Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

I’ve noticed a bit of a disturbing trend recently, and I’m wondering if any of you have, too. Ever since Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly famously called pepper spray a “food product, essentially” in the wake of the pepper-spraying incident at UC Davis, people have apparently decided it’s OK to use all manner of food products as weapons and flimsy excuses to attack other people.

Obviously, there was the noteworthy tale of the woman in California who pepper-sprayed a crowd at a Walmart to get in better position to take advantage of Black Friday bargains, but that’s not really what I’m referring to. I’m talking about actual, edible food being used as the impetus for injuring other parties.

A couple of weeks ago, a 37-year-old man in Tennessee was charged with assaulting his own mother with a ham. It seems that the two of them got into an argument at her home, and as she was walking away down a hall, he threw the porcine projectile at her, striking her in the back of the head.

The article about the incident left out a number of important details, however, including whether it was a honey ham or a maple ham, whether it was bone-in or potted, and how much of the meat had already been devoured when it went airborne. I’m sure all of those factors will become relevant when the time comes to sentence the offending ham hurler.

More recently, just a few days ago a 21-year-old Florida woman was arrested for allegedly attacking her 16-year-old sister during a squabble over toast. The older sister went berserk when she walked into the kitchen and saw the younger one making toast with her (the older sister’s) bread, and she proceeded to strike the younger sister in the head twice with a cooking pot before pulling her hair and slamming her head into the ground.

Now, I know what a lot of you are wondering because I’m wondering the same thing myself: What sort of bread inspires such fierce devotion in people? Clearly this was not just your standard white or wheat sandwich bread. It had to be something much more special than that. I’m guessing it was probably pumpernickel or marble rye. I could almost see beating someone up over that, but certainly not over Wonder Bread.

Most troubling, though, was another story from a couple of weeks ago in which a man in Nashville got upset over an unsatisfactory pizza and threw a Molotov cocktail into the restaurant to express his displeasure. According to police, the 28-year-old assailant didn’t like his meal and tossed a beer bottle full of flammable liquid into the pizzeria, igniting a small fire.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the restaurant’s employees before anyone was harmed, and three employees chased down the would-be arsonist and subdued him until police arrived on the scene. It was later learned that the culprit has been arrested 32 times on various charges since 2006. Kudos to Tennessee’s fine justice system for continuously allowing the man to go free to commit more crimes.

By now I imagine you can see why I’m so concerned. Luckily, the injuries resulting from the incidents above were relatively minor, but what’s going to happen if potentially deadly foods start getting thrown? As a part-time comedian, I’ve mentally prepared myself for the possibility of rotten tomatoes bound for my head, but if those tomatoes get replaced by cantaloupes, I could be in big trouble.

So I think the answer here is fairly simple: Serve everyone soup all the time. First of all, soup, as we all know, is good food, and secondly, try as I might, once I’ve taken it out of the can, I have never been able to throw soup very far. Sure, some people might get scalded from time to time, but I can’t envision a scenario in which uncanned soup would lead to a concussion.

If that solution proves unpalatable, however, let’s at least make sure that we assault people for legitimate reasons. I mean, attacking someone over toast is completely absurd. We should all aspire to be more like the 37-year-old man in Maine who stabbed his roommate three times because the roommate made a mess in the kitchen.

Yes, the man was arrested, but if ever there was a credible reason for almost killing someone, that’s the one. I’m sure he’ll go free, especially if he can have the trial moved to Nashville.

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