Sunday, 11 May 2008

A Very Naughty Boy

I couldn't resist this story from Texas, which will probably be all over the place by tomorrow morning, or even later today. In terms of turpitude, it comes somewhere between Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Catch Me If You Can. Its protagonist, 13 year old Ralph Hardy (this is Texas: no nonsense about "cannot be named for legal reasons") could easily have been a Frank Abnagale in the making, but the authorities got to him early and he's now on probation.

By all accounts, young Frank was annoyed when his father - a lawyer - was too busy to buy him a birthday present. So he rang up his father's bank and ordered an additional credit card, just for him. The card arrived (the bank said that "all the security questions" had been answered) whereupon Frank proceeded to live out every 13 year old boy's fantasy. He took his mates on a $30,000 spending spree, using the cover story that he had just won an online games tournament. They bought a whole load of games equipment, booked a motel room, sent out for fast food - and then asked the delivery guy where they could "score some chicks". The man alerted the police, but not before putting the boys in touch with some $1000 an hour hookers. According to the report:


Asked why he ordered two escorts, Ralph said he thought it was the thing to do when you win a "World of Warcraft" tournament. They told the suspicious working girls they were people of restricted growth working with a travelling circus, and as State law does not allow those with disabilities to be discriminated against they had no right to refuse them.


He didn't try to have sex with the girls, but he did invite them to join in a few games of Halo on his brand-new Xbox. They "sensed something was up", or so they told the police who arrived not long afterwards.

Ralph's ambition, we are told, "is to one day become a politician". No doubt he'll be modelling himself on Eliot Spitzer.

UPDATE: Too Good to be True? Indeed. It turned out to be a hoax. I really should have spotted it. Mea Culpa.