Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Traditional Values

Google+ Pinterest Print
In October, Pentecostal preacher Thomas Weeks told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was in talks to create a “Survivor”-type reality TV show in which the twice-divorced Weeks would navigate a field of single women and select a winner. Weeks assured the newspaper that “The Holy Hook Up: Who Will Be the Next Mrs. Weeks?” would be a “very tasteful, five-star presentation.”

Police Blotter
Awesome: Police in Dortmund, Germany, arrested six men in June and charged them with stealing from trucks on the open highway. Allegedly, the thieves would drive their own truck behind a tractor-trailer at highway speed, and a man on the hood would reach out and open the back of the rig with a bolt cutter. He would then climb in and loot the rig of computers and cell phones by passing them to a partner sitting on the hood of the trailing truck.

Almost Awesome: Motorist Michael Mills Jr., 38, wanted by law enforcement on identity-theft charges, was making a getaway from police in Chesapeake, Va., when he broke through a warning arm on a drawbridge and tried to jump "Dukes of Hazzard"-style onto the span that was being lowered (but which wouldn't be completely down for another several minutes). He missed, and the car plunged into the Elizabeth River, where it sank. Mills was rescued and arrested.

Recurring Themes
Least Competent Criminals: (1) According to police in Woodland, Calif., in August a 30-year-old man became the most recent person to attempt to throw burning fireworks at a target while traveling in a car, only to have the fireworks fail to clear the window and explode inside the car. He was hospitalized. (2) In another familiar scene, two 18-year-old men panicked when they spotted police approaching their trailer-park home in Salina, Kan., in August, and tossed illegal drugs out a window. Police, who were only in the area to serve warrants on two of the men’s neighbors, spotted the flying drugs and arrested the men.

Men Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
(1) Police in Fort Myers, Fla., said Jonathon Guabello, 29, was angry that his girlfriend denied him sex when they came home from a bar late at night in October. After arguing with her, he left the room, shot himself twice in the arm, fell and hit his head on a kitchen appliance, knocking himself out. (2) In Anderson Township, Ohio, in July, Gregory Smallwood became the latest frustrated lover after his girlfriend fell asleep during sex. According to police, Smallwood retaliated by attempting to set her van on fire.

Government in Action
(1) The municipal transit company in Austin, Texas, unveiled a rider-education campaign in August, with a sign that gives step-by-step instructions on how to stand up on buses without falling over. Tips include: When the bus is accelerating, “lean forward and put your weight on your front foot.” The sign’s introductory frame features a harried rider saying, “Help! I’ll never figure it out!” (2) A poster campaign funded by the British government, also introduced in August, aims to encourage those waiting for municipal buses to do Pilates-type movements to improve physical fitness. Among the suggestions: standing on one leg, pointing the toes forward and clenching the buttocks.

News That Sounds Like a Joke
(1) In September, Britain’s Bristol City Council warned residents in government housing to always leave their sheds unlocked. Otherwise, the council stated, thieves would have to break through doors or windows to get inside, and taxpayers would be stuck with the repair bills. (2) Candidates for local office in Brazil can either register under their own names or make them up. In the October election this year, three candidates chose “Barack Obama,” while others registered under “Bill Clinton,” “Jorge Bushi” and “Chico Bin Laden.” More than 200 people used the name of the country’s popular president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Great Art!
Sculptor Marc Quinn unveiled Siren in October at the British Museum. The model Kate Moss posed for Quinn, though not quite in the position he ultimately created. Siren is a life-size, 18-karat gold piece (which cost Quinn around $2 million to make) that features Moss in a seated position, holding her legs behind her head. (Some, but not all, news outlets chose to show Siren modestly, from the side rather than the front.)

Dignified Death
From the self-composed obituary in the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune of James William “Jim” Adams, who died Sept. 9: “Jim, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other’s [sic] courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle. It was primarily as a result of being stubborn and not following doctor’s orders… He was sadly deprived of his final wish, which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a date.”

2008 Chuck Shepherd