Monday, July 13, 2009

News of the Weird / Pro Edition
July 13, 2009 (news from July 4-11)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Retiring a News of the Weird Evergreen
Our old friend H. Beatty Chadwick, never convicted of doing anything wrong, has nonetheless been incarcerated near Philadelphia since the middle of President Clinton's first term, to encourage him to hand over money to his ex-wife in their divorce proceeding. At the time, he swore there was no money, that he had lost it all in investments. The judge didn't believe him, then or on any of the ensuing 5,200 days, but on Friday, the law finally said, 14 yrs, WTF? Some murderers in Pennsylvania are out way sooner than that. Philadelphia Inquirer

Economic Stimulus Is Working
Why, there's even a £50k ($80k) job opening for a witch, living the life, looking hag-like, cackling. It's for a tourist park that features a replica Dark Ages cave, which must have a witch on duty. BBC News

Nothing Is My Fault
(1) A well-to-do British doctor retired in 1991 and donated everything he owned to the Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre because he felt at one with its lady guru. It took 18 yrs for this highly educated man to work himself free of the fraud by that manipulative, 78-yr-old woman . . which means . . lawsuit! (2) A 15-yr-old girl in New York City fell into an open manhole, got a little skinned up and bruised, went to the hospital briefly, and maybe got an MRI to see if there was worse damage. That's a lawsuit, too! (Bonus: She fell in because she was distracted by texting.) Daily Telegraph /// New York Daily News

Barney and Gomer on Duty for Your Safety
When Yr Editor had business in federal buildings in Washington way before 9-11, it was jolly fun to try and game the "security" guards by flashing a true ID but then signing in under a completely different name, to see if they would notice. To my knowledge, no guard ever did. Obviously, security has improved since 9-11, in tha— . . . wait, it says here in this GAO report that things are worse. Secure buildings may have X-ray machines now, but if the Federal Protective Service officers ignore the monitors— . . which investigators found a high incidence of, they could sneak in bomb-making components at 10 sites, unbothered. . Washington Post

People Who Have Imaginary Friends But Are Not Yet Officially Mentally Ill
About 250 people from around the world showed up in Washington state in late June for the 9th annual Fairy and Human Relations Congress, which links imaginary people's flesh-and-blood brothers but lacks any of the gravitas of mainstream religious text. "Seeing fairies changes your reality," said a local oracle. Spokesman-Review (Spokane) via Seattle Post-Intelligencer

It's Good to Be a British Prisoner (continued)
According to British law-enforcement stats, almost 1,000 furloughed prisoners in the last 10 yrs have gone AWOL, including 19 convicted murderers. Reactions: Tory politicians' hair stood on end; Labour said, er, but that's only 1% of furloughs. BBC News

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You
Deborah Parker, 38, Houston, Tex., was charged with manslaughter after her common-law husband was shot to death in what Deborah called a tragic accident while the couple were playing their little "dirty cowboy" sex game. (No, sorry; still in the dark on the actual rules of that game, but that's why blogs have Comments sections.) Houston Chronicle

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]
The charge? Running an unlicensed silicone-injection clinic for boobally-challenged women. And while you jurors are at it, you can rule once and for all exactly of which gender this perp is a member. (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Ya can help out, too, with the prosecution of John Yale Jr., 43, who may or may not (a) be the Devil and (b) have assaulted a man in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Stuart, Fla.)

Just to test your wits further: Take a look at this guy and try to guess how many times he's been arrested. The choices are (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 120. St. Petersburg Times

The Way The World Works (i.e., You Get Screwed)
An economics research firm told USA Today that the only reason 45% of banks and credit unions were profitable last year was because of their overdraft fees (y'know, when you bounce a check, but the bank "lends" you money to cover it, at semi-Mafioso interest). (Bonus: Some banks refer to this overdraft-fee/anal intercourse as a "courtesy.") USA Today

More Angst & Confusion from Last Week

Not Your Father's Drug Cartel: The numero cinco Mexican drug gang, La Familia, does business differently. Ya can't drink, ya can't toke, ya can't inject, nuthin, and ya gotta read your Bible. They're into the same lines of work as the others, with a presence in dozens of U.S. cities, even, and their leader is known as El Mas Loco, but, still, individually, they smoke less than President Obama. The Guardian (London)

Employees at a Tokyo rail service will have to clock-in and smile-in for work every day: They grin into a scanner, which makes sure they look cheerful enough for duty. For the Japanese, this will take practice. Mainichi Daily News

March Madness for Kidney Surgeons: Johns Hopkins doctors led an eight-way kidney swap involving six men and 10 women in four states. Washington Post

Readers' Choice: A 29-yr-old worker died of . . chocolate . . at a plant in New Jersey. He fell into a yummy, creamy vat and was battered by the mixing blades. Philadelphia Inquirer

Lisa Wright, 17, made the tabs in Britain at age 14 when she moved in with a 46-yr-old whom she loved with all her heart, she said, but the Daily Mail catches up to her today, reporting that she's come to her senses. (Bonus: Nigel must be crying like a baby, seeing those sofa bolsters Lisa's grown in the last two years.) Daily Mail

Bright Idea: Jonathan Baltesz and his family came up with an obvious yet underutilized strategy for enticing its lost Labrador, Simon, back home. They all peed in containers and spritzed them around Bristol, laying out a trail that Simon could follow home. Bristol Evening Post

More Sub-Prime Americans

Two hardy frontiersmen from Bethesda, Md., set out into the Alaskan Bush for a 7-day wilderness adventure but had to whine in the rescuers . . after one day . . because of sunburn. Apparently, they overlooked the brochure about the long days. Anchorage Daily News

Crime Is My Profession: Roy Jenkins, 44, Alameda, Calif., was a felon in possession of an unregistered shotgun, which came to authorities' attention when he tried to transport it down his pants leg and blew his little toe off. Alameda Sun

Nuts, But With Panache: A 36-yr-old man was arrested in Destin, Fla., obstructing traffic, but before deputies were done with him, he had ID'd himself as (the late) John Quincy Adams, DOB July 4th, 1892, aka the "commissioner of police," and attempted to place the deputies under arrest, pretending to speak into an imaginary police radio, twice "calling" for backup. Finally, he settled as ID on as "commander chief 492," and a "special operative" of the FBI. Northwest Florida Daily News

Summer Special: A Review from the Recent Russian Press

Yeah, I agree: These don't nearly meet my authentication standards. But, everyone's entitled to a little guilty pleasure now and then. And ya never know. Russians are crazy. Just because we can't prove it, there's no good reason to assume they wouldn't do this stuff. (1) "Vladimir," 31, in a Moscow suburb, failed 3x in one day to kill himself (two hangings, a knife into the heart), but number four was a charm (wrist-slashing). (2) Alexi Roskov, 22, tanked on vodka, jumped out of his fifth-floor Moscow apartment window, but was not badly hurt, and went back upstairs, but a while later, jumped again (and survived again). Why'd you do it, the rescuers asked. Well, as to the first one, Alexei didn't know, but when he got back upstairs, his wife nagged him so much about the first jump that he thought he had to go again. (3) A wife's recurring gift to her husband: a sixth annual hymenoplasty, which will once again improve his insertionary experience for the ensuing 364 days (when she gets out of the hospital, that is). (4) A less-enthralled lover, Kira, got back at her wandering man by attaching several firecrackers to his penis while he slept and setting them off. (5) Tatiata Kozhevnikova, 42, broke the record for having the world's strongest vagina (measured by, I guess, the ability to expel heavy balls) (Plus, there's a photo gallery, which is actually Safe For Work).
(1) Moscow News (2) The Week (3) Moscow News (4) Moscow News (5) Moscow News (6)

Eyewitness News

Yachtsman Arthur Manning is reputed to be pretty damn good at racing, but he admits he made a bad decision on a turn in the Royal Channel Island Yacht Club's 14th Waller Harris two-handed triangle race (as you can see). Daily Telegraph

Newsrangers: Alice Sullivan, Pete Randall, Tom Barker, Bruce Raby, David Whitten, Kathryn Wood, Stephen Taylor, Michael Ravnitzky, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors