The salary the Golden State Warriors pay to basketball whiz Stephen Curry may be a bargain at $12 million a year, but the economics is weirder about the prices Curry's fans pay for one of his used mouthguards retrieved from the arena floor after a game. One used, sticky, saliva-encased teeth-protector went for $3,190 at one August auction, and SCP Auctions of California is predicting $25,000 for another, expelled during the NBA championship series last June. ESPN Magazine reported "at least" 35 Twitter accounts dedicated to Curry's mouthguard.
Over a six-year period (the latest measured), drug companies and pharmacies legally distributed 780 million pain pills in West Virginia — averaging to 433 for every man, woman and child. Though rules require dispensers to investigate "suspicious" overprescribing, little was done, according to a recent Drug Enforcement Administration report obtained by the Gazette-Mail of Charleston — even though half of the pills were supplied by the nation's "big three" drugmakers whose CEOs' compensation is enriched enormously by pain pill production. Worse, year-by-year the strengths of the pills prescribed increase as users' tolerance demands. (West Virginia residents disproportionately suffer from unemployment, coal mining-related disabilities and poor health.)
No day at the beach
University of Kentucky professor Buck Ryan disclosed in December that he had been punished recently (loss of travel funds and a "prestigious" award) by his dean for singing the Beach Boys classic "California Girls" for a lesson comparing American and Chinese cultures — because of the song's "language of a sexual nature." The school's "coordinator" on sexual harassment issues made the ruling, apparently absent student complaints, for Ryan's lyric change of "Well, East Coast girls are hip" to "Well, Shanghai girls are hip."
Vegas wins again
The Las Vegas Sun reported in December that Nevada slot- and video-machine gamblers left almost $12 million on the floor during 2012 (i.e., winning tickets that remain uncashed for six months, thus reverting to the state), running the five-year total to nearly $35 million.
New twist to injury report
The pregame injury report for college football's Dec. 31 Citrus Bowl included two Louisville linebackers, Henry Famurewa and James Hearns, who were out of action against Louisiana State because of "gunshot wounds."
Least competent criminal
A December post on the Marietta, Ga., police department's Facebook page chided a shoplifter still at large who had left his ID and fingerprints — and inadvertently posed for security cameras. The police, noting "how easy" the man had made their job, "begged" him to give them some sort of challenge: "Please at least try to hide." Suspect Dale Tice was soon in custody.
Read News of the Weird daily at www.weirduniverse.net. Send items to firstname.lastname@example.org.