You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up News Digest: November 7, 2023
Very few days go by where you don’t find yourself shaking your head saying, “Damn! You can’t make this shit up!” And today was no exception. Welcome to the new Factkeepers digest of doozies.
1. The Minivan Taliban on Banned Book Patrol
The Daily Beast reported:
Two Florida members of the right-wing Moms for Liberty group called police on a pair of school librarians over a book in a bestselling young adult fantasy series.
“I’ve got some evidence a crime was committed,” said Jennifer Tapley, a member of the group’s Santa Rosa County chapter, in an Oct. 25 phone call to a local sheriff’s office. “Pornography given to a minor in a school. And I would like to make a report with somebody and turn over the evidence.”
The novel in question was Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout, according to the Substack Popular Information, which obtained audio of the call and body-cam footage of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office response. Tapley told cops that a 17-year-old “minor” had checked out the book from Jay High School.
2. The 3rd Anniversary of the Funniest Day in Politics
On November 7th, 2020 Rudi Giuliani held a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, in between a crematorium and a sex toy shop in Philadelphia. This event, with Rudy frothing about how Trump actually won the election while his hair dye ran streaks down the side of his head is now the stuff of legend. So many mouths were left hanging open that it may become known as dehydrated tongue day in the future.
Six weeks later, New York Magazine did a deep dive piece:
On the afternoon of November 13, Mike Siravo was standing outside his family’s landscaping business in Northeast Philadelphia, dressed in khakis and a company polo shirt, watching as strangers pulled up in nice cars, parked without care on the busy street, and approached the barbed-wire-topped fence with iPhones gripped in outstretched hands. They all came for the same reason: to see for themselves the words FOUR SEASONS TOTAL LANDSCAPING. SINCE 1992. PARKING ONLY. ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED AT OWNERS’ EXPENSE. In packs, they laughed openly. Alone, they wore bemused expressions, eyes focused on their screens. All of them spent a few minutes taking in the sight and, more importantly, documenting their visit with selfies.
Workers walked in and out of the parking lot, sometimes shaking their heads but mostly keeping them down and not saying much to any of the outsiders for whom the landscaping company was now an unusual monument to the end of America, or the end of the thing that had symbolized the end of America, or something. It was three o’clock on a workday. “I’m just an employee,” one of them said. “I don’t know anything.”
A man on a bicycle paused near the front office to stare at the building. On the other side of the blinds, there were desks and filing cabinets illuminated by fluorescent light and people going about their day, which would have been a normal one were it not for the 20,000 T-shirt orders to process and the intrusion of tourists who saw the place as some kind of zoo exhibition. There was an awkward silence, but then Siravo smiled and shrugged in the direction of the sidewalk, asking the curious bicyclist the obvious question: Was he looking for a photo? He leapt down the steps to take the man’s phone and, with the enthusiasm of a mall photographer, instructed him how to pose. Siravo leaned back into the street, making sure the angle captured the green-and-white awning with the company name.
3. A Republican in Texas Arrested Hours Before Elections, For Child Porn
This one comes from Newsweek:
A Texas Republican city council candidate is facing felony child pornography charges after being arrested just hours before the elections.
Brad Benson, a candidate for Place #4 on the city council of Granbury, located just southwest of Fort Worth, was arrested on November 6. “I can confirm he was arrested by the District Attorney’s Office yesterday and charged with two felony child pornography charges, he should have a bond set today,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told Newsweek.
The Republican Party of Hood County (RPHC) withdrew its support for Benson after more details about the charges emerged.
There is probably more that happened today, but these three seem to be cake-takers. Feel free to send us more.