Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday’s Stuff to Be Worried About: Door-to-door tattooers / Clumsy suicide bombers / The Detroit mayor, whose pants are on fire / A $5 hitman? / Amateur bullfighters / He’s only a drug dealer, not a bank robber / Drew Peterson wants a date / And more!

Civilization in Decline
At Luther High School, Luther, Okla. (25 miles from Oklahoma City, pop. 612), students have been shown 46 hours of popular Hollywood films so far this school year during class time . . . . . The Detroit Free Press got hold of 14,000 of Mayor Kilpatrick’s text messages, which showed that he lied under oath not only when he said he wasn’t schtupping his chief of staff but also when he testified that he wasn’t involved in the firing of two whistleblowing cops . . . . . Fine Points of the Law: The Escobedo right (not to be browbeaten by cops while you’re waiting for a lawyer to arrive) trumps an actual ejaculatory admission, and a schoolteacher accused of sexual abuse is set free . . . . . It was a Muslim’s turn to give the opening prayer for an Iowa Legislature session, but the lay of the land is that session-openers pray for the lawmakers' salvation and wisdom, not "protection from the Great Satan" and "victory over those who disbelieve" . . . . . California environmentalism got all tangled up with itself, as one Prius driver with redwoods in his back yard looks like he’ll have to obey state law and chop ‘em down, in that they’re blocking the sun from his equally-Prius-type neighbor’s solar panels.

The Human Condition Today
In the Colombian countryside, two words bring out the Red Cross, stretchers, bandages, etc., and those two words aren’t "civil war," but "amateur bullfights" (a super-aggressive bull and dozens of men in a large pen, in what’s part-advertising, part-community-spirit, part-street-theater) [NY Times] . . . . . Chutzpah: The ex-cop Drew Peterson (who lots of people like for the October disappearance of his wife) got turned down by a Chicago radio station when he proposed a "Win a Date with Drew" game (Seriously) . . . . . Afghan jihadists are evidently scraping the bottom of the barrel for suicide bombers, in that, for the second time in two days, a bomber, while making preparations to blow himself up, blew himself up . . . . . Recurring: In Springfield, Mo., a door-to-door, er, tattoo salesman, with a jury-rigged gun, actually picked up some customers (including this woman, who had to be hospitalized) . . . . . An employee of an architectural firm misunderstood a help-wanted ad, thought she was being replaced, and thus trashed the firm’s computer files (but she really wasn’t being replaced, but now she’s being replaced) . . . . . A DUI woman who fatally plowed into a bicyclist in Tucson, Ariz., and who was in line for a sentence as light as 4 yrs actually got 10½ after the judge heard a jailhouse recording of her laughing about the victim, i.e., a combo "tree-hugger . . bicyclist . . Frenchman . . gay guy."

Your Daily Loser
An Independence, Mo., man tried to contract out a hit for a down payment of, er, $5 (Bonus: He wanted his female roommate to kill the girlfriend of his ex-lover so he could have the man to himself).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Eric Norton, 37, Williamsport, Pa., appears to be yet another possessor of child pornography who never managed moderation; he somehow felt he needed 300 videos and 6,000 pictures.

In Slidell, La., two guys showed up to rob a Bank of Louisiana branch, but part-way through, one flipped on the other and tried to stop him (because, it turns out, the second guy had no idea his friend was going to rob the place when he agreed to accompany him inside) (Bonus: The second guy is a drug dealer who thought the robber was just withdrawing money to pay him back ["I’m just a drug dealer."]).

Things That Seem Wrong
The McClatchy Newspapers investigation unit is once again on its game, and it turns out that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, far more often than you’d suspect, detains U.S. citizens for deportation for days or weeks at a time just because it doesn’t believe them enough to go check out their, y’know, birth certificates and things. ("I’m a citizen!" "Yeah, yeah, sure you are, Thomas.") (A 2006 study found 125 people wrongly detained then, but McClatchy says it’s way more.)

A suspected drug dealer misdirected a sales text message—to a Salt Lake City cop! . . . . . A Swedish bus line believes a gang smuggles a dwarf or child into its buses’ baggage compartments to ransack other baggage! . . . . . The Saginaw [Mich.] News accidentally ran an I’m-selling-my-horse classified ad under the section called "Good Things to Eat"! . . . . . A man in Warsaw calculated that a local letter sent snail mail but delayed two weeks actually did take longer, door to door, than a snail would have taken for the same distance! . . . . . An eyeball shipped from one Australian city to another for a transplant was mistakenly delivered to a tavern! . . . . . A military airplane crashed while bringing officers back after a flight-safety conference! . . . . . Gabrielle Ford has a disabling neuromuscular disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, for which there's no medical treatment (Bonus: Her dog has the same thing)!

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Someone opposed to anti-gay trash-talker Rev. Fred Phelps has launched Phags for Phelps to, in all earnestness, help get Phelps’s message out since nearly everyone in the country would reject Phelps if only more had heard of him.

Newsrangers: Kathryn Wood, Karl Olson, James Wicht, Mark Neunder, Perry Levin, Bob Pert, Jason Struthers, Keith Frauendorfer, Trish Cook, John Holsinger, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.