News of the Weird (August 23, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M437, August 23, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

The distress across the Western world in July over the big-game killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe was apparently misdirected, according to veteran “animal communicator” Karen Anderson of Elk, Wash., who told Facebook and Internet visitors [] that Cecil and she had discussed his demise and that he was over it. Also, Cecil apparently speaks in formal, graceful English, as Anderson quoted him (according to London’s The Independent): “Let not the actions of these few men defeat us,” said Cecil, “or allow darkness to enter our hearts.” “I am,” he added, “grander than before as no one can take our purity, our truth, or our soul.” (Anderson’s usual fee to speak with deceased pets is $75 for 15 minutes, but she did not disclose whether she had a client for Cecil’s tab.) [The Independent, 7-31-2015]


In May, three Santa Ana, Calif., police officers who had just raided the unlicensed Sky High Holistic medical marijuana dispensary were caught on the facility’s surveillance video eating supposedly seized cannabis-infused chocolate bars, and an “internal affairs” investigation was opened. However, on August 3rd, the Orange County Register reported that the cops went to court to have the video suppressed. Their familiar legal argument is that the video violates their right to privacy--in that they had purposely disabled the cameras before they began munching the contraband and thus had the requisite “expectation of privacy” that triggers the right. (Possibly, they had missed a camera.) [Update: The judge this week rejected the officers’ shameless privacy argument.] [Orange County Register, 8-3-2015] [Update]

The mother of three children in Grandview, Mo., suspected that Dameion McBride, 22, had sexually molested her two daughters (ages 4 and 8) and son (age 3), but McBride indignantly denied it, claiming that he is a child-abuse survivor, himself, and booking himself on the national “Steve Wilkos” TV show in May to take a lie detector test to clear his name. However, he failed the test as to each child and was subsequently arrested. (The Associated Press reported that McBride insisted on a police lie detector test--and failed that, too.) [WDAF-TV (Kansas City), 7-15-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

On August 1st, one of the world’s weirdest border disputes came to an end, as India and Bangladesh exchanged more than 100 “enclaves”--sovereign territory completely surrounded by the other country’s sovereign territory (in principle, making travel out of the enclaves impossible unless the enclave had an embassy or another office that issues visas). In fact, there is one Indian enclave (Dahala Khagrabari) completely within a Bangladeshi enclave that is completely inside India. [Washington Post, 8-1-2015]

The Litigious Society

The estate of Dr. Rajan Verma filed a lawsuit in July against the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, N.Y., after Dr. Verma fell to his death following a concert when he lost his balance sliding down the banister. The estate claims that there must have been a sticky substance on the railing. The estate’s lawyers said that since alcohol was served at the concert, the promoters should have known to take extra safety precautions for banister-riders. [Courthouse News, 7-21-2015]

Who gets badly hurt playing “musical chairs”? Robin Earnest, 46, told an Arkansas claims hearing that she broke two fingers and was forced into “years” of surgery and physical therapy over a game that was part of a class at the College of the Ouachitas in 2011 and demanded at least $75,000 from the state. The July hearing was dominated by a discussion of the proper way to play musical chairs because the instructor had ordered three students to contest one chair--with Earnest asserting that everyone knows it would be two chairs for three people. [Arkansas Online, 7-10-2015]

News That Sounds Like a Joke

“Green-Western Daily Pressfingered residents” can show off their hard work each year at the Quedgeley Show in Gloucestershire, England, entering arrangements of colorful, plump garden-grown vegetables. However, attendance has been off in recent years, reported the Western Daily Press, leaving the show’s future in doubt--until organizers announced that this year, to increase the number of entries, supermarket-bought vegetables could be submitted. [Western Daily Press, 7-24-2015]

“Number Two, Turn to the Right and Growl”: Magistrates in Ceredigion, Wales, fined Edward Davies the equivalent of about $1,130 in June, finding that it was his dog that bit a teenage girl last October, sending her to a hospital with swelling and bruising. Aberystwyth authorities had set up a formal police lineup of dogs from the neighborhood, and the girl had made a positive ID of Davies’s dog as the perp. [Wales Online, 6-4-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Judge Roger Barto, of Waterloo (N.Y.) Village Court, was convicted in August of staging a fake assault on himself, to convince doctors to prescribe him pain medication. Officers arriving at the scene found Barto lying on the ground with shattered porcelain nearby from (he said) being smacked on the head by a mugger. However, doctors found an apparent flaw in Barto’s ruse: He had forgotten to actually hurt himself during the “attack”--as medical personnel had found no mark, cut, or bruise anywhere on him. [, 8-10-2015]

Recurring Themes

Once again during a police raid of a suspected drug house (this time, in Wood River, Ill., in July), with cops swarming the home and yard, confiscating evidence and arresting occupants, officers had to stop briefly from time to time to answer the front door (10 times during a 90-minute period)--as the dealer’s regular (oblivious) customers continually arrived to buy more heroin. [KTVI-TV (St. Louis), 7-29-2015]

In the face of a declining military budget, the Defense Ministry of the Netherlands issued confidential instructions to commanders in July that during training exercises, to preserve dwindling ammunition, soldiers should simply shout “Bang Bang” instead of firing their weapons. Said a soldiers’ advocate, “Even if you have no bullets, you [still] have to train with your weapon.” [Reuters via (Moscow), 8-3-2015]

Thinning The Herd: (1) When two men who had been drinking in the apartment of Brandon Thomas, 30, in Conyers, Ga., on July 23rd wanted to leave, Mr. Thomas objected. “If y’all are going to drink my alcohol, y’all are going to play my game,” he said, announcing that his “game” was Russian Roulette. Minutes later, after spinning the revolver’s cylinder, Mr. Thomas lost the game. (2) Three days later in rural Bell County, Ky., John Brock, 60, asked the Lord once again to certify his righteousness by allowing him to safely handle a rattlesnake during services at Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church. However exemplary Mr. Brock’s faith had been previously, on that day, apparently, it was found wanting, and he is no longer with us. [Rockdale News, 7-23-2015] [WKYT-TV (Lexington, Ky.), 7-28-2015]

The Aristocrats!

(1) Wallace Berg, 81, was charged with public indecency in Stratford, Conn., in July after a neighbor showed police a video he had made of Berg, naked and (according to an Associated Press report) “performing a sex act with some shrubbery.” (2) “Where the sun don’t shine” is now a standard hiding place for contraband, including for Matthew Smith, 36, arrested in Greendale, Ind., in July. After he drew attention with a long restroom session at a Shell station, police confronted him about the white powder on his nose, and Smith sheepishly handed over the minutes-ago-removed pills and cocaine--but he had also extracted, inexplicably, a fishing bobber, a screwdriver, and an “open tire plug kit.” [Associated Press via Hartford Courant, 7-29-2015] [EagleCountryOnline, 7-22-2015]

News of the Weird Classic (April 2010)

Louis Woodcock, 23, testified at his Toronto trial in March [2010] that he was not involved in the 2005 shooting of a woman, despite being seen on surveillance video approaching the woman with his hand inside his jacket until gunshots rang out. He said his hand was not on a gun but that he often kept his hand inside his jacket to keep from sucking his thumb, which is a habit he picked up in childhood and which did not go over well on the street. (The jury, apparently not seeing him as the thumb-sucking type, convicted him of manslaughter.) [CTV (Toronto), 3-9-2010]

Thanks This Week to Dan Bohlen, Dan Wasserman, Bryce Jackson, and Charles Smaistrla, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 23, 2015

Cecil- Whatever that dentist paid her to come out with that message to get him off the hook was cheap at half the price.

India/Bangladesh- Sounds like nesting dolls.

bannister slider- No one is responsible for his drunken stupidity but him and he already paid in full, case closed.

Veggies- Wouldn't the store bought veggies be ringers?

Druggies- headline: Drug Bust Becomes Impromptu Sting Op.

Bang bang- soldier,"bang bang click" officer,"What was that supposed to be soldier!' soldier,"misfire sir."

RR- Fun fact, Russian roulette is not a game you want to go first in.

Rattler- The Lord helps those who help themselves.(by not playing with poisonous snakes)

man has sex with bush- Sounds right to me.

anal extractions- Where are the jumper cables?

thumb sucking- In jail I am sure someone will give him something else to suck.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 08/23/15 at 12:49 PM
Musical chairs: Here is a link that doesn’t make you pay to read. I wondered why a 46 year old would be playing it?

Border dispute:

Russian roulette: Best played with a single shot shotgun.
Posted by BMN on 08/23/15 at 01:46 PM
Karen Anderson Yet another piece of misdirection used by the news media to dra... OH! LOOK! A squirrel!

CA Cops & Pot More squirrel chasing! The only people that have won the drug war were the bureaucrats that still have a useless job.

Dameion McBride But.. lie detectors aren't legal proof of anything!

India vs Bangladesh With all their people fed & educated these countries have time to explore the absurd.

Bannister Slide Tsk, tsk. How callous of you Patty! The gubment should make promoters provided minute by minute protection to each and every visitor.

Veggie Fair Hopefully no NGOs would be allowed to sully this fine, upstanding event.

Judge Barto Judge not least ye be judged.

Woodriver Druggies That's East St. Louis, famous for decades for having the lowest average IQ in the state.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/24/15 at 09:58 AM
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