John Bolaris knows what he was wearing on March 28, 2010.
“Armani jeans, cotton white shirt with a hint of yellow pinstripes, Salvatore Ferragamo black shoes,” he told Playboy, later adding that all of his suits were made by Hugo Boss. Bolaris’ outfits, lifestyle and Philadelphia’s supposed insatiable lust for up-to-the-minute updates on his escapades were revealed in poetic detail in this month’s issue. “Just watching his life unfold, or maybe unravel, spices up their own drab lives,” the magazine says of us. “They experience those Estonian women vicariously through Bolaris.”
Oh, yes, the Estonian women. The Playboy profile’s news peg is the tale, previously detailed in the Daily News, of how Bolaris was allegedly scammed out of $43,712.25 by a ring that hired pretty Eastern European women to bring out-of-towners to private clubs and charge them exorbitant prices for liquor, usually faking the credit card signatures. “One of them started rubbing me, opened my mouth, and said, ‘Do shot,’” Bolaris told the Daily News. Bolaris was Victim No. 88. Seventeen people were indicted in April; two women pled guilty in June.
Yesterday John Bolaris and Fox 29 “mutually agreed” to part ways, a few weeks after he was suspended from the station. Although the article paints John Bolaris as the biggest celebrity we yokels in Philadelphia have ever seen, apparently the station didn’t think it reflected well on them.
This is silly. Even though the story was in the Daily News in May, its retelling in Playboy—along with stories of Bolaris receiving a nude photo from a woman and, even worse, hanging at Serafina—probably brought more attention to scam and to Bolaris’ carousing. But John Bolaris isn’t Hurricane Schwartz. He already had a reputation as a “notorious pussy hound” (Playboy’s words) when Fox 29 brought him back to Philadelphia in 2008. John Bolaris is gone from Fox 29 for being John Bolaris. He got screwed.
Yes, John Bolaris is an easy target, but that’s kind of the point, no? Bolaris’ escapade in Miami wasn’t any different than the public picture he’s painted in the last few decades in Philadelphia. It was actually even better, the ultimate John Bolaris story, his entire self distilled into one ridiculous tale of scams, mystery paintings and disputed credit card charges. If anything, it pushes his one public weather quasi-failure—the Storm of the Century that wasn’t in March 2001—deeper out of the public consciousness.
Obviously, the Playboy story is an easy way to get rid of John Bolaris for a litany of offenses, known and unknown. And he got a cool $100,000 in a settlement with American Express, which originally upheld the credit card charges. So don’t feel too bad if you don’t want to.
But if you’re going to get excited about someone losing his job in Philadelphia, it better be Andy Reid.
From his interactions with his Twitter doppelganger and other detractors on Twitter, it seems Bolaris thought he’d be treated as a hero for helping the FBI take down a scam ring. And, hey, why not? Philly Pretzel Factory advertises buying a dozen pretzels for your co-workers makes you a hero. Bolaris isn’t as heroic as the agent who posed as a corrupt cop and infiltrated the scam ring, but he deserves a little credit.
I think we should all toast John Bolaris. Everyone put on your favorite shirt with a hint of pinstripes, raise your glass … and do shot.