Monday's recent sweeps-week investigation of -- get this -- library masturbators has become the rage of the web, circulated on popular sites like YouTube.com and already forwarded to your in-box by that really annoying friend you have.
The footage, which could serve as a promotional clip for the new Comedy Central show Dog Bites Man, is even more cringeworthy than Monday's molester mustache. In a quest to uncover depravity at Northeast Ohio libraries -- Crime! Drugs! Porn! -- Monday's hidden cameras manage to catch just one kid in an Ohio State sweatshirt jacking off while porn-surfing at the Berea library.
Monday, in his trademark trench coat, then confronts the kid with his best Mike Wallace impression. "You just reached out and grabbed yourself and started having sex," he says, smirking for the camera.
Monday then follows the kid to his parents' house, where they apparently don't have DSL. And that's where the video turns surreal.
The masturbator's father takes offense at Monday's shtick and rips the microphone out of his hand. The report ends with Monday cowering in his car while the masturbator's father bellows, "I'm a combat vet!"
Although Monday tries to style himself as a man of the people, he somehow manages to make the masturbator seem sympathetic.
"See, this is why people hate most journalists," writes someone who viewed the clip at the sports site Deadspin.com. "The reporter attempts to act like a noble crusader for the public good, stopping one lonely Buckeye fan from jacking it in the library, but comes off as a much bigger asshole than the masturbator."
Says another: "That's strong condemnation coming from a guy in a flasher coat."
But it appears that Monday has made a name for himself nationwide. Writes one woman from St. Louis: "The new catchphrase in the office is 'GET AWAY FROM ME, CARL MONDAY!'"
(See the clip of Monday's story, plus minute-by-minute analysis of "Cleveland's Investigator" in action, at Pervert Watch
Scamming high school kids
Anthony Hodel is building one hell of a résumé. First he was caught selling bogus car warranties to welfare moms ("Platinum Tony," October 12, 2005). Then he entered the fast-paced field of consulting, but was unable to find any suckers (First Punch, February 1).
Yet Hodel's latest venture may be his boldest yet: scamming high school kids. He started Athletic Scholarship Corporation, which purports to match Junior with college scholarships nationwide.
"Coach Hodel," as he now refers to himself, claims to work with professional athletes and coaches to compile highlight reels of Little Timmy, which he then sends to his many supposed contacts at colleges across the country. It's a value of over $90,000, claims Hodel's website. But you, the preferred customer, can get it all for the low, low price of just $19.99 a month!
Unfortunately, says Rory Fitzpatrick, assistant athletic director at St. Ignatius, Hodel is entering a field flooded with con men. Fitzpatrick already receives junk mail by the pound from similar companies.
"To think that the assistant coach at Penn State's gonna pick up the phone from Athletic Scholarship Corporation and give them the time of day, they're crazy," says Fitzpatrick. "I'd love to see who his professional athletes and coaches are."
So would Punch. But as usual, the "coach" didn't return Scene's phone calls.
(See our original story on Anthony Hodel at clevescene.com.)
Thoughtful homeless guy
Ninety-degree heat in May tends to lead to a lot of sweat. So last week, one homeless man, apparently afraid of being mistaken for a Frenchman, walked into Dave's Supermarket in Ohio City and stole $106.52 worth of deodorant. Managers wouldn't comment about the man's motives, but one customer joked, "If you ask me, he didn't take enough."
It's a time-honored tradition: If some free rag disses you in print, you exact revenge by slyly stealing all the free rags you can from newsstands.
Last week, it was Blaine Zahand's turn to uphold tradition. He's the former sex offender accused of a bizarre plot to scam strippers out of their Lap Dance Funds, which are apparently not traded on NASDAQ ("Stripped Off," May 31). But Zahand, who isn't a very good criminal -- his excuse was he used the money for drug deals -- once again proved himself more Reno 911 than Law & Order.
Not long after Scene exposed his bizarre enterprise, he was seen at Common Grounds in West Park cleaning out our rack, according to several witnesses who ratted him out. He also hit other businesses at Kamm's Corners, the witnesses said.
"I recognized Blaine, because I was one of his victims," says Rose Southard. "He got kicked out of Common Grounds a while ago, because he was hustling some of the girls here too."
Zahand, who's still working on his excuses, says it wasn't him who stole the papers. It was his friend.
"It's not like I can do anything about it," he tells Punch. "It's all over the internet."
Subway: Eat Yiddish
The Jewish Community Center is renowned for its arts and youth programs. Now it's a pioneer in fast food: The world's only all-kosher Subway opens there this week.
The franchise promises most of the items offered at civilian Subways, with the exception of dairy products and pork. Also kosher: ubiquitous pitchman Jared Fogle, who will take part in a grand-opening ceremony this week.
"It's a complete dovetail with our mission," says the JCC's Debra Posner, explaining the indelible link between Meatball Marinara subs and Jews. "We're really trying to be a gathering place for the community, and what better way to do that than with food?"
In a related development, the JCC also unveiled plans to launch a summer reading program, featuring the world's first kosher adult bookstore.