Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Lotto Lout

How much would your life change if you won $15 million in the lottery? This guy's life didn't change at all.
"Before he won the lottery, he was a nuisance," Charles Joyce, a local official, said. "He decided to carry on being a nuisance."
This guy is 22-year-old Michael Carroll, Swaffham, England's most famous resident. Swaffham, you may or may not recall, was the home of Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, as well as Tutankhamen's curse, or the mummy's curse, or whatever.

Since winning the lottery, young Mr. Carroll has appeared in court some 30 times in the past 3 years and it should have been more but he sometimes does not show up. He has spent three months in jail on drugs charges, paid thousands of dollars in fines for vandalism and been evicted from several hotels after, for instance, ripping a chandelier from the ceiling while trying to swing from it.

He was recently ordered to perform 240 hours of community service - later increased to 300 for not showing up in court - after shooting ball bearings through 32 car and shop windows with a catapult (I think they mean a slingshot) as he drove around in the middle of the night.

He has been issued with two antisocial behavior orders in two local jurisdictions forbidding him to threaten, harass or intimidate anyone in a 400-mile radius. I guess that means that anyone outside that 400 mile radius was fair game. He has been told by local government authorities to stop throwing raucous late-night parties and to stop holding demolition derbies on his land. And he has been told to clean up the yard of his house, strewn as it is with tires, beer cans, food wrappers, wrecked furniture and the hulks of half-smashed-up old cars.

Carroll represents a type of Briton called a "chav". In American English we might call a chav, "trailer trash" or "Clintonesque." Chavs are noted for outrageous spending sprees, drunken brawls, inappropriate public displays of affection, screaming matches with loved ones in bars, destruction of property, late-night stumbling and/or vomiting, public utterings like, "I think I'll go rape Hillary," and sexual escapades at work with impressionable under-aged assistants with weight problems. Another real life Bubba. In fact, Carroll has "King of Chavs" printed on his Mercedes, a car known in the newspapers as the Loutmobile (its license plate reads L111 OUT). Carroll showed up to collect his lottery winnings wearing a police issued electronic ankle bracelet and it's been all downhill from there.

His now ex-girlfriend told The Sun that Mr. Carroll believed that "the trees in his front garden are actually people disguised as trees," and spent his nights prowling around the house looking for intruders. "I'll tell him, 'Come back to bed, you stupid twit,' " she told the newspaper.

Apparently the town of Swaffham lacked sufficient funds for a Christmas light display this year, so Carroll offered to pay for it all. His offer was presented by the town crier, a Mr. Eddie Godden, who is responsible for organizing the display this year. But after receiving letters of protest from across the country, the council not only decreed that Mr. Carroll was to go nowhere near the display (if there is one) but also removed Mr. Godden from his post. "Removed from his post" means, "Yer farhd!"

Carroll's attorney, Neil Meacham, in true Clintonesque form, responded to a reporter's phone call thusly:
"I get so many calls from television and the newspapers that unless you pay me, I really don't have time to talk to you."

"The only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty," Mr. Meacham said, and hung up the telephone.
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