Can’t Possibly Be True
n The U.S.-Pakistan relationship has reached “the nadir of absurdity,” wrote Wired.com, after a December report in The Atlantic revealed that Pakistan “secures” its tactical nuclear weapons by moving them around the country in ordinary unmarked vans (“without noticeable defenses”.) It supposedly uses the “Econolines of Doom,” “hidden” in plain sight on the country’s highways, because it fears the U.S. (its “ally”) would steal the bombs if it knew where they were. Dizzyingly, wrote Wired, the U.S. funds Pakistan yet regularly invades it, though desperately needing Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan, even as Pakistani soldiers fight alongside Afghan insurgents against the U.S.
n In October, the super-enthusiastic winners of a Kingston, Ontario, radio station contest claimed their prize: the chance to don gloves and dig for free Buffalo Bills’ football tickets (value: $320), buried in buffalo manure in a child’s plastic inflatable pool. The show’s host, Sarah Crosbie, reported the digging live (but, overcome by the smell, vomited on the air). More curious was a runner-up contestant who continued to muck around for the second prize, even though it was only tickets to a local zoo.
n In a federal lawsuit for malicious prosecution, a judge found a “strong” likelihood that EPA agent Keith Phillips “deliberately” set up a hazardous-waste enforcement case against Hubert Vidrine for the purpose of facilitating his own work/sex relationship with a female EPA agent. According to the court, Phillips was married and unable to carry on with the agent (stationed in another city) except when they worked together, which they did periodically over a three-year period on the Vidrine case. In October, Vidrine was awarded $1.6 million in damages.
Least competent plans
Paul Moran, possessing (according to his lawyer) “considerable intellectual ability,” nonetheless attempted a procedure to turn his own feces into gold (and was sentenced in October to three months in jail in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, after accidentally setting his apartment on fire in the process).
Fine points of the law
n A judge in Dayton, Ohio, sentenced former CEO Michael Peppel, 44, for defrauding his shareholders by overstating revenue in a company that went on to lose $298 million and cost 1,300 employees their jobs. Sentencing guidelines recommended an 8- to 10-year term, but federal judge Sandra Beckwith ordered Peppel to jail for seven days.
n Dog walker Kimberly Zakrzewski was found not guilty in October of violating the poop-scooping ordinance of Fairfax County, Va., despite photographic “evidence” of dog piles submitted by neighbors Virginia and Christine Cornell (who had previously been feuding with Zakrzewski). The jury chose to give greater weight to testimony by the dog’s owner that the photographed piles were bigger than anything she had ever seen from “Baxter.” The owner also revealed that she had brought to court one of Baxter’s actual piles but decided to leave it in her car.
about that ...
n A 22-year-old man was shot in the face on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in September; his companion on the camping trip thought he was shooting at a bear.
n An 85-year-old man was shot in the face in Augusta, Ga., in September; a female acquaintance thought she was shooting at an opossum.
n A 20-year-old woman was shot in Vilas County, Wis., in July; deputy sheriff Ty Peterson (a relative) thought he was shooting at a cougar.
Crime in the F state
n Two men outfitted as zombies were arrested for assault at a Halloween party at a nudist resort in Pasco County, Fla. (One bit a security guard, but he was not infected.)
n Jeffrey Lluis, 27, who performed stand-up comedy at clubs around Tampa, apparently held a day job as bank robber (charged in November with knocking off a SunTrust bank — twice).
n In October, a 30-year-old woman and her unidentified boyfriend were killed as they carried their domestic brawl from their car onto Interstate 485 near Pineville, N.C., and were struck by separate vehicles.
n A 27-year-old man was killed in a one-car crash in Broward County, Fla., in October. He (a passenger) had punched his wife (the driver) in the face, causing her to lose control and careen into a lake. (She and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, in the backseat, survived.)
A News of the Weird Classic (July 2007)
John Moore, 67, golfs nearly every day and has for about 20 years, according to a July (2007) St. Petersburg Times report. The golf he plays, though, consists of hitting 35 long-iron shots (five shots with each of the seven balls he owns) on a grassy median strip along Interstate 275 in downtown Tampa. “You can’t play this game one day, two days in a week,” he said. “You have to play it all the time if you want to do something with it.” What Moore wants to do with it, he told the Times, is to someday soon make his first-ever appearance on an actual golf course.