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News of the Weird



Lead Story

In August in Eugene, Oregon, Rick Geoffroy opened Lollipops, a juice bar that will feature topless female dancers. Geoffroy said Lollipops is aimed at men 18 to 20 who cannot attend topless bars that serve liquor. Geoffroy told the Eugene Register-Guard that he believes the community "needs more activities for young people."

The Litigious Society

In June a New York court threw out a high school student's lawsuit against two classmates for having given him a "flat tire" (stepping on the heel of his shoes) because the boy was not sure which of the two had actually done it.

Former securities broker Chris Christensen filed a complaint in June with a securities industry board, seeking $3 million in damages from his former employers, Shearson Lehman Brothers, Dean Witter Reynolds, and Prudential Securities. Christensen, who as a broker was the office star, says his employers failed to stop him from losing more than $1 million in trading options on his own account and that they paid him so much money in bonuses that he felt encouraged to make even more trades.

Thomas Greer filed a lawsuit in Fargo, North Dakota, in August against a local sheriff's deputy for failing to arrest him one evening two years earlier when he was stopped on suspicion of DWI. A half hour after the deputy let him go, Greer drove his truck off the road and seriously injured himself.

William and Robin Woolf of Plainfield Township, Pennsylvania, filed twin lawsuits early this year--one against an American Legion Hall and another against her ex-employer, Binney and Smith Inc.--as a result of a violent marital outburst by William. He claims the club served him so much liquor last December that it made him break into his estranged wife's workplace, shoot at her boyfriend, and ram a police car in his getaway. Robin claims that Binney and Smith Inc. should have prevented the boyfriend, who was a coworker, from befriending and seducing her and convincing her to begin a consensual sexual relationship.

In September Stephanie Washington-Bey filed a $150,000 lawsuit in Baltimore against the Hardee's fast-food chain for selling a "defective product." Washington-Bey said the Hardee's tea was so hot it burned her lip and caused her to spill it on her leg, resulting in second-degree burns.

A pedestrian recently won a $600,000 judgment against Metro, the transportation authority in Washington, D.C., after being hit by a bus, despite the fact that he was drunk at the time and partying on a public street in a Batman costume. Throughout the trial, the man's lawyer was able to keep from the jury another fact about his client: at the time of the collision he was wearing a condom.

Names From Hell

A Ventura County, California, trial court's decision denying Russell Lawrence Lee's name-change petition was upheld in September by the California Court of Appeal. Lee, who is an African American, wanted to "steal . . . the thunder, the wrath, the shame and racial slur" by changing his name to Misteri (pronounced "mister") Nigger.

Among the journalist casualties of recent fighting in Bosnia was Cable News Network camera operator Margaret Gypsy Moth, whose jaw was fractured by a sniper's bullet. Ms. Moth, the former Margaret Wilson, long ago changed her name because, said a colleague, "she felt like a moth . . . that she could fly very close to the flame and not get burned."

Police in State College, Pennsylvania, charged a 19-year-old woman with provoking a riot on Beaver Street early one Sunday morning in June. A crowd of more than 1,000 people had gathered to watch through a window as the woman and her male companion undressed. The crowd later became unruly, and the woman, Elizabeth Ann Apinis, was arrested.

Sports names: Baylor University football player Hunter H. Hunter (the middle initial stands for Hunter). Member of a medal-winning U.S. Olympic rowing team: Anna Banana Seaton of Watertown, Massachusetts.

The Weirdo-American Community

Hurtis Lamar Proctor, 40, was sentenced to five years in jail in Bartow, Florida, in August for practicing medicine without a license. Police records in Bartow, in two other Florida counties, and in Dothan, Alabama, indicate that Proctor had struck up conversations with convenience-store clerks and persuaded them to step into a back room so he could inject them in the hip with "vitamin B12."


In June state police recovered a stolen Jaguar in mint condition (with 82 miles on the odometer) from the backyard of Charles Smith Cousins's place in Fairfax Station, Virginia. The car had been reported stolen from Rosenthal Chevrolet in Arlington, Virginia, on July 1, 1980, and apparently had not been driven since.

The Diminishing Value of Life

In Miami in August, Levon Howard lost a shoot-out with his roommate Edwin Heyliger, who was subsequently charged with murder. Howard had broken into Heyliger's room, angry that someone had drunk his Kool-Aid, and in the ensuing argument both scrambled for guns.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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