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News of the Weird



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A February Reuters news service report profiled New York City dental hygienist Carol Meyer, who charges $125 for a "breath makeover." She uses two tools, the computerized gum thermometer and the gas sensor, which detects sulfur compounds. Her main recommendation: swabbing the tongue with disinfectant.

Questionable Judgments

An unidentified 31-year-old man was sentenced to 20 lashes in Tehran in October after a prank backfired. He had bet his father about $30 that he could dress in a robe and veil and ride unnoticed in the women's section of a municipal bus. He was detected, however, because he didn't wear women's shoes. A court called the prank obscene.

Thomas Springer, 46, was arrested in October and charged with bank robbery in Vienna, Virginia. He might have escaped had he not stopped during his getaway to urinate alongside the road. A disgusted neighbor called 911.

One of the finalists in a Los Angeles radio station's crazy-stunt Super Bowl promotion in January was Mike Garcia, 25, who planned to swallow his glass eye, regurgitate it, and reinsert it. Despite a large breakfast of steak, eggs, and a six-pack of beer, which made him vomit for 15 minutes, the glass eye did not come back up by the end of the contest. Reported the Torrance Daily Breeze: "So Garcia left with an empty left eye socket, a strong buzz, soiled clothing--and the prospect of shelling out $1,500 for a new eye."

In September a 13-year-old girl identified only as Charlotte was in New York City with her mother to appear on a Sally Jessy Raphael episode with the theme of adolescent girls who dress like sluts. After her mother gave her permission to leave their hotel room for a few minutes, Charlotte was picked up by a 22-year-old man, had sex with him, and was allegedly imprisoned by him against her will for days before being found by police.

In an out-of-court settlement in September Henry Heepe--who killed his mother in Akron, Ohio, in 1994 and mutilated her body thinking she was a vampire--inherited part of her $500,000 estate. Ohio law prohibits those found guilty of murder from inheriting the victim's estate, but Heepe had been found not guilty by reason of insanity. His victory was short-lived. Heepe committed suicide in December while in custody.

MacArthur Wheeler, 46, was sentenced to 24 years in prison in Pittsburgh in January. Wheeler and his partner didn't wear masks to rob a bank and in fact weren't concerned about the surveillance camera because they'd rubbed lemon juice over their faces, believing it would blur their on-camera images.

Eh-uuuh, Gross!

In October authorities in Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia closed down an illegal bakery whose specialty was khachapuri, traditional Georgian cheese pies. It was discovered that the pies were being baked in a room at the city morgue.

Inmate Bernard Crawford escaped from prison in Hominy, Oklahoma, in December by diving into the back of the truck of a farmer who had come to the prison to collect food scraps for pig slop. He covered himself in the wet garbage and rode undetected until the combination of the smell and the cold temperature got to him, forcing him to jump out. He was spotted by a motorist, who notified police.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October that among the trendy foods in Scotland restaurants was the Mars bar supper--a Mars bar dipped in fish batter, fried in vegetable oil, and served with a side order of chips.

In November a 12-year-old boy in Jensen Beach, Florida, was suspended from his school bus for two days because of a flatulence problem that school authorities said was willful. The boy's mother, however, said the suspension was an "infraction against his civil rights."

Latest Religious Messages

Italy's most famous fertility doctor, Severino Antinori, told reporters in October that among his patients is a 37-year-old sterile priest from Tuscany who wanted Antinori to bypass his blocked sperm duct and extract sperm directly from his testicles so he could father a child with his 34-year-old lover. A Vatican spokesman called the priest "mad."

Loresa Goodly filed a lawsuit in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, in November for injuries she incurred at a tent revival after receiving the Holy Spirit and passing out on the floor. Moments later, another woman received the Holy Spirit and fell on top of Goodly before ushers could catch her, breaking three of Goodly's ribs.

Send your weird news to Chuck Shepherd, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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

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