We've known for a while now that all a young lady has to do to receive fame and fortune is make a sex tape, get pregnant at 16, or drink her way up and down the Jersey Shore. But did you know that it's just as easy for grown men?
New Hampshire resident Henry Gribbohm, age thirty, couldn't afford to buy his three children an Xbox 360® with Kinect® (retail value approximately $300). Sure, he had a couple thousand dollars in the bank, but that was earmarked for college.
Then, the answer to Gribbohm's prayers came along, in the form of a carnival game called Tubs of Fun. Toss a few balls in a few tubs, and there you have it, free Xbox! Perfect! Only, once he started playing, it turned out to be a little more difficult than expected.
Once Gribbohm had fruitlessly sunk $300 into the game (hmm, where have we seen that number before?) he did the smart thing and went home...and returned to the carnival with all the money he had in the world, $2300. And promptly blew it all on Tubs of Fun. He received a giant stuffed banana as a consolation prize.
This may be the part of the story where you're questioning the title, and the opening paragraph. Stay with me. What Gribbohm did next was a stroke of genius. He filed a police report, claiming the game was rigged. Then he contacted the Boston CBS affiliate. Why Boston, when the "crime" took place in New Hampshire?
Perhaps because Boston is the fifth-largest media market in the U.S. I'm just spitballing here, folks.
CBS, of course, took the story and ran with it. I first heard about it when WBZ reporter David Wade tweeted it, with the commentary, "This is ridiculous/outrageous/sad all at once. Man loses everything but a banana at a carnival." To which his colleague, Tim Caputo, replied, "There's always money in the banana stand." Love it. Who doesn't love laughing at some dumbass's misfortune? There's a reason America's first reality show, "COPS," is still airing after 25 years.
Henry Gribbohm went viral. First came the local TV and radio interviews. Then VH1 gave him an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to appear on the show "Best Week Ever." Then, CollegeHumor.com offered to "buy" the stuffed banana for $2600 if they could get 26,000 "likes" on Facebook. For 30,000 "likes," they would also buy the Gribbohm family their coveted Xbox. You can see where this is going, right?
The post received 39,000 likes, and the Gribbohm children now have their $2600 college fund back, in addition to an Xbox, and a famous daddy.
Henry Gribbohm, you brilliant fucking idiot. You played us all perfectly.
Now, I can't say much about society rewarding these types of people with fame, as Mr. Gribbohm graciously provided me with a topic to write about this week, but can we at least stop giving them fortune? At the rate we're going, it won't be long before our public schools drop silly courses like math and science in favor of P.R. and mixology. Please, for the love of evolution, let's stop slow-clapping these morons like they're underdog folk heroes, and treat them like the cautionary tales they truly are.
This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.