Cliche Come to Life
For her Advanced Placement World History class at Magnolia (Texas) West High School in December, Reagan Hardin constructed an elaborate diorama of a Middle Ages farm — which her dog ate on the night before it was due. Veterinarian Carl Southern performed the necessary scoping-out on Roscoe, extracting the plastic chicken head, horse body, sheep and pig, along with wire that held the display together. Warned Dr. Southern: “Don’t put anything past your dog. We all say my dog would never eat that, and that’s the main thing he’ll eat.”
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
— Meg C Jewelry Gallery of Lexington, Kentucky, introduced a limited line of Kentucky-centric gold-plated necklaces and earrings in June (recently touted for Christmas!) — each dangling with genuine Kentucky Fried Chicken bones. All stems were picked clean from KFC wings, washed, dried, sealed with varnish and conductive paint, copper-electroformed, and then electroplated with 14k gold. Small-bone necklaces go for $130 (large, $160), and earrings for $200 a pair — and according to Meg C, accessorize anything from jeans to a lady’s best little black dress.
— “Ethical” fur designer Pamela Paquin debuted the first of her anticipated line of roadkill furs recently — raccoon neck muffs (“I can literally take two raccoons and put them butt to butt (so they) clasp neck to neck”) that will sell for around $1,000. Raccoons yield “luscious” fur, she said, but her favorite pelt is otter. The Massachusetts woman leaves her card with various New England road crews (“Hi, my name is Pamela. Will you call me when you have roadkill?”) and does business under the name Petite Mort (“little death” in French, but also, she said, a euphemism for a woman’s post-orgasm sensations).
— Not too long ago, “generous” job perquisites were, perhaps, health insurance and little more, but Silicon Valley startups now race to outdo each other in dreaming up luxuries to pamper workers. A November Wall Street Journal report noted that the photo-sharing service Pinterest offers employee classes in the martial art “muay thai” and in August brought in an “artisanal jam maker” to create after-work cocktails — a far cry from most workplaces, which offer, perhaps, a vending machine downstairs. (Several companies have hired hotel-concierge professionals to come manage their creative add-ons.) Not every perk is granted, though: Pinterest turned down an employee’s request to install a zip line directly to a neighborhood bar.
(1) Jose Manuel Marino-Najera filed a lawsuit in Tucson, Arizona, in December against the U.S. Border Patrol because a K-9 dog had bitten his arm repeatedly during an arrest. Marino-Najera, illegally in the U.S., had been found sleeping under a tree near the Mexican border, holding 49 pounds of marijuana. (2) Ms. Emerald White, owner of four pit bulls declared “dangerous” by Texas City, Texas, after they mauled a neighbor’s beagle to death, filed a lawsuit in November against the grieving neighbor. White said she had been injured trying to restrain her dogs in the skirmish, which had been facilitated by the neighbor’s failure to fix their common fence.
Fine Points of the Law
— Gregory Graf, 53, has apparently escaped eligibility for death row in Pennsylvania despite confessing to murdering his stepdaughter in an attempt to have sex with her (an “accompanying” felony, which ordinarily would qualify him for “capital murder”). However, since Graf had videotaped himself in the act (as evidence recovered in December shows), he proved that the sex occurred after she was dead and thus that he was guilty instead of an accompanying misdemeanor (desecration of a body).
— Caitlyn Ricci, 21 and estranged from her divorced parents, availed herself this year of a quirky New Jersey law that requires divorced parents to provide for their children’s college educations (even though Caitlyn was a toddler at the time of the divorce, chose a more expensive out-of-state college, and already had a blemished community-college record). Mom Maura McGarvey (who claims to be especially hard-hit by the tuition bill) and Dad Michael Ricci are helping sponsor “corrective” legislation — because, generally, parents are not required to pay for college (but in New Jersey, divorced parents are).
The Continuing Crisis
Historians at the Wellcome Collection museum in London placed on display in November their rendition of the “orgone energy accumulator” developed in the 1940s by psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, who thought it could stimulate orgasms for those who sat inside one. (The device is thought to have inspired the “Orgasmatron” in the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper.” Among 1950s-era “testers,” Albert Einstein is said to have panned it, but not author J.D. Salinger.) The museum’s curator tried to lower expectations — that visitors should expect a historic sex “education” and not a sexual experience.
The Miracle Drug
Meth — Is There Anything It Can’t Do? (1) Keith Berfield, 56, was arrested outdoors in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in October, nude except for the metal ring around his testicles, praising “spiritual” “things in the sky.” (2) An unnamed man in Waterbury, Connecticut, was caught by his neighbor in October having sex with her pit bull while explaining that “ISIS sent me” and that “This is our day.” (3) Brittany Thompson, 26, was arrested in Oklahoma City in November, lying near a busy intersection holding ordinary rocks that she described as “diamonds” that God sent her to gather.