News of the Weird with Chuck Shepherd

May 20 • FEATURE BOTTOM, News, NEWS & VIEWSNo Comments on News of the Weird with Chuck Shepherd

News Of The WeirdQuestionable Judgments

Manhattan’s New York Sushi Ko is only the most recent sophisticated restaurant to feature creative dishes made with Hormel Spam, and foodies and hipsters in fashionable neighborhoods have flocked to the foods. Spam is a well-known delicacy in Hawaii, and the New York facilities offer the island’s musubi (fried Spam, rice, seaweed) and other Spam fried rice bowls with seared ahi and flourishes of fresh pineapple, according to an April report on Gothamist.com. Sushi Ko’s chef playfully acknowledges that his contents are fresh — “fresh from the can” and sourced locally — “from the nearest bodega.”

O Canada! Skylar Murphy, 18, happened to show up at Alberta’s Edmonton International Airport in September 2013 with a black-powder-loaded pipe bomb in his carry-on, ready to board an international flight. Agents confiscated the bomb but allowed Murphy to continue on his trip, and in fact police were not notified, nor were possible “terrorism” ties examined, until four days later. (Canada’s version of the Transportation Security Administration is not allowed to apprehend or detain passengers.) In December, the harsh hammer of justice finally slammed down on Murphy. He was fined $100 and sentenced to a year of probation.

Unclear on the Concept: Britain’s most-tattooed man (the former Mathew Whelan, 34, now “King of Ink Land Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite”), whose body is 90-percent ink-covered, finally acknowledged in March that he needed to undergo laser removal to clear up his skin. However, “Body Art,” as he is known, then explained that he was spending the equivalent of about $10,000 on removal just so he could start over with new tattoos.

Least-Competent First Responders:

(1) In February, East Detroit High School swim instructor Johnathan Sails, 24, sitting poolside, dived in to help a drowning student — but only after first going to the locker room to change from his street clothes. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter when the student died. (2) When a 6-year-old girl had her finger severed by a closing door in school in December, administrators at the Dickinson School District near Houston merely called her parents to come take the girl to the hospital. The principal denied it was an “emergency,” since the girl’s finger, after all, had already been bagged in ice. (3) When a fire alarm sounded in February at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, one girl was in the school swimming pool, and the outside temperature was minus 5 F, but several faculty members insisted (by protocol) that she leave the building dressed as she was (barring her, even, from waiting in a teacher’s car because it is against the rules).

Least Competent Criminals

At a press conference in April, as Houston police officers announced they were after two burglars who had broken into Katz’s lingerie boutique, surveillance video showed two armed men cautiously creeping through the store until one accidentally bumped the other, apparently startling the bumped man, who turned and fired — causing the first man to fire back. Officers counted nearly a dozen bullet holes in the store. Said the Houston press briefer, these are “by far some of the clumsiest crooks that I’ve seen in a long time.”

Readers’ Choice

In a popular April “viral” Internet news story, three young men were spotted on late-night surveillance video at a drinking-water reservoir near Portland, Ore., with one of them relieving himself into the 38-million-gallon facility. Utility officials initially decided to flush the entire contents rather than endure complaints by customers (most of whom were likely unaware that the same reservoir routinely tolerates wild-animal urination, long ago declared no health risk). Dallas Jeffrey Delynn, 18, was charged with trespassing and unlawful urination and might receive a sentence similar to that of Portland’s last reservoir urinater (merely 24 hours’ community service). By contrast, a week later in San Antonio, Texas, Daniel Athens, 23, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his own late-night tinkle. Athens had pleaded guilty to urinating against an outside wall of The Alamo (of course a sacred Texas monument).

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