News of the Weird
In March, Harry Jackson, 26, was in jail in Woodbine, Ga., on several minor charges such as driving on a suspended license. However, allegedly bending to pressure from fellow inmates, Jackson agreed to break out of jail, steal cigarettes at a nearby convenience store and break back in to jail. "Don't come back empty-handed," one inmate supposedly warned him. Jackson was apprehended climbing over a fence to get back in to jail. In May, based on the earlier charges plus the escape and subsequent burglary, a judge sentenced him to 20 years (as opposed to the two to three years he was originally set to serve).
Beer: The Miracle Drug
(1) A naked, 47-year-old man was taken to a
burn center in El Paso, Texas, in July after "friends" won
a bet and set his prosthetic leg on fire (the flames quickly spread to his
body). The man admitted to police that he had lost the bet fair-and-square
because he downed "only" six beers. He was treated for several days
and released. (2) In June, two 34-year-old men in Horsham, Australia,
underwent surgery as a result of a plan hatched during a bout of drinking. They
had both wondered if it would hurt to get shot by an air rifle and thus obliged
From Florida's Panhandle Region: (1) A
24-year-old man was arrested in Crestview,
Fla., in April after he allegedly
removed a window air-conditioner and crawled into a house in which his wife was
staying. They had recently separated, and the man told police that he had not
"gotten any" in three weeks and was going to "get some."
(2) In June in Okaloosa
Courtnea Bradley, 21, allegedly roughed up the driver of a car while it was
moving, forcing it to swerve wildly and thus endangering her baby in the back
seat. At the subsequent traffic stop, a defiant Bradley allegedly told
officers, "My (expletive) family is one of the richest around, and we will
have y'all's (expletive) jobs."
- In June at a meeting of police chiefs, Britain's head constable said
police were being "buried" under a "telephone
directory"-sized (6,497 pages) compilation of rules and regulations.
Supposedly, the rules explain in massive detail how to perform simple
activities like using handcuffs and riding bicycles.
- In July, acknowledging pressure from local activists to create
restrooms that would be familiar to Asian immigrants, officials at the Exchange
Centre shopping mall in Rochdale, England, said they would remove toilets from
two of the facility's restroom stalls and build "Nile pans," also
known as "squat toilets" (or, as Westerners refer to them,
"holes in the ground"). The officials said they were trying to serve
the needs of immigrants living in Greater Manchester.
Latest Religious Messages
- One of Britain's 200 or so "consecrated hermits" might soon be homeless because the owner of her cottage in rural Shropshire County has listed it for sale. Karen Markham, 44, lives by rules set down by St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, that require her to rise at 4 a.m., pray and chant for three hours, then contemplate in silence. For recreation, she weaves rugs made of wool from local sheep, according to a May report in the Daily Telegraph.
- In July, a fifth-grade teacher at Jacox
Elementary School in Norfolk, Va.,
resigned after administrators discovered she was rubbing "holy oil"
on students and their desks during school.
At press time, the city council of Barre, Vt.,
continues to debate extending its pet "leash" law to cats, following
a woman's complaint that a neighbor's cat has fouled her yard with droppings.
In the few towns that try to enforce leash laws on cats, a main rationale has
been to protect birds. (The late U.S.
statesman Adlai Stevenson, when he was governor of Illinois, once rejected such a law, saying
that leashing was "against the nature of the cat.")
© 2010 Chuck Shepherd