Kicking 2011 to the curb with recollections of
last year's dumbest New Mexico news.
When New Mexico's founding fathers coined the phrase "Land of Enchantment," they probably had no idea how weird the word "enchantment" looks in print. Which is ironic, as much of what's written about New Mexico looks weird in print, too. For proof of this, one needs only to consider some of the headlines generated by our friends and neighbors in 2011 from around the state. This was a banner year for enchantment, and despite shortages of employment and economic opportunity in New Mexico this year, we were blessed with a bumper crop of stupid, which gives the good people of New Jersey something to aim for next year.
In early December, an Albuquerque restaurant was having a difficult time wiping out crime because they had nothing to wipe it out with. According to a story by the Associated Press, employee Josh Flannery-Stewart, who has one more last name than he really needs, witnessed the entire scheme. Three men entered "Burgers, Dogs and Wings" (an eatery that really doesn't need a menu) and appeared "messed up" — even more so than the clientele you would expect to be eating at "Burgers, Dogs and Wings" on a Saturday night. The men entered the bathroom together, which struck Flannery-Stewart as "suspicious," and exited with about a dozen rolls of toilet paper. They not only squeezed the Charmin, they pinched it, too. After swift apprehension by Albuquerque's finest, the toilet paper was returned to its rightful owner, to the great relief of restaurant patrons who "had to go."
The crack work of Albuquerque's police was in stark (but not unexpected) contrast to the state police officer who was intensively interviewing a perp on the hood of a car in September. And by "interviewing," I mean riding the skin boat to happy town. CBS News reported that a state police officer was caught on camera in Santa Fe having sex on the hood of a car in public while in uniform. Officials say he didn't commit a crime, which is a surprise to the millions of people who have never had sex on the hood of a car. A spokesman, the ironically named Sgt. Johnson of the New Mexico State Police, said that the department was "embarrassed," and that despite appearances, most state officers aren't just screwing around while in uniform.
Some stories about New Mexicans sound like a lot of bologna, but in the case of one local Mensa candidate, it just sounded like a tasty snack. According to KFOX-TV of El Paso, a New Mexico resident was found smuggling 76 pounds of tasty Mexican bologna across the border in a spare tire in October. US Customs and Border Protection agents scanned the spare tire with a "density" meter, which apparently knows the difference between air and lunchmeat. After finding eight rolls of bologna in the tire, the agents were less than amused, since they prefer donuts. They fined the meat smuggler $1,000 for his trouble, which works out to about $13 a pound.
Next to not declaring contraband at border crossings, domestic violence is still (unfortunately) a top-ranked activity among happy-go-lucky New Mexicans. According to a report in the Las Cruces Sun-News, resident Alexa Monet Rodriguez had a disagreement about who should get the last 40-ounce serving of malt liquor. Faced with such an obvious life-or-death moment, Rodriguez defended her 40 by beaning her old man with a TV tray. This only confused him, so she followed it up by throwing a chair, a three-pound weight, and finally a kitchen knife at the thirsty spouse. Police say that they enjoy pounding 40s as much as the next guy, but it's never a good idea to throw things inside the trailer no matter how boozed-up residents get.
From the "Loose Lips" department comes this report, also from the Sun-News. Las Cruces resident Kemberlee J. Guffey was charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence (and a horrible sense of palpable narrative) after discussing her story with her mortally wounded husband while calling 911. Apparently, investigators can record the call even before it's answered, a vital piece of information that Guffey could have used last May. While the phone was still ringing, she was telling her soon-to-be ex-husband, "please don't send me to the police" and "say you fell." This contradicted her post-mortem statement that her husband had "fallen and got a puncture to his chest," which seemed a bit suspicious in light of the fact that she had removed all the known evidence and blood before investigators showed up.
But the top story of 2011 — the granddaddy of enchantment, bar none — was claimed by Las Cruces resident Amelia Love Oveide, who was charged with aggravated battery in July. According to the Sun-News, Oveide played the ultimate game of titty twister with her daughter-in-law at an exclusive soiree that took place in December 2010 (close enough to 2011). Oveide was engaged in a drunken Springer moment with her son when the daughter-in-law opted to intervene, always a prudent decision when family members have been drinking like rabid camels all day. After exchanging their divergent points of view, Oveide latched onto her daughter-in-law's breast. After a few well-placed punches by the daughter-in-law to the face, the mother-in-law released the ta-ta, at which point the detached nipple fell to the ground. This de-nippling received national coverage, cementing New Mexico's position as the most "enchanting" state in the union yet again. Oveide was later given supervised probation and a stern warning about adjusting the knobs.
So grab your paper bag of malt liquor, amigos, and let's raise 'em high in celebration of a new year! Remember, people, you don't have to be detached from reality to live in New Mexico, but it helps!
Henry Lightcap stores his malt liquor in Las Cruces.