Monday, October 12, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
October 12, 2009
(mystifying and/or derisory news from October 3-10)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

Politics for Keeps in the F State
In Broward County, Fla., the Republican Club held its meeting at a gun range, and one U.S. House candidate wrote the incumbent Democrat's initials on the target he was firing at. Then a Democratic former Broward official, who is also the father of the current county mayor, showed up at his daughter's home waving a gun (because he's running for office again, and his daughter had declined to endorse him). Pennsylvania has grim issues, also: Two mayors and a city councilman on November ballots aren't in danger . . but only because they're already dead. South Florida Sun-Sentinel /// Miami Herald /// Associated Press via PennLive.com

If 80-yr-olds Are Running Marathons, You're Gonna Need Some Catheters
An 81-yr-old runner in Minnesota made it to Mile 21 before his urethra totally failed him. As he lamented his condition at a race station, hating to quit but needing to get to a hospital before his bladder burst, a bystander said he just happened to have a catheter out in the car. Our man went off and self-administered, "evacuated," and finished the race. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Tattoos Are for Sissies; You Want to Show Commitment
Many of Cape Town (South Africa)'s ethnic "coloured" (mixed-race) teenagers have somehow convinced themselves that it's really cool to have their upper front teeth pulled. Identity, maybe. Community pride. (They're oppressed so it's politically incorrect to call them "idiots.") The rest of South Africa, who uncoolly retain their upper front teeth, started the rumor that coloureds do it to facilitate oral sex, so maybe they've got that going for them. Daily Telegraph (London)

All You Need to Know About Australia
Local residents, worried that visitors for the Bathurst 1000 auto race would get wasted and cause trouble, cracked down, imposing disturbingly onerous restrictions, such as a daily per-person maximum of 24 cans of beer. Reuters via Yahoo

GPS Comes of Age
Two more breakthroughs made possible by global satellite signals: (1) The cleanup of the Hanford (Wash.) nuclear reservation will go somewhat faster because now helicopters can pinpoint exact locations (among the site's 500-plus square miles) of radioactive rabbit poop that has to be scooped up from rabbits that have eaten contaminated plants. (2) Now, finally, at long last, copulators can upload the precise locations of their most recent sessions, forming a global database of . . what? Seattle Post-Intelligencer /// Daily Telegraph /// IJustMadeLove.com

UK Nat'l Health Service Follies
(1) Worried that you might get a staph infection if you have to go in the hospital? At Tayside Hospital in Scotland, the patients have to worry about bats. (2) Manchester Royal Infirmary sent this woman home five different times even though she had classic symptoms of ovarian cancer, which doctors had diagnosed as trapped flatus. (3) Mr. Torron Eeles says he's kinda got a problem and is gettin' stiffed by NHS. The Courier (Tayside) /// Daily Mail /// Daily Telegraph [disturbing photograph]

Freak Watch
There may or may not be such things as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, but here is one genuine oddity: a predatory female serial pedophile who works alone (i.e., not a love-struck schoolteacher or a woman who merely tags along on her husband's or boyfriend's perversions). Daily Telegraph (London)

The Mind Has Some Terribly Wasteful Things
UCLA researchers have happened upon neurons that appear to be activated by, and only by, references to certain celebrities. That is, this neuron or that, when exposed to almost any sort of representation of, say, Britney Spears, or Oprah, would perk up. It's different for all of us. Can't be explained and might get really embarrassing. Wall Street Journal

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

Jeffrey Graybill, 40, at least found a good career match: He pretended to be a fertility doctor, apparently to make it easier to fondle men, in the guise of building up a sperm bank. KPHO-TV (Phoenix)

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


How does funeral director James Patton, 38, of Houston, Tex., look? Could he have been playing doctor-games with a couple of dead bodies, say, trawling his penis along their naked corpses? KRIV-TV (Houston)

American Sub-Prime

Visiting Jersey City, N.J., overnight? Park your Ferrari on the street? Leave your $100k Audemars Piguet wristwatch inside? (It was a 10-yr-old car so only the watch got boosted.) Jersey Journal

Four shots point-blank from a .357 magnum because . . the yard-weeder inadvertently sprayed grass cuttings on him. "I take pride in my appearance," said the shooter. "I did not appreciate that." Prosecutor: "He did nothing to you, did he?" Lankward Harrington, 25: "He got grass on me. That was something." Washington Post

Mikey Weinstein, a military lawyer from the Reagan White House, is suing Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former military chaplain, to get Rev. K to stop urging Jesus's wrath on Weinstein. Rev. K says he would never pray evil upon his enemies, but "I pray the Psalm that [Weinstein's] days are few." Dallas Morning News

Circular Economics: Psychics in the Phoenix area reported that, surprisingly, they are weathering the recession . . because of new customers . . seeking financial advice, e.g., "Do I need to do a short sale on my house?" Arizona Republic

Adam Manning, 30, took his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital as she went into labor, but then, as the mother of his child was being comforted through her moaning by a nurse, Adam hit on the nurse (compliments on looks, a neck massage, a feel-copping). He was arrested and missed the birth. Salt Lake Tribune

Below The Fold

Should've Been Carrying Wednesday Night: Meleanie Hain, 33, who made headlines last yr by open-carrying a loaded pistol at her daughter's soccer game (legal in Pennsylvania), fought Wednesday night with her husband, who apparently murdered her and then killed himself. Express-Times (Easton, Pa.)

A 13-yr-old boy in Manchester, England, became a poppa when his 16-yr-old girlfriend gave birth, which is not all that weird these days, but listen to the boy's dad: "[My son] is taking his responsibilities very seriously." "He is mature for a 13-yr-old and knows what he's about." "[He] will make a good father." Daily Telegraph

At the Strathendrick Golf Club in Drymen, Scotland, a duffer nailed his mother-in-law in the back of the head with his tee shot. She's on to that 19th Hole in the Sky. Daily Mail

"This is the last straw," said one art historian at the Louvre in Paris. "This is the pinnacle of . . . deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours . . .." A McDonald's will open in November a few yards from the art mecca's museum. Daily Telegraph

Reducing our dependence on foreign . . um . . marijuana: We now produce about half of what we consume, and los carteles don't like that a bit. Washington Post

Global warming is being blamed for the increasing size and frequency of the patches of snot-like . . um . . snot . . glazing several coasts in the Mediterranean. National Geographic News

Same Old Same Old

Yet another prostitution bust of an Asian woman named Mi Suk (Mi Suk Yang of Jonesboro, Ga.) Forsyth County News

Yet another gunshot deflected by, well, not a belt buckle, not a bra clasp, not a pocket Bible, but an implanted defibrillator. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Yet another clumsy man with a gun shoots himself (Timothy Davis, 22, Fort Myers, Fla.). (Bonus: bullet in the butt!) News-Press

Eyewitness News

Pets on Parade: pygmy hedgehogs and pygmy . . pigs. And Boomer the dog, with a glandular problem, drinking water out of the sink while standing on the floor on all fours. And speaking of accessory-pets, here's a Daily Mail spread on little Suri Cruise and her $2m wardrobe. Daily Mail (London) /// Daily Telegraph (London) /// Associated Press via St. Louis Post-Dispatch /// Daily Mail

Readers' Choice

Jackie Knott, 37, made all the papers last week when she was arrested for hauling her 13-yr-old in a cardboard box atop her van, but she stayed defiant: The box was too big for the van, she explained, so naturally it had to go on top, and---hel-lo!--someone had to be up there to hold it down. WAAY-TV (Huntsville, Ala.)

Air India announced that there was never a safety problem on that flight from Dubai to Delhi . . just because at least one flight attendant and one pilot were exchanging punches in-flight. BBC News

Two drunken yobs, participating in the Welsh bar sport of transvestite-bashing, started to beat up on two flamers, except they weren't flamers at all but cage fighters who happened to be costumed up for the evening, and the incident was over pretty quickly. (The nickname of one of the fighters is "Lights Out.") Daily Mail [with video] /// BBC News [follow-up video]

Newsrangers

Sam Gaines, Amber Donges, Hal Dunham, Milford Sprecher, David Bonan, Michael Ravnitzky, Brandon Brown, Peter Hine, Judy Stevens, Mack Gafford, Jenny Aus, James Morris, Tom Barker, Brian Cunningham, Kathryn Wood, Chris Wheeler, and Perry Levin, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.