TRAGIC GOVERNMENT IRONIES
(1) Copenhagen, one of the “greenest” cities in the world, endured an added 41,000 extra tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent in December during the 11-day climate summit. The 15,000 delegates required 2,000 limousines (only five of which were electric or hybrid) to get around town, and the world leaders arrived and departed in 140 private jets, some of which had to be parked overnight in Sweden because of airport congestion. (2) In December, Obama Administration officials, seeking to fulfill a campaign pledge of a more open federal government, held a multi-agency training session in Washington, D.C., on the Freedom of Information Act. The meeting was closed to the public.
A NEW GIGOLO
Being the first licensed male prostitute in Nevada (and thus the U.S.), explained “Markus” in a January interview for Details magazine, is to him “a civil rights thing.” “It’s just the same as when Rosa Parks decided to sit at the front [of the bus] instead of the back.”
NICE TRY, MOM
In Kansas City, Mo., in December, the mother of Charles Irving tried to protect her 27-year-old son from a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun. She told police (without success) that he had needed the gun to protect her from vampires.
PERVERTED COPS, PART I
In November, Powhatan County, Va., prosecutors dismissed charges against five corrections officers despite evidence that they were involved in inappropriately fondling a K-9 service dog. During training, officers are expected to “bond” with their dogs, and one of the men was seen “touching the dog’s penis with his hand,” according to a prosecutor. However, Virginia law requires that the state prove “cruelty” to the dog, and the prosecutor, after consulting with veterinarians, concluded that he could not win the case.
PERVERTED COPS, PART II
Russell Vanderwerf, 44, an agent of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was arrested in Metairie, La., in December and charged with damaging property while staying at the Residence Inn hotel. According to police, Vanderwerf had removed the bedroom door to his suite and in its place installed a plywood plank which contained a hole at about pelvis level that had been rimmed in duct tape and which the arresting deputy said appeared to be used “in some sort of sexual act.” Another guest told police that numerous young men had been entering and exiting Vanderwerf’s room.
(1) In Morehead, Ky., in December, two men, ages 44 and 18, were charged with theft for allegedly swiping an 18-inch-long bearded dragon lizard from the Eagles Landing Pet Hospital and trying, in two beverage stores, to exchange it for liquor. (2) Daniel Gable, 61, was arrested for breaking and entering a neighbor’s apartment in Fargo, N.D., in December. He had triggered the resident’s “burglar alarm,” which consisted of the stack of empty beer cans the resident places just inside his front door every night.
President Obama’s figurine was expected to lead in sales for the second straight year in the traditional “caganer” craft industry in Spain’s Catalonia region. As News of the Weird reported in 2008, the popular statuettes are typically modeled on politicians and famous people, each with pants down, squatting to answer a call of nature. They are ubiquitous in Nativity scenes, playfully hidden to encourage children’s Where’s Waldo-type guessing, and believed to symbolize “equality” through the universality of bodily functions. Another figurine expected to do well this season is the brand-new Queen Elizabeth.