JUSTICE IS BLIND, NOT DEAF
Barney Vincelette, who says his autism renders loud noises sickening to him, has been feuding for several years with neighbors in Houston, Del., over their rock music. At first, he invented his own sound-jammer, according to an April profile in the Wilmington News Journal, but a judge curtailed its use. Subsequently, he recorded super-annoying sounds of his own (including a foghorn) and had them written out as music (“Sonata for Calliope of Truck Horns About to Be Transcribed for Locomotive Horns Opus No. 1”), at which point the judge decided that permitting the neighbors’ Bon Jovi but not Vincelette’s sonata amounted to selective law enforcement, and the feuders settled their differences. Vincelette, by the way, lives in a house shaped like a flying saucer.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates mass transit just south of San Francisco, and whose employees stage about three dozen office parties a year, issued 33 pages of specifications in January to invite local companies to bid on a contract to supply sheet cakes. The winning bidder must be versatile enough to offer cakes in 11 specified flavors, 16 fillings, five icings and six toppings. Also, the bidder must carry $3 million in liability insurance.
Mexico City taxi driver Manuel Quiroz was seeking a sponsor earlier this year for his pursuit of the world raw chili pepper-eating contest. Supposedly, he can guzzle dozens of them at one sitting and even harmlessly squeeze their juice into his eyes.
To get her reluctant terrier “Missy” to eat dog food, Elaine Larabie decided to be a role model and eat some herself, after which, Missy indeed began nibbling at it. The next day, both Larabie and Missy were in Ottawa, Ontario, hospitals, vomiting and foaming at the mouth. The incident occurred in March, during the first days of the alert over rat-poison-laced pet food, and doctors suspected that as the culprit, but no definitive conclusion was reported in the press, and both Larabie and Missy recovered.
Stewart Laidlaw, 35, was banished from Thirsty Kirsty’s pub in Dunfermline, Scotland, in March, following numerous complaints about his excessive flatulence. A shocked Laidlaw said no one had complained before, but conceded that was probably because cigarette smoke had been masking the odor until Scotland’s recent smoking ban. And in December, an American Airlines flight made an emergency stop in Nashville, Tenn., when passengers reported the smell of burning matches in the cabin. A female passenger was found to have been lighting them at her seat in an effort to vanquish her flatulence odors.
PRINCIPALS GONE WILD
In February in Bethlehem, Pa., middle school principal John Acerra was arrested and charged with selling crystal meth from his office—but not to students. Also, when arrested in his office after hours, he was reportedly nude. And in April, in Lorain, Ohio, principal Robert Holloway resigned after apparently too eagerly delivering on a wager. He had bet with some boys on a student-staff volleyball game and lost, and then paid off as agreed by kissing the boys’ feet. But he was too much into it, the boys thought. MTW