A few days ago, a wasp flew into the mouth of Luis Guillermo Solis, the president of Costa Rica, while he was outside speaking to reporters. Solis swallowed it. Then he declared (in Spanish), "I ate it. I ate the wasp." More info at wtnh.com.
I'd like to see more politicians gulping insects out of the air like frogs as they speak. It would improve political oratory immensely.
The event also recalled that classic unscripted moment during Raiders of the Lost Ark when a fly appeared to crawl into the mouth of Paul Freeman, who was playing the character of the archaeologist Belloq. Although according to this site, the fly didn't really crawl into his mouth. The film editors, as a joke, took out a few frames to make it look as if the fly entered his mouth.
In 2012, the residents of Idyllwild, California elected Max as their mayor. He was a golden retriever. Tragically he died of cancer a year later, but the people of Idyllwild agreed that Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, aka Mayor Max II, could complete his term of office. The new Max was subsequently granted a perpetual term as mayor. So he's still in charge there.
Marlin Hawkins served as an elected official in Conway County, Arkansas for 38 years — for most of that time as sheriff. He built up a legendary political machine, being able not only to win reelection for himself (19 times) but also to deliver votes for other candidates. He often boasted that he could accurately predict the outcome of every election in the county.
It was long suspected that he was rigging the elections, especially since absentee voters would always vote for him by a wide margin, but no one could ever prove anything.
After he retired in 1978, Hawkins eventually wrote his autobiography, which he brazenly titled How I Stole Elections (available on Amazon). He joked that he "stole" them by "treating my neighbors right."
But no, he stole them by ballot fraud.
His book came out in 1991. The year after, some people who were remodeling their house discovered a whole stash of marked ballots from a 1968 election hidden in their attic. The house had previously been owned by one of Hawkins' deputies.
Hawkins got away with it because the statute of limitations had expired in 1974. He died in 1995.
In Culver City, California, artist Illma Gore is painting a canvas with human blood to protest the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump. She's working with 20 pints of blood donated by artists, musicians, and activists.
I'm sensing that weird stuff people do to protest Trump will be a prolific theme in weird news during the next four years.
July 1930: Charles G. Wood, author of Reds and Lost Wages, when speaking before Hamilton Fish's Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States revealed the corruption of morals that followed the adoption of communism, illustrated by the fact that children in the Soviet Union had no table manners and were being taught to say, "Damn it, pass the bread."
In 1967, artist Robert Cenedella came out with the "Anti-Hero Hostility Dart Board," featuring "photographic images of some of your favorite anti-heroes." Consumers could choose between an "LBJ, Lady Bird, Humphrey, Castro, Hochi Minn, De Gaulle, Nasser, Nixon, Bobby Kennedy, Reagan, or Sigmund Freud" dart board.
In a later interview, Cenedella said that, "For a few dollars extra, you could put a relative or an ex-wife there." He added, "I had more success in doing these gimmicks than I did at my art."
The following year, Cenedella discontinued the dart boards, citing his concern that the nation had become too violent.
As far as I know, Cenedella's Hostility Dart Board was the first commercially sold, political-themed dart board. But nowadays they're fairly common. Zazzle.com, for instance, has a bunch of them.
In 2004, Donald Trump lent his name to a perfume — DONALD TRUMP: THE FRAGRANCE. Now that he's going to be President, that means he's the first U.S. President to have a perfume named after him. The stuff is no longer for sale, but if you really want some, there's plenty of it to be found on eBay.
The marketing literature that came with it promoted it as, " Luxurious. Confident. Persuasive. The compelling new scent for men. Power attracts."
Wendy Donahue, Chicago Tribune reporter, reviewed it and wrote:
The scent that emerges is floral and fruity and green — as in plant matter — not money-money-money, as the opening to "The Apprentice" theme song goes.
Even Trump describes it as such: "It's a rose flavor; it's an orange flavor; it's lemony... What I did was I really relied on the great people of Estee Lauder. You know, so many companies wanted to do it. They gave me 30 different scents, all of which they felt were good, and I chose the one I liked."
In a case of satirical prophecy, back in 1992 MAD magazine had imagined a Trump fragrance line. They called it "The Smell of The Donald."
We tend to think we have some eccentric politicians today, like the UK's Boris Johnson or, ahem, a certain President-elect. But really, the past had the present beat hollow, and we are proved to be relatively colorless today by comparison.
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.