Monday, June 22, 2009

News of the Weird / Pro Edition
June 22, 2009 (news from June 13-20)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd

The Human Carpet
"Georgio T." is a 48-yr-old immigrant from Malta, whose scene is working the floors of New York City bars dressed as a rug and available for stomping upon. He doesn't actually, y'know, come when he gets stomped, but still, he says it's very pleasurable. He has a custom rug rig he can slip into and then lies face down, praying for stilettos. He's been this way since childhood: "[One of my playmates] wanted to be the doctor, [another] wanted to be the carpenter, and I would want to be the carpet." New York Times

Tex-Ass Justice in the F State
John Preston's CSI-ready genius dog, Harass II, has contributed to around 60 convictions, they say, with his amazing ability to find specific people's scents on the faintest of crime-scene evidence, even old, old evidence. One of Harass II's IDs went to death row, and many got decades in prison. Turns out Harass II was the Bernie Madoff of crime evidence, making it up as he went along. In fact, when a judge finally tested Harass II's nose, the result was a disgrace to the German shepherd breed. So, judge after judge has been eating this "evidence" up for a couple of years, and anyway, how to you cross-examine a dog's reaction to something? [Oh, right, OK . . pet psychics.] The cover's off now only because in three of Harass II's cases so far, DNA evidence finally has shown that the suspects didn't do it. So, how many of the five dozen behind bars were wrongly convicted? F State law enforcement (including the governor and the attorney general) aren't much concerned. Orlando Sentinel

Glorious Small-Town America
(1) The County Board in Lincoln, Neb., debated whether to pay a claim for missing pants (which should have been returned to a jail inmate but were nowhere around) at $10 rather than $12. ($12 won, by a 2-1 vote) (2) Mayor Julian Mullis of redneck Mulberry, Fla., is expected to survive, physically and politically, after being beaten up by his girlfriend, who is really his cross-dressing boyfriend, who lives with the mayor and the mayor's two young kids. (3) The City Attorney in Jeffersonville, Ind., turned up one morning, head-first inside a garbage can, sleeping off a bender. Journal Star (Lincoln) /// WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg) /// News and Tribune (New Albany, Ind.)

Jonathon Keats Update
The latest project from the San Francisco artist whose mind is either way ahead of ours, or way behind ours, but definitely not even-up with ours: In the era of hyperspeed media, we need to slow down, and thus enters Jonathon with a story in print that'll take about 1,000 yrs to finish. It's nine words long and published in an interactive multimedia print magazine and, according to the instructions, the ink will reveal itself, slowly, taking about a century per word. OK, well, Jonathon's got other stuff to look at, too. Wired.com /// Jonathon Keats

Crime Is Their Profession
(1) Victor Delfi was arrested in Chicago for knocking off the Lincoln Park Savings Bank, foiled when he tried to deposit some of the red-stained cash into his own account in another bank. (2) Marlon Moore, 38, was indicted in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where police said he was working on deals to swindle IRS out of, er, 14 trillion dollars. [Marlon's probably thinking, Damn, I was so close!] (3) A robber escaped in Salt Lake City with some computers from a store, but that's probably not what he came for. It was the Black Diamond Equipment store, and the employee said the guy seemed deflated to find out that they didn't actually sell diamonds or gold (but rather, high-end ski and climbing accessories). Chicago Tribune /// South Florida Sun-Sentinel [LINK FIXED] /// KSL-TV (Salt Lake City) [Update: More details on ol' Marlon's grand scheme. Miami New Times]

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You
Augustus Hudgins, 41, was arrested in a downtown park in Memphis for indecent exposure, or as he tried to explain (according to the cop), "giving [his] penis some air." The Smoking Gun

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]
Evansville, Ind., police say that Marcus Bailey, 25, took time-out in the middle of getting braids to step outside the salon and move some cocaine. They say they nabbed him closing the deal. Ya think? Evansville Courier & Press

More Angst & Confusion from Last Week

In southern California, a full-grown mountain lion, rummaging around a garage, was kept at bay for 45 minutes (until animal control arrived) by the homeowner's, er, three mouthy, evolution-rules-defying chihuahuas. KTLA-TV (Los Angeles)

Those local British Councils are keeping Yr Editor's news inventory up. (1) The Brighton and Hove City Council evicted a nature guy from his cave home of 16 yrs . . because it lacks a fire exit. (2) A survey of Council websites shows they spend £50m ($82.4m) a year translating their pamphlets and stuff into languages like Albanian, Bengali, Kurdish, Somali, Gujarati, and Punjabi, when notoriously few people have ever read the damn things in English in the first place. Daily Telegraph /// Daily Telegraph

Actually, gov't labor contracts in the U.S. keep the inventory up, too. Like the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's subway contract, where they pay about $29m a yr to keep a second attendant at the rear of each Red Line train, to open and close the doors (a process that's automated on almost all other rapid-transit systems and on MBTA's own Blue Line for the last 10 yrs). Boston Globe

The Golden and District Search and Rescue company, saving the asses of holidaygoers who get in trouble around the ski resort in Golden, British Columbia, pulled out and left the stupid skiiers on their own. That's because one dainty vacationer from Quebec is suing them because they didn't find him fast enough when he and his wife got lost in February. Calgary Sun

Ms. Shifa Patel, 28, a somewhat butch-looking secretary at Britain's Al-Isiah Muslim Girls School, was hounded out of her job by a small group of rabid parents who insisted she is a man. (She always gets robed-and-veiled up at work, but, of course, not on her Facebook page!) She even went to the trouble of getting certification from a gyno, but the parents thought it was faked. Daily Mail

Quirks: Todd Hall was ordered to prison for a year in Arkansas after a judge found fault with his manner of disciplining his 6-yr-old son: habitually biting him, mostly on the toes. And Robert Stahl, 64, was convicted in Muncie, Ind., in the second separate incident of resolving disputes by reaching into men's mouths and yanking out their dentures. Northwest Arkansas News /// Star Press (Muncie)

Readers' Choice: Belgian Kimberly Vlaminck, 18, is raising hell after she fell asleep in the tattooist's chair and woke up with 56 stars on the left side of her face when she said she expected to see only 3. Tattooist Rouslan Toumaniantz said Kimberly wasn't asleep [How easy is it to fall asleep with 56 needles digging into your face?] and knew full well what she wanted, but that when she got home and saw her friends' and family's reaction, she dropped a log. Daily Mail (London)

BBC News interviewed the man with the world's most hopeless job: head of the navy in Somalia. No sailors, no boats, no ability to stop the pirates. Yet optimistic! BBC News

More Sub-Prime Americans

A 27-yr-old man in Mesa, Ariz., planned to take The Only Way Out by rigging a 24-inch sword to his steering wheel, pointed at his chest, and then crashing his car into a brick wall. He's still with us, though. They make air bags stronger than you think these days, and the car swerved off the road, into a swimming pool. East Valley Tribune

Readers' Choice: Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 49, was busted after a six-year run of bravo-type acting performances, starring as his mother, in a wig, appearing at various social agencies around New York City so they would keep sending her gov't checks to her (him) (which she wasn't entitled so, in that she had died). Yr Editor isn't exactly sure which school of acting influenced Thomas here, but he told the arresting officer, "I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother." New York Daily News

Eyewitness News

It's tough being a reporter covering women's Mixed Martial Arts 'cause the gals don't think you respect 'em . . that is . . until they show they can choke out a reporter in three seconds. The Sun (London) [link to video]

Meth Capital of America? The Tulsa World settles that argument! Tulsa World [interactive map of all Tulsa meth busts since January 2008]

A celebratory nude rugby match in New Zealand, interrupted by . . of course . . a fully-clothed streaker [sic]. The Guardian (London) [NSFW]

Toledo, Ohio, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who famously suggested dealing with airport noise complaints by encouraging deaf people to move close to the airport, is also a master diplomat, shown here breaking apart fighting teenagers, aka Fatso, Tubby, and Fat Ass. WTOL-TV (Toledo) /// YouTube video

Newsrangers: John Valentine, Dave Bonan, Kathryn Wood, Cindy Denny, John Holsinger, Richard Schneider, Tim Lindvig, Alice Sullivan, Perry Levin, Sandy Pearlman, Peter Swank, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors