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GAMBLE: Not the guy I'd want at my pool party

Opinion column

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

As I write this, the federal government has entered its first day of shutting down. For most agencies, no one will know the difference. You could not speak to a live person at the IRS last week, and the same can be said for this week. Border Patrol was overrun with illegal immigrants last week and it shall remain overrun.

But no matter the situation, there are always more important issues to deal with. Take Hamilton, Ohio, as an example.

I assume Hamilton is a nice middle-of-the-road values kind of place, probably the kind of the place to raise a family and enjoy summer cookouts. Well, that kind of place unless you live next door to Edwin Tobergta.

It appears Edwin is a bit of a sexual pervert, which in today’s world is really saying something. There was a time when sexual perverts could be identified, a time before cross-dressing, gender identity changes and the like were readily accepted as just another “taste preference.”

But even in today’s world there are a few lines that cannot be crossed. Everyone has heard a bad joke or two about rednecks and a goat or a sheep usually aimed at whoever is one rung lower on the economic totem pole than the one telling the story, which in some cases is almost impossible to accomplish. Edward, I am afraid, has outdone them all.

Edwin has been charged with public indecency. It seems Edwin has a penchant for, according to Cox Media Group, “sexual relations with a rubber pool float.” I must say I am already feeling better about some of my early college latenight conquests. A 10-year-old child reported Edwin by running into her house and exclaiming Edwin is “doing something weird out there.”

Yes, and possums sometime get run over in the road.

It seems this is the third time Edwin has succumbed to his desires for a pool float. The first time the record is silent as to what exactly occurred (thank God), but the second offense indicates he was involved with “a pink inflatable raft.” The new report notes the raft this time was orange. At least he has no color prejudice.

This report, full of intriguing details, also reports the raft he used had been discarded beside the trash bin of a neighbor. Is nothing sacred anymore? The poor innocent raft, destined for the garbage dump, was subjected to one last indignation before being, I guess, taken to the garbage dump.

In what may qualify as the understatement of the decade — except maybe for the 10-year-olds cry “Edwin is doing something weird out there” — Tobergta told police: “I have a problem and need help.”

His lawyer, however, failing to get the memo on the need for help, asked the judge to “lower bond because it is a low-level, non-violent charge.” The judge, having read the memo, said it will “remain the same in light of the circumstances.”

The most amazing turn of events in this the trial of the century occurred when the results of a court-ordered forensic psychological evaluation stated: “He is competent to stand trial.” Showing how competent he really was, Edwin promptly pled guilty and was sentenced to 12 months and banned from the pool section at Walmart.

Well, actually I added the ban … but it might be a good idea.

I don’t know who did the psych evaluation, but I do know if I ever need one, they will be the first psychologist I look up, unless of course I’m trying to claim incompetence, in which case I’ll look elsewhere.

I suppose the good news is that summer is over. The bad news: Edwin will be off probation in late July and could be coming to a pool near you.

Email columnist T. Gamble at wtg@colliergamble.com.