Friday, December 21, 2007

Civilization in Decline
District of Calamity: A Washington, D.C., firefighter is facing discipline (including suspension) for disobeying a direct order, with the order being to keep driving his truck to the training class he was headed for and not to stop and try to put out that fire that he’s looking straight at (because the dispatched crew will arrive in just a few minutes) (He stopped anyway, and he and his partner put it out with only $150k damage) . . . . . "I’m Offended!!!": A British mental health support group puts out a magazine, written by patients, who want to have a little fun at Christmas time, so they re-design carols for their fellow patients, e.g., for paranoids, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town to Get Me"; for multiple-personality, "We Three Kings Disoriented Are," and one patient complai—no, no, one relative of a patient complains that this is way over the line, and immediately the support group sucks up to her, pulls the feature, and begins the process of worrying itself silly about how insensitive its organization is.

The Human Condition Today
In Cortland County, N.Y., a deputy ticketed a man for DWI, and thus told his wife (who was with him) that she'd have to slide over behind the wheel and drive the both of them home, but she didn’t make it but a few feet down the road ‘til the deputy realized she was stink-faced, too . . . . . Carol Mendenhall is surely the only person in America this yr given a municipal citation (Dibble, Okla., just south of Oklahoma City) because it’s illegal for animals to fornicate in public, including her two goats . . . . . Thinking Small: Wesley Gregory, a Greensboro, N.C., parking-meter employee, was arrested for skimming off his collections, er, taking 10 yrs to skim $2,500 . . . . . A Boston city council member, Chuck Turner, got caught violating city law by not shoveling snow on the sidewalk in front of his home, and said he didn’t care, and that shoveling is just not something he’s interested in . . . . . "No such thing as a stupid question," the teachers used to say in school, but those teachers never met the member of the local planning commission of Canton Township, Mich., who resigned after it got out (during debate over a permit for a new Hindu temple) that she had asked if peeing in public is a Hindu ritual . . . . . Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion: Utah inmate Michael Polk filed a lawsuit because he now thinks the religion of Asatru is The One Way, The Shining Path, The Road to the Good Life, etc., and that the prison won’t let him have the accoutrements of Asatru (which worships Nordic gods like Odin, Thor, Tyr, and Heimdal, and which requires Thor’s Hammer, a Mead Horn to drink Wassail from, a drum, a sword, and a rune staff, among other things) . . . . . F State World-Record Attempts: In Lakeland, Fla., sheriff's deputies called to a trailer home where Great Danes were being hoarded, found feces 10 inches deep in places (Bonus: Video!).

Your Daily Losers
In a small-town F State feud, a woman, 81, who doesn’t pick all the fruit off her fruit trees in her back yard is breathing fire against her next-door neighbor, 80, who habitually wanders across the property line and picks it, himself. Said she, "I [wouldn’t] mind seeing his butt in a sling." (Bonus: photo of her, in rollers)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 24-yr-old man was arrested for choking the turkey in a changing room at a Kmart in Melbourne, Australia, an incident his lawyer said was brought on by "exam stress." The changing room was, of course, open at the bottom for all to see, and the man’s preferred wanking position is, apparently, on the floor.

Things That Seem Wrong
John Mack, the CEO of Morgan Stanley, announced with apparent great humility and magnanimity that he would actually forgo his bonus this yr (after his company posted its first quarterly loss in history following its writing down of $9.4B in mortgage-related losses). Mack is nothing if not a poster boy for the superstar CEO’s who suck up tens of millions of dollars a yr in compensation because, they all say, you need to pay big money to get people of their brilliance (but not brilliant enough, somehow, to understand the then-looming mortgage-market collapse, which was perpetuated by CEOs’ lack of independent thinking about why in the world, over the longer term, housing price increases should be expected to rise so much higher than income increases).

Cities Not Ready for Prime Time: Bangalore, whose attempt to join the world circuit for marathons was marred by the race's having to come to a halt twice to let car traffic thin out and by one stretch where barking dogs chased the leaders down the street (but maybe that made 'em run faster!) . . . . . Money Quote: Vicki Combs, one of the residents of Santa Clarita, Calif., who had their baby Jesus statues temporarily swiped in a vandalism wave, suggesting to a reporter what she’ll do to minimize the chances of its being taken again: "I think I’ll nail it down"

(1) Yr Editor doesn’t know where this came from, exactly (maybe a legitimate news organization, but maybe just from a summary by someone watching it on YouTube), but it’s blue-skinned Paul Karason, so colored because he fell for the ol’ "colloidal silver" scam, sold to earnest libertarian types [NOTW 732, 2-17-2002] who are certain that the Food and Drug Administration, et al, are totally corrupt. Apparently, if you just take colloidal silver supplements, they’ll merely be ineffective. But if you want tangible results, rub it on your skin!
[Remember, though: I don’t know where this story came from]
(2) From NOTW M003, 4-29-07:

Anthony Perone, 20, pleaded guilty in March in Connecticut in connection with two stalking letters he admitted mailing to a woman he had fallen for in the third grade but who apparently had spurned him. The rambling, incoherent letters explicitly threatened death, and Perone had intended to send them anonymously, in that he wrote no return address on the envelopes. However, he lived with his mother and had given each envelope to her to mail, and, unknown to him, she had thoughtfully added his name and address before posting them.
The NY Times yesterday had a follow-up, in more detail.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Herewith, the 20 Gnarliest Torture Devices of All Time, and no, waterboarding isn’t on it because real men water-torture by running water into a tube down your nasal passage (bypassing your obstinate mouth), to directly bloat the stomach, which the captors then stomp on, ripping your stomach lining. This was allegedly a favorite of Japanese guards in World War II.

NOTW, The Blog
Erroror (of sorts): If you get your weekly NOTW from Google Groups, there’s no error, but if this story now sounds familiar, it might be because you read it in NOTW Daily last month [11-19-2007], and thus you will need the correction. In any event, some versions of the NOTW column dated December 23, 2007 [M037] can’t be corrected in time, so let’s set it straight.
From NOTW Daily, 11-19-2007 (and some versions of the NOTW column debuting this coming Sunday):
The Army Corps of Engineers announced with great fanfare in June that its repairs and upgrades of levees in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina, would allow the system to hold back a future storm’s flood waters even if the level rose more than five feet beyond the Katrina level. However, in November, the Corps announced that because of a
mistake in calculation (an engineer had used a "minus" sign when a "plus" sign was called for), the expensive levee repairs would actually protect against flooding only six inches above the Katrina level.

Now, a few days later, the Corps corrected its correction and now says they had it right the first time [which is, itself, weird, but anyway . . ..].

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Geoff Egan, Peter Hine, Sam Gaines, Ken Casarsa, Rahul Bhattacharya, Eliot Specht, Emory Kimbrough
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.