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News of the Weird


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Lead Story

Czechoslovakia's new government recently scheduled a striptease dance show in Prague for foreign visitors, but then discovered the previous government had authorized only two women in the entire country to be stripteasers. One was located, but she was out of practice and tired after only a few minutes.

Government in Action

In January the Food and Drug Administration offered its new "compliance policy guide" on regulations covering drugs that control animal breath and body odors.

The Kansas senate changed its mind in February and recalled a bill that, instead of prohibiting dirty words on license plates, would have required that they be no larger than one-eighth of an inch high. The bill's sponsor lost enthusiasm when it was pointed out to him that the law would have to specify in the text which dirty words it would cover.

Washington state senator Jim West's bill to make it illegal for couples under 18 to engage in "heavy petting" was killed in committee in January.

In January Governor Adwali Kazir of Kwara, Nigeria, offered a personal donation of about $3,800 to a campaign fund to persuade women to cover their breasts.

Police Blotter

Police in Pompano Beach, Florida, say Christopher Morris, 42, recently plotted with his parents (aged 76 and 62) to murder Morris's ex-wife to collect on her $35,000 insurance policy but that when the parents discovered the policy had lapsed, they had the triggerman kill Morris instead so they could collect on his even larger policy. The parents reportedly were also angry that Morris sold them fake cocaine for $1,000.

Karen Lee Joachimi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida, in February for robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed only with an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in.

The Ann Arbor News reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on February 20 at 7:50 AM, flashed a gun, and demanded cash, but was turned down by the clerk, who said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available at breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on February 7 that a 38-year-old robbery victim told police he couldn't recognize the robber's face but could identify him by his cologne and by "holding his genitals." The two men apparently were sitting in a car fondling each other when one took the other's watch and fled.

A September issue of the Johnson City (Tennessee) Press reported that five men approached a food market, and while two remained outside jumping up and down on a car, three went inside, took two ham sandwiches from the counter, and began stomping on them. When a clerk tried to rescue the sandwiches, she was kicked in the leg by one of the men, who then left.

In January a man robbing a fast-food restaurant in Etobicoke, Ontario, stabbed the cash register with his knife on his way out the door.

The Litigious Society

Howard Shaffer, consigned to Utah State Prison for forgery and robbery, recently filed a federal lawsuit asking $1 million in damages for emotional suffering caused by the state's suspension of a joint prison/medical-school program that provided hair transplants to prisoners. Shaffer said he's right in the middle of treatments.

In January a New York appeals court cleared for trial Donald Long's lawsuit for an injury he suffered during a state-sponsored charity event. He had paid $5 for the chance to jump into a pool of gelatin dessert to retrieve prize coupons, but alleges that the gelatin was poorly prepared and watery, causing him to break his ankle.

Louis Guglielmi, serving 25 years in federal prison for distributing pornography, filed a motion in January to have his sentence reduced. Federal first-degree murder convicts serve an average of only 15 years, but Guglielmi's judge was Robert "Maximum Bob" Potter. In his motion, Guglielmi argues that his human-animal sex films are so disgusting they could not possibly be erotic.

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

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