Friday Funny- Oh, Sure, That Makes Complete Sense…

This weeks Friday Funny will be an explosion of Weird News courtesy of Chuck Shepherd!  Here is a smattering of my favorites over the past couple of weeks.

Oh, sure…

Madison County, Ind., council member David McCartney admitted to the Herald Bulletin newspaper in March that he had exchanged “sexually explicit” emails with a female official in another county but would not resign. In fact, he said, he had engaged in the exchanges not for hanky-panky but in order to “expose corruption.” He has not elaborated. [Indianapolis Star, 3-19-2012]

Butt, of course…

Chris Windham, 27, was charged with improperly photographing a 57-year-old man in a men’s room in Trinity, Texas, in March after Windham, using a stall, allegedly snapped a cellphone photo of the man standing at the adjacent urinal. Windham explained that typically he braces himself with one hand on the floor while he wipes himself, and this time the hand on the floor was holding his cellphone. [Houston Press, 3-20-2012]

Another failed attempt to get out of a ticket…

Maureen Raymond, 49, said her roadside DUI test administered in January was unfair. According to records cited by Scripps Media, she told a deputy in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that she couldn’t walk a straight line “with her big boobies,” which she said makes “balancing” difficult. The deputy reported that Raymond helpfully offered to show him the evidence but that he stopped her. [Scripps Media via WPTV (West Palm Beach), 2-3-2012]

I should quit my day-job and become a Psychic…

She is not the typical gullible victim. Ms. Priti Mahalanobis is a college-educated mother of two who ran a franchised restaurant in Avalon Park, Fla., near Orlando, but when her health, her brother’s marriage and her business experienced problems, she bought a $20 psychic reading from “Mrs. Starr” (also known as Peaches Stevens). The Orlando Sentinel reported in January that, over the next seven months, Mahalanobis lost about $135,000 in cash, jewelry and gift cards to Mrs. Starr. Astonishingly, neither Mahalanobis’ health nor her restaurant business noticeably improved! Among the remedies that Mahalanobis accepted: buying seven tabernacles ($19,000 each) to “vanquish (her family’s) negativity” and putting $100 bills and a piece of paper with her relatives’ names written on it under her mattress along with a grapefruit (which, as everyone knows, attracts and then isolates the evil). [Orlando Sentinel, 1-24-2012]

My garden gnomes can kick your gnomes’ ass…

Arni Johnsen, a member of Iceland’s Parliament, survived a serious 2010 automobile crash — a stroke of good fortune he has since attributed to a family of elves (three generations, in fact, according to an “elf specialist”) who live in a boulder near the crash site. Iceland’s Morgunbladid newspaper reported that Johnsen recently had the 30-ton boulder relocated to his own property, which he said affords the elves a better view than at their previous home. (Another elf “authority” told reporters, however, that relocating the family was bound to bring Johnsen bad luck.) [Iceland Review, 5-15-2012]

Has stalking EVER succeeded in convincing the stalkee to love the stalker?

Felix Velazquez’s meticulous attention to detail could have served him well in legitimate endeavors, but was unfortunately displayed in a recent attempt to stalk an ex-girlfriend in Broward County, Fla. He had already been to prison for a 2008 stalking when he allegedly devised a fake double kidnapping — of her and him — so that he could “rescue” her and win back her affections. According to prosecutors, he created 23 pages of maps, photos and, reported the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, an “encyclopedic amount of detail about (the woman’s) routine, her appearance, friends and driving routes to work” and thought he had convinced a former cellmate to do the abduction. However, as frequently happens, the cellmate got queasy and told police, who devised their own elaborate ruse to sting Velazquez. He is awaiting trial. [Sun-Sentinel via Palm Beach Post, 2-5-2012]

Follow up to a prior report on extreme dieting…

In April, a woman in Switzerland identified as “Anna Gut,” in her early 50s, starved to death after trying to prove that she could survive by “consuming” only sunlight, just as had happened to several others before her. An earlier practitioner, Australian Ellen Greve, died in 1999 at age 54 following a short career promoting “breatharianism,” subtitled in her books and public lectures, “Liberation from the drudgery of food and drink.” None of the ones who have made similar claims and survived have submitted to 24/7 monitoring. [The Local (Stockholm), 4-25-2012]

I’ll take joint pain, thnx…

Each spring in Dongyang, China, the aroma of urine is in the air — specifically, the town’s specialty of eggs boiled in the discharge of young boys (under age 10, typically gathered “fresh” from toilets at local schools). Townspeople have believed for centuries that the eggs, properly cooked, bring health and prosperity. “By eating these eggs,” one shopper told a Reuters reporter in March, “we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work.” In fact, Dongyang officials have proudly proclaimed “virgin boy eggs” as an “intangible cultural heritage.” [Reuters, 3-29-2012]

And once again this spring, the Chinese marked the Qingming holiday with celebrations honoring the dead by making offerings to their deceased relatives. At the “tomb-sweeping” festival, people present paper replicas of items their ancestors are believed to need in the afterlife. Uncreative relatives give play money, but the offerings can be elaborate, such as shoes, cars and TV sets, or this year’s hot item — paper iPads, which were selling in Hong Kong for the equivalent of about $3. [The Register (London), 3-29-2012]

I like to believe there’s a special level of Hell…

With Afghanistan’s moralistic Taliban in retreat, one social scourge grows stronger than ever (according to an April Washington Post dispatch from Dehrazi): “bacha bazi,” which are Afghan men’s “dancing boys.” Underage, often poor or fatherless kids become willing “companions” of wealthy men, often for sex. Since young girls are sheltered and chaperoned, only boys are available. Said one man, “You cannot (even) take a wife with you to a party, but a boy you can take anywhere.” The usefulness of a bacha bazi typically ends when he starts growing facial hair, and the boys often drift into becoming pimps or prostitutes. [Washington Post, 4-4-2012]

Odd names…

An Edmonton Journal reporter noted in March that the nearly 51,000 babies born in the province of Alberta in 2011 included a boy named Moo, two girls named Unique, an Einstein, a Messiah, a J-Cub, a Smiley, a Tuff, a Tuba, a Jazz, a Camry, an Andromeda and an Xxavier (sic), and a boy named R and a girl named J. [Edmonton Journal, 3-6-2012]

Odd names continued…

(1) Arrested for felony battery in Bloomington, Ind., in April: Ms. Fellony Silas, 30. (2) Announced as eligible for parole in June by the Kansas Prison Review Board: Mr. Wilford Molester Galloway. (3) Arrested for hit-and-run in April in Roseville, Calif.: Mr. Obiwan Kenobi, 37. (4) Arrested on drug and weapons charges in Clarkstown, N.Y., in April, Mr. Genghis Khan. (5) Among the silly town names uncovered in an April report on Why, Ariz., Whynot, Miss., Hell, Mich., Pig, Ky., Elephant Butte, N.M., Monkeys Eyebrow, Ky., and Embarrass, Minn. The report also found towns in Wales and New Zealand that are 58 and 57 letters long, respectively. [The Smoking Gun, 4-16-2012] [Lawrence Journal-World, 4-9-2012] [KXTV (Sacramento, 4-26-2012] [The Smoking Gun, 5-1-2012] [, 4-5-2012]

Are you a Poo-Donor…

An increasingly mainstream treatment for the gastrointestinal bacterial infection C. difficile involves transplanting the contents of a healthy colon into the unhealthy one, on the belief that the best way to kill the destructive germs and flora is to attack them with the beneficial bacteria and flora that already reside in a healthy colon. In March an unidentified man in Sydney, New Brunswick, who had been turned down for a transplant by doctors at Cape Breton Regional Hospital, performed a risky transplant of an unreported substance, by himself, in his own bathroom. He apparently suffered no ill effects, but doctors told the Chronicle Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, that since the “product” must get into the large bowel, merely giving yourself an enema does not assure success. [Chronicle Herald, 4-3-2012]

Holy S*! I want a Peugeot…

Peugeot technicians announced in March that they were preparing “mood paint” for the body of the company’s iconic RCZ model. The paint’s molecular structure would be alterable by heat sensors in the steering wheel and elsewhere that measure a driver’s stress levels. A calm driver might see his car turn green, for instance — but watch out for road-rage red! [DieselCarOnline (Leamington Spa, England), 3-31-2012]

Scottish love for Oregon…

Dull Parish Church, Dull, Scotland (GOOGLE)

Following her recent holiday in the United States, in which she passed through Boring, Ore. (pop. 12,000), Scotswoman Elizabeth Leighton returned home to suggest that officials in her hometown of Dull, Scotland, arrange for the two towns to become “sister cities,” even though they did not qualify under normal protocols because of Boring’s larger size. (The Oregon town was named for a Civil War soldier, William H. Boring.) [BBC News, 4-24-2012]

Honestly, I don’t get…

The Planned Parenthood organization has survived a controversial de-funding campaign over its limited abortion program, but its Washington state chapter, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, began a quixotic safe-sex campaign in February in which thousands of condoms were distributed with scannable barcodes. The plan was that users would automatically register information about their locations during sex, and, if the users chose, other information about the particular sexual experience they just had. Among the choices: “Ah-maz-ing,” “Rainbows exploded and mountains trembled,” “Things can only improve from here.” [New York Daily News, 2-29-2012]

Someone was being clever…

At the 10th Arab Shooting Championships in Kuwait in March, as medals were presented and winners’ national anthems were played, officials were apparently ill-prepared for medalist Maria Dmitrienko of Kazakhstan. Consequently, her “national anthem” was, inadvertently, the humorous ditty from the movie “Borat.” (Instead of such lyrics as “sky of golden sun” and “legend of courage,” the audience heard “Greatest country in the world / All other countries are run by little girls” and “Filtration system a marvel to behold / It removes 80 percent of human solid waste.”) Dmitrienko reportedly kept a mostly straight face throughout, although Kazakhstan later demanded, and received, an official apology. [Daily Mail (London), 3-23-2012]

Move over Crazy Cat Lady…

Lawrence Cobbold, 38, has a house in Plympton, England, but has to make living arrangements at his parents’ home or elsewhere because his place is totally taken over by his 21,000-item collection of bird ornaments and doodads. Before heading off to sleep elsewhere, he spends an average of four hours a day tidying up the collection. His dad (who described his other son as “completely normal”) said, “I just hope I die before (Lawrence). I don’t want to (have to) clear all this out.” [Plymouth Herald, 4-5-2012] (click here to scroll through more photos)

Lawsuit, smallsuit…

Henry Wolf filed a lawsuit in April in San Francisco against BMW, claiming that the Corbin-Pacific seat on its 1993 motorcycle formed such a “ridge” that Wolf developed painful priapism that has plagued him since he made a four-hour ride in May 2010. (Although the actual length of each priapic episode was not disclosed in the lawsuit’s initial filing.) [Courthouse News Service, 4-27-2012]

Sound Familiar? McDonald’s still proudly serves its coffee hot, notwithstanding the notorious 1992 lawsuit for burns suffered by Stella Liebeck. In March 2012, Mona Abdelal filed a lawsuit in Cook County, Ill., over severe burns that her granddaughter, 4, suffered when fetching Abdelal’s coffee order from a McDonald’s server. According to the lawsuit, the server violated company policy that requires tightly closed lids on coffee cups and prohibits handing the cups to young children even if they are tightly sealed. [Chicago Tribune, 3-23-2012]

A woman who was injured while traveling on business in November 2007 in New South Wales, Australia, was denied worker’s compensation by the workplace safety tribunal on the grounds that the injury occurred in her motel room while she was having sex with a friend. (A wall light fixture came loose as a result of the pair’s vigorous antics.) However, in April 2012, Australia’s Federal Court overturned the decision and granted the compensation, ruling that since the woman was on assignment at the time, the overnight stay, and even the sex, were “ordinary incidents” of the situation her employer placed her in. [Sydney Morning Herald, 4-19-2012]

In 2011, a photographer snapping pictures for an art magazine moved a 2,630-year-old African sculpture to get a better shot, and accidentally smashed it (“to smithereens,” according to the owner, Corice Arman, who filed a $300,000 lawsuit in April 2012 against the photographer and his magazine). [New York Post, 4-26-2012]

The family of a 13-year-old girl filed a lawsuit in Queensland, Australia, in April after their daughter, in a physical education tennis class at an upscale private school in Mudgeeraba, was hit in the eye by a bad shot from a fellow 13-year-old. The injury came as the girls were “smashing” balls back to each other from the baseline during a lesson. (Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper reported that several schools in Queensland state have banned such “dangerous” schoolyard activities as “cartwheels” and “red rover.”) [Courier-Mail, 4-23-2012]

Silly bad guys…

A bomb accidentally exploded on a bus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in May, killing a man who police suspect was on his way to blow up something else. He was the only person killed, but two suspected associates with him (carrying assault rifles and ammunition) were injured.

In April, Mohammad Ashan, described by U.S. officials as a “mid-level Taliban commander” in Paktika province, Afghanistan, walked up to a police checkpoint with a wanted poster of himself (offering a $100 cash reward) and turned himself in — for the money. Ashan was arrested following a biometric scan to verify his identity. “Yes, yes, that’s me,” he reportedly said. “Can I get my award now?” [Reuters via (Toronto), 5-17-2012] [Washington Post, 4-17-2012]

In March, Jose Romero-Valenzuela, 34, in a hurry to get to the courthouse in Oregon City, Ore., for a hearing on drug charges, managed to pick up three speeding tickets on Interstate 84, one right after the other within the space of an hour. A sheriff’s deputy and two different state troopers charged him with speeds in excess of 92 mph. (Another trooper, specifically monitoring Romero-Valenzuela after the third stop, reported that, finally, he obeyed the speed limit.) [The Oregonian, 3-8-2012]

William Todd

William Todd arrived in Nashville, Tenn., on April 9 via Greyhound bus and faced a nine-hour layover. According to police, Todd committed at least 11 felonies during that time, one after another, with more charges still possible. Among Todd’s alleged diversions: shooting up a restaurant, setting it on fire, robbing four people at a bar, carjacking, breaking into a law office and defecating on a desk, trolling hotel rooms seeking theft opportunities, and stealing a taxicab and robbing the driver. Said a police sergeant, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” He was finally captured at Opryland, where he had hidden by submerging himself in water up to his nose. [WSMV-TV (Nashville), 4-9-2012]

Eric King, 21, was leaving a store in Eagan, Minn., in February when a police officer in the parking lot noticed his pronounced waddle. King was arrested when the officer found a shoplifted 19-inch television set down his pants. [KSTP- TV (St. Paul), 2-24-2012]

In Twin Falls, Idaho, in April, Dylan Contreras, 19, became the most recent person arrested while trying to avoid police by giving a fake name (“Velesco”) even though his real name (the one on outstanding warrants) was tattooed in plain sight on his forearm.

In April, a teller at Chicago’s Northwest Side bank became the most recent to thwart a robbery simply by telling the perp (who had presented a holdup note) that the bank is now closed and suggesting that the robber come back the next day. (The perp walked out and did not return.) [Twin Falls Times-News, 4-4-2012] [Chicago Tribune, 4-4-2012]

In October, Dr. Kimberly Lindsey, 44, a deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control’s Laboratory Science, Policy, and Practice Program Office, was charged with two counts of child molestation and bestiality involving a 6-year-old boy. [WSB-TV (Atlanta), 10-11-2011]

In April, Yaron Segal, 30, a post-doctoral researcher at a physics lab at MIT, was arrested upon arriving in Grand Junction, Colo., after arranging with a woman online to have sex with the woman’s underage daughter (an adventure that was the product of a law enforcement sting). (Two weeks later, Segal was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent suicide.) [KMGH-TV (Denver), 4-17-2012]

Robert Strank, 39, was arrested in Beavercreek, Ohio, in April and charged with trying to rob the Huntington Bank. According to police, he had approached the bank’s counter but become ill and asked a teller to call 911 to summon medics. There were conflicting news reports about when medics arrived to treat Strank, but there was agreement that Strank recovered and subsequently presented the same teller his pre-written holdup note demanding cash. He was arrested in short order. [WDTN-TV (Dayton), 4-20-2012; WHIO-TV (Dayton), 4-23-2012]

Thomas Parkin inherited real estate from his elderly mother before she died, but quickly lost it in a risky business venture. To get the deed back, according to New York City prosecutors, he concocted a scheme to pretend that Mom was still alive (it would actually be Thomas in a dress) and still owned the land (and thus that the current deedholder was a fraud). Lawyers arranged a meeting with “Mother” (conducted in a darkened room because of Mom’s “recent cataract surgery”), at which she mostly remained silent. Parkin improbably stayed in character, according to a trial dispatch on the Daily Beast, and jurors apparently kept straight faces as Parkin testified that recent “communications” between him and his mother were “mostly one-sided.” In May, Parkin was convicted on 11 counts, and at press time, he was awaiting sentencing. [Daily Beast, 4-29-2012]

Thomas Parkin aka the less deadly Norman Bates


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