THIS WEEK IN FLORI-DUH
In October, state alcohol agents, assisted by local police in full riot gear, raided a bar in Largo, Fla. to shut down the latest gathering of the venerable Nutz Poker League, even though its players do not wager. (They meet at bars and restaurants, where management gives winners token gifts in exchange for the increased business.) A prosecutor told the Tampa Bay Times that Florida law defines illegal “gambling” as any game that permits players to win something–even if they don’t have to “ante up.” The raid (during which players were ordered to keep their hands where the officers could see them) came after a months-long undercover investigation.
TIL DEATH CERTIFICATE DO YOU PART
India’s notorious bureaucracy records deaths particularly ineptly, to the advantage of men seeking an alternative to divorce. They find it easier merely to swear out a death certificate on one wife so they can marry another, but that means the first wife will face years, and maybe decades, of campaigning to convince officials that she is not dead. BBC News chronicled the plight of Ms. Asharfi Devi, now 64, in September as she was finally declared “alive” after being deserted by her husband at age 23 and ruled dead at age 40. After Devi finally earned a hearing and brought relatives and evidence to the village council, deliberations took eight more months. Notwithstanding the ruling, the husband stuck to his story.
Again this year, a serial drowning made the news (where one jumps in to rescue another, and a third is needed to rescue the first two, and a fourth, and none survives.) In Ulster, Northern Ireland, in September, rugby player Nevin Spence, along with his brother and father, died in a slurry tank on the family’s farm, and their sister, who also attempted a rescue, was hospitalized. Officials said they could not determine the order in which the men entered the pit until the sister was well enough to talk.
Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, who made the “wide stance” famous when he explained his alleged, notorious restroom encounter with another man in June 2007, has been sued by the Federal Election Commission because he used $217,000 in campaign donations to fund his legal defense to the resulting indecent exposure charges. Craig pointed out that visiting the restroom (irrespective of any alleged activities there) occurred during the ordinary course of Senate travel and thus that he was entitled to spend campaign funds.
UNDERWEAR BOMBER TACTICS EXPOSED
Two FBI agents, providing a backstory to “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s Christmas-time 2009 attempt to bring down an airliner in Detroit, said they believe the man accustomed himself to the tricked-out scivvies beforehand by wearing them full-time for the three weeks leading up to his flight (except for bathing). The agents, speaking to Detroit’s WXYZ-TV in September, suggested that the excessive wearing might have ruined the detonation mechanism.
THIS WEEK IN FLORI-DUH