GOOD NEWS FOR VULTURES
Almost-extinct vultures may be making a comeback within the Parsi community of Mumbai, India, after a pain reliever (diclofenac) nearly wiped it out. Parsis’ Zoroastrian religion requires “natural” body disposals (no cremation or burial) of humans and cattle, and bodies have always been ritually laid out for the hungry birds, but the community has also come to rely on diclopfenac in hospitals and for cattle. When News of the Weird last mentioned the problems (in 2001), vultures were dying out from kidney damage caused by the drug, and bodies were piling up. (Parsis were exploring using solar panels to burn the corpses.) However, according to a November New York Times dispatch, clerics are reporting modest success in weaning Parsis off of diclofenac, and the vultures appear more plentiful.
THIS WEEK IN DOG SEX PROSECUTIONS
When a man died of a perforated colon in 2005 in Enumclaw, Wash., while having sex with a horse (at what news reports suggested was a “bestiality farm”), the legislature passed the state’s first anti-bestiality law, which was used in 2010 in another “farm” case, in Bellingham, 110 miles from Enumclaw. A British man had sex with several dogs on the property of Douglas Spink, who had allegedly arranged the trysts, and the man was convicted and deported, but Spink was not charged (though instead was re-imprisoned for an earlier crime). In November 2012, with Spink nearing release, prosecutors filed bestiality charges using evidence from 2010, involving “four stallions, seven large-breed male dogs” and “13 mice, each coated with a lubricant.” According to the Bellingham Herald, Spink (acting as his own lawyer) denounced state officials and “the bigotry behind the [law].”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Peter Welsh, 32, and Dwayne Doolan, 31, weren’t the first burglars to try breaking into a building by smashing through the adjoining basement wall, but they might be the clumsiest. Their target, on New Year’s Eve, was Wrights Jewellers in Beaudesert, Australia, but trying to smash the front window failed, as did smashing the rear doors, which were actually those of another store. They finally settled on the basement option, but absentmindedly broke through the opposite-side wall and wound up in a KFC restaurant. (Undaunted, according to police, they robbed the KFC of about $2,600.)
STINKING LIBRARY LAWS
Once again, a public library has been sued for gently asking a patron to leave because his body odor was provoking complaints. George Stillman, 80, filed a $5.5 million lawsuit in October against the New York Public Library for feeling “humiliat[ed]” by the staff of the St. Agnes branch in Manhattan. Stillman said he views body odor (his and others’) as mere “challenge[s] to the senses” and “a fact of life in the city.” Actually, he had also denied that he had any body odor at all, but a New York Post reporter, interviewing him about the lawsuit, said she noted “a strong odor.”
Women’s love-hate affairs with their shoes is the stuff of legends, but a Memphis, Tenn., podiatrist told Fox News in November of a recent increase in women deciding on what might be called the nuclear option–”stiletto surgery”–for horribly uncomfortable, yet irresistible, shoes. Either the shoe must go or the foot, and more are choosing the latter (or at least the pinky), to be removed or reduced by surgery. The Memphis doctor said he sees as many as 30 patients a month interested in the procedure.
In December, the car-parts retailer AutoZone became the most recent employer to fire a worker for taking action widely admired–but prohibited in the workplace because of the company’s fear of liability. Devin McLean and his store manager in York County, Va., were herded into a back room by a gun-wielding holdup man and, being the only witnesses, understandably feared for their lives. However, McLean broke free, ran to his truck, and retrieved his gun. (He could have fled altogether but insisted that, morally, he could not abandon his colleague.) When McLean re-entered pointing his Glock 40, two things happened: (1) The robber fled, and (2) McLean became in violation of AutoZone’s “zero tolerance” policy against employees bringing firearms into the store. Two days later, he was fired.
GOSHEN HAS GOOD CITIZENS
In the most recent instance of a store’s locks improperly working to give the appearance that a closed store was doing business, a Kroger supermarket in Goshen, Ind., was unintentionally wide-open on Thanksgiving evening–with no employees (but with 24-hour lighting, as usual). Police on patrol noted that about a dozen customers were inside trying to use the self-checkout, but left quietly when informed that the store was closed. According to a police spokesperson, “[N]o one [attempted] to steal from the business.”