The distress across the Western world in July over the big-game killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe was apparently misdirected, according to veteran "animal communicator" Karen Anderson of Elk, Wash., who told Facebook and Internet visitors (www.AnimalCommunicating.com) that Cecil and she had discussed his demise and that he was over it. Also, Cecil apparently speaks in formal, graceful English, as Anderson quoted him (according to London's The Independent): "Let not the actions of these few men defeat us," said Cecil, "or allow darkness to enter our hearts." "I am," he added, "grander than before as no one can take our purity, our truth or our soul." (Anderson's usual fee to speak with deceased pets is $75 for 15 minutes, but she did not disclose whether she had a client who paid Cecil's tab.)

Chutzpah!

In May, three Santa Ana, Calif., police officers who had just raided the unlicensed Sky High Holistic medical marijuana dispensary were caught on the facility's surveillance video eating supposedly seized cannabis-infused chocolate bars, and an "internal affairs" investigation was opened. However, in August, the Orange County Register reported that the cops went to court to have the video suppressed. Their familiar legal argument is that the video violates their right to privacy β€”in that they had purposely disabled the cameras before they began munching the contraband and thus had the requisite "expectation of privacy" that triggers the right. (Possibly, they had missed a camera.)

The litigious society

Robin Earnest, 46, told an Arkansas claims hearing that she broke two fingers and was forced into "years" of surgery and physical therapy over a game of musical chairs that was part of a class at the College of the Ouachitas in 2011 and demanded at least $75,000 from the state. The July hearing was dominated by a discussion of the game's rules because the instructor had ordered three students to contest one chair β€” with Earnest asserting that it should be two chairs for three people.

News that sounds like a joke

"Green-fingered residents" can show off their hard work each year at the Quedgeley Show in Gloucestershire, England, entering arrangements of colorful garden-grown vegetables. However, attendance has been off in recent years, reported the Western Daily Press, leaving the show's future in doubt β€” until organizers announced that this year, to increase the number of entries, supermarket-bought vegetables could be submitted.

Magistrates in Ceredigion, Wales, fined Edward Davies the equivalent of $1,130 in June, finding that his dog bit a teenage girl last October, sending her to a hospital with swelling and bruising. Aberystwyth authorities had set up a formal police lineup of dogs from the neighborhood, and the girl had made a positive ID of Davies' dog as the perp.

Least competent criminals

Judge Roger Barto, of Waterloo (New York) Village Court, was convicted in August of staging an assault on himself to convince doctors to prescribe him pain medication. Officers found Barto lying on the ground with a shattered porcelain toilet tank lid nearby from (he said) being smacked on the head by a mugger. However, Barto forgot to hurt himself during the "attack," as medical personnel had found no mark, cut or bruise anywhere on him.

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