Molehill Mountain

How often do you get to peep porno at a city attorney's office?

This pervy pelican's referring to Mesa City Attorney Debbie Sphincter's (uh, Spinner's) office, where the top prosecutor keeps alleged lewd e-mails on file. See, Mesa coppers were sending these un-PC missives to each other until an internal investigation netted 266 of the boys and girls in blue and their civilian counterparts for circulating improper videos, pics and jokes.

The investigation kicked off late last year in response to a city worker's sexual-harassment claim, and it actually covered all of Mesa's workers (ultimately 521 were punished, including 266 from the cop shop). But it was five-o's involvement that sent the local mainstream press into a tizzy, with TV reporters and paper journos acting shocked, shocked — just like Captain Renault in Casablanca.

Not by the porno, but by, as the East Valley Tribune wrote, e-mails that made fun of "senior citizens, Latinos, blacks, rednecks, homosexuals, Mormons and obese people."

Since curiosity killed the cat, not the canary, this mischievous magpie made haste to Spinner's office to see what all the hubbub was about. The über-particular Spinner would only allow The Bird to gander the "evidence" under her watchful eye. It took the winged one two trips to comb through the two big boxes of supposedly inappropriate e-mails and two CD-ROMs full of video clips. The material had been classified from one to five, with one being hardcore porn, and five being the sort of cartoons and jokes that nearly everybody sends each other all the freakin' time.

On the CD-ROMs, there were pornographic slideshows of showering lesbians, clips of trannies doing the dirty deed, and one mini-flick called "Dirty Latina Maids," which The Bird may have to Google first chance it gets. But to this ribald rooster's disappointment, there turned out to be very little in the XXX category. A handful of horny clips at best.

The rest on the CD-ROMs contained everything from snippets of nude newscasters stripping as they read headlines and bare-chested babes firing high-powered guns, to a bearded fat guy doing a parody of that Paris Hilton commercial for Carl's Jr. and a Comedy Central skit about a restaurant called "Beavers," instead of, you know, Hooters. (Sounds like an idea restaurateur Harry Morton of Pink Taco fame could run with.)

This mockingbird chuckled over most of these. But its favorite was an amusing classic, which has some skinny Jewish dude dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit making the rounds in the black community, and almost getting his ass beat several times, like when he takes his sheet into a black-owned laundry to ask for it to be dry-cleaned, or when he asks some black men at a filling station if they can help him out with some gas, because his tank is empty, and he's on his way to a, um, meeting.

The Bird first saw the clip when a black pal sent it its way. It reminded this taloned scribe of the famous Dave Chappelle skit where Chappelle plays a blind, black KKK member, unaware of his own race. When a fellow Klansman finds out the truth, his head literally explodes. It's edgy, but it's the sort of material comic Chappelle has made his fortune on.

This feathered fiend expected to discover really racist stuff, but this Chappelle-like KKK spoof was as bad as it got. Combing through the two boxes of e-mail printouts, The Bird mostly found the sort of joke pictures people download off sites like and then post to their MySpace accounts. Everyone with a computer has seen similar images, and all but the most humorless ciphers have giggled at them — like at the naked, grossly obese woman trying to squeeze into a compact car, with the caption, "Does this car make my ass look big?"

There was another showing a pickup truck carrying a penis sculpted from snow, with the line, "I was out driving the other day when this dick-in-a-truck pulled out in front of me." Or the "optical illusion" showing a half-naked hottie rising from a lagoon, a waterfall behind her, which says, "I have no idea how this works, but if you look at the image for about five minutes, you can see a waterfall in the background."

Even the un-PC stuff was pretty lighthearted: There were Mexican jokes circulated by officers with Mexican-American last names; a black dude wearing a T-shirt with the Warner Brothers WB logo that says, "If you see a cop, warn a brother"; a "redneck birthday cake" with the candles on PBR cans; and a Jeff Foxworthy-esque "You might be a Mormon, if" list, with punch lines such as, "If you ran out of Old Testament names before you ran out of children," and, "If your mother-in-law was pregnant at your wedding."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons