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Shmuck of the Week: The Idol audition dog-killer

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Sometimes we have to dig a little to find a shmuck worthy of our weekly dishonor. And sometimes, a dude lets his girlfriend's terrier die a slow death out in the car while he watches her audition for American Idol.

Oh, Quincy Vanderbilt from North Dakota. You could have done so many things differently, and we wouldn't be here right now, declaring you Shmuck of the Week. You could have talked your girlfriend out of driving three states away for the slimmest of chances to be mocked on national television. But I understand that one: You've got to help her chase those dreams, on the slim chance she'll start having sex with you again.

What I don't understand why you took the dog with you. No friends or family in North Dakota were willing to dog sit for a couple days? And then, when you got to the auditions and it was pushing 90 degrees outside, you decided it would be OK to leave the dog in your giant metal convection oven in the parking lot of Invesco? And it never occurred to you to, I don't know, crack the windows?

The Denver Police Department took this opportunity to remind us that a car parked in the sun on a 78-degree day can reach 160 degrees, and that dogs cannot cool themselves with sweat. Instead, they pant. And when that doesn't work, they die. But you're obviously not a thinking man, Quincy, so we'll allow that you didn't know either of these facts. You're an idiot, and you're cruel for leaving the dog in the car. But you aren't a shmuck just yet.

No, you earned that honor when you told your girlfriend you'd check on Fido periodically and then didn't. What, the region's middling vocal talent was so riveting that you lost track of time? Or did you just resolve to polish off one more $8 Coors Light? Or maybe it was just too hot to make that long walk out to your car. And by the time you dragged your ass back at 2 p.m., the terrier had panted his last gulp of scorching car interior.

So let's recap your souvenirs from this week's trip to the Mile High City, Quincy Vanderbilt: One dead pet, one misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals, a court date in August, a presumably grief-stricken girlfriend who will doubtless not be appearing on American Idol, and a shiny new, slow-roasted Shmuck of the Week award.

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