A firefighter is suing the City of Phoenix because he received pasta in the shape of a penis and vagina with his name written on it.
Do I have your attention? Would you like to see that complaint? Is your first thought, “Wait, they wrote the guy’s name on the genital pasta?”
I hope the answer is yes to all three…
Gawker has the story (via Courthouse News Service) of Phoenix fireman Frank Cheatham. He was a deputy fire chief. In November 2009, Cheatham observed “two depictions of a penis and testicles — openly displayed in the workplace at Fire Station 1.”
Cheatham complained that this graffiti created a hostile work environment, and told the supervisors of Fire Station 1 that penis doodling behavior would not be tolerated.
Predictably, and I mean entirely predictably, Cheatham soon found himself and his assistant ostracized by the other members of Fire Station 1. They wouldn’t eat lunch with them. He also started seeing penises seemingly everywhere he went, including the gym, where “he saw a t-shirt bearing another drawing of a penis and testicles draped over a piece of gym equipment.”
Look, if you are going to complain about bait-and-tackle drawings to people who draw penises in their spare time, you kind of have to expect them to respond like dicks and trying to get a rise out of you with more penis doodles. This is all pretty standard stuff that can be found in my forthcoming book, “Surviving The 8th Grade.”
But then one of Phoenix’s bravest allegedly took the arts and crafts to a whole other level. From the complaint:
Soon thereafter, Chief Cheatham received a large brown envelope in interoffice mail containing two small pieces of pasta, one of which resembled a penis and the other of which resembled a vagina.
The piece of pasta resembling a vagina had Chief Cheatham’s first name (“Frank”) written on it.
[Rises from seat ... commences slow clap.]
Sir, I don’t support your allegedly taking the time to write somebody’s name on handcrafted… vagioli. But I respect the commitment you brought to this harassing gesture. And after this lawsuit blows over, I’m pretty sure you could start a business that sells vaginal pasta with dudes’ names on it as gag gifts. It’d become a bachelor party essential.
In March of 2010, Chief Cheatham was officially informed by telephone by his supervisors at the Phoenix Fire Department that the Department had in fact decided to remove him from his position of Deputy Chief Shift Commander of South Shift Command and involuntarily transfer him to the Department’s ‘Safety Division
How in the hell do you go from “someone sent me vagina-shaped pasta with my name on it” to “demoted”? I’d think in this day and age, Phoenix would have just promoted the guy to keep him quiet about the frat boy behavior happening at the station. If Cheatham’s complaint is accurate, I think he’s going to end up getting a lot of money for his trouble.
Oh, and just a thought here, but maybe Phoenix fire officials should try to find the guy who gets so invested in his freedom to draw genitals that he spends hours and hours writing names on sexually harassing food! Maybe that’s a dude who doesn’t need any more expert knowledge on how to start fires in ways that can fool the arson investigators!
The fact that this got all the way to the lawsuit phase makes me think that the Phoenix fire department is staffed by a bunch of noodle dicks.
Man Sues the City of Phoenix over Penis Doodles and Vagina Pasta [Gawker]
Retaliation of the Week [Courthouse News Service]