THE POOR NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD
New York City has more than 400 soup kitchens but nothing else like the Broadway Presbyterian Church’s, where master chef Michael Ennes presides three days a week, turning leftover restaurant ingredients into gourmet meals. In fact, one pre-Christmas meal included octopus, as well as day-old bread from Le Bernardin restaurant. Ennes told London’s Independent that he is motivated by the chance to help troubled people get “real nutrition,” but he also likes serving “famous” homeless people, such as diners who claim to be, among others, George Bush, George Washington and Jesus Christ.
CAN’T POSSIBLY BE TRUE
Buddy, a 6-year-old German shepherd mix, wandered into the emergency room at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Bellflower, Calif., in October after having just been hit by a car, and he resisted efforts to remove him, apparently waiting until someone attended to his injured hind leg (which turned out to be broken), according to local animal control officials interviewed by the Whittier Daily News. Owner Fabian Ortega was called (by virtue of Buddy’s implanted microchip), and a vet fixed him up.
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT
National Public Radio reported in October that perhaps thousands of prison inmates are using cell phones (which are contraband in all correctional facilities). The problem has gotten so bad that Maryland state Sen. Ed DeGrange said he was sitting at his desk recently when an inmate called him on a cell phone with a list of general complaints. Also, a warden in Texas reported getting a call from the mother of an inmate, demanding that the warden improve cell-phone reception in the prison so she can chat more with her son.
Condoms are proving such an attractive target for shoplifters, according to Phoenix’s Arizona Republic, that some stores are putting them in locked display cases that require a customer to call a clerk for help. However, as an official of the Arizona Public Health Association pointed out, condoms are a purchase that consumers choose to make in low profile. A spokesperson for a condom maker mentioned a recent incident in a CVS pharmacy in which a clerk, assisting a customer, shouted several times, “Who’s got the key to the condoms?”
In October, a judge of Scotland’s Greencock Sheriff Court released Hui Yu, a college student from Beijing, from a traffic charge by disregarding two police officers’ identification of Hui. Said the judge, “[A]ll Chinese people can look the same to a native Scot. It’s only when you have time to look that you begin to see the differences.” And the chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Guy Fournier, resigned in September after giving an interview to a French magazine in which he expounded on, as The Associated Press put it, “the joys of bowel movements.”
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
An unidentified man fled after an unsuccessful attempt at robbing a Git-N-Go convenience store in Des Moines, Iowa, in December, which was foiled when the clerk noticed that the “gunman’s” thumb was visible from his pocket, where he was holding his hand to pretend he had a gun. The clerk said he actually had to argue with the man, who continued to insist that it was a gun in his pocket. Said clerk Terry Cook later, “I know what a gun looks like.” MTW