Weirdness  - 15Aug97
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 97 01:51:17 -0700
Subject: Weirdness  - 15Aug97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.497 (News of the Weird, August 15, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* Life Imitates a Simon & Garfunkel Song: In May, according to a call taken
by a Madison, Wis., police officer, a 26-year-old man phoned 911 to report
that when he returned from a bathroom visit in the middle of the night, a
stranger wearing only boxer shorts had taken his place in bed. The man
turned out to be a very intoxicated 22-year-old student from DePere, Wis.
* In June, three environmental activists from Greenpeace set up a
12-foot-by- 6-foot survival station atop a narrow, barren, 65-foot- high
rock called Rockall, 290 miles off the coast of Scotland, and vowed to
remain there until the British government stops oil exploration in the
Atlantic Ocean. In Rockall-area storms, waves often reach heights of 90
feet and more.
* Items Recently Thrown in Protest: A live pig, thrown into the office of
the Massachusetts Bar Association in Boston in February to protest the legal
profession; rotting bison entrails at Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman in
March in Gardiner, Mont., by a man protesting the thinning of the bison
herd; about $4,000 worth of money by a man in front of city hall in Seoul,
South Korea, in May, to protest corrupt politicians; and bags of excrement
and rocks, hurled by Ultra-Orthodox Jews at other Jews in Jerusalem in June,
to protest mixed-gender praying.
* A January New York Times story reported on the limited success so far in
eliminating, in some parts of Ghana, the practice of giving a virgin
daughter to a priest in order to atone for some sin of the girl's family.
One example cited was a 12-year-old girl, the product of a rape, given to
the local priest by the rapist as a slave (sexual and otherwise) in order
to appease spirits who otherwise would treat the rapist and his family
harshly. If the sin is severe, the family must provide girls for several
* The Washington Post reported in May that some tribes in Yemen routinely
kidnap tourists and hold them for days, though treating them well, regaling
them with propaganda, and ultimately offering them to the government in
exchange for political concessions, such as new road construction. Said
the speaker of the Yemen parliament, "Kidnapping is part of tourism. [The]
tourist will end up learning about the customs of the tribes, as well as
their good hospitality."
* According to New York City police in May, Sidonia Williams tried to open
a Lord & Taylor charge account by flashing a piece of U.S. currency in the
amount of $1 million. There is no such denomination. Hers was created by
pasting 0's onto a $1 bill and running it through a color copier. She
cheerfully pointed out that she had 194 more just like it in her bag and
insisted to the federal magistrate that she had committed no crime.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1997 Peter Langston