Fart Laws and Crazy Bishops


The government of Malawi’s proposed environmental control legislation, introduced in January, was thought by some advocates to be broad enough to criminalize flatulence. The justice minister said the section about “fouling the air” should cover extreme flatus, but the country’s solicitor general insisted that only commercial air pollution was punishable.


“I thought, ‘Man, is this what Jesus would do?’” said Akron, Ohio, repo man Ken Falzini, after surviving a short, harrowing ride clinging to the hood of the Lexus he was trying to repossess from Bishop Marc Neal of Akron’s Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in January. Neal, later charged with felony assault, told a reporter he thought it “disrespectful” for Falzini to try to repossess a preacher’s car during Sunday services. Falzini said Neal was “laughing” during parts of the drive, which included sharp zig-zagging at speeds around 50 mph to dislodge Falzini from the hood.


In Brooklyn, New York, Judge Bernard Graham recently awarded custody of an estranged couple’s teenage boy to the father—even though the father was at the time homeless and living from night to night in shelters and storefronts.


In January, Czech Television reported on a joyous but confusing family reunion featuring a woman (Ilona Tomeckova) who had become a man (Dominik Sejda), and who had finally found love (in the person of Andrea Kajzarova, who was, before her own sex change, a bodybuilder named Tomas Kajzar). Dominik, motivated to reconnect with his original family, learned that the son he had given birth to (Radim) was himself undergoing a sex change (to become Viki).


Apathy is a problem with many homeowners’ associations, but at the annual meeting of the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association of Annandale, Virginia, in June, 50 people sleepily voted for Ms. Beatha Lee as president, thus electing (in a legitimate, by-the-book process) a Wheaten terrier belonging to former association officer Mark Crawford. Crawford said that Beatha, as a manager, “delegates a lot.”


(1) To conceal an arrest warrant for auto theft, Amos Ashley, 62, told traffic-stop officers in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, in February that he was (as he wrote on a paper for them) “Rorth Taylor.” “Pronounce it,” ordered a trooper. “Robert Taylor.” “Spell it once more, please.” “R-e-r-e-r-t,” wrote Ashley. “And ‘Taylor’?” “T-a-y-l-o-e-r.” Several more attempts followed, until Ashley finally admitted his name and was arrested. (2) Police in Princess Anne, Maryland, arrested George Ballard, 25, inside a PNC Bank at 11pm on January 25 after a motion detector sounded. Officers said the “cash” Ballard was in the process of taking was in fact a stack of fake bills the bank uses for training.