Home / Columns / Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird / Don’t Order the Turtle

Don’t Order the Turtle

Jul. 23, 2008
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest
The Panda Chinese Kitchen in York, Pa., was already in trouble during a sanitation inspection in early June, with demerits piling up for accumulated grease, insects in the seating area and rotting lettuce, accord ing to a York Daily Record report. Then the inspector, in the middle of his visit, came upon a live snapping turtle in the restaurant’s main sink. “I had to sit down and gather myself before I could speak,” the inspector said. The manager tried to explain that he had seen the turtle out side and brought it in for safety, but admitted, “It was wrong that we put it in the sink.”

The Continuing Crisis
In May, Randall Popkes, 41, and his son Joshua Williams, 22, were arrested in West Des Moines, Iowa, and charged with attempted safecracking at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club. A security officer noted their car’s license plate as they sped away after a frustrating session in which they cut into the safe but could not open it. In fact, they were so frustrated that they allegedly left behind a note for management. According to the Des Moines Register, the note said, “(Expletive) you and your safe.”

Oops! (1) A June accident with nitric acid at the Albion Chemicals plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland, caused the release of an ominous cloud, but authorities said it was predominantly nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas.” An Associated Press dispatch reported no unusual “giggling” in the area. (2) In June, a scheduling accident at the Eagle Trace Golf Club in Broomfield, Colo., caused insufficient time between the end of an early morning junior golf association event (kids age 7 to 12) and a noontime charity tournament sponsored by Shotgun Willie’s strip club, which featured scantily clad dancers cavorting around the course. One mother told WUSA-TV that her little golfer asked, “Mom, why is she only wearing under wear?”

Family Values
Darrell Walker, 30, was arrested in Bartlesville, Okla., in May after his 8 year-old son told police that his dad routinely shot him and his younger sister in the leg with a BB gun if they misbehaved.

Robert Cisero, 46, was arrested in Medford, Ore., in June after police alleged that he hit his teenage daughter in the ankle with a hammer to feign a “skating” injury, so that she could get a prescription for pain medication—which he then commandeered.

In June, a 20-year-old window cleaner on Australia’s Gold Coast survived a nine-story plunge, though he did suffer a broken arm and, from falling on his harness, a super-wedgie.

User-Friendly Research Projects
(1) In May, NASA sought to find sub jects for a study of the effects of micro gravity on the human body, and offered each participant $17,000 to lie in bed for 90 straight days. (2) In April, England’s University of East Anglia looked for sub jects for a study of whether a natural compound found in cocoa could cut the risk of heart disease among diabetic women; the participants had to be willing to eat chocolate every day for a year.

People Different From Us
(1) In Augusta, Maine, in June, Marshall Crandall IV, 39, was sentenced to nine months in jail for violating a domestic protection order by reuniting with his girlfriend. The girlfriend plead ed with the judge for lenience, arguing that the altercations were mutual and saying that she could just as easily have been charged with assault that night. “I picked him up three or four times and slammed him on the ground,” she said. (2) Scott Sullivan, 35, was arrested in Van Buren, Ark., in June and charged with kidnapping and assaulting his mother. He told police that he got upset when he learned that his mother’s dog had killed his pet skunk.

Great Art!
Artist Martin Creed won Britain’s 2001 Turner Prize for his highly acclaimed installation of a light bulb going on and off indefinitely in an otherwise-empty room. His latest exhibition (“Work No. 850”), at the Tate Britain in July, consists of a runner sprinting through one of the galleries every 30 seconds. The museum’s director described “Work No. 850” as a “compelling, lyrical [exhibit that] upsets any preconceived ideas” of mov ing through an art space.

2008 Chuck Shepherd


Now that controversial strategist Steve Bannon has left his administration, will Donald Trump begin to pivot to the center?

Getting poll results. Please wait...