The Passing Parade

Nelson Foyle, 93, is believed to be Britain’s longest-time patron of the same pub (the Dog and Gun in Salisbury, England), and fellow drinkers recently bought him an honorary lordship title to mark his 80th year on the establishment’s barstools. (2) An art collective in a Los Angeles storefront re-created (for a two-week run in January) a retro video store that featured only boxed VHS editions of the movie “Jerry Maguire”—about 14,000 copies.

A News of the Weird Classic (May 2013)

The beauty pageant each April at the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, requires traditional abilities (interview poise, evening-gown fashion, talent), but also some skill and inclination to milk and skin rattlers. High school senior Kyndra Vaught won this year’s (2013) Miss Snake Charmer, wearing jeweled boots one night for her country-western ballad, then Kevlar boots and camouflage chaps the next as she took on dozens of rattlers in the wooden snake pit. Vaught expertly held up one snake, offered its tail-end rattles for a baby to touch, then helped measure, milk and skin the buzzing, slithery serpent.

People With Underdeveloped Consciences

(1) Just before Christmas, Tammy Strickland, 38, was arrested in Polk County, Florida, and charged with stealing 100 toys from a Toys for Tots collection box. (2) In February, thieves unbolted and stole a PlayStation from the children’s cancer ward at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand. (3) Judith Permar, 56, who was found dead, stuck in a clothing donation drop-off box in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, in February (a result, police said, of trying to steal items), had driven to the box in her Hummer.

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: A suspect pointing a gun attempted a robbery at a laundromat in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, in February was not immediately identified. (The official reason for not initially identifying him was that, though detained, he had not yet been booked; less likely, perhaps, police might have been trying to spare him embarrassment in that the laundromat’s overnight clerk, a woman named Naou Mor Khantha, had simply taken his gun away from him and shot him three times. He was hospitalized in serious condition.) [Philly.com, 2-3-2017]

Undignified Deaths

What Goes Around, Comes Around: (1) In January, Jesse Denton, 24, driving a stolen truck, tried to flee police on Interstate 95 near Brunswick, Georgia, but accidentally crashed head-on into another vehicle. Seconds later, Denton was then fatally hit by another motorist as he ran across the highway to escape the crash scene. (2) A 37-year-old Saanich, British Columbia, man did not die but nearly bled out before being heroically rescued following his parking-rage blunder. Angered that another driver had parked too close to his own car, he grabbed a knife and stabbed a tire on the other vehicle with such force that he wound up slashing the main artery in his leg. [Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), 1-26-2017] [Global News BC, 1-27-2017]

The Passing Parade

(1) Thomas Pinson, 21, was arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida, in January and charged with domestic battery for roughing up his mother (even though, presumably lovingly, he had her full name tattooed on his chest). (2) Police arrested a 22-year-old knife-wielding man in a restroom on a train in Dusseldorf, Germany, in January. The man, naked, appeared “quite annoyed” at being hassled, did not have a ticket to ride, and said he was using the knife to shave his genital area because he was not welcome at home. [The Smoking Gun, 1-9-2017] [Associated Press via WJLA-TV (Washington, D.C.), 1-10-2017]

A News of the Weird Classic (May 2013)

The Washington Post reported in April (2013) that the federal government spends $890,000 a year on totally useless bank accounts. The amount is the total of fees for maintaining more than 13,000 short-term accounts the government owns but which have no money in them and never will again. However, merely closing the accounts is difficult, according to the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, because they each previously housed separate government grants, and Congress has required that, before the accounts are “closed,” the grants must be formally audited—something bureaucrats are rarely motivated to do, especially since, as Citizens noted, there is no additional penalty for not auditing. [Washington Post, 4-24-2013]

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Chuck Shepherd
Copyright 2015 Chuck Shepherd. Distributed by Universal Uclick

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