Monday, June 06, 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
June 6, 2011
(datelines May 28-June 4) (links correct as of June 6)

Superheroes Subdue the Face of Evil, Plus Hermaphrodite Snails and Graduate-Level Shoplifting

From Yr Editor

Being the first of four somewhat abbreviated weekly editions . . .

★ ★ ★ ★!

Sweet Justice: When Bank of America wrongly, inexplicably, foreclosed on Warren and Maureen Nyerges's home in Collier County, Fla., they challenged, won, and got a judgment for reimbursement of legal expenses ($2,534). Then, BoA failed to pay. So the couple got a sheriff's seizure order, and deputies accompanied them to the nearest branch, where the couple eyed BoA's computers and furniture while the branch manager practically peed in his pants. Check issued, lightning speed. Naples Daily News

Can't Possibly Be True: The enrollment application for elementary school students in the Dry Creek School District, Roseville, Calif., actually asks the parent whether the applying urchin was a C-section or natural birth. (Seriously.) KOVR-TV (Sacramento)

Could Be True, But You Don't Want It to Be True: Scientists have found "complex, multi-celled creatures" living a mile underground ("worms from hell"). That means (a) assumptions we've made about extraterrestrial life may have to be liberalized, and (b) assumptions we've made about whatever the hell is down there on our own planet may have to be liberalized. [Y'all see the movie The Descent?] (Bonus Discovery Last Week: giant carnivorous snails--hermaphrodite snails, with working pairs of sex organs!) Washington Post /// The Descent /// Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand)

Gays 1, Switch-Hitters 0 (so far, at least): A federal judge scheduled August 1st for the trial to determine whether a team from the 2008 Gay Softball World Series ought to have been DQ'd for not being gay enough. (Three of its players might have been straight or bi, and the rules allow a max of two.) The judge said the "two" rule was solidly First-Amendment-protected but set for trial the issue on how the board went about judging the players' orientations. 365Gay.com

Massive Collision of Negative Karma, Creating Anti-Matter: As the phabulous Phelpses of Westboro Baptist waxed gleeful at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, among their protesters was a small crew from Knights of the Southern Cross (Ku Klux Klan), supporting the troops. CNN

Absurdities

Oops! A 35-year-old man in Blagoveshchensk, Russia, figured out that things would go easy for him the rest of his life if he only, for one day, buried himself in the ground. A pal helped. The man had air holes and a cell phone. The next morning, he was dead. BBC News

Alameda, Calif., police and firefighters stood idly by on a beach on San Francisco Bay as a 53-year-old man killed himself by standing in 60-degree water until he expired. Turns out the city doesn't train its first responders on cold-water rescues. KGO-TV (San Francisco)

A well-organized, six-person shoplifting crew hit a store in Doncaster, England, and for the most part, the caper was professionally done. Exception: One female member wore pants inside, went to the back room, emerged in a long skirt, and waddled, bow-legged, toward the door. Police said she shoplifted the store's safe. SouthYorkshirePolice.uk

Losers

Swiss tourist Dominic Emmenegger, 21, skateboarding at rush hour in downtown Melbourne, Australia, naively headed right into the darkness of a traffic tunnel. He fell. He's still alive. No one knows why. The Australian

Chutzpah! It's another one of those "parents leave infant in hot car while they party at a strip club" stories . . except this time, when the cops arrest the couple and take them down to the station, Daddy complains that the squad car is too warm. WDRB-TV (Louisville)

Style Points: He robbed a KeyBank branch in Springfield, Ohio, but he didn't get far on foot before the dye pack exploded on him. On the other hand, he was holding and drinking a beer during the entire getaway. Dayton Daily News

Least Competent Anarchist: Luciano Schuffeneger blew his hand off, lost his eyesight, and got burned badly as he approached a bank in Santiago, Chile, with his homemade bomb (something about prematurely flipping the timer). Daily Mail (London)

Oh! Dear!

A faltering economy has sunk the spirits of Riga, Latvia, but not for long. On May 28th they held the third annual March of the Blondes (imported beauties from Finland, New Zealand, Italy, and Lithuania) to buoy the boys. (Bonus: There's a "Latvian Association of Blondes.") Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News

Meet a kid who somehow hasn't gotten around to shooting himself in the head yet. High school student Rain Price, of American Fork, Utah, has had to endure not only his dad's waving bye-bye to him every day of the school year as the bus picked him up in the morning (with other kids looking on!) but also the fact that dad dresses for the occasion in a different costume every morning (common costume characteristic: dorky). [LINK CORRECTED] KSL-TV (Salt Lake City)

There's no particular story here, but maybe you'd like to know about a new sleeping bag on the market, targeted to those taking a quick nap at work, called The Ostrich. It's Safe For Work (unless maybe people read the accompanying text). LA Weekly

The Pervo-American Community

Hey, boys, I'll buy you cigarettes if you'll let me spank you. (Why, of course you can keep your clothes on! I'm not a pervert or anything.) WMBF-TV (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

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


Who'd stab John Ciliberto's cousin? Maybe if the cousin killed Ciliberto's cat and fed it to his dog, Ciliberto himself'd be stabbing him. WPRI-TV (Providence, R.I.)

Concerning Mr. Randon Reid, you could spend your time deliberating whether he's guilty. A more efficient use of your time would be to take a good look at him and try to narrow down the lengthy list of crimes he looks qualified to commit. Arizona Republic

Newsrangers: Gil Nelson, Michael Ravnitzky, Jim Dukes, Christine Rodrigue, and Sandy Pearlman, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors