“May you live in interesting times,” goes the apocryphal Chinese curse, and rarely has a time lived up to it as in 2020.
I’m a big fan of the bizarre news story. Not only do they remind us of life’s rich tapestry, they provide a momentary escape from our own drab existences. This year left us trapped in our houses, making us increasingly desperate for those escapes, but we can take small solace in the fact that it compensated by providing so much strangeness that it’s hard to tell what even counts as a “weird” story anymore.
Every day was a circus. The average day in 2020 was so surreal that it basically made satire impossible. The only comedy that could possibly do justice to the year Rudy Giuliani has been having is the Three Stooges, and living performers not weaned on Vaudeville just aren’t that good at slapstick anymore. Publications used to have sections called “Odd News” or “Stranger Than Fiction” devoted solely to these kinds of stories. Mostly those don’t exist anymore, because the line between the Odd section and A1 has been forever blurred. Partly that’s because no one wants to pay for real reporting anymore and partly it’s because the “top stories” really are that stupid now. Actually, those two factors are probably interconnected.
For our purposes here, I tried to steer clear of the more mundane “crazy” stories, like having a deranged, narcissistic, wannabe dictator for president, his party essentially standing by him through every insane pronouncement, our ongoing kleptocracy, and the senile ineptitude of the supposed opposition party. I kept a few tangential Trump figures and stories on here, but in general, I wanted relive the kind of novelty fun crazy, not the crushing ever-present collective mental illness kind of crazy. I think you get it. I also mostly stayed away from wild headlines. Those make for great one-liners, but a truly absurd story must have levels. It should make you groan at the thought of even attempting to explain it.
Anyway, enough analysis. Let us now take a stroll through repressed memory lane.
10. Paleontology Conference Uses Profanity Filter That Blocks The Word “Bone”
One consequence of our increasingly automated lives is that I frequently find myself screaming “REPRESENTATIVE!” at a computer, or some such. Rather than pay humans to do necessary work, we’ve instead created software to slowly drive ourselves insane. Nowhere was this illustrated more beautifully than in a virtual paleontology conference whose software censored the word “bone.”
As recounted in this Vice article, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) was forced to hold its normally analog event virtually. Unbeknownst to them, the virtual Q&A software they used had a built-in profanity filter, which banned certain “naughty” words. The banned words included terms like “pubic” and “bone,” which would tend to make discussing paleontology kind of hard. One attendee attempted to compile all the banned words so that they could unban them and find workarounds:
SVPers: I have put together a sheet of the "banned" words on the Q&A function at #2020SVP so far. Please add to it as you encounter them. The committee can use this database to fix the word bans, but only if they know about which words are verboten:https://t.co/fVEi6bchCb
— Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 🦖💕 (he/him) (@TomHoltzPaleo) October 13, 2020
In true 2020 fashion, even the hilarious filtering software itself got milkshake ducked when another attendee discovered that the filtering software had banned the surname “Wang” but not “Johnson.”
"Wang" is banned but not "Johnson" (both used as slangs). This western-centric filter erasing the surname of 90+ million Chinese but not <2 million people of European descent is unexpectedly on brand for 2020, @SVP_vertpaleo! My PhD advisor is X. **** by the way. 🙄 #2020SVP https://t.co/QdKBiRBgdg
— Z. Jack Tseng (@Tseng_ZJ) October 13, 2020
Yes, the inept naughty word filtering software no one asked for is also racist. We live in deeply stupid times.
9. Audio Fiction Company Apologizes For Accidentally Doing Audio Blackface
I first became aware of this story when I saw that the author Kiese Laymon (I highly recommend his memoir, Heavy) had retweeted the apology of the owner of Fireside Fiction, who seemed to be in the midst of a lengthy mea culpa. As part of the apology, he called the hiring of a white actor to read a black woman’s essay for an audiobook “ridiculously careless, and frankly, racist — it’s blackface, it’s violent, and it’s insulting. I apologize.”
My first thought was something like, “Oh jeez, we have to make sure all audiobook readers are demographically appropriate to the authors now? Sounds like PC culture has finally run amok smh.”
And then I listened to the actual audio:
i found ittttflkvnascfmkasfmklnas pic.twitter.com/HBKMKiLFPq
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) November 24, 2020
Mama mia. It turns out, Fireside Fiction’s publisher, Paolo Defendini, had hired a single narrator to read multiple pieces, and hadn’t listened to the audio before posting. And so it was that a white guy ended up reading Dr. Regina N. Bradley’s essay, “Da Art Of Speculatin’.”
The first part seems like a fairly innocent mistake on Defendini’s part in and of itself. Even the idea of a white man reading a black woman’s essay doesn’t seem that egregious, if the reader in question hadn’t made a series of bizarre dramatic choices in said essay, including choosing to read the title itself in what sounds like an imitation of Caribbean patois (eat your heart out, Chet Haze). He later sounds like a plantation owner from Gone With The Wind and even seems to slip into Mid-Atlantic at points.
Say what you will about the appropriateness of his choices, he definitely shot his shot. I’d like to be in that audiobook reader’s mind that day, daydreaming about accepting his voiceover Oscar and taking his rightful place as the Daniel Day-Lewis of audiobooks.
8. Aliens Exist Now, Apparently
It’s a testament to 2020 that solid proof of alien contact isn’t the craziest story of the year. That’s probably because most of us still don’t quite know what to make of this one. It “started” (sort of) back in April, when the Navy released footage of what it admitted were UFOs, or at least, “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
It also went further than video:
“Details emerged about a mysterious, five-year Pentagon program and claims of metal alloys said to have been recovered from unidentified phenomena. The former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, spoke about his long push for more research on unidentified flying objects.”
Mystery alloys! Then this week, the story got even wilder when “a former Israeli space security chief” (I’m going to need a lot more background on this title at some point) claimed in an interview that humans have “been in contact with extraterrestrials from a ‘galactic federation.'”
He went on to say that Donald Trump “was aware of the extraterrestrials’ existence and had been ‘on the verge of revealing’ information but was asked not to in order to prevent ‘mass hysteria.'”
In a story that includes a claim of an “underground base in the depths of Mars” where there are American astronauts and alien representatives,” the hardest part to believe was that Donald Trump was aware of something huge and managed to keep it a secret. And that his motive was to prevent mass hysteria. Somehow I doubt the guy who consistently refuses to disavow white nationalist and militia groups, or commit to a peaceful transfer of power cares about preventing mass hysteria. Creating mass hysteria is the one thing he is consistently good at.
I suppose we’ll have to leave this one at “big if true.”
7. Anti-Gay Hungarian Politician Resigns After Being Caught In 25-Man Orgy, Tried To Escape Through Window
I call this story “The Defenestration of Hog.”
Jozsef Szajer, an associate of right-wing nationalist Hungarian president Viktor Orban, resigned from EU parliament after he was arrested at a gay orgy in Brussels. Some highlights:
Also: “József Szájer said in a statement that he was ‘present’ at the ‘private party’ — at which, according to the Belgian press, police found 25 naked men, including an MEP and a number of diplomats.
According to a press release from the public prosecutor’s office, ‘A passer-by reported to the police that he had seen a man fleeing along the gutter; he was able to identify the man. The man’s hands were bloody. It is possible that he may have been injured while fleeing. Narcotics were found in his backpack. The man was unable to produce any identity documents. He was escorted to his place of residence, where he identified himself as S. J. (1961) by means of a diplomatic passport.'”
In his statement, Szájer said that he “regretted breaking COVID rules.” Which is great. It’s 2020, no one should have to feel guilty about attending orgies anymore. I say, let he who has never tried to flee a 25-man orgy through a window with a backpack full of drugs cast the first stone.
6. Herman Cain’s Ghost Twitter Account Continues Tweeting COVID Denialism After Herman Cain Dies Of COVID
It's time for the obsessive mask-wearing to wear off. https://t.co/wrSDRoOt4d
— The Cain Gang (@THEHermanCain) September 18, 2020
Incredibly, this Tweet is still up, though it did delete one saying “It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be.”
The account is apparently now run by Cain’s daughter, Melanie Cain Grillo, who wrote a blog post saying “The Cain Gang consists of different writers who have their own opinions.”
Not that the matter of whoever is actually running the dead guy’s account makes its tweets denying the existence of the virus that killed him any less surreal. Meanwhile, another of Cain’s daughters is reportedly in a fight with his ex-assistant over some gold bars.
5. “I’m A Black Gay Guy,” Tweets Person Who Many Believe Is Actually White Pennsylvania Republican Dean Browning
I barely know where to begin with this one, and I’m probably going to pass out just trying to describe it. I can say that it was one of the greatest days ever on Twitter.
Okay, here goes: It all started when Dean Browning, a former Lehigh County commissioner who recently lost a bid for Congress, responded to one of his own tweets with “I’m a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse. Everything is so much better under Trump though. I feel respected – which I never do when Democrats are involved.”
It seemed to be a clear case of Browning forgetting to switch to his alt account before tweeting. Using sock puppets to agree with ones’ self is not an uncommon PR strategy these days. Once he made this mistake, rather than locking his account or pretending the incident had never happened, Browning claimed he was merely “quoting a message I received earlier this week from a follower.”
Twitter users then uncovered a frequent Dean Browning “reply guy,” an account that described itself as black and gay, going by the name Dan Purdy. Was this Dan Purdy the follower you were trying to quote, someone asked Browning? Browning confirmed.
Twitter users, notably weird Twitter hero @Fart, then discovered that the “Dan Purdy” account used to go under a number of different names, including “Pat Riarchy” and “White Goodman.” Which would lend further credence to the whole “Dan Purdy is a Dean Browning sock puppet account” theory.
so from googling it would appear @deanbrowningpa's black guy identity "Dan Purdy" was also once used on the suspended account @soulcookie322. but before that account became Dan Purdy, it was a white guy named "Pat Riarchy" and "White Goodman". dean is really something else pic.twitter.com/gFkUPkNDPV
— food truck drove away with my debit card (@fart) November 10, 2020
But Dean Browning wasn’t going down without a fight. In response to these revelations, the Dan Purdy account posted a video, starring what appeared to be a black gay man, appearing to corroborating Dean Browning’s story that the black gay guy message had come from Dan Purdy, a black gay guy.
10/ I SALVAGED THE VIDEO. Here is Byl Holte, Patti LaBelle’s son. aka not at all Dan Purdy pic.twitter.com/QGcPMK3HZT
— Karin Sung 🥸 (@KarinSung_) November 10, 2020
You may notice this video isn’t from Dan Purdy’s account. That’s because the Dan Purdy account got suspended just after all of this went down. The next bombshell to drop was that this so-called “Dan Purdy” seemed to bear a striking resemblance to… Patti Labelle’s nephew, Byl Holte. No one could’ve expected such a twist! As Snopes writes:
“Some Twitter users were quick to note that @DanPurdy322 bore a strong resemblance to William Holte, purported to be singer Patti LaBelle’s son. Holte’s Facebook account, named facebook.com/william.m.holte in the URL, but Byl Holte by name, contained the same cartoonish profile image from Twitter. @DanPurdy322 also tweeted that “common sense is the solution,” which bore a striking similarity to the name of a website listed in Browning’s Twitter bio: Common Sense Solutions.”
(Yes, there was a slight discrepancy about whether Holte is Labelle’s nephew or son. Vulture reports that Holte is Labelle’s nephew and adopted son, whom she adopted after his mother’s death.)
That’s one hell of a rabbit hole, but if you’re feeling like slashing yourself with Occam’s Razor right about now, it all led back to… well, basically the theory that we began with: that Dean Browning has an alt-account he sometimes tweets with, and this time around he forgot to log out of his main account before saying that he was a black gay guy. This still seems the most likely explanation (again, the Dan Purdy account was suspended, and demonstrably failed to maintain a consistent identity). The big twist is that Browning apparently found a pal to corroborate his cover story and pose as his alt account, and that pal was Byl Holte, Patti Labelle’s nephew/son and an “anti-feminist TV critic.”
Phew. Now that was a fun day on the internet.
4. Fake Scottish Wikipedia
Scots is not just a nationality, but also a language. And by that I mean it is not just English spoken with a thick accent. Yet earlier this year, a Reddit user named Ultach discovered that almost the entirety of the Scottish language Wikipedia articles had been written by a single user. Not only that, but a single user who does not seem to speak Scottish.
The problem is that this person cannot speak Scots. I don’t mean this in a mean spirited or gatekeeping way where they’re trying their best but are making a few mistakes, I mean they don’t seem to have any knowledge of the language at all.
At this point, it would probably be useful to have an example of one of these Wikipedia entries. This was the entry for Pascal:
Blaise Pascal (19 Juin 1623 – 19 August 1662) wis a French mathematician, pheesicist, inventor, writer an Christian filosofer. He wis a child prodigy that wis eddicated bi his faither, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal’s earliest wark wis in the naitural an applee’d sciences whaur he made important contreibutions tae the study o fluids, an clarified the concepts o pressur an vacuum bi generalisin the wark o Evangelista Torricelli.
And this was for Minotaur:
In Greek meethology, the Minotaur wis a creatur wi the heid o a bull an the body o a man or, as describit bi Roman poet Ovid, a being “pairt man an pairt bull”. The Minotaur dwelt at the centre o the Labyrinth, which wis an elaborate maze-lik construction designed bi the airchitect Daedalus an his son Icarus, on the command o Keeng Minos o Crete. The Minotaur wis eventually killed bi the Athenian hero Theseus.
Yes, it’s just an entire Wikipedia subsite rewritten as the Shrek donkey. The user turned out to be an American teenager:
“After noting that they had been an active user and administrator on Scots Wiki since February 2013, the user noted that ‘Apart from Wikipedia, I’m a brony, and an INTP.’ Chuckles aside, Ultach claims that this person, by 2018, had written 20,000 articles and made 200,000 edits, possibly averaging about nine articles a day for seven years.”
Talk about commitment to a bit! Since August when the news hit, Gizmodo notes that this prolific author of fake Scottish is, sadly, no longer a brony. They also write that the user had begun editing Scots Wikipedia when they were just 12, and did so much damage that there is a real debate about whether Scots Wikipedia can even be fixed at this point, and whether it should be closed forever. And all because a brony enjoyed typing in a funny accent. I love the internet.
How to explain this one… You can read my original write-up of it in the link above, and Alaska Landmine has a much more in-depth, minute-by-minute chronicle of the saga here, so I’ll try to give you the Cliff’s Notes here as well as some updates since the original pieces.
So apparently, Anchorage news anchor Maria Athens had been having an “inappropriate texting relationship” with Anchorage mayor Ethan Berkowitz. While that was going down, Athens had been sent to interview Molly Blakely, the local proprietor of a booze-infused cookie company.
Blakely’s daughter, meanwhile, an OnlyFans proprietor performing under the name “Redhead Rae,” explained in a Twitter thread that she had in the past worked as a non-sexual escort, much to the chagrin of her mother. She had told her mother that her favorite client was a short man who “worked for the State of Alaska.”
During the cookie interview, Athens had apparently bashed Berkowitz to Blakely, who asked if Berkowitz was short. Athens said yes, at which point Blakely made the apparently untrue assumption that her daughter had been escorting for Mayor Berkowitz, and told Athens. While Rae says she was 19 at the time, not to mention had never actually escorted for Berkowitz, Blakely either embellished or Athens made the leap herself that Berkowitz was a pedophile. That revelation in turn seems to have either spurred or exacerbated an Athens mental breakdown already in progress, culminating in a full-on meltdown.
Athens publicly accused Berkowitz of being a pedophile on her station’s website and said she had the goods to expose him. She also left him this unhinged voicemail, in which she:
“...threatens to ‘personally’ kill him and his wife, suggests that he commit suicide, declares that she will win an Emmy, and states ‘You have met your match, mother f*cker! You have met your mother f*cking match!’ Athens calls Berkowitz a ‘Jewish piece of living f*cking shit,” and states that she thought she couldn’t believe she thought she loved him.”
Athens apparently posted some of those allegations without her employer’s permission, leading to an altercation at the news station, in which she allegedly attacked a coworker (with whom she also had a relationship), and then police when they tried to arrest her. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Athens was charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct and jailed at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center.
Unfortunately for Mayor Berkowitz, the pictures Athens posted of him (shirtless, but not with any underage girls) were apparently real. He subsequently copped to the three-year “inappropriate texting relationship” (his words) and resigned. Incidentally, the press conference where this all went down sounds absolutely lit:
Amid a flurry of speculation, Berkowitz’s Chief of Staff Jason Bockenstedt read a statement announcing that Berkowitz had resigned effective October 23 at 6 PM. The anti-Berkowitz crowd erupted in cheers. The meeting got close to coming unglued, and degenerated from there. One public commenter told the Assembly that the Assembly’s “Satanic laws” will be “cast into the fire,” further stating that the Municipality’s Sister Cities Commission (which I currently chair) had made Anchorage “the world’s best brothel.” Local personality Dustin Darden read Bible passages warning of the dangers of fornication while fumbling a large array of flags. Anchorage politico Bernadette Wilson, who used to host a talk radio show with Berkowitz, accused the Assembly of tyrannical overreach in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, quipping that “it was definitely a little awkward to be told to wear a mask by a guy who didn’t even wear pants.” People throughout the room laughed and cheered. It was one of the most surreal and chaotic Assembly meetings in recent memory.
God, I wish that were the end of the story, my fingers are very tired. But according to AlaskaLandmine, Blakely wanted people to stop writing about the story and blaming her for it, lest all the bad publicity scuttle an impending business deal with Nestle Tollhouse.
In order to discredit Redhead Rae (who, as many other people writing about all this business have noted, seems like the most credible person in it), Blakely enlisted a childhood friend and mental health advocate, Sarha Shaubach. Because this is Alaska, there’s some interesting backstory on Shaubach too:
Shaubach was initially reluctant to send me recordings and screenshots of her conversations with Blakeley because of Shaubach’s lifestyle. Shaubach runs Northern Exposure, which she says is Alaska’s only BDSM and sex educational conference. Shaubach was International Ms. Leather 2013 and Ms. Alaska Leather 2011 and 2012.
Meanwhile, according to legal documents since revealed by the Anchorage Press, four days before the incident at the station, Maria Athens had been involved in a one-car accident, after which a blood draw showed a blood-alcohol content of .301%. Which, as astute readers may note, is way over the legal limit of .08%. Since the station incident, Athens has missed a court date, caused a disturbance at a hotel, and been charged with a few more misdemeanors. Her lawyer stepped down on November 30th.
Which is to say… this wild, winding story is, somehow, still developing. And all because of an off-hand comment during an interview about booze cookies.
2. Four Seasons Total Landscaping
Yes, I think we all remember this one, but let us relive the magic. By Saturday, November 8th, most of the networks had called the election for Joe Biden. The world waited breathlessly to see how Donald Trump, possibly the dictionary definition of a sore loser, would respond.
That morning, Trump tweeted that his lawyers would address the nation from the Four Seasons in Philadelphia at 11 a.m. That tweet was deleted quickly, replaced with a clarification that the press conference would be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, not the Four Seasons Hotel, the former of which, per the New York Times, “was situated near a porn shop, Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore, and a crematorium.”
The Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia also tried to direct people to the landscaping supply store from their own Twitter account, presumably to keep the riff-raff away. The actual landscaping store did make for an amazing visual:
I hadn’t seen Four Seasons Total Landscaping before. Upside: There’s a fire extinguisher. pic.twitter.com/JFCU8hrH03
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 8, 2020
According to the campaign (again, per the New York Times), the booking had been intended for the landscaping store the whole time; it was Trump who had misunderstood, presumably hearing what he wanted to hear.
In reality, the mistake was not in the booking, but in a garbled game of telephone. Mr. Giuliani and the Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski told the president on Saturday morning their intended location for the news conference and he misunderstood, assuming it was an upscale hotel, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. […] the campaign had always intended to hold the news conference in a friendlier part of town. The president’s team had struggled with news conferences in this Democratic stronghold all week.
If you were going to make a version of Citizen Kane about Donald Trump, this would be the perfect illustration of his curse. He’s a guy who believes deep down that he belongs at the Four Seasons Hotel and cares deeply about the appearances of such things, but, because of the fake persona he himself cultivated in order to be loved, he’s only accepted at places like Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Which he almost certainly considers low class and beneath him.
As for why Four Seasons Total Landscaping agreed to host, it seems like they, like virtually everyone else in Trump’s orbit, thought there was a nickel in it. From the Philadephia Inquirer:
Tom Matkowski, GOP ward leader for the neighborhood, said the news conference hadn’t been coordinated with the local Republican Party and that he didn’t believe the Siravo family [who own the store] was active in local party politics. The phone at Four Seasons went unanswered throughout the day, and Siravo did not return calls for comment.Her social media posts indicate [Marie Siravo] and some of her family members were vocal, but not necessarily unshakable, Trump supporters. “We don’t need to invite him for dinner,” Siravo posted in August, in response to a “Conservative Hangout” Facebook page that listed Trump’s accomplishments in office. “We just need him to fix our country & all the democratic mess.” She added that she had been “raised a Democrat.”
The property, predictably, became an immediate tourist attraction and began selling apparel. So, maybe Four Seasons Total Landscaping actually did manage to cash in, assuming the money didn’t all go to bootleggers. Other businesses nearby, meanwhile, apparently haven’t. (From the same Inquirer piece):
But not all in the neighborhood were so amused. The 78-year-old employee manning the counter at the Fantasy Island sex shop, who declined to give his name, said the phone had been ringing off the hook since Saturday with callers asking: “Is Rudy Giuliani there?”
And despite the stream of new interest in the neighborhood, it hadn’t led to an uptick in business. The Trump train had taken all his parking spots, the worker complained. Then, the day after, normally the store’s busiest day of the week, more people than ever were gawking outside but none were stopping in to sample his wares.
Never has a debacle so perfectly illustrated a place and time than Four Seasons Total Landscaping did the USA in 2020.
1. Rudy Giuliani’s Months-Long String Of Embarrassing Gaffes
If I separate the past few months of Rudy Giuliani-isms into separate stories it would take up the majority of this list. Instead, we’re combining Rudy’s incredible streak in the final months of 2020 into one entry. Which means we need sub-categories.
– The Time He Brought A Sex Offender Onstage As His First Witness
Piggybacking off the previous entry, it was Giuliani who organized the infamous Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference. In addition to everything outlined above, did you know the first person — THE FIRST PERSON — Giuliani called to the podium as a supposed witness of voter fraud was a sex offender?
Per Politico, Daryl Brooks “was incarcerated in the 1990s on charges of sexual assault, lewdness and endangering the welfare of a minor for exposing himself to two girls ages 7 and 11.”
Brooks was also jailed in 2011 for failing to pay child support.
The reason Giuliani is on top of this list is that organizing this disastrous press conference and bringing up a convicted sex offender as his first witness was neither the first nor the last gaffe of his incredible last few months.
– The Borat 2 Thing When He Had His Hands Down His Pants In A Girl’s Hotel Room
It was late October when Netflix released Borat 2, which had as its centerpiece scene footage of Giuliani hitting on Borat’s daughter, Tutar, apparently introduced to him as a 15-year-old girl. Culminating in Giuliani lying down on her bed with his hands down his pants.
Giuliani claimed that he was “just tucking in my shirt,” but, my dude, why were you laying on a 15-year-old’s hotel bed in the first place?
– When He Started Melting During A Press Conference
Four Seasons, in early November, was so wild that we nearly forgot about the Borat thing from two or three weeks earlier. Barely more than a week after Four Seasons, Giuliani headlined a press conference where, 40 minutes in, he started leaking a dark liquid down his temples. In fairness to Giuliani, 40 minutes is a long time to spend in front of hot lights in a packed room. That being said, if you were trying to convince the public that lizard people conspiracies are real, it’d be hard to come up with a better visual than this goof dripping unidentified liquid down his face.
If you saw the pictures, you may have assumed that the dripping was a momentary thing. Videos show that he actually answered entire questions with the embalming fluid-esque liquid dripping down his face.
A New York Times-convened panel of hairdressers speculated that the liquid was either mascara used to touch up his sideburns or spray-on dye.
INCREDIBLY, this wasn’t even the grossest thing that happened to Rudy at the same press conference. A sharp-eyed TikToker (@sloppy_donuts) noticed that Giuliani had also blown his nose, and then used the same napkin, boogers and snot-side down, to wipe his entire face:
It would be impossible to do justice to Rudy Giuliani in fiction. He’s somehow Frank Drebin and Nordberg rolled into one person who also married his cousin for 14 years. Is this the final entry on this list? Not by a long shot. Because also there was…
– The Other Time He Farted (Allegedly) Into A Hot Microphone
We’ve only just gotten to the beginning of December, specifically December 2nd, when, during an appearance before Michigan’s House Oversight Committee, Giuliani apparently audibly farted during his own testimony. Prior to this, I didn’t know a Freudian slip could come from one’s ass.
Ok, shut it all down.
Rudy Giuliani just farted. Check out the side-eye from the girl seated next to him the second it happens.
You can’t write it… pic.twitter.com/tDCB4IDFdP
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 3, 2020
In the video above, you can clearly hear Giuliani saying, “They didn’t bother to interview a single (*FART*) witness.”
Now, you might be thinking, that’s clearly a fake video, right? If this were any other public figure, yes, the video would probably be fake. Something someone added a fart sound to after the fact. It’s just too well-timed! Yet, unbelievably, the alleged fart was captured in multiple recordings, in which the fart is arguably just as loud. Including this one, from West Michigan’s Wood TV. I found that through Snopes, the famous urban myth-debunking website, which now has an official entry for “Did Giuliani Fart?”
Their ruling was “mixed,” in that the audio is real, and a fart sound clearly happened, but they can’t be sure whether Giuliani was the source. But in both videos, the woman sitting next to Giuliani clearly reacts to the fart and looks directly at him. My verdict? Hell yeah, he farted during a hearing, why wouldn’t he? Christ, man, at least shuffle some papers or something while you’re doing it.
– His Drunk-Sounding Wild Wine Lady Witness…
At another Michigan House hearing, Giuliani introduced a Dominion Voting Systems contractor named Melissa Carone, whose testimony quickly went viral on account of having the unmistakable mien of a drunk bachelorette berating a comedy club bouncer.
Holy smokes the sequel is even better!
Rudy Giuliani tries to shush her to calm her down and the Republican even tries to reel her in!
She treats this Republican* like he’s a Chick-fil-A employee and the milkshake machine went down.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 3, 2020
Carone later claimed in an interview with Inside Edition that she wasn’t drunk. Which raises the obvious question: what’s worse, showing up drunk to something important or being so sloppy at it that everyone just thinks you’re drunk?
– …Who Was Also A Sex Offender…
Turns out Carone also had a record, which included allegedly harassing her boyfriend’s ex-wife, Jessica, for roughly two years, including sending her videos of Carone and the boyfriend, Matthew Stackpoole, having sex. This was, allegedly, in “retaliation for false accusations she said Jessica made about her in court” and an attempt to frame the woman for stealing the videos.
Police traced the IP address from the emails to Carone, who initially denied sending them but revealed she was aware of their content. Eventually, she confessed to investigators, saying her goal was to send Jessica “over the top.” She admitted to also asking her boyfriend, Matthew Stackpoole, to cover her tracks by getting a new router and internet provider.
After going viral, Carone told Huffington Post that it was actually Stackpoole who sent the videos. Stackpoole corroborated her story, and the two are apparently still engaged. COVID may be a hoax and Biden winning the election is fake news, but at least love is real.
– …Who Used To Dance At A Strip Club Called “The Bada Bing”
There’s more? Well, sort of. Earlier in her life, the Daily Mail reported, Carone used to dance at a strip club called The Bada Bing, in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Which was itself closed down in 2010 after four men were charged with torturing another man in the club’s basement.
Carone has denied it, saying she only worked at Hooters. In any case, we bring this up not to shame Carone for past sex work — she seems very sex-positive and that’s great — but because the idea that a third-rate parody of a Sopranos politician like Rudy Giuliani calling a witness who used to work at an actual Sopranos parody strip club is just too perfect not to include.
So, to recap, Rudy Giuliani, who has asked for $20,000 a day to work as Trump’s lawyer, called as two of his most prominent whistleblowers a sex-offender who doesn’t pay child support and a convicted revenge porn sender. Again, it would be impossible to do any of this justice in fiction or satire.
Giuliani closed out this unprecedented streak of hilarious unforced errors by being admitted to the hospital with COVID. He left the hospital four days ago, and we hope that he is 100 percent recovered and back to doing cartoonishly idiotic gaffes again soon.
What a year.