Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

News of the Weird

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Throw It Back

A team of anglers from Hatteras, N.C., had first place wrapped up in the prestigious Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in June. They were salivating over their $1.2 million prize money (including a bonus for what would have been a tournament-record catch) when judges discovered that one member of the Hatteras crew, Peter Wann, had not gotten a $30 North Carolina coastal recreational fishing license before their boat pushed off that day. Under the rules, the entire team was disqualified, and the runner-up, from Cape Carteret, N.C., received the money instead.

Least Competent Criminals

(1) Justin Johnson, 21, was arrested in Bloomfield, Ind., in July after failing to get a branch of the Bloomfield State Bank to cash his bogus check for $1 million, which he presented to a teller in the bank's drive-through window. Optimistic that his plan would succeed, Johnson had handed over his driver's license for ID along with the check. (2) Scot Davis, 52, was charged with robbing the All in the Family bar in Des Moines, Iowa, in March. Davis, a contractor who is known to bartender Gladys York, had spent the evening at the bar passing out business cards before leaving. When Davis reappeared carrying a .22-caliber rifle and demanding money, York said, "Scot, what the (expletive)?" As an officer explained, "This is not the hardest case our detectives have ever had to investigate."

The Continuing Crisis

  • They Don't Make "Drug Lords" Like They Used To: (1) Widely feared Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher Coke was arrested in June and extradited to New York City after allegedly being picked up wearing women's clothes and a 1970s-style Afro wig too small for his head (with a pink wig on standby).

  • Charmed Lives: (1) Recently while visiting her childhood home of Bishop, Texas, Joan Ginther won a Texas lottery drawing for the fourth time, taking home a $10 million first prize to lift her career Texas lottery winnings to $20.4 million. (By this time, she had already moved to Las Vegas.) (2) At the other end of the spectrum, British farmworker Mick Wilary, 58, was hospitalized in April after machinery crushed both his legs. According to the Daily Telegraph, Wilary, who is frequently kicked by livestock, has also had his ankles broken (twice), ribs cracked, finger cut off, head split open, collarbone broken and fingers broken. He has also been stabbed.

Thinking Large

Northern Ireland farmer William Taylor recently introduced his prototype Livestock Power Mill and claimed that the world's 1.3 billion cattle, using treadmills for eight hours a day, could produce 6% of the world's electricity requirements. (Taylor’s invention requires the cow to keep walking to avoid sliding down an incline.)

Perverts on Parade

(1) James Burden, 55, was convicted of indecent exposure in Scotland's Falkirk Sheriff Court in June based on a March incident in which a neighbor looked out her window before dawn and saw Burden, naked, smoking a cigarette and masturbating while bouncing on her family's outdoor trampoline. Burden said he did not know anyone would be watching at that hour. (2) In New Zealand's Auckland District Court in June, Judge Mary Beth Sharp dismissed an elderly male juror from a trial involving sexual abuse because the man disclosed, under questioning, that he had worn a condom under his clothes in the jury box because the testimony was making him aroused.

© 2010 Chuck Shepherd

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