The License Plate Gambit | Tailpipe | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

The License Plate Gambit

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"We have to win," Fialkov said. "I'll get to say I beat Daunte Culpepper at something."

Fialkov was teamed with Monica Webb, AKA "The Assassin," a compact blond pro from Atlanta. They held their own against the Culpepper-Fisher team, but twice in the first two matches, the diminutive Fisher stood over the six-foot-four, 260-pound Culpepper dictating instructions, and twice the quarterback sank the nine-ball. To Fialkov's chagrin.

Webb approached Culpepper and offered a compliment on the sly: "You shoot like you play for money."

Yes, indeed, Daunte plays at home. "Last night," he said, "we had 40 grand on the table."

Ultimately, neither team advanced to the finals — but neither did Irvin's team. When the ex-receiver learned the news, he staggered in mock histrionics, then signed autographs on a pool table as a sharply dressed man the size and shape of a coffin looked on.

"Does Michael Irvin really have a bodyguard?" Fialkov blurted. "Give me a break."

Back at the auction table, Lee's opening offer of $300 for the autographed Irvin jersey remained the only bid.

Gangsta Clerk

"CLICK IT OR TICKET!" reads the personal quote on Howard Forman's MySpace page. "AND KEEP IT GANGSTA!"

As the county's clerk of courts, Forman is at least vaguely familiar to anyone who runs afoul of the law in Broward, but he's not exactly a dynamic public persona. That's why Tailpipe was surprised (even amused) to find that someone had added him to the growing list of figures to be spoofed with a phony MySpace profile, complete with photos of prisons and biographical information cribbed from the Clerk of Courts website.

His stated interests include "eating," illustrated with a picture of donuts. His "heroes" are the police in a slideshow of cops sleeping in uniform and beating the snot out of perps. The song that greets visitors to the page begins, "Hey, dog, this one here is for all my motherfuckin' niggas who is locked up, dog."

The portrait is at once vulgar, insulting, and, Forman acknowledged, oddly flattering.

"Well," he said when the 'Pipe sent him a link to the site, "at least I have 77 friends."

Yes, it's a spoof site, he said. "People can put in what they want to, and we can't do anything about it. When anybody wants to pay traffic tickets, they have to do it through me. Maybe not everybody's happy about it."

Maybe. The folks who have left comments include a 29-year-old Pompano Beach man who writes, "I ain't scarred [sic] of you you can take this ticket and shove it. UP YOURS HOWARD!!!!!!"

That's no way to speak to a dedicated civil servant. See if you can improve the dialogue at

Ice Cream Shootout

The scene: An old-fashioned ice cream parlor in downtown Hollywood. The crime: Uncivilized behavior involving tasty treats, a pair of tenacious tots, and two grown men. The outcome: A stabbing ice-cream headache for Thomas Lyons, owner of Hollywood Ice Cream.

Jeff Langer and his twin 5-year-old daughters came into the store on June 21 — an afternoon visit that ended with both girls in tears, Langer and Lyons red-faced and swearing, and a police officer called to the scene. Since there was no physical assault, not even a ticket was issued. But Langer says responding cops advised him to "write a letter and [distribute] it to everyone I knew." The unsigned letter, e-mailed to local news outlets, the Better Business Bureau, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, characterizes Lyons as a barbaric brute who "threatened to kill me."

Lyons' side of the story — naturally — is much different. He says Langer, a regular customer, was too busy to pay attention to his children when he came in, as he was engrossed in a phone call. "The kids were eating on the floor under the table, hanging off the counters, and pulling menus off the windows," Lyons alleges. When he asked the kids to cool it, he says, Langer snapped. Their divergent opinions regarding child discipline escalated into a shouting match and sobfest. (One of the girls was crying because she'd pinched her finger while climbing around, Lyons says. Langer says both girls spent 45 hysterical minutes in tears "as they were fearful and worried about my safety").

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