Weirdness  - 28Aug98
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 99 00:08:42 -0800
Subject: Weirdness  - 28Aug98
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.551 (News of the Weird, August 28, 1998)
by Chuck Shepherd
* A man whose name was not released checked in to a Howard Johnson's motel
in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on July 15 for two days and left behind 12 jars'
worth of Vaseline smeared on the carpet, furniture, curtains, walls,
bedspreads, sheets, and towels, resulting in a $1,300 cleanup job. No
motive was apparent, and police have been unable to find him.
* In July, Canada's Human Resources Development office announced it was
creating a special legal category for strippers entering the country, to
address what a leading immigration lawyer called "a shortage of exotic
dancers." And according to a Times of London report in April, a glut of
British fashion models was crowding out British computer tech people in the
fight for valuable work permits in California this summer, to the chagrin
of Apple, Texas Instruments, and other firms, since the law that authorizes
work permits explicitly puts models on even footing with anyone who has a
* In March, students from Madrona Middle School, visiting Torrance (Calif.)
Superior Court to learn about the legal system, were ushered by their
teacher into a trial in session despite a warning to the teacher that the
subject matter was "sensitive." Virtually the first thing the kids saw was,
in a child molestation case, the prosecutor's propping up two 10-inch dildos
on the railing of the witness stand so as to make her line of questioning
more vivid for the jury.
* Petty-theft defendant Ronnie Hawkins, acting as his own lawyer in a Long
Beach, Calif., courtroom in July, thought incessantly talking back to Judge
Joan Comparet-Cassani was a good strategy, but Hawkins had been fitted with
a remote-controlled "stun belt" under his clothing, and the judge ordered
a bailiff to send Hawkins a bone-rattling 50,000-volts of electricity,
causing him to grimace and his body to turn as taut as a board for the
8-second blast. Five days later in Oakland, Calif., Brian Tracey Hill
suffered the same fate during jury selection on an assault charge. However,
Hill was behaving perfectly; a sheriff's deputy had leaned over in his chair
and accidentally nudged the stun belt's trigger.
* Murder-trial juror Gillian Guess, 43, was convicted in June of obstruction
of justice when a court in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that she was
having a torrid sexual affair with the defendant, who was eventually
acquitted in large part through jury-room advocacy by Guess. Witnesses said
Guess appeared to be attracted to defendant Peter Gill early in the 1995
trial and frequently sat facing him instead of the witness box, sometimes
with her legs wantonly uncrossed.
* From time to time News of the Weird has reported on the fluctuating value
of the late Italian artist Piero Manzoni's personal feces, which he canned
in 1961 as art objects in 90 tins, 30 grams at a time. The Baltimore Sun
reported in 1993 that one tin sold for $75,000 at the top of the market.
The latest sale, in July 1998 at Sotheby's in London, was for about $28,800.
However, even with the drop in price, as Forbes magazine pointed out,
Manzoni's feces is still about $1,000 per gram, almost 100 times the price
of gold ($9.50 per gram).
Copyright 1998 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1999 Peter Langston