Judge David Johnson likes this DVD, but not as much as The Personal Credit Card Protists.
"We'll share and save and spend smart, too!"
PUPPET BAND ARRESTED IN DOG-FIGHTING RAID
WORCESTER, MASS.—The Money Mammals were formally indicted today on five counts of illegal gambling and animal abuse. Joe the Monkey, Piggs the Bank, Clara J. Camel and Marmoset the Monkey were escorted from the Worcester Superior Court at noon, surrounded by their lawyers and reporters.
"This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice," said Money Mammals defense attorney John R. Brock of Brock, Paber, Sizzers, Attorneys at Law out of Boston. "We demand all charges to be immediately thrown out so that my clients can get back to teaching 2 to 6-year-olds the value of money."
But according to the District Attorney's office, this case is all but decided. Prosecutor Irene Crossen, known in legal circles as "The Crusher," spoke forcefully about the indictment.
"In my 18 years as a D.A. I haven't ever seen evidence as damning and conclusive as what we've got on the Money Mammals," she said. "We've got video, photos, eyewitness testimony, and sworn affidavits from the puppeteers."
Three weeks ago, all four of the Money Mammals were found in an abandoned seafood store, outside of Worcester on the Marlboro town line, during a massive police raid. The authorities discovered a makeshift arena where over 100 spectators had gathered to watch a Shiba Inu and a Dachsund fight each other to the death. Both dogs had studded collars around their necks and had been painted with the logos of corporate sponsors.
Allegedly, Joe the Monkey was caught in the middle of the pit as he was about to start the fight. He was stunned and attempted to escape, before an officer chased him down and subdued him with his nightstick. The remaining Money Mammals were found in the back room counting $100 bills.
"I will say this," said Detective Lance Superdee, lead investigator on the case. "Those little bastards may have done some horrible things, but their counting and money management skills are outstanding."
The Money Mammals are well-known for their financial acumen. As musicians, their public mission had been to promote early understanding of fiscal responsibility to young children. They had just released their self-titled DVD debut. In it, Joe the Monkey and Piggs the Bank (who has a slot in his back for coin insertion, a physical detail that aided in a witness testimony) are eager to buy the newest Coconut Card, but ultimately learn to stymie their greed and embrace the notions of saving their money—especially as it's Clara J. Camel's birthday and the gang wants to pitch in and buy her a hat.
"This is really a shame," said Barbara Icedragon, a parent of two young children. "It's such a sweet DVD, full of music and colorful, engaging puppetry. My kids really enjoyed it, even if they were way too young to have any clue what money was. Heck, my three year-old still thinks quarters are something you put in your mouth that mommy makes you vomit up."
The DVD contains the most popular songs from The Money Mammals, including "We're the Money Mammals" (the group's theme song), "Reasons to Save," "I'm Frugal," "Make a Choice," "One Coin (for the Coconut Card)," "Red Straw Hat (for Clara's Birthday)," "Let's Make the Right Choice," and "Saving Money Really Rules." The entire production is puppet-driven, set to a green-screen background. Critics have called it "energetic, fun and perhaps a bit too ambitious."
The once-bright future of The Money Mammals now faces serious jeopardy. Authorities estimate that the dog-fighting ring had been in existence since 1986, and in the 20 years of its existence has generated over $35 million in illicit revenue. Thanks to the Mammals' financial adroitness, the money had been spread out among various off-shore accounts that will prove difficult for investigators to access.
"I'd like to see those f***ers try and get their hands on our cash," said Piggs the Bank in an outburst on the court steps. "All the rest of you can eat my slot!"
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