JUSTICE IN FLORIDA
Wheelchair-confined Richard Paey committed almost exactly the same violations of Florida prescription drug laws that radio personality Rush Limbaugh did, with a different result: Limbaugh’s sentence, in May, was addiction treatment, and Paey’s, in 2004, was 25 years in prison. Both illegally possessed large quantities of painkillers for personal use, which Paey defiantly argued was (and will be) necessary to relieve nearly constant pain from unsuccessful spinal surgeries after an auto accident, but which Limbaugh admitted was simply the result of addiction. In fact, if Limbaugh complies with his plea bargain, his conviction will be erased. Paey’s sentence now rests with a state Court of Appeal.
THE CONTINUING CRISIS
China, sensitive about the impression it will make on visitors to the 2008 Olympics, has undertaken a major campaign against open spitting, monitored by volunteer scolders who wear shirts that spell out “mucus” in Chinese and who hand out bags to spit in. And India’s Rural Development Minister vowed in March that the country will eliminate open defecation by 2012, despite reports of toilet use in some states as low as 15 percent. The government gives homeowners toilet-installation grants.
Again this year, in April, Jim Werych of the Wednesday Night Classics car club in Brookfield, Wis., ritually dragged his tongue, in a deep lick, across Lisbon Road (with traffic stopped in both directions) to verify, and proclaim, that the streets are free of winter salt and thus safe for the club’s delicate classics.
An Illinois Appellate Court in April upheld a lower court ruling reversing Mongo the steer’s disqualification for steroids after he had been chosen junior grand champion at the 2003 Illinois State Fair. Mongo had tested positive for the anti-inflammatory Banamine, for his sore foot, but the court declared the test improperly administered. It was a victory for Mongo’s owner, Whitney Gray, but of utterly no benefit to Mongo, who shortly after the fair was slaughtered for steak.
THE PERVO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
New York City raw-food restaurateur Dan Hoyt, 43, was sentenced to two years’ probation in April for a highly publicized 2005 incident in which he indecently exposed himself on a subway train in front of a 22-year-old woman, who reacted by photographing him with her cell phone and displaying the shot on the Internet. In an April interview with New York magazine, Hoyt shrugged off the incident, calling his habit just another facet of a “pretty cool,” thrill-seeking person. “I’ve met women who enjoy [being flashed].” Except for the subway incident, even his victim would “probably want to go out with me.”
SHORT ATTENTION SPANS
Brian M. Williams, 21, was arrested for allegedly robbing Houchens Market in Glasgow, Ky., in April; police had found him minutes afterward across the street filling his gas tank. And Nathan Myles, 25, was sentenced in March to three years in prison for a lengthy, destructive police chase in Thunder Bay, Ontario; it ended when Myles stopped for a haircut. And Mario Caracoza, 26, was arrested for allegedly robbing a Bank of America in Bristol Township, Pa., in May; police had found him minutes afterward eating breakfast at the Sunrise Diner next door. MTW