news of the weird

by Chuck Shepherd

• Woody Allen joke come to life: Shirley Anderson, 71, is suing her son Ken, 46, in Vancouver, British Columbia for parental support — even though she and his father had abandoned him when he was 15 (having one day just picked up and moved and, as in Mr. Allen’s joke, “left no forwarding address”). An archaic 1922 law in British Columbia obligates adult children to support “dependent” parents, and in 2000, Shirley sued, demanding $350(Cdn) per month each from Ken, who is a trucker, and his four siblings (three of whom were at least 17 when the parents left and not considered “abandoned”). A judge awarded token interim support pending a final resolution, which after years of delay was to come in early August but has been postponed once again.


• We have rules! A team of anglers from Hatteras had first place wrapped up in the prestigious Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in June, salivating over their $1,231,575 prize money (including a bonus for single-largest catch), when judges discovered that one member of the Hatteras crew, Peter Wann, had not gotten a $30 North Carolina coastal recreational fishing license before their boat pushed off that day. Under the rules, the entire team was disqualified, and the runner-up, from Cape Carteret got the money.

• They don’t make “drug lords” like they used to: (1) Widely feared Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke was arrested in June and extradited to New York City after being picked up wearing women’s clothes and a 1970s-style Afro wig too small for his head (with a pink wig on standby). The Jamaica Observer reported that Coke wet his pants as he was arrested. (2) Longtime South African drug lord Fadwaan “Fat” Murphy, speaking at a bail hearing in January in Cape Town, disclosed that he was born a hermaphrodite and has a separate identity (“Hilary”), which became relevant when arresting officers discovered that Murphy was wearing a strap-on penis. Nonetheless, he insists he is a man: “I look like a man. I talk like a man. I am a man.”

• “[A] new high point” in electoral politics in Philadelphia occurred this spring, according to the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, when openly gay state Rep. Babette Josephs “outed” her primary opponent Gregg Kravitz as straight.

According to Josephs, the heterosexual Kravitz was posing in Josephs’ gay-friendly 182 nd District as bi-sexual. Kravitz said he is “attracted” to both men and women and found Josephs’ comments offensive.

• Thinking large: (1) Northern Ireland farmer William Taylor introduced his prototype Livestock Power Mill recently and claimed that the world’s 1.3 billion cattle, using treadmills for eight hours a day, could produce 6 percent of the world’s electricity requirement. (The cow must keep walking to avoid sliding down an incline.) (2) California gubernatorial candidate Douglas Hughes proposed this year to solve the state’s child-molestation problem by developing an island 30 miles off the Santa Barbara coast to contain the state’s pedophiles, who would, according to the Daily Caller, “write their own constitution, build their own infrastructure and maintain a society.”

• The power of books: Speaking to the city council of Crestview, Fla. in July, the founder of the local Protect Our Children citizens’ group said her son (whose age was not revealed) had “lost his mind” when he looked through the violent Japanese “manga” graphic novel he found on open stacks in the Crestview Public Library. “Now,” she said, “he’s in a home for extensive therapy.”


• North Korea’s World Cup adventure began auspiciously with a hard-fought 2-1 loss to a superior Brazil team, leading the government to release photographs of the North Korean coach supposedly receiving long-distance telepathic strategy signals during the game from Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il. With the country’s hopes up, the team was embarrassed in two subsequent games and dispatched from the tournament. Back home in July, the players were paraded into the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, where for six hours, they were publicly denounced and taunted. Coach Kim Jong-huh is said to fear an eventual violent end.

• Just before the World Cup matches, North Korea issued a public demand for compensation, blaming the United States for almost every single misfortune suffered by the country in the last 65 years. Its official news agency assigned the US responsibility for 5 million people injured, kidnapped, missing or killed — as well as for economic damages resulting from US-led trade sanctions. According to the news agency, America can atone for the losses by sending North Korea $65 trillion.

‘ 2010 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate