IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
All U.S. states have forms of no-fault divorce, but not England, which requires that couples prove adultery or abandonment or “unreasonable behavior,” which leads to sometimes-epic weirdness, according to an April New York Times dispatch from London. For instance, one woman’s petition blamed her husband’s insistence that she speak and dress only in Klingon. Other examples of “unreasonable behavior” (gathered by the Times of London): a husband objecting to the “malicious” preparation of his most hated dish (tuna casserole), a spouse’s non-communication for the last 15 years (except by leaving Post-it Notes), a spouse’s too-rapid TV channel-changing, a husband’s distorting the fit of his wife’s best outfits by frequently wearing them, and one’s insistence that a pet tarantula reside in a glass case beside the marital bed.
JUST PLAIN LAME
Madison County, Ind., council member David McCartney admitted to the Herald Bulletin newspaper in March that he had exchanged “sexually explicit” emails with a female official in another county but would not resign. In fact, he said, he had engaged in the exchanges not for hanky-panky but in order to “expose corruption.” He has not elaborated. And Chris Windham, 27, was charged with improperly photographing a 57-year-old man in a men’s room in Trinity, Texas, in March after Windham, using a stall, allegedly snapped a cellphone photo of the man standing at the adjacent urinal. Windham explained that typically he braces himself with one hand on the floor while he wipes himself, and this time the hand on the floor was holding his cellphone.
VERY COMPELLING EXPLANATION
Maureen Raymond, 49, said her roadside DUI test administered in January was unfair. According to records cited by Scripps Media, she told a deputy in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that she couldn’t walk a straight line “with her big boobies,” which she said makes “balancing” difficult. The deputy reported that Raymond helpfully offered to show him the evidence but that he stopped her.
THINGS PEOPLE BELIEVE
Ms. Priti Mahalanobis is a college-educated mother of two who ran a franchised restaurant in Avalon Park, Fla., near Orlando, but when her health, her brother’s marriage and her business experienced problems, she bought a $20 psychic reading from “Mrs. Starr” (also known as Peaches Stevens). The Orlando Sentinel reported in January that, over the next seven months, Mahalanobis lost about $135,000 in cash, jewelry and gift cards to Mrs. Starr. Astonishingly, neither Mahalanobis’ health nor her restaurant business noticeably improved! Among the remedies that Mahalanobis accepted: buying seven tabernacles ($19,000 each) to “vanquish (her family’s) negativity” and putting $100 bills and a piece of paper with her relatives’ names written on it under her mattress along with a grapefruit (which, as everyone knows, attracts and then isolates the evil).
THINGS LEADERS BELIEVE
Though recently elected Councillor Simon Parkes told the Scarborough Evening News in March that his work on the Whitby (England) Town Council would not be affected, he has famously (in a YouTube video) reported lifelong “horrific” invasive encounters with extra-terrestrials, including many visits from a nine-foot-tall, green “mother”-like being who sends him “messages” through his eyes, down his optic nerve to his brain.
WHO VOTED FOR HIM?
Arni Johnsen, a member of Iceland’s Parliament, survived a serious 2010 automobile crash–a stroke of good fortune he has since attributed to a family of elves (three generations, in fact, according to an “elf specialist”) who live in a boulder near the crash site. Iceland’s Morgunbladid newspaper reported that Johnsen recently had the 30-ton boulder relocated to his own property, which he said affords the elves a better view than at their previous home. (But another elf “authority” told reporters that relocating the family was bound to bring Johnsen bad luck.)
Gary Paterson, 36, was sentenced to community service and psychotherapy after being convicted of trying to lick clean the shoes of four boys (Glenrothes, Scotland, January). Robert Van Wagner, 33, was arrested after three girls (ages 12 and 13) told police he asked them to put on socks he gave them and to run around a field so he could watch. (Port St. Lucie, Fla., April). Tetsuya Ichikawa, 50, was arrested after approaching a 25-year-old woman from behind in a restaurant and licking her hair (Shizuoka, Japan, April).
LEAST COMPETENT TERRORISTS
A bomb accidentally exploded on a bus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in May, killing a man who police suspect was on his way to blow up something else. He was the only person killed, but two suspected associates with him (carrying assault rifles and ammunition) were injured. And in April, Mohammad Ashan, described by U.S. officials as a “mid-level Taliban commander” in Paktika province, Afghanistan, walked up to a police checkpoint with a wanted poster of himself (offering a $100 cash reward) and turned himself in–for the money. Ashan was arrested following a biometric scan to verify his identity. “Yes, yes, that’s me,” he reportedly said. “Can I get my award now?