The Miami Herald reported a story so crazy it could only have happened in Florida. A man, Claudy Charles, stands accused of intentionally setting his own car on fire in South Miami-Dade. If convicted, he faces second-degree arson charges… So, it’s up to a ragtag group of his peers and a hot-shot attorney named Stephen Gutierrez, whose specialized knowledge of exothermic science might be his only chance in this classic case of courtroom drama.
To help his client beat an arson case, a lawyer tried the old ‘spontaneous combustion’ argument…
As the 28-year old defense attorney presented his case before jurors, he claimed that the defendant didn’t intentionally set fire to his own car — but rather, it “spontaneously combusted.” Who hasn’t seen that age-old story played out a hundred times? Classic boy loves car, boy (allegedly) sets fire to car scenario.
When, out of nowhere, he, himself, spontaneously combusted…
During his closing arguments, he suddenly “… rushed out of the Miami courtroom…” Apparently, he’d been “fiddling” in his pocket when, unexpectedly, smoke began pouring from his pants “…leaving spectators stunned” as his right pocket burst into flames — possibly set ablaze by the burning irony of justice — causing him to flee like the man on fire. Been there, brother…
Later, with a visibly singed pocket and an explanation involving the faulty battery of an e-cigarette, our hero returned to find the jury missing from the courtroom. Reportedly, they’d been ushered out during his in-seam inferno and now he’d be robbed of his slow burning “ta-da” moment.
And In the end, he lost the case — so in the eyes of our justice system, the 48-year old defendant lit his own car on fire. Obviously.
His client was convicted of second-degree arson. Like the fella says, “it’s better to burn out than fade away” anyway… Oh, and as far as arsons go, second-degree is at least the second worst kind of arson there is, IMO.
In these trying times, it’s hard just to get through a full day without experiencing some form of shame. You identify as male, but opportunities arise where you have to prove it by doing what “men” are supposed to be able to do. Tío built a house with his hands… While the birdhouse you made for mamá’s birthday collapsed and crushed one of the squirrels it attracted.
Here are a few things that probably esmasculate you from time to time…
If you don’t know anything about purchasing a motor vehicle, going to a dealership can feel like walking down a dark alleyway in pretty makeup and a short skirt. You’re almost asking for trouble. On the flipside, your dad brags about how he started driving a Caprice at six years old.
Fixing cars is such a manly thing to do that when yours breaks down and you can’t fix it yourself, it’s like having another man take your girlfriend on a date. You become a cuckold as some dude gets all up in your lady’s undercarriage. And have you seen a mechanic’s hands? They’re filthy. No way she’s gonna be the same when you get her back.
3) When something breaks around the house and you can’t fix it…
At a certain age, you have more in common with your car than you’d think — in the sense that you both need to have your oil checked… Or maybe it’s your bowling ball that you’ll relate to more — either way, there’s a lot more poking and prodding than there used to be and I swear one time that I heard my doctor tell another doctor to smell his finger after.
How are you supposed to know how to use every piece of workout equipment? You’re not a terminator robot, programmed to just know what makes a Schwarzenegger-body. Trying to bench your bodyweight next to a guy that is benching both of your bodyweights can leave you feeling like you’re better off working out at home or not at all.
Nothing brings a party to a halt like your whiny fear of dying. It’s not your fault that you’re allergic to peanuts. Maybe you have a gluten thing or a dairy issue… either way, “normal” people think you’re annoying when you break down your feeding rules to the server and they’re more complicated than the instructions for taking care of a mogwai because a “real man” is supposed to stuff his face with anything he can lay eyes on.
Your hard drive crashed, so you need a pro to get it up and running. You know they can see your search history, right? You’re a freak! And now these nerds know it! It’s almost better if your computer can’t be saved. Better to let it die than for you to live in fear as the “genius” squads and “geek” bars silently judge you while they covet your secrets.
You’re a toddler with a knife. Equal parts terrifying and terrified. You don’t trust yourself to not accidentally poison her, but if you mess up this one thing, she’ll know you’re useless. You don’t need help because you’ve got the recipe Abuela gave you! Wait, it’s written in shorthand… What the hell is “two fingers – agua?!”
You don’t hold your alcohol all that well, so what? Your face can’t even act like a man’s face after you’ve taken a shot. Your social life is a series of embarrassing spit-takes and wine cooler hangovers. Your bar receipts read like fairy tales featuring the boy prince of hard ciders. How does Chente do it?!
It’s an emasculating world, but that’s changing every day…
First, they stopped serving peanuts on airplanes. Thanks, allergies! Now, there are self-driving cars. Soon, there’ll be self-fixing cars! If I were you, I’d invest in some prescription sunglasses for those sensitive eyes, because the future is almost upon us and it’s looking bright as hell.