You know how you want revenge when someone blocks your car in -- by parking so inconsiderately you can't get out? Does your revenge fantasy involve a baseball bat? This one also includes cement at about 1:00 minute in.
In January 1934, at the age of 82, arctic explorer W.J.A. Grant decided he wasn't much longer for this world and had a "farewell to life" champagne party. The centerpiece of the event was a wooden coffin he had specially made. Five hundred people attended, as well as "a bevy of beautiful dancing girls." He instructed everyone to "wear your gayest clothes—don't come in the miserable garb of woe."
The partying lasted through the night. Grant, wearing a boutonniere in his coat lapel, mingled with his guests "and pointed cheerfully to a notice on the wall that said he would die within a week."
But the next day, having had only two hours of sleep, he announced that he now "felt fine." It took him another year before he finally kicked the bucket. [Chicago Tribune - Mar 11, 1935]
Are there really enough good baseball jokes to fill even a small book? Maybe if you eliminate the requirement of "good." I see some contemporary compilations for sale at Amazon, etc. And then we have this site.
"A young lady arrived at her first ballgame during the 5th inning. "The score is 0 to 0," she heard a nearby fan say. "Oh, good," she cooed to her boyfriend, "then we haven't missed a thing."
License plates may not seem like a product that requires improvement, but Compliance Innovations begs to differ. They've come up with "e-plates" that use an electronic ink display. They cost a lot more than traditional plates — over $100 versus less than $5. However, they allow the DMV or police to remotely change what the license plate displays. So if you're late with your registration payment, "Expired" appears in bright red letters. No state has yet decided to adopt these e-plates, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. [epoch times]
When I first saw the cover of this March 1935 issue of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, I thought the photo must be fake. But no, it's real. It shows 20-year-old Gogea Mitu, a boxer and the tallest Romanian in history. From wikipedia:
Mitu became world famous because of his enormous stature, at the age of 20 he was 2.42 metres (7.9 ft) tall, had a weight of 183 kilograms (400 lb) and had a foot size of 38 centimetres (15 in). Because of these characteristics he was very sought after by doctors and scientists who wanted to know the reason for his gigantism and by people who wanted to profit from his stature.
Mitu only lived to be 22, dying of tuberculosis in 1936. In the picture, it looks like he's wearing Converse sneakers. Did they come in his size, or were they custom-made for him?
Houston, Tex., pastor Ira Hilliard doubled down on his prosperity gospel (New Light Church), asking parishioners for $52 each to fix one of his two aircraft and promising in return that he’d try real hard to get God to give each donor a new car within a year. (Bonus: These donors are allowed to vote in federal, state, and local elections, and their votes count as much as yours. U-S-A! U-S-A!)RawStory.com
A city council member in the British seaside town of Whitby, interviewed in a recent documentary, confessed to cheating on his wife with an extraterrestrial named Cat Queen and fathering a child with her. He fancies himself as, Yr Editor guesses, an Edward Snowden-type. “”There are plenty of people in my position who don’t choose to come out and say it because they are terrified it will destroy their careers.” U-K! U-K!Northern Echo (Darlington, England) via Fox News
“Pain Is Temporary, Pride Is Forever”: Maine’s Bangor Daily News, covering a local scandal with a long, deep, Pulitzer-type attempt at analysis, discovered that high school wrestling squads everywhere haze their members. And the preferred ritual, apparently, involves insertion of objects where the sun don’t shine. And it’s all on the up-and-up, they feel, because none of the objects (pencils, etc.) is the you-know-what. The lo-o-o-ong story’s takeaway: Hazing culture is so hard to break. Bangor Daily News
More Things to Worry About
As if American Muslims didn’t have enough to worry about, the FBI uncovered a plot by an industrial mechanic for Gen’l Electric in upstate New York to build a death ray (“radiation particle weapon”) for Jews and/or the Ku Klux Klan to use against Muslims and “other enemies” of America. He got as far as building a remote triggering system. Times Union (Albany)
Marc Moskowitz, 66, a customer at a Bally’s in New York City, filed a lawsuit after he broke his shoulder slipping, he said, on all the happy endings that go on regularly in the shower area of the club. Bally’s used to monitor the area, he said; now, it’s just party time. New York Daily News
What smells worse--much worse, apparently--than the traditional fertilizer anyone detects motoring through Texas farm country? Well, new-fangled fertilizer, apparently, and from humans--so effective growing things that there’s a 3-5-yr wait by farms wanting to be customers. KHOU-TV (Houston)
Johnathan Harty, 31, being a good dad, taking his daughters, age 6 and 4, out to buy toys. However: It was 11:30 p.m., he was high on meth, wearing no pants but a woman’s blouse and prosthetic breasts, with a full bottle of urine on the floor. He wasn’t profiled; he crashed the car. KOMO-TV (Seattle)
Mr. Milo Manu Felix Wild, 22, exists on this earth (in Darwin, Australia) solely to party. He says so. Most recently, he was on probation for stripping naked, knocking down portable toilets, and peeing into his hands so he could fling it at cops. Now he has begged the judge to please send him to jail instead the probation-plus-publessness order. New York Daily News
Shaun Orris, 41, of Waukesha, Wis., was really, really upset and wanted everyone--everyone in town--to know that indeed he has a constitutional right to schtup goats. WaukeshaNow.com
World’s Largest Doomsday Shelter to Open in Kansas --- CNN via KSHB-TV (Kansas City)
Woman Dressed as a Vagina Stops Attack on Man Dressed as a Penis --- Western Morning News (Leicester, England)
Strange Old World
Rioters (aka “parents”) in Zhongxiang, China, trapped as many as 54 exam monitors in a school and stoned them for having cracked down on their cheating sons and daughters who showed up with cheat sheets, transmitters, call phone apps, and so forth. “Unfair!" they protested. Everyone in China cheats on these tests, and it’s damned unfair that you pick on our buttercups. Daily Telegraph (London)
People With Way Too Much Money: Two companies are competing to offer the most expensive vacations they can to pets, with one package retailing for £47k ($72.5k). One company will build a doghouse as a replica of the owner’s actual house--which will totally confuse better accustom the dog during the vacation. Daily Telegraph (London)
A Chinese culture website has discovered “anti-pervert” stockings for women. They’re ordinary stockings but fuzzed up with leg hair. Huffington Post
Wesley Warren, Jr. (elephantiasis o’ da scrotum) [Weirdnuz M283, 9-9-2012], finally had the surgery so he wouldn’t have to lug around his 140-lb. stones, but it left him with nothing to show for it, lengthwise. The Sun (London)
Breatharian Naveena Shine [NOTW2.0, 6-10-2013] called it off after Day 45, down 33 lbs. living on sun, water, and tea, because she didn’t want to be a bad example for others (and also because she’s broke). Seattle Times
Your Weekly Jury Duty [In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]
Jeffrey Jones, 56, of Sacramento was accused of chucking a spear at a passing car, which is kinda far-fetched, so, hey, we’ll need a little bit of evidence here! Sacramento Bee
Newsrangers: Kathryn Wood, Steve Clancy, Bruce Leiserowitz, Jim Sharp, John McGaw, James Hoban, and Randy Refsland, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors
Adam Purple is an activist and urban Edenist or "Guerrilla Garderner" famous in New York City from the seventies to the present day. His name at birth was David Wilkie, though he's gone by many others, including the Rev. Les Ego. He is often considered the godfather of the urban gardening movement, and his "Garden of Eden" was a well-known garden on the Lower East Side of Manhattan until it was demolished after considerable controversy, extending from the Koch Administration through the Dinkins Administration by then mayor Rudolph Giuliani...
The image of Adam Purple familiar to New Yorkers in the seventies and eighties was of a man wearing at least one article of purple clothing, and with a thick graying beard, riding a bicycle through Manhattan streets and scooping up manure left by hansom cab horses, which he used to fertilize his urban garden.
News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M324, June 23, 2013
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Shepherd
Chengdu, China, barber Liu Deyuan, 53, is one of the few who still provide traditional “eye-shaving,” in which he holds the eye open and runs a razor across the lids’ inner surfaces. Then, using a thin metal rod with a round tip, he gently massages the inside of each lid. Liu told a reporter for the Chengdu Business Daily in April that he had never had an accident (though the reporter apparently could not be enticed to experience the treatment himself, preferring merely to observe), and a highly satisfied customer reported afterward that his eyes felt “moist” and his vision “clearer.” A local hospital official said eye-shaving can scrape away scar tissue and stimulate the eyes to lubricate the eye sockets. [South China Morning Post, 4-15-2013]
One of April’s most popular Internet images consisted of face shots of the current 20 contestants for Miss South Korea--revealing that all 20 appeared eerily similar, and Westernized. Commented one website, “Korea’s plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face.” Wrote a South Korean commenter, “Girls here consider eye surgery just like using makeup.” Wrote another, “I loved this episode of ‘The Twilight Zone.’” The country has the highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita in the world. [International Business Times (New York City), 4-24-2013]
Michinoki Farms of Tokyo finally agreed in May to withdraw its whale meat dog chews, but only after angering environmentalists for having favored the country’s pampered canines over endangered North Atlantic fin whales, which were the source of the chews. The meat was purchased from Iceland, which openly defies the international moratorium on whale meat. (Japan officially disagrees with world consensus on which species are endangered.) [Daily Telegraph (London), 5-29-2013]
A marriage-encouraging intiative in the Sehore District of India’s Madhya Pradesh state awards gifts and financial assistance to couples agreeing to wed in mass ceremonies, but the country also suffers from a notorious toilet shortage. Consequently, the District announced in May that to qualify for the government benefits, the groom must submit to officials a photo of himself beside his own toilet to prove that he and his wife will have home sanitation. [Times of India, 5-21-2013]
Latest Religious Messages
Recurring Theme (People Purporting to Speak for Islam): (1) A Saudi judge ruled in April that it was finally time for Ali al-Khawahir, 24, to suffer for stabbing another boy in the back when Ali was 14. The victim was paralyzed, and under Saudi justice, Ali must also be struck with paralysis or else raise the equivalent of about $390,000 to compensate the victim. (2) Saudi cleric Abdullah Mohamed al-Daoud in May urged his 100,000 Twitter followers to “sexually harass female cashiers” to discourage them from working outside the home. (He is the one who urged in February that babies be veiled to protect them from sexual harassment.) [The Guardian (London), 4-3-2013] [BBC News, 5-29-2013]
Closer to God Than You Are: (1) Crystal McVea, author of a recent book chronicling her near-death experience, told a “Fox & Friends” TV host in April that among her most vivid memories of the incident was getting so close to God that she could “smell” him. (2) In May, Anna Pierre, a candidate for mayor of North Miami, Fla., announced on her Facebook page that she had secured the endorsement of Jesus Christ. That would be doubly fortunate for her since a month earlier, she had complained that unknown people had been leaving bad-luck Vodou-ritual feathers, food scraps, and candles on her doorstep. (Jesus’s stroke is apparently not what it used to be: She finished seventh in the race.) [Raw Story, 4-2-2013] [Miami Herald, 5-14-2013; WTVJ (Miami), 5-15-2013]
PREVIOUSLY ON WEIRD UNIVERSE: Religious Messages from All Over: (1) A catering company in Leicestershire, England, became a holy site in May after the Hindu owner found an eggplant that resembles the elephant-headed Lord Ganesh. He said that he prays to it now twice daily and has so far welcomed about 80 visiting worshipers. (2) As part of his recent U.S. tour, the Dalai Lama, introduced to a University of Maryland audience by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, greeted the governor on stage by rubbing noses with him. [ThisIsLeistershire.co.uk, 5-6-2013] [Washington Post, 5-7-2013]
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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.