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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Sep. 29, 2011
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How Not to Woo Women

Jason Dean, 24, was arrested in Ringgold, Ga., in August and charged with false imprisonment after he waited in the parking lot of the Taco Bell at which he worked, approached an 18-year-old female colleague and handcuffed himself to her. After the woman's screams captured the attention of other employees, who then approached the pair, Dean explained that he had been trying for several months to get the woman to go out with him but that she had so far refused.

Least Competent Criminals

No Respect: (1) The man who approached tellers at the Eastern Bank in South Boston on Aug. 25 eventually fled empty-handed, but only after one teller had refused his order for "all your money" (she told him she was "closed") and another had scolded him for cutting in front of the adjacent line and not removing his hoodie. (2) A 7-Eleven clerk ignored a man dressed as Gumby as he tried to rob the store in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif., on Sept. 5. The clerk told "Gumby" not to waste his time, and "Gumby" finally fled. The clerk had such little respect for "Gumby," thinking it was joke, that he did not even report the "robbery"—it came to light only when his boss was reviewing surveillance video.

Can't Possibly Be True

  • The Learning Channel's "Toddlers & Tiaras" series consistently irks critics with its general support of the competitive world of child beauty pageants, but a recent episode provoked even more complaints than usual, according to a September New York Post report. In the episode, Lindsay Jackson dressed her 4-year-old daughter Maddy as "Dolly Parton"—an anatomically correct Dolly Parton, with fake enhancements for her chest and backside. The Post described Maddy as embarrassed at her chest when another 4-year-old pointed at her and asked, "What is that?"
  • Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Rob Dickerson finally received his Purple Heart this summer, four years after he was seriously wounded in a rocket attack in Iraq and two years after he began a paperwork battle with the Army to "prove" his injury. Recently, the Army had apologized and mailed him the award, but it arrived C.O.D., leaving Dickerson to pay the $21 fee. The Army subsequently attempted to reimburse Dickerson for the fee, but Dickerson said he hasn't been able to cash the money order because it was erroneously made out to "Roy Dirksen."


This summer, Madrid's Getafe soccer club, struggling with its popularity, commissioned a zombie porn movie as part of an effort to attract more fans. As if that were not quixotic enough, it then tied the movie to a campaign to solicit sperm-bank donations. Explained the film's producer, Angel Torres, "We have to move a mass of fans to seed the world with Getafe supporters." A promo for the film follows a Getafe fan, armed with a copy of the movie for his viewing pleasure, as he disappears into a clinic's private cubicle to fulfill his donation.

A News of the Weird Classic

When Billy W. Williams, 53, skipped out during his trial for aggravated assault in 2003 in Dallas, Judge Faith Johnson was clearly annoyed. At the time, Williams was found guilty in absentia. When Williams was recaptured and returned to the courtroom for sentencing in October 2004, Judge Johnson organized a "welcome back" party in his honor, with balloons, streamers and a cake, to create a festive backdrop for her gleeful announcement that she was sentencing him to life in prison.

© 2011 Chuck Shepherd


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