News of the Weird

Sep. 2, 2010
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What, This Tattoo?

It turns out that face and neck tattoos can become a liability for criminals. Royce Spottedbird Jr., 23, apparently thought it would be cool to have his name tattooed on his neck. However, when he was pulled over during a routine traffic stop in April in Butte, Mont., and feared a warrant might be out for his arrest, he gave the officer a bogus name. When he could not explain why "Royce Spottedbird Jr." was tattooed on his neck, he was detained for obstruction of justice and eventually pleaded guilty. (Also, it turns out he had been wrong about the warrant.)

Dangers of Multitasking

  • Driver Bryan Parslow, 19, injured himself and three passengers when he crashed his vehicle near Wheatland, N.Y., in May. He was playing "hold your breath" with his passengers and passed out.

  • In July, Lora Hunt, 49, was sentenced to 18 months in jail in a crash that killed a woman on a motorcycle in Lake County, Ill., in 2009. Reportedly, Hunt was so preoccupied with painting her nails (polish was splashed all over the car's interior) that she never even tried to apply the brakes before the collision.

  • In a rare exception, Amanda McBride, 29, showed excellent multitasking skills when she was able to drive herself to the hospital in Bemidji, Minn., in May while giving birth. Her husband was in the front seat (and helped to steer), but he does not drive because he is prone to seizures. The child emerged just as Amanda pulled into the hospital parking lot. "(H)e just slid out," she said. "It really wasn't bad at all."


Though most victims seemed baffled and/or distressed by the behavior of Sherwin Shayegan, 27, one person thought he was "completely harmless." From time to time (allegedly dating to at least 2006), Shayegan befriends high-school male athletes, questions them as a reporter would, and then jumps on their backs and demands "piggyback" rides. No other overtures are made, and the principal complaint about Shayegan, after the shock wears off, seems to be his obnoxiousness. His latest arrest took place in May in Tualatin, Ore., near his earlier haunts in Washington state.

Recurring Themes

  • Another Pampered Pet: When Gail Posner, the widow of legendary hostile-takeover executive Victor Posner, died in March in south Florida, she left a will that endowed her beloved Chihuahua Conchita—and two other, apparently less-loved dogs—a $3 million trust fund plus the run of her $8.3 million mansion for their remaining dog years. (After all, Conchita has a style to maintain, including a four-season wardrobe, diamond jewelry and full-time staff.) Mrs. Posner's only living child, Bret Carr, who admits he had issues with his mother, said he is challenging her will (that left him $1 million) because Mrs. Posner's staff and bodyguards wound up with $26 million on the pretense that they would be caring for Conchita.

  • News of the Weird has been among those taunting the Scottish over the years for their culinary devotion to haggis (boiled sheep's stomach with liver, heart or lung, accompanied by oatmeal, suet, onions and various "spices"). Edinburgh chocolatier Nadia Ellingham recently put her own spin on the delicacy with "haggis chocolates," which are meat-free but contain the familiar haggis spices.

Please Don’t Touch

One of the more famous cultural landmarks in Britain's South Tyneside is an 1890 urinal known as "Westoe Netty." The toilet, which was commemorated in a 1972 painting, has been on display at the Beamish Museum since 2007. It was relocated in March, however, because, as News of the Weird has reported about other museum-display toilets, some visitors could not resist using it (despite the fact that there was no plumbing). With that in mind, the toilet will be moved to a different part of the building and hooked up to public plumbing.

2010 Chuck Shepherd


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