News of the Weird
In March in New Port Richey, Fla., Mishelle Salzgeber, 20, was arrested after failing a drug test (passing the test had been a condition of her probation for an undisclosed crime). Apparently, Salzgeber knew that she would probably fail on her own and had gone to the trouble of inserting a small bottle filled with someone else's urine into her vagina. Unfortunately for her, that person's urine failed the drug test. As Salzgeber was being processed into jail, a body-scan revealed the bottle still hidden inside her body.
- Eight to Go: (1) A year-old house cat named Sugar survived a 19-floor fall at a Boston high-rise in March. An Animal Rescue League official explained to MSNBC that extra fur where the legs attach to the body enables cats to "glide" and partially "control" their landing. It also helps that Sugar landed on mulch rather than nearby concrete. (2) A 5-year-old cat named Demi survived a 40-minute tumble-dry (with temperatures reaching 104-degrees Fahrenheit) in Whitchurch, England, in March (although she needed oxygen, fluids and steroids to recover). Jennifer Parker, 45, had tossed a load of clothes into the dryer, unaware that Demi was sleeping inside.
- In January, Kentucky state Sen. Katie Stine, presiding over a ceremony in the state Capitol honoring the Newport Aquarium, posed with aquarium officials and with Paula, a black-footed penguin brought in for the warm-and-cuddly photo opportunity. During Stine's speech, however, Senate President David Williams had to gently interrupt and inform her that Paula was in the process of soiling the floor of the august chamber.
The Continuing Crisis
Drive-By Etiquette: In February, Kendall Reid, 36, was extradited from New Jersey to LaPlace, La., where he had been sought for allegedly shooting at a car on Interstate 10 on Christmas Eve. According to police, Reid had failed to hit the car he was aiming at, instead inadvertently shooting out the back window of a car in which two women were riding. Allegedly, as the damaged car stopped on the side of the road, Reid pulled over his Corvette, walked up to the women and apologized ("Sorry, wrong car"), before resuming the pursuit of his intended target.
The Redneck Chronicles
(1) In March, a 41-year-old man was treated with antivenom at the USA Medical Center in Mobile, Ala., after being bitten by a cottonmouth snake. The man's friend had seen the snake near their encampment, killed it with a machete and decapitated it. At that point, according to the man's friend, for some reason the man started to "play with" the head. (The dead snake's teeth, which still contained venom, punctured the man's skin.) (2) James Davis of Stevenson, Ala., vowed in April that he would resist a judge's order to dig up his late wife's body from his front yard and rebury it in a cemetery. "I'm in it for the long haul," he said. "I don't have much to do but sit around (and) think about what's going on."
Bill Dillon, released from a Florida prison in 2008 after being wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, received a public apology in March from Gov. Rick Scott. Dillon is one of the first inmates to have received justice among as many as an estimated 60 who were convicted with the help of the now-deceased dog trainer John Preston, who claimed that his German shepherd could somehow track smells through water and pick out lone scents among highly contaminated crime scenes—thus magically confirming speculative parts of prosecutors' cases when no other evidence was available. Some judges had allowed Preston a free hand until one thought to subject the dog to a simple courtroom smell test, which the dog utterly failed. Though satisfied with his own outcome, Dillon begged authorities to open other cases involving Preston's dog.
© 2012 Chuck Shepherd