Monday, September 28, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
September 28, 2009
(curious and/or absurd news from September 19-26)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

Grand Marshal Gaddafi Returns to the Stage
In Yr Editor's Gallery of Megalomaniacs, Moammar Gaddafi occupies one of the top slots (with North Korea's K.Jay, the late Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan, and, y'know, Donald Trump, people like that), and his epic United Nations cabaret performance on Wednesday marked his return to glory. In addition to pissing off his interpreter and Gordon Brown by exceeding his 15-minute slot (by 82 minutes!), he demanded the UN pay Libya for past injustices, which he calculated to be precisely $7.7 trillion. He also caused a scene because he eschews 5-star hotels in favor of bedding down in his own tent, with his "elite virgin female bodyguard detail" providing safety. When he visits other African countries, Gaddafi famously makes friends in the countryside by tossing US$1 bills from his limo, but that won't work here. Washington Post

Mayors Gone Wild
Sallie Peake of Wellford, S.C., said she's got budget problems and can't afford for the police to be chasing suspects. (Oh, ya mean no more high-speed chases?) No. No chases. Just drive out to their homes and arrest 'em. And Mayor Eric Brewer of East Cleveland, Ohio, neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the photographs circulating around town of him dressed maybe like he's Erica Brewer and not Eric. And Mayor Bob Ryan of Sheboygan, Wis., was captured on an off-the-record video saying he's heard that his sister-in-law gives a good blowjob. (Mrs. Ryan couldn't be less amused.) WSPA-TV (Spartanburg, S.C.) /// WTAM Radio (Cleveland) /// WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee)

Do You Realize How Difficult It Is to Find Heartwarming Vulture Stories?
All right, so two male vultures at Israel's Jerusalem Biblical Zoo made headlines a couple of yrs ago when they incubated an "egg" and then raised a baby vulture. (Actually, they were playing mom with a fake egg; zookeepers slipped an actual itty bitty just-hatched vulture into the nest when the parents weren't looking. So, the two males think they've accomplished something.) OK, jump ahead a while, and the men grew apart and moved on to female partners. (It's unclear whether they had come to realize that their original mates weren't females or whether they just had an Anne Heche Moment.) The males knocked up the females, and the first actual babies of the original gay pair were (it says here, anyway) born on the same day as each other and weighed exactly the same thing. How 'bout that? Haaretz (Tel Aviv)

Three Australians Beg, "Please, Take Our Money"
In a Melbourne suburb, two grifters convinced at least three business operators to let them double their money . . chemically. It's a special substance! When currency soaks in it overnight . . each bill produces another bill of the same denomination! The artists even "demonstrated" it to each investor, with an A$100 bill. The three astute businessmen lost a total of A$160k, and now valuable police resources are being diverted, trying to get the money back. Stonnington Leader via News.Com.au

What a Dork that Guy Is, with that Metal Detector
Oh, wait. Terry Herbert, 55, just found at least $1.6m worth (probably much more) of gold and silver in Staffordshire county, England, probably buried there in the 7th century by a successful Anglo-Saxon warlord. Archaeologists' toes are still curling over this. New York Times

Remember the Indonesian with Warts Like a Bad Case of Barnacles?
That guy is doing better, but now comes Lin Tianzhuan, 38, in southern China, aka Coral Boy, whose growths on his legs and arms more resemble stone or shells. [Links are Not Safe for Stomachs] Daily Telegraph (London) /// Metro (London) [tree man Dede Koswara]

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

A man identified only as in his 50s obviously had a bad sex life all along, but it recently got really bad. He thought he could build up some penile length if he stuck it through the ring-shaped fastener used to lock weights on dumbbells. Of course, what he built up was blood, which swelled the organ [to "five times its size"? I don't know about that] so that he couldn't get the fastener off and was a short time away from having his pride and joy turn into a useless mass. Firefighters sawed for two hours to release him. Inspiring! Daily Pilot (Newport Beach, Calif.)

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


How about it . . Can't James Bauer, 29, Delhi Township, Ohio, just rely on charm to get a date? He was charged with two rapes in January. (Second link goes to outcome of the case, last week.) WCPO-TV (Cincinnati) /// Cincinnati Enquirer

American Sub-Prime

Update: Former Moorestown, N.J., cop Robert Melia Jr. is still in big-time trouble (child sex-abuse charges from three girls), but at least he doesn't have that pesky animal-cruelty charge hanging over him. In a ridiculously earnest legal ruling, Judge James Morley dismissed the charge. Since the state has no bestiality law, the prosecutor has to prove actual cruelty. Morley mused from the bench about the difficulty of judging whether the calves were "tormented" by having Melia stick his stuff in their mouths (as opposed to, say, "puzzled" by it): "If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk [from this thing in my mouth]? [I'm sucking, but] I'm not getting any milk.'" Philadelphia Daily News

Richard Castor, 56, Carlisle, Pa., was ticketed for "harassment" of his neighbor Brian Taylor, after he flicked a toothpick onto the sidewalk outside Taylor's house. (Well, Castor had been warned by a judge to be on his good behavior.) Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

Dalton Chiscolm filed a lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in New York City (Chin being the court's go-to judge in recent Bank of America litigation). Chiscolm claims some shortcoming or other in BA's customer service because of a mixup in "routing numbers" and has demanded, and I quote, "1,784 billion, trillion dollars" (with a supplemental claim of, again quoting, "$200,164,000"). Judge Chin gave Chiscolm about a month to come to his senses before he dismisses the case. Reuters

Canadian Sub-Prime: David McKay, 28, was arrested in Regina, Saskatchewan, despite his steadfast insistence that he is not David McKay, who was wanted on a warrant. No sir, his name is Matthew (which McKay had trouble spelling, by the way). How does Matthew explain the tattoo on his back reading "David McKay"? "I'm Matthew." Leader-Post (Regina) via Times Colonist (Vancouver)

Below The Fold

The latest in British men's fashion: "mantyhouse" (Robin Hood-like leggings, just a little teensy-weensy bit ahead of its time, wouldn't ya say?) and underpants for lefthanders (who apparently get confused at urinals, since the standard opening is made for righties). Daily Telegraph /// Daily Mail

ER doctors writing in the Archives of Surgery reported that people with brain injuries fare better if they've got a liiitttttle bit of hooch in them (but not too much and not "none"). CTV.com

Female soldiers in Sweden complained that their gov't-issue bras become unfastened with any vigorous movements, which crimps their style if they're out on the Swedish battlefields, and besides that, the bras are flammable. The Local (Stockholm)

Yikes! The average Brit (7.65 sexual partners) has actually been exposed to, er, 2.8 million sex organs. (As long as we're on large numbers, here's a story from the week before: In Jerusalem, Rachel Krishevsky passed away at age 99, leaving behind around 1,400 descendants. She had 11 kids. Turns out she was one of the more population-modest Krishevskys.) Agence France-Presse via Google /// YnetNews.com (Tel Aviv)

Same Old Same Old

Texting while driving is already tired and expired. We're onto being alarmed about men choking the turkey while driving, which allegedly afflicted Daniel Furesz, 60, on New Jersey's Route 17. It's quite dangerous, as a German big-rig driver (ha ha ha!) overturned his truck after losing control while racing to orgasm near Boras, Sweden. (Bonus: He kept on wanking, even during police interrogation.) The Leader (Lyndhurst, N.J.) /// The Local (Stockholm)

Undignified: A 75-year-old Floridian (Deerfield Beach) drowned while gathering up lost golf balls for resale. And more conventionally, a 46-yr-old Chattanooga, Tenn., man drowned after jumping in the raging flood waters---for free---after unsuccessfully trying to make $5 bets that he could swim the rapids. Associated Press via Florida Today /// Associated Press via Knoxville News-Sentinel

Former Sarasota sheriff's deputy Clinton Knowles became the most recent man fired for excess boozing (he was a member of the SWAT team!) and then to challenge the firing as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (alcoholism = disability). WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Eyewitness News

London's The Sun, writing from Las Vegas, found an astounding underground village of ne'er-do-wells living in the flood tunnels underneath fabulously expensive Strip hotels. The interviewed couples seem perfectly happy, concerned only about the fragrance, the Black Widow spiders, and the occasional gusher that courses through their worldly goods. The Sun

People get impaled by steel spikes, javelins, things like that. You don't often see a woman with a tree branch (still with green leaves!) sticking in her neck. She survived. WCBS-TV (New York City)

Readers' Choice

He insisted on a gun-safety lesson for his girlfriend before taking her out to the firing range, but then he accidentally shot himself in the head and has now, well, left the building. Yes, AWI. Yes, his name is James Looney. Associated Press via Kansas City Star

The elite undercover drug squad in Florida's Polk County broke up the boredom of its massive raid on dealer Michael Difalco's home by all-day Wii-playing on Difalco's console. (It was all caught on surveillance video, and back at headquarters, the suits weren't happy.) Tampa Tribune

More Things to Worry About

"Please give me the gun back, it's not my gun," begged the masked Pizza Hut robber after the employee took it away from him (No can do, but the perp escaped) (1) . . . . . A Naples, Fla., man admitted he was so remorseful for killing his wife and five kids that he wanted to die — but couldn't kill himself because then he'd be DQ'd from heaven (2) . . . . . According to his lawyer, Stephen Fray is, like, "You mean that's illegal?" over his sneaking a gun onto a CanJet Airlines flight in Montego Bay, firing a shot, and demanding to be flown to the U.S. (3) . . . . . The Phelpsian Westboro Baptist Church won a round at the U.S. Court of Appeals, meaning that its vile anti-gay funeral-picketing can continue (4) . . . . . Whoever called the EMTs to go help the passed-out man nearby didn't say how nearby, so when the EMTs drove out the station house door, they couldn't avoid running over the guy (5) . . . . . Of 18 advanced nations, Americans watch twice as much TV a day as whoever's second (Greeks) and over 3x as much as the Swiss (6) . . . . . Had enough health insurance news? Meet the woman who woke up to a bleeding breast (a tumor!), which Blue Shield of California said was obviously a "non-emergency" (7).
(1) WSOC-TV (Charlotte, N.C.) /// (2) CNN /// (3) Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News /// (4) Baltimore Sun /// (5) St. Petersburg Times /// (6) The Economist /// (7) KPIX-TV (San Francisco)

Newsrangers

Scott Bernstein, Kathryn Wood, Matthew Marek, John Martin, Rick Matz, Terry Raterman, Mark Jung, Lee Hasiuk, Kathy Diehl, C.J. Campbell, Rita Johnson, Dave Shepardson, Randy Sigurdson, Jim Rehmann, Asmo Koste, Michael Ravnitzky, David Melcher, and Chad Sucher, and the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Geoffrey Egan, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney), and the News of the Weird Editorial Advisors (Paul Blumstein, John Cieciel, Harry Farkas, Fritz Gritzner, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Rob Snyder, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).