Friday, July 29, 2011

Your Reviews Suck and I Hate You

I’ve gotten into a habit which is sure to give me an ulcer - reading bad reviews of books I love. 
First, there’s Amazon.  When I first heard that top reviewers were getting paid to write good reviews for books before they came out, I was angry but not surprised.  Damn, I thought those reviews were legit!  Followed by, It’s Amazon, what low business practice won’t they do?  
That’s what you get for trusting the internet.  Turns out these top reviewers are “paid” in free books.  Advanced Readers Copies, Uncorrected Proofs, Advanced Readers Editions, these are the pennies, nickels, and dimes with which top-rated Amazon reviewers are compensated.  And me, frankly.  
This is bribery! went the internet cry.  Publishers are trading free books for 5-star reviews!
Actually, they aren’t.  Free books are a publisher’s cheapest form of advertising, but they run the risk of the reader hating it, and putting that hatred online for all to see.
The comments which really irked me said the only way publishers could get 5-star reviews for crappy books was by giving away copies.  
No one knows what makes a bestselling book.  Sometimes authors become favorites and you know they’ll always do well, but the breakout bestsellers vary so much in tone and content that there’s no way to predict what will be next.  But one thing which always helps a good book build sales is word of mouth.  When you have a product you believe in, be it an album, movie, or book, you want it in as many hands as possible.  You especially want reviewers, taste-makers, and buzz-generators to have copies.  
Just because you’re jealous that you don’t get free books, don’t take shots at the practice.

Then, there’s Goodreads, a site I vastly prefer for obvious reasons.  When I got around to adding Darin Strauss’ Half a Life to my profileI decided to take a stroll through other people's thoughts on the book.  Apparently I’m not the only one reading bad reviews of books close to my heart.  

I don't know Strauss personally and I'm not a rabid fan, I just thought his book was excellent.  I have no idea why I've felt compelled to answer critics for a book I didn't write.  Probably because I can't take the lesson that there are different perspectives in life, and sometimes they are both 100% accurate even though they are different.  
But that's no fun, so I’ve decided to review the review.

I was really surprised this book received any good reviews. It is really about a guy, who on a bad luck day, hit a girl on her bike when she swerved into his lane. He was told it was not his fault, and he went off to college, got married and had two kids.
Losing the first really is really up to you, but the second really is really unnecessary.  Really.  

PS, is “bad luck day” a thing, or are you just too lazy to be coherent?  

Strauss' neuroticism about this "event" is dull, without a sparkling bit of prose, and not well done in the circle around an event mentally technique that Lydia Davis does so well. 
Why is event in quotes?  Does striking and killing someone with a car not qualify?  Perhaps you meant to put the quotes around “circle around an event mentally technique” to clarify that part of the sentence.  

You might also try: “...and not well done in the circle-around-an-event-mentally technique that Lydia Davis does so well."  Or: “...and not well done in the circle around an event mentally technique that Lydia Davis does so well.”  Better yet, take your time, make this two sentences, and ensure that your point is clear.  Or slap yourself in the face.

By the way, Lydia Davis writes fiction.  Fiction is the place for sparkling prose (or sparkly bits), as opposed to a memoir about coming to grips with taking a life. 

I am deeply saddened that someone who is a creating writing teacher wrote a book without any sort of drama or dramatic arc. The narrator dates around, doesn't want to tell people, feels guilty...its like hit a girl and it is a tragedy, but the real tragedy is your inablility to provide a shred of insight, prose, or humanity to the entire situation.
It saddens me that you teach a memoir class.  I worry your students will never find their own voices because you’ll teach them to sound like Lydia Davis.  Maybe you should teach "creating writing" instead?

Again, fiction is the place for a dramatic arc.  There’s plenty of drama involved in killing a classmate.  In visiting her parents.  In walking the hallways and streets of the community afterward.  In trying to live your life and connect with people while something so life-altering has happened to you at such an early age.  Strauss' humanity and insight is there, presented in simple, straightforward lines.  He doesn't need purple prose to express his anguish.  If anything, the stark language underlines his struggle to cope.  

There are plenty of places to look for beauty in the written language.  Half a Life is a beautiful exercise in self-examination.

I read this light book in a night and was left feeling grossed out by the total solipsism of this book
(Which book?  This book?  Okay, got it.)

When you say “light book" I think you mean “slight.”  Or was it physically light?  Or a poor examination of the subject matter (which is pretty heavy)?  Did it give off beams of light?  Be more constructive with your feedback, please.  

FYI, criticizing a memoir for solipsism is like complaining that a detective novel is too mysterious.    

Nice use of “grossed out,” though.  I don’t see that enough in book reviews.    

At some point, an editor or a publishing house should say no, this is not a valid book to publish and spare the audience something that should have stayed in a journal, a therapist's office, a conversation with your wife. 
At some point, you should have realized you can’t look at the book objectively.  You should have spared readers looking for genuine guidance on whether to purchase a book something that should have stayed in your diary, or a text to your BFF, or an overly-loud cell phone conversation on a subway train. 

Sorry, this book just really pissed me off. 
I think I’ll follow your reviews just to read everything you hate. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Funny Because It's True

As read by Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson

You get frustrated with children because you make the mistake of thinking they’re miniature adults.  
Now that it’s summer, Dylan won’t sleep.  It’s suddenly months ago and he doesn’t want to sleep alone.  Putting him down is a chore, an horrific, horrible chore.  He cries fake tears but the confusion is real.  It’s easy to meet his churlishness with your own, to be another child, to get just as angry as he is.  
You get frustrated because you make the mistake of thinking he’s a miniature adult, choosing to behave a certain way instead of just lashing out, reacting to his fear, acting out because he's exhausted.  But you have a choice.  You can be the adult.
He reaches for you and you pick him up, rock him gently as you carry him around his room.  You tell him you’re right next door.  You tell him you love him very much.  You tell him you’ll be there in minute if he gets scared in the middle of the night.
He drops off like a feather falling from a nest.  You are father of the year.

Then there are those nights.  Those terrible, terrible nights when nothing works.  Usually because you're too exhausted yourself to reach inside, find your gushy center, and rock him to sleep on it.    

It was after one such night that I read a PDF of Go the Fuck to Sleep and laughed until I cried.  The book was originally slated for a November release, but the PDF leaked and pre-sales made it the #1 book on Amazon.  Akashic, one of the coolest little publishers on the planet, got them into stores as soon as they could.  May GtFtS sales keep Akashic publishing Punk Planet and Kaylie Jones for years to come.  

Of course the book has detractors who read too much into it, most famously Karen Spears Zacharias, and less famously but more accurately Amy Sohn.  

Sometimes a book is just a book.  But when it can turn your frustration - which has nowhere healthy to go because the last thing you want is for your child to see it - into tears of laughter, it's also a gift.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun with Passport Photos Part Five (last one, I swear): Jail Break

Betty Corona

PHOENIX - On May 1st, 2015, jail personnel were baffled when they were confronted by a character from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are trying to break down a staff door while apparently waving a gun.
Carol turned out to be 31-year-old Betty Corona, who was attempting to free her husband from Maricopa county jail.  Corona went on to hurl concrete missiles at officers’ cars.
Corona, dressed as Carol, attacks a woman trying to phone for help.

A source told The Sun: “It’s not every day you see a furry beast go on the rampage after trying to break into a jail. She wasn’t exactly inconspicuous but she was taken seriously because she appeared to have a gun.

“She caused all this commotion, and later it turned out she was armed with a water pistol.”

At one point, Corona removed her mask and smiled for the security camera.
Corona then invited sheriff's deputies to take their best shot.

It emerged after Betty Corona was arrested that she had attempted to break into the wrong prison. She had staged the attempted jail-break at the Maricopa County Jail, while the husband she was looking for was locked up in the nearby Maricopa County 4th St Jail.
The source added: “This has got to rank as the worst attempted jail break ever.”
It is not clear where Corona got the wild things costume, or why she chose to wear it while attempting to free her husband.

Corona was quoted as saying, “I have no idea what’s going on.”

A spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department said Corona was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and held under the Mental Health Act after the incident.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal

When I opened my mail at Books & Books this week, I got a pleasant surprise: a promotional flyer for the paperback version of the mighty Brocke Clarke's Exley.  Let's have a look, shall we?

That's right.  Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times... and Aaron Curtis (oh, and The Washington Post).  Sweet Readers were the first to realize that I'm a taste-maker, but now the publishing industry has spoken.

Yet this flyer is served with a soupcon of shame.  I've mentioned Exley three times in passing here at SwF&F.  Well, five, if you include The Heat Lightning and the best of 2010.  But I've never recommended it all on its own.  I've also yet to review it on Goodreads, although I read it more than a year ago.

Call it Out of Sheer Rage syndrome; I loved it so much I didn't want to turn anyone off with a lame recommendation, so I ended up writing nothing.  But it's even worse than that.  Some people have a tough time blogging about friends and family.  I feel that way about books which have won a place near my heart.

So if I haven't been clear, you should read Exley.  You'll love it, and it might even win a place near your heart.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun with Passport Photos Part Four: Un-Smooth Criminals

RIVERSIDE - In what police are calling a perfect storm of criminal incompetence, Betty Corona and Eric Clueless have been captured after a string of botched robberies in San Bernardino, Highland, and Moreno Valley.  
The criminals first struck a CVS Pharmacy on July 28th, at the corner of Elm and Spruce in Highland.  Wearing matching doctors masks, shower caps, and Sleepy Panda eye masks with holes cut through them, the pair threatened violence if the clerk didn’t open the register.  The clerk said he could not open the register without a sale.  The man asked for Trident Cinnamon gum, but the CVS had none in stock.  The pair looked at each-other, shrugged, and walked out.
They tried again two days later just a few blocks away at a Whole Foods on Broadwater, and then Friday at a Starbucks on Woodland Avenue in Moreno Valley, then Sunday at another CVS on fifth ave in Highland.  Each time they wore the same doctors masks, shower caps, and Sleepy Panda eye masks.  
In each botched robbery, the man stuck his hand beneath his shirt to make it look like he had a gun, police said.  He would demand cash while the woman held a canvas tote bag open.  They never lasted more than a few seconds before fleeing the scene.

"They were really giggly," one clerk, who asked not to be identified, said.

"It was weird how impatient they were," another clerk remarked.  "It was like, 'Money now, please.'  Then 'Screw this, I'm leaving.'  I'm like, 'Give me a chance to open the register,' you know?"
Cops were certain it was Betty Corona and Eric Clueless, an Arizona couple with outstanding warrants in that state for non-violent crimes, because the pair would often call each-other by name during their failed attempts.
The couple finally made off with some loot from the San Bernardino Starbucks about noon on Monday, this time wearing full halloween tiger masks.  They loaded up a canvas tote with coffee bags and left without paying.  

"I thought it was some kind of fraternity prank," Barista Skip Redford said.  "The cops got really bent out of shape about it."
Police released this surveillance photograph of the couple standing outside the San Bernardino Starbucks, waiting for it to open:

Police speculate that Betty Corona is standing on a box in this photo.

On Monday, August 8th, around 6 p.m., Corona and Clueless approached a Citizens Bank counter inside a grocery store on 7th ave in Highland.  Clueless gave the teller a note written on a ripped paper plate that said, "We are robbing you.  Now."
The teller told them that the branch was closing and closed the security screen door.  The pair looked at each-other, shrugged, and walked out.

"In retrospect maybe I was putting myself in danger," the teller said," but it didn't feel like it at the time.  They were so clueless.  I thought it was some kind of performance art."
Their reign of haplessness finally came to an end when they entered a mom and pop gas station in Riverside on Wednesday, August 10th.  Hoping to pass the time waiting to be alone with the clerk as naturally as possible, Clueless asked for a job application.  He then proceeded to fill out the application with his real name, cell phone number, and his address back in Salt River, AZ. 
When the other customers left, Corona and Clueless donned their tiger masks and managed to convince owner John Henning to give up the cash in his drawer.  Henning, however, was reluctant to give Betty Corona the pack of Parliament lights she also requested.  Henning told Corona she didn’t look old enough to buy tobacco.
Corona removed her mask and assured Henning that she was 27, more than old enough to legally purchase tobacco.  Henning remained unconvinced.
Finally, Corona pulled out her drivers license to prove that she was of age.  Henning thanked her and handed the card back, along with the Parliament lights.
Between Clueless’s job application and Corona’s ID, Henning had more than enough information to confirm what police had suspected all along; their bumbling bandits were drug and alcohol imbibing, amateur porn filming, avid readers from Arizona.
“They’ve had one successful robbery out of eight attempts,” Officer Bernard Chucklebuckle said, "and that was only because Heller wanted to see that ID.   Well, two successes I guess, if you count the coffee.  Either way, we’re not talking Bonnie and Clyde here."

Nevertheless, police were determined to use the information they had to finally bring Corona and Clueless to justice.  Lucky for them, Corona had left her tiger mask behind at Heller's gas station.

John Henning called the cell number on Eric Clueless's application.  Henning told Clueless they had left a mask behind.  The couple promptly returned for the mask, and police immediately arrested them.   

"They're harmless," Chucklebuckle said.  "Still, we need to lock them up before they manage to accumulate any more jail time.  You want your tax money spent feeding these two wastes of bone structure?  I sure don't.” 
Under California law, the couple face three (3), six (6), or nine (9) years for first-degree robbery for each offense.  They can be conviction mens rea for the 7 botched attempts, but the prosecutors face a bigger problem.   As the couple never used any kind of weapon, prosecutors need to prove that the felonious taking of personal property was "accomplished by means of force or fear."  In each instance, no weapon was used, and none of the clerks were afraid.

As Chucklebuckle prepared to drive off, he had to ask; why did Eric Clueless fill out an application with his real name?  Why did Betty Corona remove her mask and hand Heller her drivers license?  And why, after a robbery had finally managed to net them some cash, did they return to the crime scene?

"Need a job," Clueless mumbled.  "And, you know. . . masks are expensive."

Undercover officer Dusty Grimes leads Betty Corona to a squad car shortly after her arrest.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Sorry, Cara Hoffman (or Za Za Zoo John Cusak Fish)

Shop Indie.

When I wrote this recommendation of Cara Hoffman's book So Much Pretty for The Heat Lightning, I was looking for something to link to the phrase "she might be in for a rough ride."  I thought linking to an angry male blogger bashing the book for the way it tackles violence against women would emphasize my point.

I didn't find what I was looking for when I Googled Cara Hoffman hates men, but I did leave an internet trail to her blog.  

She wrote a post about it called Cara Hoffman Hates Men.  In the comments, "Mike D" actually characterized my search correctly.  I've added emphasis to his remarks below:

  1. I agree with your essay and am impressed that you're able to respond to what appears to be annoying ignorance so calmly. However, there's something else going on here. Google Analytics. The idea of judging someone's opinion by their internet searches sounds pretty dangerous. The thing about "Cara Hoffman Hates Men" is you don't really know the intent of the person who entered that search. How many were interested in refuting the idea or agreeing? You can't tell what occurs in the mind by one's computer history. 
  2.  Cara Hoffman responded thusly:
  3. Reasonable point Mike D. I'll try to consider the benevolent reasons one might research cara hoffman hates men. 

I almost posted a comment but in the end I chickened out.  Probably because the same post mentions searches for nude photos of her.  Also, I felt guilty and stupid.  I picked the wording; no one suggested it.  I was afraid of what that says about me.  

As Hoffman writes when embracing hatred of people who commit violence against women, "So Much Pretty didn’t get written in a state of graceful acceptance of the yearly murder of thousands."  It was stupid to search for backlash against a book with a feminist bent when we live in a culture that supports rape and fetishizes dead women.  Look around; there's backlash everywhere.    

As a side note, I have to wonder if I was the only one who searched that term.  

Google analytics tells me that second only to "Sweet with Fall and Fish," folks find my blog by searching the phrase "Za Za Zoo."  As Sex and the City is so popular, that makes sense (although, as I pointed out, Carrie Bradshaw actually spells it Zsa Zsa Zsu, so a true SATC fan would never find SwF&F).  Yet there's one I can't understand, and that's "John Cusack Fish."  What does that even mean?  I have no idea, but six people have Googled it and found my blog.

Anyway, So Much Pretty remains my favorite read so far this year, edging out Birds of Paradise, When She Woke, Bossypants, The Last Werewolf, and Half a Life.  It pains me to think I caused its author any chagrin.  It's stupid and depressing.

Mrs. Hoffman, I'm sorry.  Will sales help? 

Sweet Readers, you've heard me sing the praises of So Much Pretty before.  Now check out The Huffington Post, NPRJack Cameron, and Reading for the Joy of It.  There are many more blog posts out there about the book, but those are my favorite.  And the more copies she sells, the more likely she is to have a second book.

And the more my guilt decreases.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun with Passport Photos Part Three: Amazon Vandals

GOODYEAR - Betty Corona of Lake Pleasant and her fiance Eric Clueless of Salt River have Arizona police wondering if they have a pair of bumbling idiots on their hands or if they are witnessing the start of a strange crime spree.
Workers arriving at Goodyear’s Amazon fulfillment and warehouse center on Monday, July 11th discovered graffiti, discharged fire extinguishers, and broken furniture.  The computer equipment was smashed to pieces.  In addition, most of the Fiction, Young Adult, and Biography titles had been stolen.  
Every other book was left undisturbed, apart from copies of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s novel A Shore Thing and Bristol Palin’s memoir Not Afraid of Life, which had been piled together, befouled, and burned.   
It might have taken police time to run DNA tests on the excrement smeared over Palin and Polizzi’s respective opuses, but Corona and Clueless saved them the trouble: they left their names in black marker on the wall.

Officer Gareth Keenan commented, “There are some pretty stupid criminals around, but to leave your own name at the scene of the crime takes the biscuit.”  
Police searched their names and saw that Corona and Clueless are wanted after failure to appear at an arraignment hearing for charges of lewd and lascivious conduct for allegedly filming amateur porn inside their car in broad daylight.  Police also noted that both had served time within the month for driving with misdemeanor impaired alertness.  
The property damages are well over $250, which means Corona and Clueless will be facing felony criminal damage and felony graffiti charges.  They also face breaking and entering charges, and may face felony arson charges stemming from the burning of the books.
In addition to leaving their names at the scene, Corona and Clueless also vandalized an Amazon poster by adding “Is Gay,” wrote “shop indie” across employee’s desks, and wrote “B.C. n’ E.C. 4-Evah!” inside a heart on the distribution manager’s door.  
Police assume they’re headed west due to another piece of graffiti which reads, “L.A. here we cum!”
“Their idiocy certainly makes our job much easier,” Keenan said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Fighters at (800) 555-TIPS. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Should Read Wildwood

Signed by the author and illustrator.  Estimated value on Ebay?  $52.6 kajillion.

My favorite Wildwood moment was reading the Bandit’s song.  In a flash I was nine years old again, reading the goblin’s song from Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Bake and toast 'em, fry and roast 'em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black
in cinders lie
beneath the sky!
So dwarves shall die,
and light the night for our delight,
Ya hey!
Ya hoy!
My arms broke out in gooseflesh.  Of course, when you’ve written The Rake’s Song, a few bawdy rhymes aren’t as much of a challenge.  Still, for me, it was a moment which took the book from good to great.  There’s a lot to enjoy in these pages, but the most impressive feat is how Ellis and Meloy reference past Young Adult epic fantasies without being derivative of them.  The Dowager Governess is a villain as instantly timeless as the Queen from Snow White.  Somehow, in the context of the book, she even manages to be scary (this is coming from someone who’s loved Stephen King for almost thirty years).

I suggested you read Wildwood via The Heat Lightning and I mentioned the Wildwood Dinner in my BEA wrap-up but I didn’t tell you that the first person I met at the Harper Collins dinner was the book’s illustrator.  
I walked into the north dining room upstairs at the Savoy - the white linen tablecloths crawling with flowers and vines (and appetizers!), the plates set with signed artwork and Wildwood Irregulars buttons, the place cards featuring different images and quotes from the book.  I wasn’t intimidated, exactly, just humming with that awkwardness bookish types feel when faced with a pre-alcohol social situation.
A redheaded woman who looked not unlike a Bizarro World Martha Plimpton held out her hand.
“Hi, I’m Carson,” she said.  
I gave her my name and told her I was from Books & Books in Miami.  This doesn’t often get a reaction at book conferences, but then I offered the name which always does - our owner, Mitchell Kaplan.
When she didn’t mention her store, agency, or publisher, I chalked it up to a book-lover’s gawkiness.  When she didn’t react upon hearing Mitchell’s name, I should’ve known instantly that she was not in the book business, so the only thing which could bring her to a dinner for Wildwood is that she’s THAT Carson - illustrator Carson Ellis. 
Well, the penny didn’t drop.  We stood there grinning at each-other and looking around the room for someone who looked chatty enough to fill the space we’d reserved for painful silence.  When the waiter put a glass of wine in my hand, my nerves leapt from my body, wrapped him in a hug, then dove inside the glass.
After we’d ordered but before we’d gotten dinner, Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy got up to talk about the process of creating the book.  Listening to them, I realized that the four of us - Carson, Colin, Becky and I - could have been great friends if we lived in the same city.  We’d run in artsy fartsy circles and drown in an orgy of music, art, and books.  During the talk and while they sat with us, they blew me away with their book knowledge.  
About the highest complement I can pay to any reader is this - Ellis and Meloy could have been booksellers.
I also wanted to crawl under the table because I didn’t recognize Carson Ellis when I walked in.  Not that she expected me to recognize her or anything, but to paraphrase Matthew McConnoughey’s character in Dazed and Confused, it would’ve been a whole lot cooler if I did.

I would have told her that of all the Best American Nonrequired Reading covers, that 2007 was my favorite.  I would have asked if she had any advice on how I could support Becky as an illustrator.  I would have told her how every author site in the world links to Amazon but the fact that she chooses personal conviction over commerce by linking only to independent bookstores, is uncalculably badass.
Oh, well.     
What else?  Colin Meloy was bearded and burly.  It looked like the two of them had a great relationship.  I sat with two cool people from Harper Collins, the editor who worked with Margaret Cardillo on one of Miami’s favorite titles, Just Being Audrey, and Emilie Polster, who put the whole amazing dinner together.
Polster also happens to be working on the next offering from Maurice Sendak, who she insists is not as misanthropic as The New York Times would have you believe.  She also thinks he’d dig contributing to Becky’s arm.
Getting Maurice Sendak to draw Max for Becky to get tattooed?  Name the time and place.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun with Passport Photos Part Two: Miles Per Hour Club


PHOENIX - It was the most unique traffic stop two police officers from Shaded Leigh  have ever had.
At approximately 2:45pm on July 9th, officers stopped 27-year-old Betty Corona for an equipment violation in the 200 block of Rolling Hill Lane in Shaded Leigh.
The officers pulled Corona over when they saw her driving erratically.  Officers found Corona to have her pants unbuttoned with a female sex toy in her lap.  38-year-old passenger Erik Clueless was found wearing only boxer shorts and holding a video camera.   
Corona told officers she had been using the toy while driving, as well as watching a video on a computer her passenger was holding.  It is not clear what the nature of that video was, but the computer was hooked up to Clueless’s camera.
Clueless explained his lack of attire by claiming to have no clean clothes.  He further claimed to be filming local wildlife.  
When officers pointed out that Shaded Leigh was a residential area not known for its wildlife, Clueless said, “Whatever I was filming, it definitely was not homemade, behind-the-wheel pornography.”  
A broken crack pipe was also found in the car. 
The couple is charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct.  In Arizona, first offense on a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge carries a maximum six (6) month sentence, while Lewd and Lascivious Conduct carries a minimum sentence of seven (7) years in prison and a maximum of sentence of fifteen (15) years in prison. 
Corona is also charged with driving with misdemeanor impaired alertness, which could add another ten (10) days in jail, a $1,500 fine, and up to five (5) years probation.
According to court records, both suspects had just been released from jail for misdemeanor impaired alertness, stemming from a separate incident.  
Court records show that a warrant was issued for the couple's arrest after they failed to appear for their arraignment just hours after they were processed and released from the Maricopa County Justice Center.
When asked if the couple should be considered dangerous, officer James Dunwitty of the Shaded Leigh police department said, “Not really.  We have the sex toy, the camera, and the crack pipe.  Our community is safe.”