Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Christmas-Season Tales from Britain: For the first time in 260 yrs, the Christingle service at Chelmsford Cathedral will take place without children carrying ceremonial candles; despite an injury-free record, someone feared that the kids’ hair might catch fire, so they’re using glow-sticks. And when Alan Parkin was asked to remove the lights from his huge, outside Christmas tree, he decided to have it seriously trimmed, too, into a shape fitting of his South Yorkshire town of—Penistone. [Yes, of course there’s a photo]

Crisis at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Ass’n: Rev. Franklin G. wants mom and pop to be buried at a kinda evangelical fund-raising exhibit near Charlotte, but the rest of the family objects, and the problem is that Billy and Ruth are barely with it these days. Ruth did have the energy to enlist her long-time friend, crime writer Patricia Cornwell, who reported that visitors to the exhibit would be welcomed by a mechanical cow (in tribute to Billy’s early days on the farm) and that she was "horrified" at how "truly tacky" the whole thing is. Billy, naturally, said that he would pray for a solution.

Chutzpah: A wild-driving New Jersey cop got a ticket (and then got fired) for zooming around a marked state police cruiser and now files a lawsuit against the troopers for not showing him enough collegial love, in that he says it’s the troopers’ fault because of their pettiness at being dissed by someone passing them on the right, which is just not done. Ever.

Hill Street Blues Nostalgia: Sgt. Stan Jablonski’s "Let’s do it to them before they do it to us" tagline on the daily stationhouse briefing came to life last week in San Bernardino, Calif., when County Supervisor Josie Gonzalez addressed sheriff’s deputies on staying safe during the holiday season (according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin): "Shoot first and ask questions later. I’ll take care of the lawsuits."

Below The Fold
After sorting through all the evidence about that August British airliner terrorist attack (that led to the ban on liquids), a Pakistani judge couldn’t find any "terrorism" and shipped the prime suspect off for mundane criminal prosecution . . . . . Oh, the European Union must love this: Maintenance workers for Turkish Airlines celebrated a successful job by sacrificing a camel at the Instanbul airport . . . . . The 7-foot-9 Inner Mongolian herdsman who is Guinness’s tallest man saved a dolphin’s life by reaching down its throat (or whatever they call it) with his 41-inch-long arm and pulling out some plastic thingee . . . . . Least competent aerospace company: Boeing announced someone had stolen another laptop computer with another 382,000 company workers’ data on it (just like that time in November, except that one only had 161,000 names) . . . . . A sheriff’s deputy was indicted for fatally shooting an unarmed teenager (he said he heard gunfire), but then, he wasn’t, because it turns out the grand-jury foreman had just checked the wrong box on the form . . . . . An 82-yr-old man, blinded in one eye in a World War II explosion, got kicked in the head by a horse at Monticello (N.Y.) Raceway, which apparently readjusted his optical settings. He's fine now. Seriously.