Review by Legs McNeil
“Mug shots. Nothing but mug shots.”
Imagine that you’ve just pulled out of the bar after a couple of drinks, your still trying to fasten your seatbelt– when flickering red lights suddenly appear in your rearview mirror and a police siren pops on, signaling you to pull over. After a quick hand to eye sobriety test, the police officer asks you to blow into the breathalyzer– and it comes up snake eyes. You lose; prepare to add a DUI to your permanent record.
You’re taken to the local police station fingerprinted, booked and photographed for you’re mug shot. But what if a newspaper is waiting to publish your mug shot, along with everyone else who has been arrested in the last week?
That’s the entire premise behind a Tennessee rag called, Caught Up, that collects the mug shots of everyone that’s been arrested in 14 eastern Tennessee counties, not just for DUI’s, but everything– and publishes the photos every week!
Mug shots. Nothing but mug shots. I mean, we all love mug shots, don’t we? (As long as they’re not our own.) Remember Lindsay Lohan’s very striking freckled and dazed portrait when she was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, a few weeks after she was arrested for chasing down her personal assistant’s mother? Or Hugh Grant’s hunched, awkward pose after he was popped for soliciting Divine Brown’s oral services? Or Michael Jackson’s, featuring his disappearing nose? Or Mel Gibson’s? Or Mischa Barton’s? Or Rip Torn’s? (In fact, movie stars are now required to provide a mug shot to the studio publicity department for when their career needs that extra sensational boost.)
No, not everyone can be a movie star, but everyone can have their own mug shot! For the anonymous stars in Caught Up, being in the newspaper will probably be their only stab at fame. But for us readers, the eight rows of photos per page provide us with hours of time wasting fun! Pick out your future ex-wife or ex-husband! Or just fantasize about what drugs they were on when the picture was taken…
Caught Up thankfully provides a glossary on the first page for all the funny abbreviations listed under everyone’s photo, i.e. DWLSR; Driving with a License Suspended, Revoked or Cancelled, DOMASS; Domestic Assault, VOP; Violation of Parole/Probation, and everyone’s favorite, BUI; Boating While Intoxicated.
It even has a feature called, “Mug Shot of the Week,” which is actually five photos of the most bizarre and crazed faces at the time of their arrests. I mean, it doesn’t get more punk rock than this, kids!
The newspaper gets the photos from, “Public Domain Sites found on local government websites,” which means local police departments. So the mug shots are all free! Just a quick copy edit to spell the names correctly and PRESTO, they got themselves a weekly newspaper!
Of course there are the standard disclaimers, “All Parties Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty,” though Caught Up also warns, under its masthead, “Please do not contact us requesting that your picture be left out of the paper. It’s your job to keep out of the paper, not ours.”
Caught Up will probably enjoy a long and prosperous future, that is, except if one of its not-so-innocent victims gets pissed and decides to shoot the publisher in the head.
Format: Newspaper. Frequency: Weekly. Pages: 24 Color and B&W. Listed Price: $1.00