A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

By Nina Pajak

This has been a stellar week for dubious or otherwise ignominiously remarkable news stories. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

We begin with the tale of Ulanda Williams, the 6’5″, 400 lb woman who fell into a basement after the sidewalk upon which she was standing literally gave way beneath her. Now, it’s possible — nay, probable, that the integrity of this patch of concrete had already been dangerously compromised, and that this happening was only a matter of time and bad luck for one poor schmuck. I can’t believe that a city sidewalk, which endures thousands of pounds of traffic each day, sustains the weight of machinery and crowds and whole buildings and, occasionally, even wayward cars, was no match for this woman, girth aside.

Unfortunately, she drew the short straw and the story became irresistible to the press and Rupert Murdoch’s itchy Twitter finger (obviously, it stands to reason that she is on food stamps and will wind up draining Murdoch and the rest of the .0001% of their hard-earned tax dollars to feed her sidewalk-crushing eating habits). Fortunately, she’s keeping her outlook on the sunny side, musing as to whether a skinnier person would have emerged from that fall unharmed.

Next up, and certainly winner of the most shameful personage of the week, is the Rye building superintendent who got busted for regularly breaking into a tenant’s apartment to rape their dog. Try reading this headline like this:

Rye Super Sentenced To 6 Years


For Having Sex With Tenant’s Labrador Retriever

Now you know how I experienced it for the first time.

This man should be slathered in squirrel blood and BBQ sauce and locked in a room with a pack the Michael Vick dogs who are unable to be rehabilitated. Oh, I should mention Michael Vick has been in that room for a while now, in the Hammurabian prison in my mind. There’s nothing like an animal abuser or a pedophile to bring out the bloodthirsty vengeance demon in me.

Honorable mentions are granted to the factory selling pig rectum (bung) to restaurants to be fried up and passed off as calamari, which no restaurants admit to buying but which many insiders acknowledge falls into the “who knows?” category. Thanks, Gothamist, for saving me from ever being tempted into a plate of fried calamari ever again. Better than Weight Watchers!

Also worthy of note are the legions of people who have been landing themselves in the hospital after consuming energy beverages. I just . . . what? I don’t understand. Drink coffee like normal people. Three energy drinks is apparently equivalent to 15 cups of coffee. So maybe instead of pounding back a heavy stimulant, just drink, like, six cups of coffee. That’s a reasonable level of absurd overconsumption, I’d say, and it won’t make your heart leap out of your chest to the point where you think you’re in cardiac arrest. This is just embarrassing. You should have been embarrassed to be walking around with a beverage called “Rockstar” in the first place. Is a superdose of caffeine going to turn you into a rock star? No, it’s going to turn you into a pacing, raving weirdo. Rock stars don’t drink Rockstar. They do coke. Get a grip.

However, all this is just the appetizer to the clear winner this week. It is a story which, I imagine, will continue to unravel over the next month.

(credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It has captured my attention and obsessive nature in a way no other story has done in some time. It is the story of Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football star whose heartbreaking story of grief-fueled gridiron success after the tragic death of his girlfriend has turned out to be an impossibly elaborate hoax.

Oh, Te’o. What sort of man are you, really? Are you a manipulative, pathological media hound? Or are you just a simple guy, the victim of a catfish-type prank that is so outlandish no one can believe it could be real?

My current theory is that Te’o is, in fact, an innocent dupe, and that his father is the mastermind behind the con. Stay with me: ambitious father calls upon devious family friend, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, to help him create a story that would launch his son into the spotlight at the precise right moment of his young career. Preying on what he knows to be his son’s trusting nature, he and Tuiasosopo set about carefully executing the scheme in such a way that Manti’s nose would remain clean should the whole thing blow up in their faces. Sure, his heart would have been broken, but his character would be beyond reproach. Reports of people and another NFL player having met her can be accounted for: haven’t you ever encountered someone who claims to have met you, even though you don’t remember it? How often do you question that person over your own powers of recollection? Exactly. Read the Deadspin article that broke the whole baffling scandal. It is unmissable. I’m sure by tomorrow there will be a host of new information that will throw this whole analysis into the trash. THIS MUST BE EXPLAINED. I cannot rest until the truth is uncovered.

Seriously, it’s driving me nuts.

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