Monday, November 01, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
November 1, 2010
(datelines October 23-October 30) (links correct as of November 1)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

The Joy of Fluff-Plucking, Plus Toddler Robs Cradle and The Punishment ['s]Not Fair

★ ★ ★ ★!

The Frightening Life of the Introvert: We only know about Graham Barker that he's 45 and a librarian in Perth, Australia, . . and that since age 19 he's been collecting navel lint . . displaying it in labeled jars . . and that Graham for some reason does not mind your knowing all this. [The word "recoil" comes to mind, no?] Daily Mail (London)

Mmmmm!: A "cocktail consultancy" in Toronto has produced a cheeseburger rum drink (with recipe). (Bonus: There are also PB&J, BLT, and duck sandwich cocktails.) New York Daily News

People of a Certain Age: Well, anyway, people of Yr Editor's age . . will be dreamily transported back to the late 1960s on learning that, among the probable candidates for mayor of Chicago next year, will be the one and only Ms. Cynthia Plaster Caster, the famous caster of the great Jimi Hendrix's motherboard. WBBM-TV

Americans, Desperate for Cash: An 87-year-old woman was run down on a New York City sidewalk by a 4-year-old on a training-wheeled bicycle, and she died soon afterward. Two years later, a judge has ruled that, yes, the woman's estate can sue the little brat (along with her casually-supervising mother). (Bonus Adolescent Headline: In Syria, a 5-year-old boy is said to have proposed, nuptially, to a 3-year-old girl. Double Bonus: Her parents say she "consent[ed].") New York Times /// Gulf News (Dubai)

OK, But Why? Mukesh Ambani's brand-new, 27-story, $1 billion home for his family of five is right down the road from a wretched, million-resident Mumbai slum, but Ambani seems mainly preoccupied with whether he's doing better than his brother. (Bonus: At least the brothers worked hard for their money. They were industrious enough to arrange, even before their conception, to have their personal chromosomes carried by the filthy-rich textile-exporter Dhirubhai Ambani instead of by some dalit caste loser.) New York Times

Underregarded Japanese Creativity: A 59-year-old teacher at Ogi Elementary School in Iruma, Japan, is in trouble, it says here, for his completely random method for parceling out "punishment" to pupils. When discipline is needed, he rolls his homemade dice, whose sides are hand-marked with such outcomes as "kiss," "hug," "forgiven," and "snot." (Yep, sometimes kids need to feel a good hock.) JapanProbe.com

And Still More Things To Worry About

A former McDonald's manager in Brazil who gained 65 pounds on the job sued the company, claiming that the quality control ethic made him obsessive about sampling the products [except, y'know, the salads]. He won. Associated Press via Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

Life Imitates About 50 Sci-Fi Movies: A "never-before-detected strain of virus" that wiped out part of a monkey colony has "jumped" ("cross-species transmission") to a human scientist studying it, so said a University of California, San Francisco researcher. USA Today

At least Trevor Case stays on top of the news. He was arrested in Lincoln, Neb., for domestic abuse on a girlfriend he suspected of infidelity. Police say he waterboarded her. Associated Press via Omaha World-Herald

In a first for Japan, a layman judge in Tokyo authorized the death penalty. (Bonus: The murder victim worked at an ear-cleaning salon.) Mainichi Daily News

District of Calamity: Investigators using GPS records have pretty much concluded that an ambulance crew that was supposed to be first responder to the worst mass shooting in Washington, D.C., history on March 30 just basically hid out so that other crews would do the dirty work. Officials are still trying to determine if any of the four dead people could have been saved by a timely arrival. WTTG-TV (Washington, D.C.)

Things People Believe: (1) In Versailles, France, 11 people in an apartment house spotted a naked man with a crying baby and, naturally, jumped out a window--because a man like that is obviously the devil. (Fortunately, it was only a second-story window.) (2) In Lakewood, Wash., three cosmetic "surgeons" were arrested after, in effect, proving that there are still people out there who feel safe receiving cosmetic "surgery" in their own living rooms, performed by itinerants. Agence France-Presse via news.com.au (Sydney) /// Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Losers

Mugger Rufus Bowman, 16, looking for a street victim (specialty: transsexuals transvestites) in Cincinnati, picked poorly. Joshua Bumpus is indeed a tranny TV prostitute, but, said the prosecutor, later: "[Bumpus] beat the [probably "shit," possibly "crap"] out of him." Cincinnati Enquirer [mug shot]

Recurring Theme: Timothy West was arrested for raping the woman whose house he allegedly broke into. She said he hung around talking, then raped her again, then resumed chatting. He finally left, but then the text messages kept coming. When she didn't answer, he texted, "Mad at me?" (She and the cops finally arranged a meeting with him.) (Bonus: West's compassion did not extend to telling his lawyer to go easy on her on cross-examination.) New York Daily News

Redneck Chronicles: (1) In a Tampa Bay community, two men sitting on a porch, dressed as beer bottles, were drawn into conversation by two passersby, who of course beat them up. (That's a Law of Nature.) (2) Five jailers in Gregg County, Tex., were fired . . for intramural Taser fighting. Bay News 9 /// KLTV (Tyler)

He brought a jar of salad dressing to a gunfight. (Bonus: He's a college student.) Orlando Sentinel

The Pervo-American Community

Timothy Clark's ingenious defense to the charge of indecent exposure: The complaining witnesses really didn't know what they saw because my junk is too small. Toowoomba Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

The super-prolific Mr. William Wright, 54, has been busy. Police in St. Petersburg, Fla., caught him shooting upskirt pictures and confiscated his "portraits" of 2,300 women. St. Petersburg Times

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


If Ronald McCawley, 71, is guilty, shame, shame on him. As the story goes, an elderly neighbor tried to help Ronald after a fire in their building, but when she took him in, he turned all pervert on her. (Bonus: Ronald's street name: "Rooster.") WDRB-TV (Louisville, Ky.)

Erin Denny, 52, was charged with beating up her 2-year-old son a 2-year-old kid she was babysitting whom she was chasing playfully until she hurt her hip and wrist during the chase and, blaming that on the kid, retaliated. Herald News (Joliet, Ill.)

Dog groomers are used to be scratched and bitten on the job, but not by the dog's owner. Kathleen Minneker was arrested. WBBH-TV (Fort Myers, Fla.)

Below The Fold

No Longer Weird: Another public semen-splasher. Another robber prematurely de-masking (like, right in front of the surveillance camera). Another episode of "Deer 1, Hunter 0" (a fatal fall from his tree stand). Another electricity-disrespecting copper-wire thief. Another fire truck catches on fire in the station. WTTG-TV (Washington, D.C.) /// Daily Mail (London) /// WBAL-TV (Baltimore) /// CNN /// Minneapolis Star Tribune

Our Animal Overlords Emerge: (1) Dolphins "walking" on water. (2) A blind dog that doesn't fully appreciate his disability. (3) Damn, another one. Daily Telegraph (London) /// SWNS (London) /// Daily Mail (London)

Renaissance: Ontario officers charged a 24-year-old driver with carelessly wandering all over the highway in his Pontiac G5 at night, with the interior light on and a book propped on the steering wheel. Agence France-Presse via Google News

A Tampa Bay-area nudist camp is about to kick out one of its full-time residents. Its version: He doesn't get naked enough. His version: I'm disabled, and they only want "beautiful people." [Pasco County, just north of Tampa, is the nudist-camp capital of the world, with such a variety of camps that they can be described on a number of axes, such as the Redneck Axis (on which this particular facility tacks far right).] St. Petersburg Times

Editor's Notes

Actor Randy Quaid and his lovely wife Evi have allegedly gone nuts and are in Canada, asking for asylum from those unnamed Hollywood people who have put hits on them. Slate.com asks and answers, Can one spouse with psychosis drive the other one to it? (Answer: Of course. A no-brainer. Jim Jones, of the 1978 Guyana Kool-Aid self-massacre, did it to 900 people.) Slate

It's dawning on many people these days that their student loans were not good investments, especially when they realize the law cuts them no real slack on repayment. Paul Hupp didn't like it a bit and filed this petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit back in June. This is what you call burning your bridges. Language NSFW™ Kevin Underhill blog [link from LoweringTheBar.net]

Newsrangers: Sandy Pearlman, Rob Snyder, Carl Hayden, Marty Braun, Roy Henock, and Ivan Katz, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors