News of the Weird August 08 2007

Least Competent Person, Jesus World Tour

Lead Story: It is increasingly difficult these days for a girl to go through the stage of “plain old kid,” according to a June Arizona Republic story, because clothing fashions seem to move from “toddler” directly to some form of “teen” (including “tween” and now “pre-tween”), with spaghetti-strap dresses and “ultra miniskirts,” but in tinier-than-ever sizes. In fact, reported the newspaper, GapKids recently offered a “white, crocheted string bikini you’d likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue [except that it] was for a 12-month-old.”</
The Entrepreneurial Spirit! Exciting New Products: 1) a washing machine with a built-in MP3 player and speakers (U.S. patent applied for in June, from the South Korean firm LG Electronics) and 2) Liver Love, Carob Crunch, Honey Hearts and other dog treats that are marketed as snacks that owners can enjoy along with their dogs (from Britain’s Alldog Bakery), but with the principal drawback that they are more expensive per gram than lumpfish caviar or the priciest of gourmet chocolates.</
Leading Economic Indicators: Faced with falling prices for domestic wine, a group of French vintners has made terroristic threats against the government and retailers who carry imports. The guerrilla gang, wearing black ski masks, released a video in May (so far ignored by the Sarkozy government), reminding officials about recent incidents in which small explosives were detonated in supermarkets that carry imported wines and in which a tractor-trailer carrying imported wine had been shot at. Said one hooded protester, “Blood will flow” if prices don’t soon rise.</
Parents With Too Much Money: Backyard play sets can range in price from less than $100 to high-end outfits of $2,000 to $12,000 that would typically include fancy combinations of rock walls, rope ladders, sandboxes and tunnel slides, and maybe a tower with roofs and rotating plastic guns mounted on the walls, according to a May report in Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel. Also available: the King Kong Carl McKee Custom, at 46 feet by 58 feet, featuring towers 16 feet high (price: about $46,000, installed).</
People Different From Us: Pablo Castro, 26, was sent to the hospital twice in Decatur, Ala., on June 24, once after being stabbed in an argument and, after his release later that day, being stabbed again while arguing with a different person. And Tony Hicks was hospitalized in Knoxville, Tenn., for separate wounds on July 1, 2 and 3; he was hit by a car one night, then released from the hospital the next day, but was back in after an intruder attacked him in his home, and after his release the next day, he was back after police shot him in connection with a robbery.</
A judge in London’s Southwark Crown Court sentenced Bonney Eberendu, 36, to a mental-health facility in June after he admitted that he was the one who smeared his feces inside at least six trains over a several-month period last year. Eberendu said the voices in his head had, on at least five occasions, instructed him to go kill someone and that, somehow, he was able to overcome the voices by doing what he did on the trains.</
Least Competent Person: On May 31, veteran big-rig operator Gilberto Cantu drove his 18-wheeler all the way through the Lincoln Tunnel (1.5 miles, from Weehawken, N.J., to New York City) even though the load was 6 inches too high for the tunnel, so that the truck’s roof continuously ripped and peeled off, slowing the truck and making a screeching noise the whole way. In addition, Cantu apparently ignored the several sound warnings and flashing lights by officers who tried to stop him inside the tunnel, and according to their reports, he appeared not even to understand why they had stopped him after he finally emerged. Cantu was not alcohol-impaired and, until then, had a “spotless” safety record.</
Recurring Themes: One of the standard “panic” rumors that throw some African villages into turmoil is the report that a couple (usually unmarried and therefore deserving of bad fortune) has become stuck together during sex and cannot be unstuck without medical attention. A reporter for Kenya’s East African Standard happened to be in the middle of a frenzied mob in front of the Naselica Hotel in downtown Kisumu on May 26, brought together by rumors that an ambulance had been called for a stuck couple. The reporter was convinced that most in the crowd were true believers, but the hotel manager said one of his competitors probably had planted the rumor, hoping to tie up traffic for the day and to create the impression that the Naselica is unlucky.</
The Jesus World Tour: Recent Play-Dates: Conneaut, Ohio, March (image of Jesus on a pancake); Glasgow, Scotland, March (image of Jesus in a woman’s ultrasound scan); Kamloops, British Columbia, March (image of Jesus on a baking sheet); Sacramento, Calif., March (image of Jesus on burned wallpaper); Houston, Texas, February (image of Jesus in a pizza pan); Crystal City, Texas, February (image of Jesus in the bark of a tree); Morton, Texas, January (image of Jesus in ice in the freezer of a grocery store); Avery Park, Ga., January (image of Jesus stained on shower tile).</