News of the Weird / Pro Edition
June 22, 2009 (news from June 13-20)
The Human Carpet
"Georgio T." is a 48-yr-old immigrant from Malta, whose scene is working the floors of New York City bars dressed as a rug and available for stomping upon. He doesn't actually, y'know, come when he gets stomped, but still, he says it's very pleasurable. He has a custom rug rig he can slip into and then lies face down, praying for stilettos. He's been this way since childhood: "[One of my playmates] wanted to be the doctor, [another] wanted to be the carpenter, and I would want to be the carpet." New York Times
Tex-Ass Justice in the F State
John Preston's CSI-ready genius dog, Harass II, has contributed to around 60 convictions, they say, with his amazing ability to find specific people's scents on the faintest of crime-scene evidence, even old, old evidence. One of Harass II's IDs went to death row, and many got decades in prison. Turns out Harass II was the Bernie Madoff of crime evidence, making it up as he went along. In fact, when a judge finally tested Harass II's nose, the result was a disgrace to the German shepherd breed. So, judge after judge has been eating this "evidence" up for a couple of years, and anyway, how to you cross-examine a dog's reaction to something? [Oh, right, OK . . pet psychics.] The cover's off now only because in three of Harass II's cases so far, DNA evidence finally has shown that the suspects didn't do it. So, how many of the five dozen behind bars were wrongly convicted? F State law enforcement (including the governor and the attorney general) aren't much concerned. Orlando Sentinel
Glorious Small-Town America
(1) The County Board in Lincoln, Neb., debated whether to pay a claim for missing pants (which should have been returned to a jail inmate but were nowhere around) at $10 rather than $12. ($12 won, by a 2-1 vote) (2) Mayor Julian Mullis of redneck Mulberry, Fla., is expected to survive, physically and politically, after being beaten up by his girlfriend, who is really his cross-dressing boyfriend, who lives with the mayor and the mayor's two young kids. (3) The City Attorney in Jeffersonville, Ind., turned up one morning, head-first inside a garbage can, sleeping off a bender. Journal Star (Lincoln) /// WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg) /// News and Tribune (New Albany, Ind.)
Artist Mark Menjivar has created a work that is as much an anthropological study as it is art. By taking photographs of the contents of strangers' refrigerators he allows us a glimpse into not only a moment in their food storage but into the pattern of their lives as well. http://www.good.is/post/picture-show-you-are-what-you-eat/?GT1=48001
Familial relationships don't always pay off and sometimes they can kill ya.
A California woman had some of her husband's sperm harvested and frozen after his death in1995. In 1999 she concieved and gave birth to his child with the use of the frozen sperm. Since that time she has been trying to collect Social Security survivor benefits for the child, born a full five years after her biological father's death. So far her attempts are unsucessful. Read the story here- http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/strange/news-article.aspx?storyid=140113&catid=82
Thomas Parkin wasn't about to let a little thing like his mom's death ruin his standard of living. So for the last six years he and his buddy have been working together to keep Irene Prusik alive in the eyes of the Social Security Administration. They have been very sucessful too. The friend cashed Mrs. Prusik's Social Security checks for 'her' each month as her nephew. Then Parkin went to the DMV, in drag, to renew mom's drivers license-oops! Check it out here- http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/strange/news-article.aspx?storyid=140059&catid=82
Then we have the love story of the couple who shall remain nameless. Atleast till after the autopsies. The man and woman were found faces up in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor of the home they shared. Neighbors say they seemed happy toghether. Police say they apparently stabbed eachother to death. Ah love!- http://www.jcfloridan.com/jcf/news/local/article/unusual_double_murder_in_calhoun/78665/
My pal Andy Duncan is a wonderful fiction writer, and loyal reader of WEIRD UNIVERSE. But I never knew he had written this compilation of weird Alabama stuff till he showed me a copy of the second edition this weekend. I think a road trip to Alabama is definitely in order for all WU-vies.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.