In September, following complaints of diners, the health department in Springfield, Mo., notified restaurants that Debby Rose’s “assistance monkey” could not be permitted to dine with her in a high chair, even though Rose said she suffers from a disabling social phobia that she can accommodate only if “Richard”—a bonnet macaque monkey—is with her. Monkeys are generally permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act if they perform certain tasks, as capuchin monkeys have been trained to fetch groceries from shelves for wheelchair-using patrons. However, animals that provide only emotional support fall into a gray area, according to a U.S. Justice Department spokesperson quoted by the Springfield News-Leader.
In an August segment on WWLP-TV (Springfield, Mass.), police chief Anthony Scott of Holyoke, Mass., described the extent of a recent domestic fight in which Ms. Yesenia Ortiz retaliated against alleged aggressor Victor Cruz: “She grabbed another knife and stabbed him in the winky…” Cruz was later arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment of his winky.
ARTISTS GONE TOO FAR
In August, police in Mumbai, India, decided to get a professional opinion from the local JJ School of Art as to whether a downtown video and photographic exhibition was obscene and should be closed down. The school’s opinion of the show, titled “Tits, Clits and Elephant Dick,” has not been reported. And performance artist Kira O’Reilly’s August show in Penzance, England titled “Inthewrongplaceness” consisted of a naked woman cradling a dead pig for four hours at a time. O’Reilly explained, on her Web site: “The work left me with an undercurrent of pigginess [and] unexpected fantasies of mergence and interspecies metamorphoses began to flicker into my consciousness.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called the performance “sick.”
OUR LITIGIOUS SOCIETY
One Hindu family sued another in Springfield, Mass., in July over an arranged marriage after the bride-to-be presented herself to the groom’s family for the first time and was judged too ugly. Vijai V. Pandey and his wife claimed they were “extremely shocked” at the woman’s “protruded bad teeth” and bad complexion, among other deficiencies. A spokesman for an American Hindu organization told the Springfield Republican that he had seen “very handsome men who are happy with somewhat homely women.”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Pennsylvania inmate Donta Thomas was re-arrested in August and charged with operating a drug ring on the outside, carried out via the Fayette County Prison’s pay phones. According to police, Thomas routinely gave explicit instructions to his accomplices over the phone despite an automated message on each call that the conversation was being recorded. According to the state attorney general’s office, Thomas would pause during the recording, but then afterward resume planning his deals.
MARRIAGE PROPOSAL GONE AWRY
Adam Sutton’s elaborate plan to propose to Erika Brussee in July on a small chartered plane near Rome, Ga., didn’t work out, as the engine stalled and the plane crashed—causing minor injuries—near their friends on the ground who were holding up signs with the actual proposal question for Brussee. (She said yes.) MTW