Citing a “code of honor” acquired during 26 years in the Air Force, retired pilot Ralph Paul, 54, decided in March that he would not pay for the $15.99 Shrimp and Scallop Verdura at Angellino’s restaurant in Palm Harbor, Fla., because it contained only five shrimp and five scallops. After he complained and walked out, the restaurant sent sheriff’s deputies after him. He was charged with misdemeanor fraud. Paul insisted to a St. Petersburg Times reporter that he couldn’t look himself in the mirror if he had paid, or even negotiated a settlement, so he hired a $500-an-hour New York lawyer. A jury acquitted him during a one-day trial in October.
THE PROBLEM IS GOATS
A traffic officer in eastern Ontario, who ticketed a speeding motorist from Switzerland in September, said the driver blamed it on the lack of goats. He told the officer that he felt liberated to drive fast because, unlike in his country, there were no goats wandering onto the highway. And authorities in the Nigerian village of Isseluku arrested a man for killing his brother in September, but the man insisted that he had only tried to move a goat from his farm. When it wouldn’t move, he hit it with an ax, at which point it turned into his brother, according to an Associated Press report.
IF THE GLOVE FITS…
Charles Henson was convicted of attempted murder in Bristol, England, in October, but insisted he couldn’t have done it. His ex-wife said he had stuffed his latex-gloved hand down her throat, knowing that she had a latex allergy that would be fatal within minutes. Henson said that was impossible because, according to the couple’s “contract” setting out their sadomasochism, bondage and domination rules, “section four” states very clearly that “the master does not have a right to kill the slave.”
Anthony Mesa failed a drug test in September because, he said, he was medically unable to urinate into a cup under supervision, and he was remanded to a judge in Deland, Fla., to reconsider his house-arrest-only sentence. Mesa’s crime was that in August 2005, he spiked a Mountain Dew bottle at a grocery store with his own urine as a prank.
HELL OF A TOWN
In a movement that grew from several women to more than 100 by mid-October, girlfriends in Pereira, Colombia, went on a sex-strike to urge their boyfriends away from the drug-gang life. Pereira is the same city where the sensational nightly TV soap opera “Sin Tetas (No Hay Paraiso)” originates. It’s the story of a flat-chested young woman who constantly schemes to raise money for breast-augmentation surgery, which she says is the only way to the good life.
CREME DE LA WEIRD
Terence Michael Dean, 37, was arrested in September in Cool, Calif., after a homeowner arrived from a weekend away and found that Dean had commandeered his house and set up various confusing rituals. Dean (who ran from the house clothed only in a sheet) had turned on all faucets, placed packages of meat in the sink and bathtub, built a shrine of Buddha on a bongo drum, left a trail of potting soil from a walkway to the drum, left three plant stands in the garage holding teddy bears, unearthed about 100 houseplants in the yard, and left a cup of water containing a piece of paper reading “I love Cherry.” MTW