Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
Britain’s mad tunneler gets his comeuppance / More kids in dryers / The 8-yr-old divorcee / NASA flunks arithmetic / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Update from NOTW 969, 9-3-2006:
In 2001, News of the Weird mentioned William Lyttle, then age 71, of North London, England, who was notorious for obsessively digging tunnels underneath his 20-room home. That year, he had dug past the property line for the first time and created a 15-foot hole in the street. Earlier in 2006, Lyttle was temporarily evicted when his tunneling threatened the integrity of the entire street, and building inspectors feared that his accumulation of junk would cause the house itself to sink into the ground already weakened by 40 years worth of burrowing. Engineers are considering cementing in all the tunnels.
This week, the judge decided the damage was about £293,000 ($579,000), but apparently Lyttle did not go quietly, vigorously contesting in court his right to dig because, uh, because . . well, he never really got around to that.

Civilization in Decline
Economic ministers from poorer countries, meeting in Washington, trashed effete U.S. tree-huggers for human-rights violations, i.e., for diverting so much corn and sugar cane into energy substitutes, thus driving up the world prices for the staples that poor people subsist on . . . . . An 8-yr-old girl heroically marched into a courtroom in Sana’a, Yemen, and demanded a divorce from the 30-yr-old man who had married her on parental contract, and the judge said yes, but contract marriages are nonetheless legal . . . . . It’s not rocket science, but still, NASA shouldn’t have screwed up the probability that Earth will take a major asteroid hit in the year 2029, especially since a 13-yr-old German boy is the one who discovered they were off by a multiple of 100 [UPDATE: No, maybe Agence France-Presse got the story wrong, and NASA was correct] . . . . . Yr Editor’s home county was exposed yesterday as having treated work-release inmates, for 15 yrs now, as regular gov’t employees, meaning a few actually acquired pension benefits while working off their sentences (and the F State legislature naturally went nuts) . . . . . Amnesty Int’l had its annual cow deploring the number of executions in the world the year before, with China number one (and growing, i.e., number one with a bullet), Iran second, and the U.S. slipping to 5th. [Ed.: But America executed 42 people last year, out of 305 million; to conclude that only one of every 7.2 million of us is a worthless t*rd seems charmingly short-sighted.]

The Human Condition Today
Again [see also NOTW Daily, 3-7-2008], parents use the clothes dryer as a substitute for getting their kids, y’know, a swing set . . . . . A Salt Lake City woman, pretending to be a man, was arrested for using someone else’s urine to try to pass a drug test (Bonus: It was the urine of a 5-yr-old boy) (Double Bonus: The kid tested positive for cocaine) . . . . . Instant karma: Willie Thomas III fled in a stolen U-Haul truck, but then jumped out, and somehow the truck did a Phil Leotardo on him . . . . . Cross-dresser Jeremy McIntosh, 27, who was turned down for a job at the Intimate Ideas lingerie store, did the manly thing and smashed his Geo Tracker into the store, 7 times (Bonus: For his day in court, he showed up in blue Capri pants, red flip flops, a flowery blouse, and matching bra) . . . . . The Unavoidable Human Condition: Al-Qaeda documents the U.S. has finally, finally processed from Afghanistan and Iraq, most dated from 9-11 and before, are said by a Los Angeles Times reporter to describe an organization rife with bureaucratic rules and petty feuds.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Scott Fuchs, 41, got off on a technicality in Port Orchard, Wash., but still, it looks like his thing was making tapes through holes in restroom walls at a golf driving range.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Speaking of restrooms, Edward Fladung III, 44, has been charged with groping a man against his will in a rest room.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
This made the rounds on the ‘net last week, but maybe you didn’t see it. Or maybe you saw it and wished you hadn’t. Or maybe you saw it and haven’t been able to get it out of your mind since. [Ed.: Do not write Yr Editor for an explanation.]

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Erroror: In this week’s NOTW M053, 4-13-2008, I wrote that the scrapbooking critics had called the tarnished Hall of Famer “labelwhore,” but on closer reading, thanks to the prodding of a close-reader, I see that “labelwhore” is her own User Name, not a pejorative. Ouch. (2) A probably very nice lady from Wisconsin wrote me a note politely backing Mr. Leo Hill, who is the 81-yr-old in NOTW this week who made a big deal about counting the toilet paper sheets. She said her experience is the same as Leo’s, i.e., the TP companies are crooks! Readers should therefore know that there is more to this toilet-paper-gate than meets the eye. There are people like this lady who are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore! Companies are warned! (3) For those following Yr Editor’s equipment soap opera, this post is being written on the main machine, which Yr Editor managed to coax “on” after 429 pushes of the “on” button.[*] It appears that the problem lies inside the mysterious “power supply” box. Yr Editor has a replacement machine en route and will not turn this one off until it arrives. [* Just in the nick of time: An iron rule is that one should not perform the same futile act, and expect a different result, more than 430 times.]

Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Roger Gulbransen, Matt Mirapaul, Leo Steffens, Gary Davidson, Amy Saxton, Jerry Whittle
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.