The Passing Parade

(1) Simon Berry, 24, of the English village of Bray, was recently acknowledged by the Guinness Book people for his bungee drop of 246 feet to precision-dunk a biscuit into a cup of tea. (2) A sign posted recently (apparently without fanfare) at the Castle House Inn hostel in Stockholm, Sweden, warns visitors: “It is a criminal offense to smoke or wank on these premises.” (“Wank” is British slang for self-pleasuring.) The sign contains the familiar “not permitted” circle over a crossed-out item—but just the cigarette.

A News of the Weird Classic (February 2013) 

Cliche Come to Life: The Kerry, Ireland, county council voted in January (2013) to let some people drive drunk. The councillors reasoned that in the county’s isolated regions, some seniors live alone and need the camaraderie of the pub but fear a DUI arrest on the way home. The councillors thus empowered police to issue DUI permits to those drivers. Besides, they reasoned, the area is so sparsely populated that some drivers never encounter anyone else on the road at night. (Coincidentally—or not—“several” of the five councillors voting “yea” own pubs.)

A News of the Weird Classic (January 2013)

The usual 20,000 or so visitors every year to Belgium’s 30-acre Verbeke Foundation art park are allowed to reserve a night inside the feature attraction: a 20-foot-long, 6-foot-high polyester replica of a human colon created by Dutch designer Joep Van Lieshout. The area at the end of the structure gives the installation its formal name, the Hotel CasAnus. The facility, though “cramped,” according to one prominent review, features heating, showers and double beds, and rents for the equivalent of about $150 a night (the rate in 2012).

Ecret-Say Ode-Kay

American gangsters traditionally use euphemisms and nicknames (“Chin,” “The Nose”) to disguise criminal activities, but among details, revealed at a November murder trial in Sydney, Australia, was that members of the “Brothers 4 Life” gang might have used “pig Latin.” In a phone-tapped conversation, played in court, one of the men on trial was overheard cunningly telling a henchman that a colleague had been “caught with the un-gay in the ar-kay.” A helpful witness then took the stand to explain to the jury that the defendant thus knew there was “a gun in the car.” At press time, the trial was still in progress.

Recent Alarming Headlines

“Man Mixing LSD and Cough Syrup Saves Dog From Imaginary Fire” (WNYT-TV, Albany, (Halfmoon?) N.Y.), 10-15-2016). (Panicked, he had first sought help from neighbors—who were unpersuaded by the sight of a fireless fire.) 

“Santa Claus Speaks Out Against North Pole Ban of Marijuana Sales” (KTUU-TV, Anchorage) (Cannabis is legal in Alaska unless towns ban it, and the legally-named Mr. Claus needs it for cancer pain.) 11-4-2016

 “Dog On Loose Causes Sheep To Have Sex With Their Sisters in Walton On The Hill” (The wild dog has wrecked a planned mating program, leaving female sheep to canoodle with each other) (Surrey Mirror, Redhill, England, 9-22-2016)

Least Competent Artists

Apparently the plan by a 33-year-old unlicensed, un-car-registered driver in Perth, Australia, in November to keep from being stopped by police was to print “POLICE” in large, official-looking letters on the sides of her white Hyundai, using a blue dry-erase board marker. (She was, of course, quickly stopped by police.)

A woman in a quiet north Minneapolis neighborhood told reporters she became fearful after seeing a large swastika spray-painted on a garage door down a nearby alley (just after election day!). (Problem: The base X of the correct design has “hooks” that should always extend to the right, clockwise; three of the Minneapolis “artist’s” awkwardly hook left.)

The Passing Parade

(1) In November, a court in Christchurch, New Zealand, ordered the local police to “undo” the 493 bottles’ worth of liquor they had recently poured down the city’s drain after raiding an unlicensed bar. The court said the police must pay a pumping company to recall the hooch because of environmental regulations. (2) In November, the Littleton, Colorado, city government, faced with the need to “blot” sticky tar on 120 streets whose potholes it was filling, bypassed expensive “detackifiers” in favor of stuffing toilet paper over the tar, causing the streets to have a trick-or-treat look.

A News of the Weird Classic (February 2013)

An estimated 3.2 million kids ages 5-12 take mixed martial arts classes, training to administer beat downs modeled after the adults’ Ultimate Fighting Championships, according to a January (2013) report in ESPN magazine, which profiled the swaggering, mohawked Derek “Crazy” Rayfield, 11, and the doll-clutching fighting machine, Regina “The Black Widow” Awana, 7. Kids under age 12 fight each other without regard to gender, and blows above the collarbone, and on the groin, kidneys, and back are prohibited. “Crazy” delivered merciless forearm chest smashes before the referee intervened, and the “Black Widow” won her match in less than a minute via arm-bar submission. Parental involvement is said to be either “fear” of their child’s getting hurt or “encouragement” to be meaner.

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Copyright 2015 Chuck Shepherd. Distributed by Universal Uclick

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