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Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird

Dec. 23, 2012
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Quick Talk

The head of the Perse School in Cambridge, England, recently instituted a "10-Second Rule" for minor disciplinary infractions: Students could avoid punishment if they quickly produced a clever explanation for their misbehavior. "It’s a great lesson in life to talk your way out of a tight corner in a very short period of time," said Ed Elliott, believing that the behavior encourages creativity and could produce a generation of British entrepreneurs. Said a supporter, "Often the ones who get further are the artful dodgers" who "bend the truth." (Elliott warned, though, that "out-and-out falseness" would not be tolerated.)


Can't Possibly Be True

■ Family Values: In Tampa, Fla., mother and daughter (ages 56 and 22, with their familial ties verified by a Huffington Post reporter) shoot scenes together for their pornography website ("The Sexxxtons"), including threesomes with a man, but the women insist that they never incestuously touch each other.

■ Too Silly To Be True: (1) Police in Geraldton, Australia, reported in November how they had captured a thief they were chasing in the dark through a neighborhood's backyards. As the thief came to a fence and leaped over it, he happened to land on a family's trampoline and was propelled backward, practically into cops' laps. (2) Guy Black, 76, was charged in Turbotville, Pa., in October with threatening housemate Ronald Lee Tanner with a chainsaw. Tanner, defending himself with the only "weapon" within reach—an umbrella—managed to pin Black with it after the chainsaw jammed. (Most people who bring an umbrella to a chainsaw fight would be less successful.)



■ Deputy NYPD Commissioner Paul Browne told reporters in November that, in the 24 hours of Monday, Nov. 26, not a single criminal shooting, stabbing or slashing was reported in the five boroughs. Browne said no police official could remember such a day—ever. (The city is on track to finish 2012 with fewer than 400 homicides compared to the record year of 1990, when 2,245 people were murdered.)


Unclear On The Concept

■ In October, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals petitioned Irvine, Calif., to create a roadside memorial for the truckload of live fish that had perished in a recent traffic accident. (After all, fish, like humans, use tools, tell time, sing and have long-term memories, wrote PETA.) On the other hand, the traffic casualties that day were en route to the Irvine Ranch Market to be sold as food.


Michigan Ego On Parade

The former mayor of Flint, Don Williamson, who resigned in 2009 while being targeted in a recall election, recently erected a large bronze statue of himself outside his home in Davison Township.



■ Shortly after drug-possession suspect Patrick Townsend, 30, was arrested in Lakeland, Fla., in November and had allegedly confessed into a detective's digital recorder, Townsend managed to snatch the unattended recorder from a table, took a restroom break, and flushed it down the toilet. Townsend's subsequent advice to the detective: "Tighten up on your job, homie." ("Destroying evidence" was added to Townsend's charges.)


Readers' Choice

High School Inspirations: (1) Trent Bauer became a mid-season replacement as starting quarterback for Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington, Ky.) after beginning the season merely as the team's bulldog-costumed mascot on the sidelines. In his first game, in October, he threw two touchdown passes in a 22-19 victory. (2) Also in October, South Plantation (Fla.) High School's third-string quarterback, Erin DiMeglio, was voted the school's homecoming queen. In her first game this season, she had come off the bench in a brief stint and completed two passes.





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