Phillipe and Jorge were agitated to see the wrap-around over the front section of our September 13 issue of the Urinal, as we had grown quite fond of finding garish stickers in these parts, informing us what local firms would buy our gold or pursue a personal injury accident claim. Our Rolodex is a chubby little fellow by now.

Instead we were informed by the paper, in no-nonsense towering type, that "we're changing."

Upon close examination, these massive changes appear to be little more than altering the font of the various sections, which will no doubt have new subscribers flocking to Fountain Street or tying up the phone lines to sign up for home delivery. Wow! Bow-wow!

But wait, there's more! Cleverly concealed on the inside flap was the counterpoint, "We're not changing," assuring us of the paper's timeless commitment to old-school journalism. Omigod, are you or are you not changing, beloved BeloJo? What is up and what is down? What is day and what is night? We must be told!

Then this little motto: "Tell the Truth All the Time to Everyone Everywhere. Do It Again Tomorrow." (Man, do P&J wish we were in charge of the Urinal advertising account. Throw some crap slogans over the transom and off we go to Barbados for a month, money falling out of our pockets.)

On the back: a Big Brother-meets-Harvard Business School organizational chart with "The Truth" at the top, overseeing the work of the Other Paper's minions. We aren't sure if this was vetted by the publisher, president, or CEO, who ranked a second slot.

But unless the Urinal does indeed change, we imagine that "The Truth" does not pertain to covering its own labor unrest when it surfaces, or having any of its representatives publicly respond to other media outlets when anything remotely controversial involving the paper occurs.

And they'll be doing it again tomorrow. Really?


Last week, we reported on an assault that took place over a month ago right in the heart of Thayer Street. The beating, in front of a Store 24, was videotaped and put on YouTube. This week we spoke with the victim, Erik Dufresne, who has been diagnosed with mental illness. Erik told us that he was just hanging out on Thayer Street when a group of what we can only call "young thugs" appeared in front of the store.

"They showed up in a group and I believe that they singled me out because they thought I was a 'bum,' " he told us. One of the group punched him in the head. "I thought that my life was in danger and I removed my shirt and prepared to defend myself."

At this point, Erik said, he put up his fists and was immediately punched again in the head. "I didn't strike anybody," he continued. "It seemed that they were trying to emulate those televised cage fights." This is when the camera was turned on. The video, since removed from YouTube, shows Dufresne lying on the ground next to a small tree, apparently unconscious.

Dufresne, who is known to the Providence police, told us he was visited at his home by an officer who photographed his head wounds and then, with the assistance of someone from the Providence Center, insisted on taking him to Fatima Hospital, where he was placed in the psychiatric unit.

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