Jan. 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM ET
UPDATE: As Stacy Stutz, some lady I know from Facebook, just said: "It's all fun and games until it goes viral on YouTube" ... and you cry about it on TV and hint at launching a lawsuit, and the Streisand effect kicks in.
"In the hours that followed Cathy Cruz Marrero's appearance on 'Good Morning America' today to talk about the fall and its aftermath, she was in court for a status hearing on charges of five felony counts, including theft by deception and receiving stolen property," reports ABC News.
Turns out Marrero's been out on $7,500 bail since 2009, after being charged with running up more than $5,000 in purchases on a co-worker's credit card. No wonder she had a lawyer handy.
Marrero's next court date is April 21, and she's facing about six months of house arrest and electronic monitoring, according to the Reading Eagle. So all y'all talking about how if she just shut up and went on with her life, nobody would know it was her in the fountain —maybe six people recognized her — are more right than you realized. While it's unknown how many people knew about her theft charges, we all sure know about it now.
A week after becoming the National Face (plant) for the Perils of Modern Mobility, Cathy Cruz Marrero (aka "Fountain Girl") is both speaking out, and speaking to her lawyer.
What of it?
Sure we hate the habit of texting pedestrians — because let's face it, it's as annoying as it is dangerous. That said, our growing habit of dumping humiliating videos on YouTube, with no thought to the unsuspecting "star," is also pretty obnoxious. But since it doesn't hamper our personal egress, then heck, how is it a problem?
From Internet users to morning show hosts and cable news anchors, we all yucked it up — and interesting, assumed en masse she was a teen — the first 80 kajillion times we saw the mall security footage of Marrero's text-induced plunge into the icy water of the Berkshire Mall fountain. Because, yes. It's funny.
"I saw the water coming at me, I could see the pennies and nickels at the bottom of the fountain and then I was in it," the 49-year-old Pennsylvania mall employee told the Reading Eagle newspaper, in a story that describes her as both laughing and crying when she talks about it.
Laughing, because give Marrero credit. She gets, like we get: our caveman brain is helpless when it comes to slapstick hilarity.
Crying, because dang! The Internet is mean, y'all! If you spend a lot of time here, you know that. If you don't, and your first plunge into the cruelty of YouTube comment culture is concurrent with a video of your epic texting humiliation that you didn't even know existed until it made national news, it's rough. Have some empathy.
"When I went to work and I saw how they laughed, and the comments that they made, I didn't think that was funny," Marrero said in an interview broadcast on CNN that reveals her Internet naiveté. If she wasn't busy having a real life — planning birthdays and talking to church friends on her phone which she was doing at the time of her fall — she'd know that explaining her circumstances while crying on camera only increases the Internet target on her back.
Marrero's fall is ripe satire for the over-immersion in technology we're all guilty of. After all, it's someone else's over-immersion that made Marrero a YouTube star. Consider the mall security guards.
"We are troubled by the fact that anyone at the Berkshire Mall responsible for releasing this video would find humor in an employee injured on the premises," Marrero's lawyer James M. Polyak told the Reading Eagle. "We intend to hold the appropriate persons responsible," he added, not directly stating whether "hold responsible" translates to "lawsuit."
Keeping in mind our Three Stooges-lovin' caveman brains, it's a push to fault the reflexive laughter of the security guards heard in the security tape background the second Marrero takes a tumble — or even their extended disection of the event.
You know you would too.
It took some higher brain function however for someone in that security booth to videotape the discussion of the videotape and upload it to YouTube for a shot at viral gold.
Same goes for the jackass who grabbed for YouTube glory by videotaping a rat running up not once, but twice, on a sleeping subway passenger, rather than instinctively yelling "DUDE! DUDE! RAT! WAKE UP! RAT! " (At the very least, he could have done both — who doesn't appreciate a good reaction shot?) Under similar circumstances, such a rodent commuting alert is something we'd all appreciate.
Sure, we all get the joke. But we don't have to be jerks about it.
More about technology and the annoying way we live now: