News of the Weird: Down on the deer farm

  • Updated: April 25, 2014 - 2:11 PM

The billion-dollar U.S. deer-farming industry produces generations of bucks growing progressively larger racks of antlers mainly for eventual bragging rights by the so-called “hunters” who will pay large fees to kill them in fenced-in fields. Even before the farm-raised deer are stalked (reported the Indianapolis Star in March in its multipart investigation), bucks’ necks habitually slump from the weight of the freakish antlers. Most states allow such “hunting,” and in some, the activity is lightly regulated, lacking the safety rules and more humane conditions required by open-forest hunting laws and agriculture protocols. The Indianapolis Star also highlighted several captive-deer diseases that doctors still worry might jump species to humans (as “mad cow” disease did).

Recurring themes

Dayton, Ohio, bus driver Rickey Wagoner, 49, survived a three-bullet shooting in February that, police said, was probably a gang initiation that randomly targeted him as he worked on his bus’ engine. A police sergeant told the Dayton Daily News that Wagoner “should probably not be here” and survived the attack only because two of the bullets were blocked by a copy of “The Message” (a contemporary version of the Bible) in Wagoner’s shirt pocket.

Allowing dogs as “witnesses” in court cases in France has become “something of a recent trend,” reported the Paris edition of the European news site the Local in April. A nine-year-old Labrador retriever (Tango) took the witness stand in the city of Tours so the judge could observe how he reacted to the defendant, on trial for killing the dog’s owner. (For due process of law, a second dog, Norman, took the stand later, as a “control group.”) Ultimately, the judge said he learned nothing from the dogs and dismissed them.

People sometimes stage ruses to avoid unpleasant tasks, such as the student who calls in a bomb threat when he’s unprepared for an exam, but Dwayne Yeager’s motivation was simply laziness. Yeager, 31, called police in Brandon, Fla., in March, reporting a “burglary” at his home, but after questioning, officers charged him with making up the “crime” just so he could stay home from work that day.

In December, at a Home Depot in Banks County, Ga., yet another prankster put glue on a restroom toilet seat, trapping an unwary shopper seeking to relieve herself. Twelve days after the incident, the victim told WSB-TV that she was still in pain. Paramedics had unstuck her with a liberal application of WD-40, but she believes an emergency room would have been more appropriate.

Updates

Among the $43 million worth of “renovations” that the former German “Bishop of Bling,” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, ordered spent on his home and office before he was forcibly retired by Pope Francis in March: a 6-foot-deep fish tank filled with Koi carp, costing $300,000; a $917,000 “Garden of Silence”; solid-bronze window frames ($2.38 million); and LED lights built into floors, walls, steps, window frames and handrails ($894,000). One expense did prove too extravagant for the bishop, according to Washington Post: employees. (He had reduced his staff during his tenure.)

The news site MedPageToday.com is keeping tabs on the eventual unveiling of new, obscure, minutely detailed billing codes for doctors to report diagnoses and treatments to insurance companies, and among the latest finds ready to be part of the medical landscape are separate codes for injuries occurring from a “balloon collision” or during “knitting and crocheting” or for injuries during “gardening and landscaping” (though not merely caused by “digging, shoveling and raking,” which seems to require a different code). Distinct codes are necessary if an injury occurred at an opera house or if the patient is injured by walking into a lamppost (with separate codes for the first such lamppost collision and for repeat collisions).

Read News of the Weird daily at www.weirduniverse.net. Send items to weirdnews@earthlink.net.

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