In the wacked-out meth-man version of “Where’s Waldo,” cops in Albion, Ind., just northwest of Fort Wayne, found the meth-cooking bad guy they were hunting for hiding out in a vat filled with pig and dog feces sludge.

According to journalgazette.net, police were having a hard time finding their suspect, Thomas Hovis Jr., in the barn into which he’d escaped until one of them noticed his head bobbing around on the surface of the sludge — proving that shit floats and that, yes, I will go for the obvious joke.

In fact, if I had found him, I would’ve cracked myself up saying, “Hey, I found our shithead!” And, yes, I’d’ve laughed for a week.

The article states that Hovis, who had already served 15 years in prison for murder, was being arrested for several outstanding warrants, and police found three meth labs, 18 marijuana plants, 3 grams of meth and the firearms on his place.

I loved how the article says that officers “found three handguns and an assault rifle — as well as Hovis’ girlfriend — in the farmhouse” as if she’s a lethal weapon, also, and equally as illegal for any ex-con to possess as the firearms.

Can you imagine him telling the judge, “I’ll plead guilty to pistols and the rifle, but the Ninja-bitch ain’t mine. A buddy stopped over one night for a few snorts o’ crystal dust, and he musta forgot her there. In fact, I dint even know she was there. I think she just slipped between the sofa cushions where I couldn’t see she was even in my house and loaded for bear. That’s what I think happened. Y’know, I lost a coupla these here teeth down in that sofa, myself. Cops dint happen to find ’em during the search, did dey?”

Providing a chilling dose of real life, the sludge was, apparently, still at frigid temps this time of year, and Hovis ended up with hypothermia from his estimated one-hour stint swimming in the cesspool. The cops were all arguing over who was going to have to arrest him and haul him back to jail, but before they resorted to a round of rock-paper-scissors, their putrid captive showed signs of hypothermia, so the medics got the crappy job of transporting him to the hospital.

In a brief report, cbsnews.com says that Hovis was treated for hypothermia at the hospital, but I’d have been treating him for the likes of hepatitis, cholera, dissentary, parvo, giardia, trichinosis and swine flu, too. Dudes, he was seriously in the poop stew. Put on your HAZMAT suit, throw him in a hot shower and give him a vaccination cocktail.

The whole time I was reading the article I was thinking that this is the kind of story my dad lived for when my brothers and I were kids. We all grew up non drug users because he used every possible opportunity to point out the correlation between drug use and unfathomable stupidity.

He would’ve settled into his subtle, I-could-tie-you-into-a-knot-in-two-easy-moves-or-just-kill-you-in-one pose and said with a disgusted tone, “See. That’s what drugs’ll do for ya. You start out thinking you’re all cool and having fun, but those drugs are just eating away at your brain the whole time until one day you’re just a stupid, strung-out doper up to your eyeballs in pig crap. Christ on a crutch, what a dumbass. You wanna be a pig-shit, stinking dumbass?”

Ah, no, sir. I’m only 5 years old, but I have my sights set on being a wise ass, if that’s alright with you.

“That’s my girl” at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

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