Kyle Krichbaum, 12, of Adrian, Mich., has had an obsession with vacuum cleaners since infancy, when he was mesmerized by the whirring, said his mother, and for years, he says, he has enjoyed vacuuming so much that he does the house up to five times a day, with one of the 165 new and used vacuum cleaners in his collection. Said a former teacher, “It’s not that he didn’t like recess. He just preferred to stay inside vacuuming.” Older sister Michelle, interviewed for a July CBS News profile of Kyle, spoke for all of us: “He’s constantly vacuuming. I’m just like ‘why, why, why, why, why, why?’ I don’t understand.”
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION!
In April, Britain’s Office of Work and Pensions acknowledged to the Daily Mail that the multiple wives of polygamous husbands who are legally in the country routinely draw dependents’ unemployment allowances from the government (even though polygamy itself is illegal in the U.K.). A single person receives the equivalent of about $120 a week, and a married couple about $180, with each additional wife about $60.)
IT’S GOOD TO BE A BRITISH PRISONER
Faced with overcrowding, the government announced earlier this year that 25,500 inmates would be early-released, and since that would take away their “free” housing for the remainder of their sentences, awarded each released person “room and board” expenses to live on until their terms expired. And Britain’s Prison Service announced in May that inmate obesity was such a problem that it had hired “dozens” of fitness trainers to serve at 25 U.K. jails. Trainers will provide individualized exercise routines and “holistic, alternative therap[ies],” according to a report in The Sun.
James Coldwell, 49, was arrested in Manchester, N.H., in July and charged as the man who robbed a Citizen Bank branch dressed as a tree (branches duct-taped to his body and head, obscuring much of his face, though he was still identified from the security camera). And a prosecutor in Chelsea, Vt., refused in June to pursue police officers’ charges against Jayna Hutchinson, 33, that she had committed a crime because she made faces at a police dog and “starl[ed]” at him.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINAL
In May, Damion Mosher, 18, of Lake Luzerne, N.Y., became the most recent person to injure himself by needing to find out if putting a bullet into a vise and hitting it with a screwdriver would cause it to fire. He was slightly wounded.
THE HORROR OF WAR
A U.S. law professor representing Guantanamo prisoners compiled a book of poems by some of the detainees, to be published this month by University of Iowa Press and featuring a cover blurb by former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky. Among the verses, for example, by Sami al Haj, quoted in a June Wall Street Journal story: “When I heard the pigeons cooing in the trees/Hot tears covered my face” and “My soul is like a roiling sea, stirred by anguish/Violent with passion.” The U.S. military had to approve the text, citing the ease with which imagery could be used as coded messages to colleagues outside. MTW