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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Jun. 6, 2012
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Compelling Explanation

In Madison County, Ind., Republican council member David McCartney admitted to The Herald Bulletin newspaper in March that he had exchanged "sexually explicit" emails with a female official in another county, but he said he would not resign. In fact, the GOP official said, he had engaged in the exchanges not for hanky-panky, but rather in order to "expose corruption." He has not elaborated.

Quick Thinking

Maureen Raymond, 49, said the roadside DUI test administered to her in January was unfair. According to records cited by Scripps Media, she told a deputy in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that she couldn't walk a straight line "with her big boobies," which she said makes "balancing" difficult. The deputy reported that Raymond helpfully offered to show him the evidence but that he stopped her.

Things People Believe

Ms. Priti Mahalanobis is a college-educated mother of two who ran a franchised restaurant in Avalon Park, Fla., near Orlando, but when her health, her brother's marriage and her business experienced problems, she bought a $20 psychic reading from "Mrs. Starr" (also known as Peaches Stevens). The Orlando Sentinel reported in January that, over the next seven months, Mahalanobis lost about $135,000 in cash, jewelry and gift cards to Mrs. Starr. Neither Mahalanobis' health nor her restaurant business noticeably improved. Among the remedies that Mahalanobis accepted: buying seven tabernacles ($19,000 each) to "vanquish (her family's) negativity" and putting $100 bills and a piece of paper with her relatives' names written on it under her mattress, along with a grapefruit, supposedly to attract and then isolate evil.

Things Leaders Believe

  • Though recently elected Councillor Simon Parkes told the Scarborough Evening News in March that his work on the Whitby (England) Town Council would not be affected, he has famously (in a YouTube video) reported lifelong "horrific" invasive encounters with extraterrestrials, including many visits from a 9-foot-tall, green "mother"-like being who sends him "messages" through his eyes, via the optic nerve to his brain.
  • Arni Johnsen, a member of Iceland's Parliament, survived a serious automobile crash in 2010—a stroke of good fortune he has since attributed to a family of elves (three generations, in fact, according to an "elf specialist") living in a boulder near the crash site. Iceland's Morgunbladid newspaper reported that Johnsen recently had the 30-ton boulder relocated to his property, which he said affords the elves a better view than at their previous home. (Another elf "authority" told reporters, however, that relocating the family was bound to bring Johnsen bad luck.)


Only in Muncie: (1) In April, Christina Reber, 43, was charged with assault after she entered the home of her "on-again, off-again" boyfriend in Muncie, Ind., punched him in the head numerous times and squeezed his scrotum until he pried her fingers loose. He was taken to Muncie's Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital. (2) Muncie college student Bakhtiyor Khafizov, 21, was arrested in April for allegedly attacking his former girlfriend in her campus dorm room. The woman said she escaped only by kicking him in the groin. The students attend Ball State University.

Least Competent Terrorists

(1) A bomb accidentally exploded on a bus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in May, killing a man who police suspect was on his way to blow up something else. He was the only person killed, but two suspected associates with him (carrying assault rifles and ammunition) were injured. (2) In April, Mohammad Ashan, described by U.S. officials as a "mid-level Taliban commander" in Paktika province, Afghanistan, walked up to a police checkpoint with a wanted poster of himself (the poster offered a $100 cash reward) and turned himself in—for the money. Ashan was arrested following a biometric scan to verify his identity. "Yes, yes, that's me," he reportedly said. "Can I get my award now?"

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd


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