Chuck Shepherd's News of The Weird
■ Skylar King, 28, filed a lawsuit in Clayton, Mo., in April against dentist Mark Meyers (and his Same Day Dentures clinic) for a 2009 session in which Meyers somehow obtained King's consent to extract all 32 of his teeth and provide dentures, promptly after obtaining $5,235 on King’s mother’s credit card. King, who was seeking treatment for an abscessed tooth, said Dr. Meyers warned that he was at risk of “fatal blood poisoning” unless all of his teeth were yanked. Meyers insisted that King actually requested the procedure, even though X-rays revealed that at least 28 of the teeth were treatable.
■ As of late March, the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Basford, England, still had an operational ATM on an outside wall even though its screen and controls were only 15 inches off the ground, forcing customers to bend over or kneel down to get cash. A Sainsbury’s spokesman, shown a photo by a reporter of a user squatting “incredibly uncomfortabl(y),” said no one had complained, but that the store would look into moving the machine. The only explanation offered for the placement was that the store is located on a hill.
The Continuing Crisis
Brazilian authorities told reporters in April that villagers in remote Ayopaya, needing to recover three motorbikes stolen by two men, tied them to a tree of woe for several days until relatives came up with compensation. The tree was a permanent host for ants that produce venom with anti-inflammatory properties used to treat arthritis, and though relatives paid up three days later, both men required hospitalization, one with kidney failure.
■ For this year’s annual fundraising project, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) sold a 60-second “message,” digitally downloadable for a donation of the equivalent of $2.11—but consisting only of silence (“prerecorded” silence). A veterans’ official told Australian Broadcasting Corporation News, “I was a bit dubious (but)…I’ve seen the enthusiasm at which this is being picked up nationally.”
■ On-the-lam parolee Mark Royal, 51, spotted in his car by sheriff's deputies in Sacramento, Calif., in March, led officers on a 35-mile chase before coming to a stop in front of the Placer County Jail in Auburn and surrendering. He told the puzzled deputies only that “the food is better here” than in Sacramento’s lock-up (but the deputies returned him to Sacramento, anyway).
■ John Novak, 48, was taken to a hospital and then arrested after a rough night in May in Buhl, Idaho, in which he threatened his sister with a rifle-bayonet and then tried a home remedy to relieve a snoring problem. With what was later measured as a 0.5 blood-alcohol level (more than six times the state’s presumed-impaired limit), he stuck two straws into his nostrils and slammed a door rapidly into his face, attempting to break his nose (and apparently succeeding, although his exact condition was not reported). He said he had been drinking “for a week straight,” to dull the anticipated pain he had planned to create.
News of the Weird has previously noticed the extraordinary discomfort some women embrace just to be able to wear a certain pair of designer shoes. However, the number and ingenuity of foot doctors serving such women has grown substantially in recent years. An April New York Times report noted that Beverly Hills podiatrist Ali Sadrieh offers a Perfect 10! procedure (aesthetic toe-shortening), a Model T (toe-lengthening) and Foot Tuck (a foot-padding for high-heel pain). New York’s Dr. Oliver Zong treats High Heel Foot (when the foot conforms to the shape of a stiletto) and Hitchhiker’s Toe (an abnormally large big toe sticking out like a thumb). Some patients get to the point right away, Dr. Sadrieh said, by bringing in specific cherished shoes and asking which foot-retrofitting procedure would do the job (although Zong said he turned down one woman who said she would be OK with nine toes if that’s what it took).
© 2014 CHUCK SHEPHERD