To the detriment of our mental health, we've spent far too much time reading the peanut gallery's comments at the end of Houston Chronicle crime stories. Now we've found a way to allow it to harm our physical health as well: a drinking game!
On to the rules.
Players select randomly from seven possible personas. Then, the crime-master (designated driver / non-drinker / referee) clicks on a random local crime story and each player drinks when he or she is either called out, longed for or blamed for the crime in the reader comments that follow the story.
Here are the players...
Player one is The Executioner. That player shall imbibe when a commenter calls for the death of the suspects. The Executioner drinks double when the suspects are accused of a mere misdemeanor, and triple if the mode of execution is especially cruel and unusual, such as feeding the suspects feet-first into a wood-chipper or hurled into a live volcano full of sharks.
Example from today: "Someone took one of the caps off my Escalade the other day. One cap. Now I have to fork over at least $50 to find a replacement. I hate people like this. I wish I could have caught him in the act and blown his brains out all over the side of my wheels."
Okay, that's a triple-drink there for the graphic means of dispatch and because the crime barely rises to Class C misdemeanor.
Player two is The Dale. The Dale drinks when the commenters call out harried Chronicle crime reporter Dale Lezon for his percieved shortcomings.
This person should have a physician on call—the commenters really hate Lezon. Often it's for typos, but we suspect it's mostly because Lezon frequently neglects to mention the race of the suspects, and that cheats the mob of focusing their ire in other directions.
Example from today: "Good info Dale, ought to be easy to catch these bad guys, look for the hoodie wearing guy in sunglasses and black gloves---OJ is still in prison and Trayvon is dead so rule those 2 out."
Player three is Obama. That player shall drink whenever Obama is mentioned gratuitously.
Example from today: "Is this another Obama-sponsored Reform case?" after a story about a suspect in a taco-vendor murder.
Player four is Katrina. That person shall drink when the crime is blamed on a Katrina refugee. Katrinas all believe that Houston, a multiple Murder Capital of America in the '70s and '80s, and home to a long-running local 1990s TV show called City Under Siege, was a veritable crime-free Copenhagen pre-Katrina.
Example from today: "Thank you for coming to Houston and cleaning up the Katrina trash," after a story about an off-duty Louisiana deputy shooting a robbery suspect in Greenspoint.
Player five is The Caruso, who can take any crime and spin it into a cynical wisecrack a la David Caruso in the CSI Miami intro.
Example from today, after a story about a stabbing suspect whose street name is "Shotgun": "Shotgun? How about Stabby McStabberson instead?"
Okay, we never said they were as good as Caruso's. It's the effort that counts, and that makes you drink.
Player six is The Toothless Man. You remember him—the guy who ordered helped rape Ned Beatty to squeal like a pig in Deliverance? The Toothless Man drinks when a ChronMobber longs for the prison rape of a suspected criminal.
Example from today: "He'll learn all about bullying when he gets sentenced to jail and becomes someone's little 'boy toy.'" (Actually, in the story, the alleged bully was a teenaged girl, sothe commenter is yearning for the rape of an underage girl here. Drink double, I guess, for the sake of humanity if not merely for the flow of the game.)
Player seven is The Minuteman. He blames everything on illegals, and he will cause you liver failure in short order.
Example from today, after a story about a most unfortunate criminal who happens to be Hispanic and who tried to steal hubcaps from a parking lot behind a restaurant where dozens of cops were inside partying: "Johnny citizenship is 'UNKNOWN' and has been released on $500 bond. In Harris county immigration status doesn't mean a thing to the courts while hopefully still being a concern of the victims and soon to be victims."
Got all that? Good. Got plenty of booze? Then let's play... Start with this story!