Thursday, October 23, 2008

If We Can't Fork, Can We Spoon?

Well, it shouldn't take me too long to get to the point of this one. Ready? You're not, trust me. Straight from the pages of the Daily Journal, which bills itself as "San Mateo County's Homepage", we have this thought provoking headline: Insanity unclear for accused fork wielder. Wait. Huh? Please try and restrain yourself from becoming overly giddy with glee when I say that it only gets better.

"A man accused of attacking a Burlingame grocery store manager with a fork taped to his middle finger and a bottle of Drano may be hospitalized as insane rather than tried, but the two court-appointed doctors charged with evaluating his mental state need more time to complete their reports." I see. So many questions...head...might...explode. OK, what kind of fork? And how long were his fingers? I'm kind of picturing like Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, only with one fork instead of fives knives on his hand. And I'll be honest, it looks silly. And what kind of tape? Duct? Scotch? Masking? 8-track? (You know, the middle finger is universally known for being able to convey the message of "F you" to another individual or inanimate object. I think this chap must have been confused and went with "Fork you" instead. It's really the only semi-plausible explanation I have at this point, so I'm going with it. If you don't like, fork you.)

So he attacked the manager with a plumbing chemical and a middle finger fork. And now, for some reason, these court-appointed doctors need more time in order to finish determining the degree of his sanity? (Answer: None.) How long are these reports anyway? Seriously. How long could a report on this nutball possible take? "He did what? A fork? On his finger? Oh, he's nuttier than a fruitcake. Where do I sign?" Why is that so difficult for those docs? Now, I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on TV nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I do have ten extra minutes or so where I could determine his sanity and check the 'Yes' box on the report. It's not rocket science. It's not even culinary utensil science. It wouldn't be a stretch to say stop trying to use the science and tell the court that the guy is nuts.

The article describes the forked fingered, Drano-bearing gentleman as a one Thomas Waddell, a 47-year old crazy person from San Bruno who had served two years in prison beginning in November of 2004 after he was found guilty of "felony assault after dousing a neighbor with gasoline." That will do it. But why will it do it is the question. "Waddell reportedly thought the San Bruno man had molested his children although his wife said there was no validity to the claims. " Yeah, you really should go and just double check on stuff like that, just to be sure, you know? Otherwise, it's going to be rather embarrassing for you when you realize that the individual that you just soaked in gasoline really didn't molest your children. Oh, but won't that make for a great story at the neighborhood block party on the next Fourth of July?!

As far as the most recent indicator of the man's incapacity for saneness, the article says that "Shortly before midnight Oct. 22, 2007, Waddell...approached the manager with a bottle of Drano in one hand and a metal fork taped around the middle finger of his other hand. Waddell asked to borrow his cell phone and he refused." Now how did Mr. Forky von Prongster think he was going to be able to dial the phone with a multi-pronged eating utensil securely fastened to his middle finger via some sort of attaching medium? That's just a silly request right there.

"Then Waddell walked out of the store with a bottle of salad dressing but returned and drank a can of 7-Up." All of the dressing thievery can be palate parching work, you know. "After being told he must pay for the soda, Waddell allegedly threw the Drano at the manager and stabbed him six times with the fork before other employees pulled him off and called police." He only had to pay for the 7-Up? Was it free dressing day at the store? He walks out with a bottle of salad condiments and...nothing? Oh, but if he's ingesting a carbonated beverage right there then that is going to cost him? And how about all of the stabbing? Now, six times might not sound like a lot, but we're talking about being stabbed. ONE time being stabbed seems like a lot to me. But with the fork weaponry taped to his middle finger, that had to have been difficult. Picture your middle finger with a fork taped to it and then try stabbing. It would be challenging at best.

Now, Prongy over there (Waddell) has pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity" to an assault charge. (I've always wondered how come it's "not guilty" when invoking an insanity plea. Shouldn't it be "guilty by reason of insanity"? Because that's really what they're saying. They're not saying they didn't do it because they were whacked; they're saying that the reason that they did do it is because they were whacked. I never understood that one.) But for some reason, if that goes to trial, before it goes to trial, they are going to try him on charges of "throwing a flammable substance, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats." OK, that's a bit much. "Throwing a flammable substance"? The Drano? It was IN the can! That's why he was already charged with assault, because he threw the can. The can itself isn't flammable. Now, if he had opened the can and hurled that at the unwary shopkeeper, then I could see the "throwing" charge. But just throwing the can? Which came with it's own assault charge? Folks, let's try to control some of the overzealousness, please. The man had a fork taped to his middle finger and threw a can of Drano at someone! He clearly needs psychiatric assistance.


But it's hard to say if he'll get any sort of assistance from the doctors that we're waiting on to turn in their reports. If they haven't figured it out by now, one really has to wonder if they know what they're doing. Since it's been a year since he was arrested, I'm guessing they are either clueless or getting paid by the hour. It's one of those, I'm pretty sure.

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