Home / Columns / Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird / Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird

Google+ Pinterest Print
Powerful Hair

Plastic surgeons in Turkey and France told CNN in November that mustache implants have suddenly surged in popularity as Middle Eastern men use their increased lip bushiness to convey power and prestige. Surgeons extract follicles from hairier parts of the body in procedures that cost the equivalent of around $7,000 and show full results in about six months. An anthropology professor told CNN that, by tradition in Arab countries, a man of honor would "swear on his mustache," use mustaches as collateral for loans, shave off a vanquished foe's mustache as a reward and gravely insult enemies with "Curse be upon your mustache!"

Latest Religious Message

■ According to testimony in Perth, Australia, in November, one retired priest, Thomas Byrne, 80, bit off the ear of another, Thomas Smith, 81, in a brawl over a parking space. Father Byrne and Father Smith are residents of the same retirement home in the Perth suburb of Dianella.

Cultural Diversity

■ Things People Believe: (1) Personalities are heavily influenced by blood types, according to the Japanese. People with Type A blood are thought to be "sensitive perfectionists and good team players, but over-anxious," according to a November BBC News dispatch, while O's are "curious and generous but stubborn." Some industries market blood-type-specific products ranging from soft drinks to condoms. (2) Names given by their parents heavily influence a person's fortunes in life, according to many Thais, but that means relief from misery is just an official name-change away, according to a November Wall Street Journal dispatch from Bangkok. Services-for-fee are available to help find prosperous names, with one smartphone application suggesting five for the equivalent of about $10.

Questionable Judgments

■ Police were seeking a 6-foot-3 man concerning an attempted child-abduction in November after a father intervened as the man led the father's 2-year-old daughter toward an exit of the Fashion Square mall in Charlottesville, Va. The father alerted Fashion Square's security and the mall security took the man into "custody," which turned out to mean escorting him off the property and warning him not to return (catch and release?).

■ Questionable Product Launches: (1) The Demeter Fragrance Library (maker of such "classic" scents as "Dirt," "Crayon" and "Laundromat") has added to its line with "Sushi" cologne, reported the website FoodBeast.com in November. Fortunately, the scent is not that of raw fish, but "cooked sticky rice," seaweed, ginger and lemon essences. (2) A company called Beverly Hills Caviar recently installed three vending machines in the Los Angeles area that sell nothing but varieties of caviar (ranging from pink mother of pearl ($4) to Imperial River Beluga ($500 an ounce).

Perspective

"In beautiful La Jolla Cove," wrote The New York Times in November, describing the cliffside-vista community near San Diego, "art galleries and coffee shops meet a stretch of unspoiled cliffs and Pacific Ocean"—unspoiled, that is, until recently, when seagulls took over. Now, because of California's showcase environmental regulations, use of the cove has been restricted and cleaning the bird droppings from the land is subject to a permit-application process that might take two years. Some residents profess not to mind ("Smells just like the ocean," said one, "but maybe a little 'heightened'") while others are appalled ("As soon as we pulled up, it was like, this is awful"). Even though the smell grows "more acrid by the day," according to the Times, residents' and visitors' only short-term hope is for cleansing by the traditional winter rains (which, fortunately, do not require California permits).

People Different From Us

Update: There was no one more different from us than Dennis Avner, last reported here in 2005. Having transformed his body through surgery, tattoos and implants, he had almost completely adopted the persona of a cat ("Stalking Cat," as he was known in the body-modification community). Avner had tiger-stripe tattoos covering most of his body, dental implants sharpened to points to resemble tiger teeth, and metal-stud implants around his mouth to hold his long, plastic whiskers. Ear and lip surgery had made his head more “cat like” and special contact lenses made his eyes appear as ovals. Avner passed away in his Nevada home in November at the age of 54 with speculation of suicide.

©2012 CHUCK SHEPHERD
Log in to use your Facebook account with
Express Milwaukee

Login With Facebook Account



Recent Activity on Express Milwaukee