Monday, January 15, 2007

People with Too Much Money: All right . . pet cremations? OK. $3,700 for emergency gastrotomy surgery when your dog swallows a stone? Well, OK. But Mr. A.R. LaMura’s $100k-plus mausoleum for Sandy, the mixed-breed terrier at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery? No. The pet burial-service industry is $150m/yr and growing, and the deluxe boneyards now have "paw bearers" and animals on premises to console the mourners.

Pentecostals on the Rise: The NY Times tells us there are 400 million worldwide speaking in tongues, including 850,000 in New York City! The Internet’s supposed to be this big thing to find information on, but I can’t find a Pentecostal dictionary to see what Ms. Lucrecia Perez meant by "omshalamamom" and "shambalashalama." Anyone know John Ashcroft’s e-mail address?

An Associated Press report on collectors of sneakers (including some at the Imelda-Marcos level) notes that serious fanatics always buy multiple pairs for when one pair gets scuffed. "The (sneaker) scene is on fire," said one guy. "You can tell so much about a person by what they have on their feet. You might not have the freshest outfit, but if you have the kicks, you are going to get the respect."

Recurring Themes—Plus: She went off and left her kid at home by himself for two days (right after his surgery), but, hey, she had to, because she had Nat’l Guard training . . . . . He was dead four days in his home [Hell, Chuck, we’ve had guys dead four years!], but this guy lived in an apartment house, and he died in the shower with the water running.

Update
The current News of the Weird column notes that an Adelaide, Australia, model let her kid drown while she attended to a cell phone call, but my original source did not have her name. Apparently, it was reported in several other sources as Kerry Lucas.

Inside NOTW
By the way, the current column, dated January 14, 2007, marks 988 consecutive weeks of newshounding, and among the factors in 988 are "52 and 19," which means Yr Editor started to work this morning on Year 20. Yr Editor is as surprised as anyone.

Editor’s Obsessions
So District Att’y Nifong has recused himself from the Duke lacrosse case. If this goes according to script, the new prosecutor will drop the case as soon as he’s looked at all the evidence (more of which favors the defendants than the state) and interviewed the victim (thus allowing her to present yet another version of the night in question). Nifong’s quitting the case is billed in the press and the bar as an embarrassment for him, but Yr Editor says that’s not good enough. I say, rack him up; make him listen to Metallica for 24 hrs straight; bring in Lindy England to look after him; shred the Quran right in front of—oops, got carried away. I say give him the foulest abuse in Durham: Give him a striped shirt and a whistle and have him make a bad call against Duke while standing in front of potty-mouthed Coach K.

Below The Fold
Arrested on "suspicion" of knocking over coin-operated washing machines at an apartment complex: two men with 75,000 quarters in their van [scroll down] . . . . . An assault victim, with his car key embedded in his skull . . . . . The price of casino mogul Steve Wynn’s thumbhole in that $139m Picasso last September: $54m, which Lloyd’s of London is having a problem with . . . . . A contestant in a Sacramento radio station’s "hold your bladder" game died of, well, water intoxication . . . . . British woman learns the hard way never to insult a dentist while you’re sittin’ in the chair . . . . . The lesser heirs of a wealthy Portuguese man with no children discovered that he left his fortune to 70 strangers he picked at random from a phone book . . . . . Lame: An out-of-state deputy was traffic-stopped in Georgia with $950k, which he said he "found" in the trash behind a Hooters in Atlanta (which explains why he had stuffed it in the car’s doors) . . . . . The BBC is planning a TV documentary tentatively titled "I Love the C Word" . . . . . 19 percent of college students said we honor Martin Luther King because he’s the man who ended slavery.