News of the Weird October 10 2007

Christian Nudist Convocation, fighting camps and more

Lead Story: The periodic Christian Nudist Convocation took place in July at the Cherokee Lodge nudist camp in Tennessee, and according to a dispatch in Nashville Scene, the group evokes skepticism not only from most Christians (who dislike the flaunting of naked bodies, even if innocently done) but from most Cherokee Lodge members, who see them as too intense for naturism’s laid-back attitude. One CNC attendee acknowledged that many Christians would not approve of Cherokee Lodge, but to him “(I)t’s Jerusalem.” Another compared his work at nudist camps to missionary work: “(S)ome people get sent to Africa, some people get sent to South America and the Lord was like, ‘I want you to go to nudist resorts.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, what an assignment.’”

News that Sounds Like a Joke: 1) In July, National Hockey League player Derek Boogaard, an “enforcer” known for his willingness to brawl, opened the Derek and Aaron Boogaard Fighting Camp in Regina, Saskatchewan, to train teenage hockey players in that highly essential skill. 2) Iran’s state-sponsored news agency IRNA announced in July that its agents had broken up a Western countries’ “spy ring” that employed more than a dozen squirrels trying to bring “spy gear” of foreign agencies into the country.

The Continuing Crisis: Modernizations: 1) Congregants of the Rev. Tom Ambrose, of St. Mary and St. Michael Church in Trumpington, England, met in September to complain of several things about their vicar, most notably that he delivered the Christmas sermon last year (and several since then) using Microsoft PowerPoint. 2) George Zokos is a professional shepherd in Tyrnavos, Greece, but due to health problems three years ago (according to an August Agence France-Presse dispatch), he now herds the sheep from his car.

One priority of President Vladimir Putin’s Nashi national youth movement is procreation to build up Russia’s declining population, according to a July report in London’s Daily Mail (which also charged the Nashi with inculcating authoritarianism). Its two-week convention in July (with 10,000 in attendance) featured on-site sexual encouragements with not a condom in sight. And in Russia’s Ulyanovsk province, the government again this year promoted Sept. 12 as a patriotic conception day, featuring SUVs and other prizes to couples who manage to time their blessed events for June 12, which is Russia’s Constitution Day.

Civilization in Decline: Sweden’s English-language Internet news site, the Local, reported in August that a couple in Kinda Municipality had just been denied generous welfare benefits because they object to the government’s work requirements. The husband wanted the payments even though, he wrote, “Conventional work is out of the question for me, both in terms of my conscience and on an intellectual level, as it seems objectionable with regard to both my personal well-being and the well-being of society as a whole. Emotionally, too, (conventional work) creates unbearable pain and dejection.”

Video Nation: 1) A 38-year-old man drowned off Ocean City, Md., in July, trying to save his two sons from a rip current. Two men from a nearby parasailing boat had jumped in to help and could have used more assistance, one said, except that the boat’s passengers declined, with several more concerned with video-recording the drowning. 2) As a 27-year-old woman lay dying from a stab wound incurred at a Wichita, Kan., convenience store, in June, at least five customers stepped over her to enter the store, including one who stopped to photograph her on a cell-phone camera.

Least Competent People: Quinton Thomas, 22, inadvertently strengthened the murder charge against him in April when he mailed a letter from the jail in Rockville, Md., believing that the contents would not be read by jail officials. However, Thomas had gotten the recipient’s address wrong, causing the post office to “return to sender,” and, as long-standing policy, officials inspect all incoming mail (for contraband). According to an August Washington Post report, Thomas characterized his emerging alibis and also wrote about a witness, “This white (expletive) can’t make it to court on May 7 through May 12, ya feel me. I don’t care what you gotta do, you don’t even gotta stink the cracker, he just cant make it to Rockville that whole week, Homie.”

Yikes! Australian rugby league player Ben Czislowski, 24, complaining of an eye infection and pain in July, was found by doctors to have, embedded in his head, a tooth belonging to opponent Matt Austin, with whom he had violently collided in an April match. Austin also lost several other teeth in the collision.

A Solution More Disturbing Than the Problem: David Armour, then 13, “wheezed all the time and could not do any exercise,” said his mother, of Glasgow, Scotland, speaking about her son’s severe asthma. His complete recovery, according to a July report in the Scottish Daily Record, is attributed to two years of dedication in learning to play the bagpipes.

Undignified Deaths: 1) A Lake Charles, La., man was killed in August by a single gunshot, which was explained by Sheriff Tony Mancuso: “(The man and his girlfriend) were engaged in consensual sexual behavior involving a firearm when the firearm was discharged, resulting in his death.” 2) A 60-year-old female rancher was killed in August in Mitchell, Australia, when a 10-month-old male camel (recently arrived as a birthday gift for the woman) apparently mistook her for a female camel, knocked her to the ground, and lay on top of her in what one camel expert said “no doubt” was “sexual” behavior, crushing her with his 330 pounds.