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NEWS OF THE WEIRD

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Chuck Shepherd reports news of the odd and strange.

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Update

Three weeks ago, News of the Weird touted the “genderless,” extraterrestrial-appearing Hollywood makeup artist known as Vinny Ohh, but then Marcela Iglesias announced (following a leaked TV clip) that she had formed an agency for would-be celebrities who had radically transformed their bodies (and that Vinny is now a client). Iglesias’ Plastics of Hollywood has human “Ken” dolls (Rodrigo Alves and Justin Jedlica), the Argentine “elf” Luis Padron, a Jessica Rabbit look-alike (Pixee Fox), and seven others who, Iglesias figures, have collectively spent almost $3 million on surgery and procedures (some of which are ongoing). (Padron, 25, seems the most ambitious, having endured, among other procedures, painful, “medically unapproved” treatments to change his eye color.)

Recurring Themes

Richard Patterson, 65, is the most recent defendant to choose, as a trial strategy, to show the jury his penis. A Broward County, Florida, court was trying him in the choking death of his girlfriend. (Patterson called the death accidental, as it occurred during oral sex, and there was conflicting medical opinion on whether that could have proved fatal.) Patterson’s lawyer said his standby position was to show a mold of the penis, but insisted that a live demonstration would be more effective. (Update: The judge disallowed the showing, but in May the jury found Patterson not guilty anyway.)

In rare cases, a mother has given birth for the principal purpose of “harvesting” a baby’s cells, ultimately to benefit another family member with a condition or illness that the cells would aid. However, Keri Young of Oklahoma gave birth in April for a different purpose. After learning while pregnant that her baby would not long survive after birth (because of anencephaly), she nonetheless carried it to term — just to harvest organs for unspecified people who might need them (though the grieving Keri and husband Royce admit that some might judge their motive harshly).

In some parts of traditional Japanese society, it remains not uncommon for someone to feel the need to “rent” “friends.” For example, relatives at a funeral bear grief better if they realize the many “friends” the deceased had. Or, a working man or woman may rent a sweetheart just to help deflect parental pressure to marry. In northern China, in April, a man was arrested for renting “family” and “friends” to populate his side of the aisle at his wedding. Apparently, there were conflicts plaguing each family, and police were investigating, but the groom surely worsened the plan by not coaching the actors on his personal details, thus making interfamily small-talk especially awkward.

Our Litigious Society: (1) David Waugaman, 57, fell off a barstool last year and needed surgery, and of course he is suing the tavern at Ziggy’s Hotel in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, for continuing to serve him before he fell. Wrote Waugaman, “You’re not supposed to feed people so much booze.” (2) Robert Bratton filed a lawsuit recently in Columbia, Missouri, against the Hershey chocolate company because there was too much empty space in his grocery-store box of Reese’s Pieces, which he thought was “deceptive” (even though the correct number of Pieces was printed on the label). In May, federal judge Nanette Laughrey ruled that Bratton’s case could continue for the jury to decide.

Latest From Offended Classes: (1) Some minority students’ organizations, commenting on the planned extensive renovation of the University of Michigan’s student union building, recommended ditching the current interior’s elegant wood paneling — because it gives off an “imposing, masculine” feeling that makes them seem “marginalized.” A spokesperson for the students, attempting to soothe the controversy, said the marginalization was more based on the building’s “quiet nature.” (2) In Australia, Chanel’s just-introduced luxury wood-and-resin boomerang (selling for the equivalent of about $1,415) came under fire from aboriginal groups for “cultural appropriation.” (Hermes had issued its own luxury boomerang in 2013.)

For not the first time in News of the Weird’s experience, a man shot himself but had the bullet pass through him and hit a bystander (except this time it was fatal to the bystander). Victor Sibson, 21, was charged in Anchorage, Alaska, in May with killing his girlfriend even though he had aimed at his own head. Investigators were persuaded that it was a genuine attempt, though he survived, but in critical condition.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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