Monday, November 02, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
November 2, 2009
(alarming and/or delicious news from October 24-31)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved.)

Weekly Gold

Sex-accessory sellers are discovering the rich market for environmentally-pleasing lubricants, vibrators, and whips, according to a Time magazine report. Good-bye, lubes that contain the same ingredients as antifreeze; plastic (phthalate-made) vibrators; leather whips. Hello, vegan condoms, organic lubes, mahogany vibrators (not run by batteries but . . . "hand-cranked"). (If operated "by hand," there will be no battery "emissions.") Time

What happens when a severely-disturbed, multiple-personalitied, laser-beam-controlled patient meets a psychologist who believes every word of it but actually taunts her into "recovering" even more "memories" of Satanic cults, etc.? And even furnishes dark glasses to shield the client from those menacing lasers. The Minnesota psychologists' board investigated, and was properly appalled, but did not pull the shrink's license. Star Tribune [with grandmotherly photo of the shrink]

Why is this a crime? Five Los Angeles homeowners, nearing foreclosure, were charged with kidnaping, beating, and torturing two agents who had sold them loan-modification services that proved worthless. KTLA-TV

The latest model doll from the Mattel Barbie collection: the nattily-dressed Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken (not a parody, a genuine Mattel). Due April 2010, but pre-orders accepted. Entertainment Earth [link from ToplessRobot.com]

Five Virginia Department of Corrections officers were charged with intimately fondling a K-9 dog. The investigation continues, and we don't know yet if it was just kinky, or a hazing, or as one report had it, a belief that the dog would be more receptive to training if he was made to feel good. Star Exponent (Culpeper, Va.)

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

Jaime Aguirre, 42, Brimfield, Ohio, stopped on a traffic violation, also happened to have, police said, four counts' worth of child porn, but even more disturbing, he had a stash of mammograms and x-rays of females that police believe he used for sexual gratification. Plain Dealer (Cleveland) [with mug shot]

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


Robert Rousseau, 37, a teacher at Christian Academy of San Antonio, Tex., allegedly formed a "secret society" that is "geared to help mankind," and gave two of his 8th-grade girls the honor of joining (with a third girl declining). According to the girls, sex was involved. "He said" versus "she said (and she said and she said)." We'll have to look at the mug shot to see who's telling the truth. San Antonio Express-News via Houston Chronicle

Sub-Prime Americans

Latest male confrontation about something or other but which is obviously just about comparative penis size: Scott Elder, 24, and Brian Matison, 24, started arguing over a mis-dialed text message, which naturally led to a fistfight in a parking lot, and from there, Matison was hospitalized with a gunshot wound, and Elder is in jail. [LINK CORRECTED] Savannah Morning News [mug shot of Elder appearing quite satisfied with himself]

Homeless (but not friendless): Rodney Bolton's new pal is a ferret that he shoplifted in Jacksonville Beach and stuffed down his pants. People chased him, but he swung his new friend at them and was arrested. WJXT-TV (Jacksonville)

Sub-Prime (Alleged) Criminals: (1) Matthew McNelly, 23, and Joe Miller, 20, Carroll, Iowa, charged with burglary and being so unimaginative that their "disguise" was to paint their faces (badly) with black Magic Markers. [classic mug shots] (2) Another robber who got things in the wrong order: Tried to armed-rob the Taco Bell in Haverstraw, N.Y., and then walked into the manager's office and asked for a job application. (3) Gary Ensor's car got stuck on railroad tracks near Baltimore-Washington airport, necessitating a Plan B (steal another), but he muffed four consecutive car-theft attempts over the next hour or so. KCCI-TV (Des Moines) /// Journal News (White Plains) /// Washington Post

Angst, Confusion, Crisis

The Guardian reported that British hospitals are now allowing nurses to create patient care plans to assist people who purposely cut themselves. Better to have a health-care pro alongside when self-slicing. Nurses can make sure the blade is sterile, stanch the bleeding, dress the wound, etc. The Guardian

A corporation squirms: Two Wisconsin men filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo for violating their patent on purified water, asking damages of $1.26 billion. The lawsuit was properly served on the company's registered agent in North Carolina, but the PepsiCo bureaucracy buried it, and PepsiCo never responded. Judgment for the men. National Law Journal via Yahoo

Democracy is expensive: The 2006 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Carl Romanelli, not only lost big but is being charged $80,000 for trying. He (his "supporters") turned in 99,000 signatures to get him on the ballot, but in the end, at least 40,000 were bogus, and thus he never should have been listed. Republicans wanted him on (to dilute Democratic votes); Democrats didn't. Hence, Republican operatives almost certainly helped pad the total, yet only Romanelli (and his lawyer) are being billed, and the state Supreme Court has ruled. By day, Romanelli is an environmentally concerned auto mechanic with modest assets. Philadelphia Inquirer

Billy Joe Johnson, 46, a white supremacist convicted of murder in Santa Ana, Calif., begged for the death penalty — because death row is pretty calm compared to "prison," and by the time his death-penalty appeals run out, he'll be too old to raise hell anymore, anyway. To impress the judge, Johnson confessed to two additional murders that no one has discovered yet. Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News

Only in Ireland: A debate is roiling the Irish Parliament over lowering the blood-alcohol reading for presuming drunkenness. Opposed: MP Mattie McGrath, who pointed out that a lot of drivers are "jumpy" and actually benefit by a little nip before getting behind the wheel. The Guardian

Eyewitness News

From a surveillance camera of a store in downtown Naples, Italy: an actual Mafia hit, gunshots to the head, right on the sidewalk. Daily Mail (London)

Joel Waul set himself up for post-partum depression, as he just sold his five-year obsession (to a Ripley's museum): a nearly-five-ton rubber-band ball. Miami Herald

Modern Smuggling: If you need to sneak 14 royal pythons and 10 albino geckos into Norway, you duct-tape them to your body and hope for the best, and here's what you look like. (The best didn't happen. He aroused suspicion when customs agents found a tarantula in his carry-on.) Daily Mail (London)

More Things To Worry About

God As Micromanager: David Silva, 30, was arrested for breaking a car window at Freedom Dodge in Lexington, Ky., after telling a security guard that God needed him to steal a Charger. [mug shot] On the other hand, even divine management could not save the Riverview Community Bank in Otsego and Anoka, Minn., which had explicitly touted not only its financial safety but its commitment to prayer. FDIC took it over last week. Too many unholy real estate loans. WLEX-TV (Lexington) /// Star Tribune

Headlines from nowhere: "No Major Incidents Reported in West Tennessee This Morning" (Jackson Sun, Jackson, Tenn., 10-29-09). "Burglary Reported in North America" (Daily Register, Harrisburg, Ill., 10-28-09). Jackson Sun /// Daily Register

The latest gun violence fatality in Buffalo, N.Y.: the 23-year-old Mr. Mister Rogers. That's his name. Buffalo News

Upon Further Review . . .

Chinese scientists have reported that female Cynopterus sphinx fruit bats "prolong sex" with their mates by performing fellatio. Good to know. New Scientist

Editor's Note

It's about time that Yr Editor settles into a fixed format for these weekly posts, and this looks like it. I'll do what I believe are the best stories in various categories, in 23 bites, and that will be the version of Pro Edition that is distributed to any of my syndication clients that want it instead of (or in addition to) the standard News of the Weird column. That will be posted on Mondays, on WeirdUniverse.net and on NewsoftheWeird.blogspot.com, and distributed to the Google Groups ProWeird list on Mondays. (It will not be distributed to the Google Groups NewsoftheWeird list, which is reserved for those who wish the standard News of the Weird column, on Sundays.) But then, on Tuesday mornings, I will do a Pro Edition overrun, of stories that I would have been running in Pro Edition but now cannot because of my desire to shorten the Monday version for syndication clients. The title of the Tuesday post will probably just be Pro Edition / Still More Things to Worry About. The news boundary for both posts will be the previous 8-day period from Saturday to Saturday, as now. The Tuesday post, as well, will appear on WeirdUniverse.net and the blogspot page and will be mailed to the Google Group ProWeird. As always, if you need to unsubscribe from the ProWeird group, please follow the link at the bottom of every ProWeird mailing. If you need to change your address in a Google Group, unsubscribe the old address and subscribe again with your new address. Over and out.

Newsrangers: Brian Shogren, Brian Hennefeld, Nick White, Matt Rushing, Stephen Taylor, Kathryn Wood, John Ellwood, Hal Dunham, John Votel, Tom Barker, Matt Hillman, Michelle Ihringer, Kiki Yablon, Jonah Pezeshki, Craig Ellis, Jonathan Austin, and Sam Gaines, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors