News of the Weird: A 'last call' that won't be repeated soon

  • May 9, 2014 - 2:39 PM

Efren Carrillo, a member of the board of supervisors of California’s Sonoma County, was charged with misdemeanor “peeking” last year in Santa Rosa after he, returning home from a club late at night, saw his female neighbor’s light on and decided to drop in on her (though he did not even know her name). He had knocked at her back patio door, carrying beers, but was dressed awkwardly, leading the woman to call 911. “In retrospect,” the county supervisor told police afterward, “I should have had my pants on” (instead of just his socks and underwear).


The Food and Drug Administration has had run-ins with “homeopathic” products that subtly market themselves as health remedies without ever having sought the required FDA approval. However, in March, a different problem arose, requiring the agency to order a recall of 56 different batches of homeopathic remedies made by the Ferndale, Wash., company Terra-Medica — because they may have (accidentally) been genuine medicine. A variety of the firm’s products, said the FDA, might have contained actual penicillin, inadvertently produced as a byproduct of fermentation.

Tiffany Austin called a KTVU reporter in March after being dismissed as a member of the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond, Calif., after only one 15-minute workout -- because she was “too fit” and therefore making other members uncomfortable. Planet Fitness apparently takes seriously its business slogan guaranteeing “no gymtimidation,” designed to keep out-of-shape women from feeling bad about themselves. Said another member, to the reporter, “It’s unfair to show off your body.”

The litigious society

A columnist for the Egyptian newspaper Al-Yawm Al-Sabi proposed in March that Egypt sue Israel in international court for reparations for the 10 biblical plagues cast from Hebrew curses, including boils, lice, locusts and turning the Nile River into blood. Ahmad al-Gamal asserted that Israelites swiped gold, silver and other precious items as they began their legendary desert wandering. Al-Gamal also wants reparations from Turkey (for the 16th-century Ottoman invasion), France (for Napoleon’s invasion in 1798), and Britain (for 72 years of occupation).

Least competent criminals

Though many people are remorseful about their first tattoos, Jeffrey Chapman is apparently more so. His inking (the word “murder” on his neck in reverse image, clearly readable only in a mirror) is now awkward as he prepares, at press time, to stand trial for first-degree murder for a 2011 killing in Great Bend, Kan.

Armed and clumsy (all new!)

Americans (mostly men) continue to accidentally shoot themselves. Several men from law enforcement did: a cop in Bridgeport, Conn., in the leg at a bagel shop (December); a former police officer and firearms instructor in Glenwood, Neb. (January); a sheriff’s deputy, in the leg while defending himself against an aggressive dog in Riverside, Calif. (April); and the police chief in Connersville, Ind., in the leg (January), but — more than 14 years had passed since the previous time he accidentally shot himself.

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