2011 [Photos: JW Walthall/EATX
Photo: JW Walthall/EATX
As soon as XFE and I left the 2010 festival, we made a plan to make the drive up to Taylor to go to the restaurant. This year, with Matt and Melissa in tow was the year.

It was amazing. You step up on the wooden porch, open the screen door and step back in time. It is a time machine. As your eyes adjust to the darkness of the interior, your nose is overloaded with the smell of smoke. You take in the cavernous room with its blackened walls, including a James Beard Award casually hung behind the coke machine.

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

The counter to place your order is about a mile from the door and the line runs straight back. But it moves, so better hop into it. To the right is a bulletin board covered in business cards, each a different shade of smoke-tinge. To the right is another, brighter dining room — a screened in porch with beam rafters and exposed iron farm equipment.

So yeah….the place was long on atmosphere.

Inside Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

And the food didn’t disappoint either. Of course, we ordered way too much, but what can I say? We ordered a pound of brisket, a selection of their three sausages (original, jalapeno and chipotle), several ginormous 1 pound beef ribs the size of a man’s arm, and a couple of slabs of pork ribs (baby back, but they also have spare ribs). Again, no sides necessary. And they have sauce on the table, but it’s a thin sauce and didn’t look like a sauce I would like, so I skipped it.

The sausage was coarser ground than Meyer’s and de-freaking-licious. I think the jalapeno was the crowd favorite. It was a bit greasy, but that’s what the bread is for. Also: they smoke it, which really brings out the flavor.

BBQ at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

The beef ribs were very good and flavorful, with that thick peppery crust, although I’m not a fan of beef ribs in general – too fatty for my liking. But these were good, although there was no way I could take a whole one down. It was quite a bit of work and I barely made a dent.

Brisket at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

The brisket was good – smoky and tender — but not quite as good as we remembered it. The crust wasn’t as pronounced as I had remembered. It was probably an off slice because when we tried it at the festival the next day, we again fell in love all over again. The festival version was moist and delicious.

Also: I’m getting a teeny bit brisket spoiled because XFE makes the best brisket in the whole damn world. We’re talking the kind of brisket you beg for on your birthday good. We’re talking last-meal-on-death-row good. We’re talking willing-to-commit-a-crime-just-to-get-on-death-row-and-request-it-for-your-last-meal good. But Mueller’s will do in a pinch.

The pork ribs were disappointing. I did not like them at all. But again, I’d always try them again, if given the chance. I know how these things can fluctuate day by day.

Chowing down at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

The counter staff and everyone overall could not have been nicer. Walter Mueller saw Melissa and me taking pictures of everything and came walking out with a large brisket — straight out of the smoker — and asked us if we wanted to take a picture of it.

Brisket at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor
That’s a damn good looking brisket. And tasty.

Way different than the snooty attitude we have gotten at some restaurants on the picture-taking front. I’ll never understand why you would be offended that someone wanted to take a picture of all your hard work. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Alinea. Walter has it right….he’s proud of what he produces and he’s happy to share it with you. It made a huge impression on me, and he’s got a superfan for life.

Hands down, my new favorite BBQ place in Texas. Go. Bring a cooler. Buy lots. Take it home and hoard it. Oh, and look for thePoeLog business card on the bulletin board (it’s the purple one in the middle there).

Picture 015

Like That Time I Was Almost Related to Someone on ‘Big Rich Texas’

I was watching an older episode of Big Rich Texas—one of the trashiest and painfully fake reality shows out there, ergo: my favorite—the other night. Suddenly, my couch-snuggle-buddy-for-life and commander of the remote control, XFE turned and asked me, “Did you hear what Melissa’s last name was?”

What are you doing with that mallet, Maddie? No reason to get all Chucky on me. I'm not stealing your inheritance or anything.

You see, we were watching the episode where wannabe-model Melissa was at a doctor’s office to discuss a possible weight-loss diet. An extremely limited and dangerous weight watch diet. As her daughter Maddie said, “The 500 calories a day doesn’t seem healthy at all, I mean, I probably consumed that on the car ride over here.”

Anyway, I was so busy looking at Melissa’s lip gloss, I had totally missed the part where the doctor went into the waiting room and called out her name. Turns out: She’s a POE!! Her last name is Poe! The same as mine! And I’m from Texas! A long-lost relative, no doubt.

From that point on, I was scouring the show for clues of our undoubted relatedness (ok, not even a word. Oh, wait. Apparently it IS a word).

Let’s see….

Melissa wants to get back into modeling after a 15-year hiatus.

How on earth is this considered "plus size?" UGH.

ME: Yeah, I have never entertained any modeling illusions whatsoever. Although, I do have the over-bloated confidence of a model most days. 

Melissa is an overbearing mother who won’t let her 15-year-old daughter date.

Smothering is mothering!

ME: Petunia can date whoever she wants. I don’t care, as long as they feed her. That cat can put the kibble away, if you know what I mean.

"I'm going to eat your face off while you sleep."

Melissa cries when an agent suggests she might need to be a plus-sized model.

ME: Cool. Is the pay the same?

So yeah, not a lot of similarities, I guess. Probably not related. So I guess I better not hit her up for money or modeling advice or anything.

Texas is Hot and I Don’t Mean the Weather (Although That is True, Too)

Hey y’all. Have you noticed? All things from my beloved home state are trendy again. No, for reals. This is not just me trying to win Texas Ambassador of the Year – although I totally should, I run my mouth about how great God’s Country is all the time to anyone who’ll listen and a few folks who are trying quite actively to NOT listen.

We have a slick-as-goose-poop-through-a-tin-horn governor who may or may not be running for president. He’s just gonna keep us all in suspense and play hard to get. Come on, Ricky, don’t be like that!

"I'm coming to getcha DC"

We’re growing big ass babies (my uterus shriveled when I saw this story.) And his nickname is Moose. Texas humor, y’all, Texas humor.

But the biggest sign that Texas is hot is on TV.

TNT is bringing back Dallas! Unfortunately not till next summer, but still! I have a lot of fond childhood memories centered around the shenanigans of that Ewings clan (1978-1991). AND it’s going to have Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy!! Bring on the shoulder pads and catfights.

A little closer on the timeline, and set in the same great city is Most Eligible Dallas. (I lived in downtown Dallas a couple of years, on the edge of Highland Park and Oak Lawn – shout-out to my former gayborhood! The best and worst place for a single girl to live! Good – lots of fabulous friends. Bad – no dating life whatsoever)

Oh, right, about the show – it’s about dating in the big city (practically my Dallas life! – minus the money. Oh, and the family connections. And the great job and fancy cars. OK, nothing like my Dallas life) Most Eligible Dallas premieres on the supreme channel of all good things, Bravo, on August 15. Here’s a description:

“The show follows a group of Texas socialites as they make their way through the Dallas dating scene. Some are looking for true love while others have perfected the art of the one-night stand, and somehow their love lives have all crossed paths at one time or another.”

"Ah yes, we remember Poe. She was quite an asset to the Dallas social world."

Finally, even closer date-wise is StyleTVs Big Rich Texas, which premieres July 17. Here’s what Style says about this show:

“Follow this group of chic mothers and daughters for a sneak peek inside the exclusive world of Dallas’ elite—and entertaining—social scene.”

"I'd rather go to the slaughterhouse than hang out with these crazy social climbers."

Gasp. I cannot wait.

Are there any summer shows you’re excited for? Any trashy reality shows you want to fess up to? (Running buddy Amy tipped me off this morning to a show called Dance Moms that started on Lifetime last night. Yes, she was embarrassed about the channel. Yes, she did watch it.)