Britain’s Prince Philip has for at least 30 years accommodated a tribe of 400 “cargo cult” people on the South Sea island of Tanna, who revere him as the human face of an ancestral spirit, according to June revelations by London’s Daily Mail. Both sides have been discreet, but the prince has acquiesced by sending the tribe signed photographs, including one in which he is holding the traditional war club (even though a totally authentic pose would require that the prince hold it while naked). Cargo cults are so named because, lore has it, an ancient god forecast that one day, wealth would fall from the sky, and then, during World War II, it did, in the form of parachuted-in supplies for American troops who used the islands as staging areas.
An Iowa tribunal turned down Chris T. Coppinger’s demand for unemployment benefits in May, following his firing from a charitable fund-raising company in Davenport for various alleged indiscretions. Among the company’s charges was that Coppinger had had sex on top of his desk with a co-worker, but Coppinger argued that that should not be a terminating offense, since many other company employees had had sex on his desk, too.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY?
Jonifer Jackson, 20, was arrested in Clarksville, Tenn., in April and charged with reckless endangerment for firing a 9 mm pistol while street-preaching. He told police it was the only way he could get people to listen to him. And Yasuhisa Matsushita, 25, was arrested in Iwata, Japan, in March as the man who stole a high school girl’s swimsuit, put it on, and pranced around in it while relieving himself because, he told police, “[I]t felt so good.”
In May, in the midst of the Ford Motor Co.’s “Red, White & Bold,” buy-American ad campaign touting its classic Mustangs, the research firm CSM Worldwide—using statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation—revealed that 35 percent of the 2006 Mustang’s content came from overseas, and in fact, that five Honda models and seven Toyota models contained more U.S. content than the Mustang, including Toyota’s Sienna minivan, which was 90 percent U.S.
CREME DE LA WEIRD
In May, a judge in Reno, Nev., sentenced Raymond Russell George, 58, to five consecutive life sentences for molesting three young girls over a two-year period, but George said he welcomes the prison time because it will give him a chance to use his comprehensive knowledge of the Bible to help inmates find Jesus. George is notorious also for his dreadful inattention to hygiene, which he said is necessary to keep fellow prisoners—potential congregant—from getting too close to him. Otherwise, he said, they “flick boogers at me and fart in my face.”
Recent incidents in which people were run over fatally by their own cars: a 62-year-old woman backing out of a parking space at a Wal-Mart in Kahului, Maui in May—she had apparently opened the door to look behind her and fell out—and a 76-year-old woman visiting her husband’s grave at Maple Grove Cemetery in New York City in April (details not reported). MTW