Monday, July 27, 2009

News of the Weird / Pro Edition
by Chuck Shepherd
July 27, 2009 (news from July 18-25)
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Rhode Island's Youth Employment Program
According to state law (or, rather, the lack of it), flabbergasted cops were unable to run a strip-club owner in for that 16-yr-old dancer. She's legal. Under-18s in RI can't work with power saws or do excavation jobs, or buy porn, for that matter, but they can work the pole. Providence Journal

The Mean Streets of Beaumont
Alex Fowler, 26, was arrested for an attempted robbery in Beaumont, Tex., and it's good they got this vicious, cold-blooded gang-banger off the street. He's a CRIP, with "Crip for Life" tattooed on his neck, carrying a gun, bandanna across his face. Tough guy. However, the robbery went wrong, and the 87-yr-old victim chased Alex from her home with a can of Raid. Seriously. Beaumont Enterprise

Nothing Gets Past Those Wise Ol' Illinois Tax Examiners
Finally, George Michael's Church of Spiritual Humanism was ruled a fake, and he'll now have to pay the $80k/yr property tax bill on his mansion, for which he had won preliminary approval for an exemption as a church, helped by submitting an image of the house but with a cross on an outer wall (even though George had just Magic-Markered the cross onto the photo). (He later put up a real cross, but it didn't help.) Chicago Tribune

Zebras in the News
(1) The economically and physically decimated Marah zoo in Gaza has a handsome zebra that enchants the kids who have only seen pictures of them, but having a real zebra is expensive. That's why the Marah's zebra is really a donkey, painted with hair dye. Seems to work. They've also got house cats posing as wild cats. (2) Pittsburg State (Kan.) linebacker Joe Windscheffel is out for the season. That's not saying he would have made the team anyway, since a linebacker ordinarily should be tough enough not to get knocked on his ass by a zebra while doing farm work. Slate /// Associated Press via Kansas City Star

I See London, I See France . . .
Belgian artist Jan Bucquoy opened an underpants museum in Brussels, with some artists' actual drawers under glass but also with photos of people who had declined to contribute their knickers (Margaret Thatcher, etc). Bucquoy might actually be onto something: "If I had portrayed Hitler in his underpants, there would not have been a war." "If you are scared of someone, just imagine them in their underpants. The hierarchy will fall . . .." Bucquoy's holy grail? The Papal skivvies. Reuters

People Who Were Reported Being Nuts Last Week But Don't Yet Know They're Nuts
(1) David Shayler used to be a controversial MI5 British intel agent, but things happened, and he sorta went downhill. He's now "Delores Kane" aka the Messiah, on a mission to save humanity by 2012, through legalized hemp and bringing to justice the Americans who staged 9-11. (2) Zimbabwean twins Patience and Memory Neuhe grew up well-off, educated abroad, but returned home under the spell of Seventh-Day Adventists and now walk around all day in only their underwear, tending their garden, waiting for the Apocalypse. Their elderly parents are beside themselves. Irish Independent /// Daily Mail [photos of Delores] /// Zimbabwe Guardian

Gateway to Waterboarding
Mr. Olayinka Alege is an assistant principal at Tampa's King High School (in whose inaugural year Yr Editor almost attended as a 10th-grader), and he solemnly deals with underachievers by having them remove a shoe and sock so he can bend back one of their toes ("toe-popping"). He warns them that if they don't start cracking the books, he'll toe-pop 'em again. He's had to toe-pop one guy 20 times. Tampa Tribune

Important Update!
Yr Editor hates it when this happens, but once in a blue moon . . .. John Wayne Peck, who made our Classic Middle Name list upon his arrest in February 2007, was found not guilty of murder last week in Fredericksburg, Va. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You
Christopher Monks, 24, is on trial in Preston (England) Crown Court, with the evidence looking like this: Monks wanted two things in life: his parents dead and his dick bitten off. So he found a member of the dick-eating community and struck a deal. Lancashire Evening Post

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]
Things don't look good for Edward Harper, 63, accused of child molesting, because the FBI has had him on its Most Wanted list for 15 yrs now and finally arrested him last week. That alone doesn't mean anything; fairness requires that the mug shot be examined. CNN

More Angst & Confusion from Last Week

The water company told a couple in Barnsley, England, that there's nothing it could do, since their water tested perfectly safe . . even though they acknowledged that "white snot" was coming out of the tap. BBC News

New York's Albany County and the Albany County Medical Center agreed to pay a suspected drug perp $125k after he was forcibly colonoscoped to see if he had swallowed any inventory. Times Union

Can't Possibly Be True: (1) Gareth Morgan is a "badger whisperer." Around him, badgers act like puppy dogs. (2) There's a BP gas station in Memphis that sells quality sushi prepared by an on-site chef. Gourmet magazine says so. Daily Mail (London) /// Commercial Appeal (Memphis)

An exhibit at a gallery in Glasgow, "Made in God's Image," displays a Bible and invites unrestricted comments. "If you feel you've been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it." The result is just what you'd expect: enflaming, vile, blasphemous. Fatwa dead ahead—, oh, wait, wrong religion. Australian Associated Press via

Sounds Like a Joke: A show tortoise escaped from the Zerbini Family Circus during a performance in Madison, Wis., and for some reason, they couldn't catch up to it for six days, when it showed up at a golf course two miles away. And "Terri" won the official World Snail Racing Championship in Congham, England, turning in a blistering 2:49 heat over the 13-inch course. Associated Press via Journal Sentinel /// The Sun

More Sub-Prime Americans

Sean Roberts, 19, Riverview, Fla., alleged burglar, sports a cheek tattoo of the outline of his home state. The Smoking Gun

Tina Lober, Chattanooga, Tenn., was charged with shooting her ex-husband in the groin, twice, because (according to her diary) she needed to create some "portals of exit" for his demons. The Tennessean

What happens when a judge at a beauty contest for trannies votes the wrong way? Unanswered question: If the perp lost the contest, how did he/she wind up with the trophy that was used to beat down the judge with? Chicago Sun-Times

Someone needs to tell Benjamin Hunt, 32, Westmoreland, N.Y., to man up, that there's no crying in DUI mugshots. WKTV (Utica)

Eyewitness News

The owner of Plants & Planters in Richardson, Tex., went to the surveillance video to find out who had made off with 30-some-odd plants overnight. Answer: one of those "assistance monkeys." A monkey was seen scooping up the plants and grabbing a few accessories and handing them to someone on the other side of a fence. WFAA-TV (Dallas)

Recurring Theme: What you really want to see is U.S. Rep. Barney Frank Stooge-slapping U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, but you'll have to settle for this brawl on the floor of the South Korean parliament, where every year or two, push comes to shove over some issue or other. The Guardian (London)

Bonus Non-News Story (that you really ought to know about, anyway, though it's seriously Not Safe For Work): the "ancient art" of, um, vaginal calligraphy.

Newsrangers: Sam Gaines, Charley Butterfield, Jason Kingston, Steve Dunn, Stephen Taylor, Daniel Whalen, John Golan, Peter Swank, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors