"Goatse Welcomes You"
October 7, 2004 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Imagine someone made an 6'x10' sign featuring the Talented Mr. Goatse with the caption "Massachusetts Welcomes You" and draped it over the actual welcome sign on I-95 south at the New Hampshire border. Early on Thanksgiving morning. What would happen to this person if they were caught?
posted by Mayor Curley to Law & Government (47 answers total)
 
They'd probably get off lightly (and how would they ever get caught?). Also, if there were pictures (and a news story, perhaps), the person would probably become a bit of an interweb celebrity.
posted by reklaw at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2004


I'd say it would depend on local obscenity laws. In certain states, (such as Alabama, I think) you could be really chewed out over it. New Hampshire is probably a different matter entirely though. Due to the subject matter, I'd guess that in most jurisdictions it would be the equivalent of putting up a hardcore porn poster, and could have a littering/defacing public property charge thrown in.
posted by wackybrit at 10:41 AM on October 7, 2004


*fervently hopes somebody writes "IANAL" before her/his answer in this thread. if not now, when?*
posted by matteo at 10:50 AM on October 7, 2004


They'd throw them in the hole.
posted by biffa at 10:53 AM on October 7, 2004


I'd worry they'd arrange some sort of live re-enactment of the image. Don't do it, Mayor Curley.
posted by soyjoy at 10:57 AM on October 7, 2004


The odds of them getting caught are very slim, unless they did something really stupid like give advance notice of the stunt on a very popular website.
posted by bondcliff at 10:58 AM on October 7, 2004


This all depends. If it were Canada, here's what you could probably be charged with:

- Mischeif
- Vandalism
- Enticing Youth (into pornography)
- Public lewdness
- Highway safety laws (misuse of highway sign causing distractions to drivers)
- Local Bylaw infraction against such signage
- Littering

That's all I can think of. I suppose if you add up the worst you can be charged with for each, you could be looking at years in jail. I wouldn't expect more than 30 or 40 hours of community service, myself. It takes a lot more to get jail time. :-) That is, unless you have a prior record. That's what they'll kick you in the nuts with, if you have one.
posted by shepd at 11:02 AM on October 7, 2004


Well, I for one would laugh my ass off /wink considering I travel that route every day.
posted by anathema at 11:04 AM on October 7, 2004


They would get a free beer or two. Hee hee.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:04 AM on October 7, 2004


unless they did something really stupid like give advance notice of the stunt on a very popular website.

But do please e-mail those of us in the local area with enough notice so at least one of us can get there early enough in the morning to take a picture....you know, for independent verification.
posted by briank at 11:31 AM on October 7, 2004


Watch out for the Homeland Security patrols along the NH-MA border!
posted by rschroed at 11:42 AM on October 7, 2004


Pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
posted by bshort at 11:45 AM on October 7, 2004


Poked about The General Laws of Massachusetts a bit, and found some items which may or may not be relevant: 266-94 272-28 272-29

I am not a lawyer; if I were, I would not be licensed to practice in Massachusetts; these are not necessarily the only relevant laws.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:05 PM on October 7, 2004


I'm with shepd, I think the consequences could be a lot more substantial than some are indicating. Tresspass, vandalism, defacing public property, disturbing the peace, creating a nuisance, endangering traffic.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:12 PM on October 7, 2004


thanksgiving? you'd have to pay $50 and pick up the garbage I bet. And I would buy you a beer. A less, um, anally graphic picture might even stay up for a few hours.
posted by jessamyn at 12:16 PM on October 7, 2004


They would be a hero for all time, for all mankind.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:19 PM on October 7, 2004


THEY'D TP YOUR HOUSE DUDE

AND THEN MAYBE DOORBELL DITCH YOU
posted by fishfucker at 12:41 PM on October 7, 2004


this is one of those things that sounds better in theory than in fact.

the Mayor's "friend" will go to a lot of time and trouble to create and hang this image. Then the following things will happen if all goes well.

1. Someone with children will drive past the sign and the children will be upset by it. I have 3 kids under the age of 12. It's not funny.

2. That person, or someone right ahead of/behind them, will flip open a cell and call the state police.

3. The image will be taken down. Probably it will be up there 15 minutes, tops.

I don't know, maybe I'm just old, but I don't see the upside here. Maybe you could just scatter goatse porn around on the ground by your neighborhood playground? At least then you could sit in a car and get to see the hilarity close up.
posted by luser at 12:43 PM on October 7, 2004


They'd at least have a lot of people willing to dropcash a few bucks for a legal defense fund. I'm in for a fiver, at least.
posted by adampsyche at 12:46 PM on October 7, 2004


BTW, yes, I am thinking of the children. You're welcome.
posted by luser at 12:49 PM on October 7, 2004


Fuck.

Circle this day on the calender, I seem to have just made the turn into middle age. As the father of twin four year olds, I've got say it'd be unfortunate to drive by with kids in the car, on the other hand, it'd be funny as hell.

Maturity sucks.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:58 PM on October 7, 2004


If you cause a car accident and are convicted of manslaughter, I will come visit you in prison.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:00 PM on October 7, 2004


Well at least it wouldn't be that other picture, you know, the one that Must Not Be Named.
posted by signal at 1:19 PM on October 7, 2004


tubgirl?

NSFA (not safe for anyone) BTW
posted by chrisroberts at 1:32 PM on October 7, 2004


I would salute this person, provided they provided proof of their exploits.
posted by keswick at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2004


Must Not Be Named.
posted by signal at 1:19 PM PST on October 7



tubgirl?


D'oh!
posted by luser at 1:40 PM on October 7, 2004


Dude, seriously, what part of Must Not Be Named escapes you?
posted by signal at 1:41 PM on October 7, 2004


i think the "Must Not" was a little hard to grasp.
posted by chrisroberts at 2:12 PM on October 7, 2004


by the way, to jump way back to the beginning here, Biffa's answer? genius.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:31 PM on October 7, 2004


What would happen to this person if they were caught?

Depanding on the prosecutor, they could throw as many charges as they wanted to and let the judge decide what to keep. These include trespassing, damaging property, indecent exposure, exposure of children to harmful and/or pornographic material, posession of obscene contraband, obscenity.

In addition, traffic signs are property of the highway department, you'd be dealing with damaging or tampering with government property. Considering this is an Interstate sign you're talking about, thus under the U.S. Department of Transportation, it could easily be a Federal charge.

Also, a simple Google search would provide this very thread as evidence to hold against "someone" in court when they investigated the case.

I'm not saying I think that should happen- in fact, I think most of those charges would be absurd... but that doesn't mean they won't be a possibility with enough angry phone calls.

On top of all that, due to the graphic nature of the sign, you also likely wouldn't make the news, as there's be nothing they could film or air on television. At most you'd get a text blurb in the Local section about someone posting an "offensive image" over a road sign.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:42 PM on October 7, 2004


Massholes, all of you! I wouldn't be surprised if you did catch all that flak in our consipated northern neighbor's hood, but here it would likely be considered a harmless prank.
posted by letitrain at 2:53 PM on October 7, 2004


Yoko Ono at the Liverpool Biennial. Publicly sanctioned banners of breasts and vaginas throughout the city.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:04 PM on October 7, 2004


Liverpool isn't in the U.S. There's sort of a light year of distance in "indecency" laws between America and the U.K.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:08 PM on October 7, 2004


Lookie this thread. Parents ruin everything. Boo on parents.
posted by xmutex at 3:33 PM on October 7, 2004


What would happen to this person

This person would be pronounced 'lame' by the wonderchicken.

Harsh consequences indeed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:50 PM on October 7, 2004


You know if it wasnt for the Internet, this sort of question would have to be answered at the dinner table, or addressed in a very special episode of Family Ties, or maybe Nightline.

Thank you AskMetafilter.
posted by Peter H at 3:52 PM on October 7, 2004



posted by Peter H at 3:54 PM on October 7, 2004


Well, with all the gay marriage stuff flying around in Massachusetts these days, I wouldn't be surprised if someone found a way to consider it a hate crime.
posted by Hackworth at 4:25 PM on October 7, 2004


You know if it wasnt for the Internet, this sort of question would have to be answered at the dinner table, or addressed in a very special episode of Family Ties, or maybe Nightline


I'm thinking Family Circus, here. You know they just did that very special Grand Canyon week.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:37 PM on October 7, 2004


OK...it might finally be time for me to ask the unaskable, to potentially humiliate myself in public and to undoubtedly be exposed as a complete lose - what the hell is goatse? I never want to go there 'cause i'm always at work and i've inferred that it's something horrible and NSFW, and i don't have any friends who know...what does the talented mr. goatse DO?
posted by tristeza at 4:43 PM on October 7, 2004


Goatse and others, a description in erudite encyclopedia-speak..
posted by cardboard at 4:52 PM on October 7, 2004


Oh. Um. Thanks? :)
posted by tristeza at 4:57 PM on October 7, 2004


Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Goatse is. You have to see it for yourself.
posted by keswick at 4:58 PM on October 7, 2004


This has been a very special episode of AskMetafilter.
posted by Peter H at 5:57 PM on October 7, 2004


it seems like your local Kinkos, or wherever you printed said sign, would hear about it and not have any problem giving your name away.
posted by Espoo2 at 7:00 PM on October 7, 2004


Curley, you can be my mayor any day if your *cough* friend gets pictures.

oh, and Espoo, the Mayor's friend could just rasterbate it and laminate it diy style.
posted by jmgorman at 9:03 PM on October 7, 2004


They'd have to have the banner say "ASSachusetts welCUMes U" to get respect amongst the 133t t33ns.
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:15 AM on October 8, 2004


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