Monday, February 21, 2011

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
February 21, 2011
(datelines February 12-February 19) (links correct as of February 21)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

More Alternative U.S. History, Plus Rat Dandies, Semen Shots, and Dog Snitches

★ ★ ★ ★!

News You Can Use: Update--thanks to fired Florida homicide Det. Tom Laughlin, who (temporarily, he says) lost his mind claiming to be part of the intellectual runoff known as the "sovereign citizen" movement, we learn more: All Americans have a real account, called a "straw man" account, which contains your real wealth, owed to you from birth, if only the government would give you access to it! Clues to the locations of this wealth are found in the red numbers on original Social Security cards. Plus, it looks like secession is the only way to get the government's attention! It's not just our Kenyan president; they're all in on it! Who knew? Sarasota Herald-Tribune

It's Always Been a Quiet Country: Germany's government proposed a law to specifically exempt from its noise ordinances all shrieking and squealing, etc., uttered by children under six. As far as the government's concerned, the country's one big Chuck E. Cheese. Associated Press via WABC-TV (New York City)

Anthropomorphic Taxidermy: It's apparently the latest craze in the cooler neighborhoods of Brooklyn, N.Y. First, you find a dead rat that has stopped smelling so bad, then clean it out, then stuff it, then dress it in . . Victorian Sunday best . . and don't forget the ladies' bloomers. (Instructor: "I don't like rogue taxidermy. I want them to look classy.) New York Post

Recurring Theme: the negative-cash-flow robbery: The bad guy drops $40 on the counter to make a purchase but also to distract the clerk while bad guy pulls a gun to rob him. Clerk, though, notices gun is unloaded and pulls his own gun, which is loaded. Bad guy flees. $40 remains. (Problem from the beginning: It was a gun shop that he tried to rob.) KMBC-TV (Kansas City)

And Still More Things To Worry About

Beyond goat testicles (which of course taste like chicken), a New Zealand holiday festival offered horse semen . . semen shots . . vanilla, chocolate . . .. Agence France-Presse via Google News

Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? ("I don't know, and I don't-- . . Woof!): Homeowners in Annandale, Va., whose governing association has long been a festering hotbed of indifference, failed to notice that they had elected, fair and square, a president that happens to be a terrier. Management style: "[S]he delegates a lot." Washington Post

As with all repo men, Ken Falzini has lived an exciting life, though nothing quite like a recent Sunday morning when he came between a deadbeat Baptist preacher and his Lexus. (Bonus: You're doing 40 mph, with a repo man clinging to your hood. WWJD? Said Falzini, the preacher was "laughing at me" while he drove.) Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Can't Possibly Be True: Chinese magician Fu Yandong has this thing where he makes six goldfish do a synchronized swim, and animal rights people say he must be messing with them to pull that off (e.g., magnets). Fu: If it were magnets, they'd all get stuck together. (But he's not telling.) BBC News

Undignified Death: A 51-year-old Los Angeles County bureaucrat was found dead at her desk the Saturday before last, apparently having passed away the day before of the toxic illness of "government work." KTLA-TV

Egypt! Tunisia! Bahrain! Libya! . . Mexico City! . . which is where a woman is now on the 13th day of a hunger strike in front of the British embassy, fighting the oppressors . . vowing to do herself in unless . . she gets an invite to the royal wedding. Daily Telegraph (London)

70-year-olds occasionally get arrested in prostitution busts, but it's because they're the madams. And then, there's Elaine Pyzikiewicz, 70, busted with three other women in Port Charlotte, Fla., but the madam is the 37-year-old. Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Two schoolteachers were suspended for questionable reasons. A Philadelphia-area high school teacher is out because she wrote on her blog that her kids are "rude, disengaged, lazy whiners," who "curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire and are just generally annoying." [In fairness, as you can see, Yr Editor has drawn lines through everything she wrote that is false.] British nursery teacher Elizabeth Davies was canned over reports that she would routinely line up any Bangladeshi kids in her class who reeked of curry and spray 'em with air freshener. Christian Science Monitor /// The Guardian

Losers

Newfie Alert: It's really No Longer Weird, especially in Newfoundland, but if a snowmobile falls through thin ice, and you want to do a heroic rescue, you still probably can't drive your own snowmobile right up to the hole. (You'll fall in, too.) Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

Unclear on the Concept: He did four years for dealing heroin and cocaine and got out, and the police put out a poster warning residents that he had settled back in the 'hood with his mother, but now he says the poster "humiliated" him and therefore violates his "human rights," which therefore means "lawsuit." (Mom: And he's a good boy.) Daily Mail (London)

Joel Dobrin, 32, was pulled over at a traffic stop in Moro, Ore., and as the deputy approached, a sock came flying out the window with a big dose of obviousness. It couldn't be that Dobrin was so transparently ditching the marijuana and hashish that was inside. And it wasn't. Dobrin, he told the deputy, had grabbed the sock, intending to safely hide it in a non-searchable area of the car (it was only a traffic stop), but his dog snatched it for a little Dog-Tug-o-War, which he eventually won . . but lost his grip, sending the sock flying out the window. Ta-daaaaa! KTVB-TV (Boise, Id.)

The Redneck Chronicles: A 48-year-old man was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Burlington, N.C., after hitting his head on the pavement. The man had been assigned by the car's driver to lie upon and hold down the two mattresses that were being transported on the car's roof. No sense wasting money on ropes. Burlington Times News

The Pervo-American Community

World's Greatest Lawyer: Alan Patton, 59, who inspired (you will remember) the new Ohio felony against collecting pee from public urinals and who was charged with its first violation in October, beat the rap. (Patton did get a misdemeanor criminal mischief conviction, but, c'mon, the lawyer got Alan Patton a walk for breaking the Alan Patton Law!) Columbus Dispatch

Prolific: Rip Swartz, 43, was charged with making heavy-breather phone calls to women concerning their pantyhose . . "sometimes exceeding 400 calls a day!" WGAL-TV (Lancaster, Pa.)

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


Dorothy Scalise, 70, living a quiet retirement in Fort Lauderdale? Or sitting in the second pew during Fr. Edward Konopka's services, "mak[ing] monkey faces" as part of her campaign of stalking him? WSVN-TV (Miami) via Fox News

Newsrangers: Anthony Cormier, Steve Melvin, Gil Nelson, Charles Morgan, and Steve Ringley, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors