The TV show Full House was on air from 1987-1995. Keep that in mind as you read this post suggested by Little Heather, who dropped a line to firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend an idea to write about. We are always open to suggestion, and we thank her. So here we go...
About two weeks ago, on December 2, 2009, two people waited in the terminal at Sawyer International Airport outside of Marquette, Michigan. As representatives of actor John Stamos, who is currently starring in "Bye Bye Birdie" on Broadway, about 775 miles (1248 km) away from the aforementioned airport, authorities from several different jurisdictions raced in to arrest the people waiting. The reason was that the two, one of whom was a successful nightclub owner, were allegedly attempting to blackmail the actor for roughly $680,000.
Well, I say allegedly but the case seems to be that it is pretty cut and dry because, well, frankly Scott Sippola, 30, and Allison Coss, 23, did not a very good job covering anything up. In fact, they didn't seem to do a good job with anything as far as I know. I mean, I understand that for me to sit here in the warmth and comfort of the Worldwide Headquarters it is easy to point out all of the mistakes, and I understand that maybe I am not the world authority on extorting money from celebrities, but I would like to think that I am not completely useless. So even I can see how this all went wrong. But let's look at the details first, shall we?
The Coss allegedly met Stamos in 2004 somewhere down in Florida, where she was probably on spring break because she would have been 18 at the time. Okay, there should be red flag number one. But anyway, he was at the party and she was at the party and like all 18 year olds do she had her cell phone and camera and she took pictures. Apparently a bunch of pictures. And she kept them like on her camera or lying around her house or whatever. Fine. I suppose that if I had a picture of John Stamos I would keep it for posterity, although I highly doubt he would ever take a picture with me because the whole time I was at the party I would have insisted on calling him Uncle Jessie and he probably would have had his people rough me up when I went out to the car to take a phone call.
Anyway, she kept the pictures and somewhere along the way she and Sippola (Scotty doesn't know, by the way) decided that they would be able to make some money off the pictures, which I am sure were of all hot young teenage girls posing with John. No big deal, it happens all the time I would suppose. And the photos couldn't be anything bad because Stamos' people have said that they will release the photos to the press after the whole affair is settled. So Stamos, like any good Hollywood type would do, called his lawyer. His lawyer, like any good lawyer would do, called the police. Who called the FBI. Who set up a sting. When the friendly local Michigan police raided the house that Sippola and Coss shared they found a paper with Stamos' personal cell phone number on it in one room and a paper with the phone numbers for three, count 'em three, tabloid magazines in another room. Oh, and they took like the camera and computer and stuff too.
There are a lot of things wrong with this whole scenario, okay? First of all, the police can easily figure out computer stuff, okay? Like, they could, if they wanted to, see from what house I typed out this blog and on what computer and at what time of the day. That's just how it is. So you have to put a tremendous amount of effort into making it hard for them. You have to create a new e-mail account dedicated just to that. You have to go use the computer at a public library in a town in which you do not live. And then, you have to make them meet you somewhere else, okay? Don't make them come to your hometown in the middle of nowhere. Make them put the money in a locker in the bus station in Tampa or something. Or at least catch a plane to somewhere else and meet them at the airport in Memphis or something. And then, don't leave all sorts of evidence on paper and on your computer just lying around your house. That is just asking for it, because they will find you and you know that any judge in any state will give them a search warrant in like fourteen seconds flat. It seems to me that this is basic stuff, but it's not even the worst part. As far as I can see there are two major, huge, unbelievable flaws with this whole plan.
The first is that they really didn't have anything to blackmail him with, okay? They have pictures of him posing with fans. It's not like they have a twelve minute Flip video of him giving a handy to a bi-sexual goat or something. I mean, come on. I understand that this works sometimes, mostly on TV, but when you are uttering the phrase "I know we don't have anything, but HE doesn't know that we don't have anything." it seems to me that your chances of pulling off a complicated white collar crime are pretty low. That sort of thing might work well for an escape maybe, and only if you are MacGyver, but aside from that, not so much. You need something concrete if you want your $680,000 because eventually the person you are trying to blackmail, in this case John Stamos if you are just joining us, is going to want to see some evidence of why they should pay up. Especially if they know they didn't really do anything wrong, and that is the sense that I have been getting from the Stamos camp throughout this whole thing. You can't bluff your way out of this, it isn't poker. You need to have at least a picture of him playing footsie with a teenager or maybe deep throating a bratwurst at a ball game. Those would get you like at least $1500, which is better than nothing I guess.
Secondly, you really have to pick someone a little more famous than John Stamos. I mean, maybe if this was 1992 I could understand you pulling a stunt like this, but John Stamos? I mean, really? That wasn't a typo? He wasn't just letting someone more famous and important use his name to cover up their own shortcomings? You couldn't dig up something on one of the guys from Lost? Or like Gary Busey even? I mean that would have at least been more entertaining. Or should I say less pathetic. I just don't know that trying to blackmail someone whose high point came fifteen years ago changing diapers for a pair of twins while Bob Saget watched is really the best plan.
I mean, I live in the Great White North. And one of the jokes of living in remote, largely rural areas is that time is always like a decade behind. In fact, Wang Chung is just getting heavy rotation at a few Hot AC stations in the Great White North as we speak. So I suppose that the easy joke would be to say that popular culture is always behind so John Stamos is probably just getting popular there right now, and normally I would go there. But I am not going to, because I am just so stunned at how badly this whole scheme was put together. I mean, he married well, that's for sure, but he is on Broadway and happy to be there. He was on ER, which is where careers go to die. It's also the show that killed the introductory theme song, but that is for another time.
I just can't fathom how these two dipshits ever thought that a plan to blackmail someone who really isn't that big of a celebrity anymore (although he is more of a celebrity than I will ever be, so I guess I shouldn't talk) with pictures that aren't scandalous all while leading the authorities right to you would ever work. But then again, these people aren't that bright. I mean, I've been to his "club" and it sucks. And he puts extra "x's" into the name of everything, so you know he struggles with what is cool, which maybe is why he things John Stamos is worthy of blackmail. I just don't know. I really don't. I have to stop typing now because, well, there really isn't anything else to say. It's just ridiculous. I can't wait until the trial. And I really can't wait until the pictures come out. God do I hope that there really is a goat in one of the pictures and Johnny boy is just ready to come out. That would be cool. And you could knock me over with a stick.