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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Feb. 3, 2011
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What Not To Do

In December, Kyndric Wilson, 19, was being booked into jail on a misdemeanor charge in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., when a routine search revealed a bag of cocaine. As deputies started to process the more serious drug-possession charge, Wilson was heard saying, "(Expletive), I knew I shouldn't of brought that in…"

The Redneck Chronicles

In December near Orlando, Fla., a fight allegedly broke out between Troy Hixon, 45, and his girlfriend. Allegedly, Hixon grabbed a gun and shot toward the woman's feet. Hixon was arrested. According to Osceola County deputies, the altercation was precipitated by the girlfriend's unhappiness that she got the "cheap beer" while Hixon kept the "good beer" (Budweiser) for himself.

Least Competent Criminals

A 26-year-old man was arrested in San Pablo, Calif., in December and accused of stealing a taxi after tricking the driver into momentarily exiting the cab. The man later drove to a Department of Motor Vehicles office, where he attempted to register ownership of the car.

Leading Economic Indicators

In September, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the overdraft fee of nearly $12,000 charged by Quality Bank of Fingal, N.D., to customer Lynette Cavett was legal. The court found that the fee, which reached $100 a day, was disclosed to Cavett in advance.

Fine Points of the Law

A Roman Catholic church tribunal in Modena, Italy, ruled in November that a marriage should be annulled on the grounds of the wife's adultery even though she apparently only "thought about" having an affair. Both the woman and her now-ex-husband said she never actually followed through on her desires.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit!

  • Daring New Products: (1) Introduced at a New York food fair in January (and planned for U.S. distribution later this year): Great Scot International's snack chips (like potato chips) in the "flavor" of Scotland's "national delicacy"—yes, haggis chips! (2) Burger King U.K.'s Christmas-season special this year (available briefly in December): a regular Whopper, garnished with a generous helping of Brussels sprouts.
  • The notoriously isolated North Korean economy only permits new products to be sold as needs arise. In December, according to a report by Agence France-Presse, the ministries began allowing Western-style "skinny jeans" (due to the relaxing of a rule requiring female workers to wear skirts). Also recently for sale: human fertilizer (owing to a shortage of animal fertilizer).
  • In January, the SEGA video company's Japan division began test-marketing its new Toylets game, which is designed for men's urinals. With sensors in the basin and a video screen at eye level, men score points based on the strength and accuracy of their streams. Among the suite of games: sumo wrestling (squirt the opponent out of the circle) and graffiti-erasure (strong streams wipe out more graffiti).

Recurring Themes

"Sovereign" citizens (militia types) continue to insist that their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution is superior to that of virtually every American historian, judge, legislator, governor and law professor who has ever studied it. For example, Schaeffer Cox (head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia), in District Court in Fairbanks, Alaska, in December on a misdemeanor gun charge, commenced a series of "constitutional" claims. Asserting that he is "chairman of the joint chiefs of staff" of the "de jure republic" of America, as empowered by the real Constitution (and not the one in popular use, which is a bogus document that Abraham Lincoln secretly sneaked in), Cox claimed that all Americans are kings and queens and that no one is required to obey laws unless necessary to avoid harming other "sovereigns" (citizens). Cox attempted to serve papers on the district court judge, but was rebuffed by state troopers.

2011 Chuck Shepherd


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