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It’s Just Entertainment

Jan. 21, 2009
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 In November, the British government was poised to reclassify lap-dancing clubs from "entertainment" to "sexual encounter” establishments, and thus impose tougher licensing standards. But the industry's trade association insisted to a Parliamentary committee that the clubs are not sexual. "The entertainment may be in the form of nude or semi-nude performers, but it's not sexually stimulating," said the chairman of the Lap Dancing Association. That would be "contrary to our business plan."

Least Competent Criminals

 (1) In December, Jessica Cohen, 20, went to the Hamilton County (Ohio) Public Defender's Office to find a lawyer who would represent her on a theft charge. According to police, while Cohen was there, she stole an employee's cell phone. Since she had already filled out paperwork with her name and address, Cohen was promptly arrested again. (2) In November, police in Tonawanda, N.Y., detained Robert Dendy, 59, after he stopped by police headquarters to drop off a holiday wreath as a token of his gratitude for their service. One of the officers noticed that the wreath was the same one that had just been stolen from a market next door to the station.

The Joys of Air Travel

 (1) In December, a Flybe Airline flight from Cardiff, Wales, was preparing to land as scheduled at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris when the pilot announced that they had to return to Cardiff because, he said, "Unfortunately, I'm not qualified to land the plane in Paris." Because of the heavy fog, the plane would have to be instrument-landed, and the pilot had not yet completed certification for low-visibility landings. (2) In September, after a Chinese Shandong airline flight landed safely in Zhengzhou, the engine died, and the airline was forced to enlist some of the passengers to help employees push the plane to the gate.

Compelling Explanation

 In October, Bruce George, 20, admitted to police that he had molested a 6-year-old girl in Anchorage, Alaska, but said he needed to do it to acquire the courage to kill himself. He said he needed motivation for suicide by doing something that totally disgusted him.


  • While some animals were rescued from an early morning fire at a Humane Society shelter in Oshawa, Ontario, in December, cats suffered the heaviest casualties, with more than 100 perishing. The Fire Marshal's office said that mice likely started the blaze by chewing through electrical wires.
  • Drunken-Driving News: (1) Kathleen Cherry, 53, was arrested for DUI in Carson City, Nev., in December. She is a phlebotomist working on contract with the sheriff's office and was driving to the jailhouse to administer a blood test to a DUI suspect. (2) Stephen Foster, 28, was jailed briefly in June in Edmonton, Alberta, when he showed up in court drunk for his DUI trial. The driving charge was postponed until December, and at that time a court found him not guilty.
  • In December, Lorraine Henderson, the port director for the federal Customs and Border Protection agency's southern New England area, was charged with hiring illegal immigrants to clean her home. Allegedly, she gave them instructions on how to avoid detection by her agency. According to court documents, she told one worker, "You have to be careful, 'cause they [meaning, her agency] will deport you."

Recurring Themes

Poor at Multitasking: (1) In Britain's Manchester Crown Court in December, Imran Hussain, 32, was sentenced to eight years in prison for his DUI-related crash that killed two people in August. (Hussain was masturbating at the time.) (2) Louise Light, 21, was not hurt when she crashed into guideposts in Woodstock, Ontario, in November, but she did get milk all over her because she was eating cereal from a bowl while driving.

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2005) 

 For a number of years now, Willie Windsor, 54, of Phoenix has lived as a full-time baby, wearing frilly dresses, diapers and bonnets, sucking on a pacifier, eating Gerber cuisine and habitually clutching a rag doll in a home filled with oversized baby furniture. According to a Phoenix New Times profile in June 2005, Windsor is a semi-retired singer-actor and said he's been celibate for nine years.

2009 Chuck Shepherd


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