In my latest about.com article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."
He's a feisty old fellow! The list of complaints against 75-year-old Frankfurt resident "Günter D" include: urinating in flower pots, putting moldy bread in people's mailboxes, calling his neighbors prostitutes, writing lewd graffiti on walls, and repeatedly telephoning his neighbors up to 284 times a month. Gunter will soon have to defend himself in court against charges of disturbing the peace, damaging property, and making inappropriate threats. But he insists, "I've not done anything or offended anyone." [independent, bild]
Anthropologist Holly Wardlow did extensive fieldwork among the Huli people of Papua New Guinea. She offers this account of a curious way that Huli women get the upper hand (so to speak) in marital disputes:
many women when falsely accused [of adultery by their husbands] will lop off their index or pinky fingers at the first or second joint. This practice is quite common: of the fifty women with whom I conducted life history interviews, ten of them had one or two finger joints missing. Indeed this practice by Huli women is so pervasive that children say they make a point of hiding all knives and axes whenever their parents argue, not only to prevent them from injuring each other, but to prevent their mothers from lopping off their fingers. Like suicide, finger-lopping is motivated by anger and indignation, but it is highly performative as well; for example, one is supposed to maintain enough presence of mind to hurl the finger at one's accuser and yell something like, "keba biba haro, inaga ki bi pugu ngerogoni" (In order to cut off/finish my anger, I'm cutting off my finger and giving it to you.)
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.