Monday, September 14, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition

September 14, 2009
(alarming and/or delicious news from September 5-12)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But, pretty please, would you forward this issue to your pals?)

An Improvised Sphincterial Device
Saudi prince Mohammed bin Nayef survived the suicide-bomb attempt on his life on August 28th (which killed the perp), and not much more came of it. But apparently someone with the Australian Associated Press has a source at Stratfor, which is a private intel group in the U.S., and other details oozed out last week, to the website of ASIS International, an info clearinghouse for security professionals. Jeez, this is a long way to go to reach this one bit of news: The perp was carrying the bomb in his rectum. Australian Associated Press via Sunday Star Times (Wellington, N.Z.) (9-4-2009) /// SecurityManagement.com (9-9-09)

Avoiding Mob Malpractice
The country's alpha-dog Yakuza group, Yamaguchi-gumi, has ordered its thugs to take written tests on the law, since the organization is being sued too much lately. Mainichi Daily News

What Would Jesus Do?
Pastor Rodney McGill of Jensen Beach, Fla., was sentenced to 20 yrs in prison for engineering nine fraudulent real estate transactions worth about $1m, but he's confident that Jesus has his back. Barked McGill, to the packed courtroom of Judge Sherwood Bauer Jr.: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, for every witness called against me, I pray cancer in their lives, lupus, brain tumor, pancreatic cancer." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

God Was Looking Out for Gunther Link . . Poor Fella
The devout Catholic in Vienna, Austria, was trapped on a stuck elevator, got scared, started praying furiously. And he got free. So he reported immediately to the nearby Weinhaus Church to give copious thanks for his rescue . . by embracing a pillar at the church's altar . . whereupon an 860-lb. stone statue fell and crushed him. Daily Telegraph (London)

Recurring Theme: Art That's Not, But Is
German artist Diane Mitchell won New Zealand's Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, worth NZ$15k (US$10.6k), with an entry consisting of discarded wrapping materials collected from other contestants' entries. [Well, of course they were pissed!] New Zealand Press Association via TV3 (Auckland)

Life Imitates Life
Lisa Reardon, a thrice-published crime novelist from Ann Arbor, Mich., has written darkly about families embroiled in violence, child abuse, adultery, and alcoholism, but her life is mostly normal, or at least it was until last month, when she grabbed a 20-gauge shotgun and fired at her dad, but barely wounding him. "I just cannot believe I missed," she lamented. "I will never get another chance." No explanations yet. Detroit News

"And He Slowly Undid Her Bonnet . . ."
Thomas Nelson publishing house makes good money selling Amish romance novels in Amish country, even though written by outsiders. Hey, in Cindy Woodsmall's 326-page best-seller When the Heart Cries, there are two scenes where the lovers actually kiss. Wall Street Journal

Regarding the Health-Care Debate . . .
(1) Matthew Cordell's got an idea, Mr. President. He has opened a 3-day-a-week roadside prayer stand in a Phoenix suburb, offering to help people reach the Lord. ("It wasn't my idea. It was God's.") The Arizona Republic: "One woman pulled in on her way to Urgent Care for chest pains. [Cordell] said the pains subsided with prayer, and she went home instead. In another instance, Cordell said a man with a severe brain injury began improving following his intercession." Now, there's health care we can believe in. (2) How to make U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina go nuts: let him know that Mr. Tesfaldet Tesloy, an illegal immigrant (in Sweden), just won the Swedish Nat'l Lottery (equivalent of about $166k), and though he can't legally work, the Lottery says it still has to pay him. (3) The Republicans picked U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, a former heart surgeon, to give the party's reply to President Obama's televised address. In the early 1990s, Boustany paid more than $85k trying to buy a British lordship title, but the whole thing was a scam. Arizona Republic /// Daily Telegraph (London) /// Politico.com

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You
Nobody's more messed up than David Truscott, 40, who has just pleaded guilty in Truro, England, to harassment of a farm family by periodically, ahem, immersing himself in their manure-spreader and slappin' his salami. (Bonus: With a remarkable lack of specificity, the court found that the harassment took place between the period of "December 23, 2005, and August 22 [2009]," which is a lot of manure and a lot of slappin'.) Falmouth Packet

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]
The Piltdownish Dale Alan Lee was arrested for aggravated battery, and though this picture looks a little suspicious, you're asked to see through it in deciding his guilt or innocence. Pasco County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office

American Sub-Prime

A 23-yr-old man's street corner business was shut down in Longview, Wash., before things got out of hand. He charged $5 to get kicked in the balls (women could do it for $3). The Daily News (Longview)

At Least She Wasn't Texting: Motorist Penny Lessard, 48, accidentally rammed a telephone pole ($10k damage) when she leaned into the back seat to feed a stray cat she had just picked up. Sun Journal (Auburn-Lewiston, Maine)

Marcellus Arellano, 68, was arrested in the Portland, Ore., federal building, with 3 long knives, and almost cheerfully explained that IRS owes him $12,000 and that he was on his way to get it "by any method available." Oregonian

Awesome! For one 13-minute police chase through and out of Greece, N.Y., Joshua Bracci, 21, got 56 tickets. Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester)

Below The Fold

It's good to be a Wells Fargo foreclosure executive: This one moved her family into a foreclosed $12m Malibu beach house, and I guess she thinks it's hers until the bank sells it. Associated Press via New York Post

And it's good to be a Communist Party official in South Africa: This champion of the proletariat gets around Johannesburg in his BMW 750i, paid for (equivalent of $120k) by taxpayers. Los Angeles Times

And meanwhile, where the median U.S. income is $50k/yr, and the poverty-line metric for a family of 4 is $22k, Brad and Angelina just spent $82k for a house for their kids' gerbils, and in China, where the poverty-line metric is "another helping of twigs, please," a woman just spent the equivalent of about $585k to acquire a black Tibetan Mastiff (and took it away in a motorcade of 30 Benzes). National Enquirer via St. Petersburg Times blogs /// The Times (London)

Two longtime-feuding camel tour operators in a Western Australian town finally had it out: a camel-dung-flinging fight. Australian Broadcasting Corp. News

Same Old Same Old

More from Britain's Fetish for Safety: Scouts are no longer allowed to carry penknives; the knives get handed out for specific projects, on an as-needed basis. And research company Mindlab Int'l, compiling a "Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation," found that more than half of Britons have been physically hurt in some way while eating their morning tea/coffee-and-biscuits. Daily Telegraph /// Daily Telegraph

Another of those wild Lloyds of London insurance policies: Wyke Farms is paying a premium of the equivalent of $41k/yr in case Nigel Pooley loses his sense of smell. He's their Master Cheese Grader, and if his sniffer goes south, the company would get $8.3m to train another Master. BBC News

Eyewitness News

Here's a living, breathing cat with an arrow clean through its head. (Obviously, the arrow caught muscle and not skull.) And note that, even with an arrow through its head, it still merely disdains you. New York Daily News

Courtesy of the Kensington Palace and Britain's Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council: items from the underwear inventory of Queen Victoria (and evidently the old gal liked her drawers roomy). Daily Mail

Cure for Constipation: A pro snake wrangler in Australia's Northern Territory finally coaxed out the python that had been hiding in the S-bend of Erik Rantzau's toilet and popping out from time to time. Northern Territory News (Darwin)

You betcha it's Intelligent Design: You're a parasite, and you want your host's food. What could be more efficient than breaking into his mouth, eating his tongue, and replacing it with . . yourself? BBC News /// io9 blog [Yikes!]

There's not much of a news story here, but I need an excuse to run a photo of a billboard in Los Angeles that's supposed to depict a "giant vagina." Los Angeles Times [Of course it's Safe For Work. It's the damn Los Angeles Times!]

Readers' Choice

Stephfon Bennett, 20, who with two pals robbed a woman in her home, came back alone two hours later to ask the lady for a date (and she's a beauty!). WBNS-TV (Columbus, Ohio)

And this happened the week before, when Yr Editor was off, but it was clearly the Readers' Choice then. James Orr, 66, described as a habitual con man, evidently finds it harder and harder to fake sincerity, and had to use all his faculties for this ploy—to be too mentally ill for prison: At the defendant's table (while charged with robbery and kidnaping), he casually squeezed out the contents of his colostomy bag and began slurping 'em up. (The judge was un-conned: He gave him 37 yrs.) (And how about this for poor taste: The Cincinnati Enquirer's website now sells James Orr photos and t-shirts. Seriously.) Cincinnati Enquirer /// Cincinnati.com

Newsrangers

Pete Randall, Kelvin Norton, Albert Clawson, Ivan Katz, Steve Passen, Sam Gaines, Francis Boring, Graham Rankin, Hal Dunham, Melinda Craig, Chris Sentz, Roth McCue, Kurt Knochel, Bill Schoenbart, Michael Ravnitzky, Eric Gibbs, and Charley Butterfield, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Adviors