Fire Official Sues the City of Phoenix over Penis Doodles and Vagina Pasta

This is a lawsuit over penis doodles and vagina pasta.

No, really. This is a lawsuit over penis doodles and a piece of vagina pasta. Not a whole buffet of vagina pasta, not an entire meal of vagina pasta, not even a bowl of vagina pasta. Just one lonely—but ultimately harassing—piece of vagina pasta.

Frank Cheatham was a veteran employee of the fire department. He'd been with the Arizona city since 1979, moving through the municipal ranks as fire engineer, fire captain, fire battalion chief, and fire battalion deputy chief shift. He liked being chief of fire-related matters enough that he had never been disciplined in over three years of service. But then one day he spotted a penis doodle and everything changed.

And not for the better.

According to a federal lawsuit filed March 29, the fateful penis-doodling day took place in November 2009, when Mr. Cheatham was working his fire work in Fire Station 1—probably sliding down one of those poles again and again or playing catch with the local dalmation, the complaint doesn't say—and he saw some very immature graffiti.

But it wasn't just any regular immature graffiti—nothing as childish as HI, POOPYHEAD or U STINK. It was something far worse.

Brace yourself, here the complaint gets very graphic:

In approximately November 2009, while acting in his official capacity as a "Deputy Chief Shift Commander" of "South Shift Command," Chief Cheatham saw several inappropriate, sexually suggestive drawings and items—specifically, two depictions of a penis and testicles—openly displayed in the workplace at Fire Station 1.

Two depictions of <===8!

Cheatham was unhappy with this, it seems, believing the pee-pee and the ball pictures created a sexually hostile work environment, which, to be fair, is a valid claim, especially for a city-run organization. So he rebuffed the Fire Station 1 supervisors and insisted this kind of behavior would not be tolerated in the future. (The "not" is even underlined like that in the complaint, so he must've been really forceful.)

The supervisors did not respond to this news well:

Soon after Chief Cheatham complained of the inappropriate sexual drawings and items, when he was exercising at a gym located at the Phoenix Fire Department, he saw a t-shirt bearing another drawing of a penis and testicles draped over a piece of gym equipment.

Odd, but possibly coincidental. Maybe a coworker dropped something on their way back from Spencer's Gifts.

Soon thereafter, Chief Cheatham received a large brown envelope in interoffice mail containing two small pieces of pasta, one of which resembled a penis and the other of which resembled a vagina.

The piece of pasta resembling a vagina had Chief Cheatham's first name ("Frank") written on it.

Let us repeat: "The piece of pasta resembling a vagina had Chief Cheatham's first name ("Frank") written on it."

Whoa, this just got really dark.

Who does that? I'll get him, you see, I'll run right down to the nasty treasures erotic goods shop, pick up two matching pieces of dink and va-jay-jay pasta, and then. . . . I'll write his name on the lady one? And then I'll put it in a large envelope? So he'll get the message that we're a-holes who think he's the p-word?

What the complaint alleges happened after that is pretty harsh: Cheatham was demoted from his position as deputy chief shift commander of south shift command and transferred to the department's "Safety Division," which kind of sounds like McNulty's patrol boat.

Cheatham is suing the city for violating his federal civil rights by creating a sexually hostile work environment. He demands a jury trial. We eagerly await the transcript.

[Courthouse News Service // Shutterstock]