NEWS OF THE WEIRD

By chuck shepherd

Awkward

ν A paramedic with the St. Louis Fire Department discovered on Aug. 4 that his car, in the station’s parking lot, had been broken into and was missing various items. Minutes after he filed a police report, the station received an emergency call about a pedestrian hit by a car, and the paramedic and crew rushed to the scene. As he was helping the victim, the paramedic noticed that his own gym bag and belongings were strewn about the scene and concluded that the man he was attending to was likely the man who had broken into his car. The paramedic continued to assist the man, and police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they would arrest the man as soon as he was discharged from the hospital. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8-6-2016]

Bright Ideas

■ Business is booming for Lainey Morse, the owner of No Regrets Farm in Albany, Oregon, and the founder of “Goat Yoga” — an outdoor regimen of relaxation carried out among her wandering goats. “Do you know how hard it is to be sad and depressed when there are baby goats jumping around?” she asked, proudly noting that she is booked up right now, with a waiting list of 500. One problem has surfaced, though (as she told a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter): Naive baby goats try to eat flower designs on yoga mats, leading Morse to permit only mats of solid colors. [Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News, 9-16-2016]

■ Wesley Autrey, 42, was arrested by Scranton, Pennsylvania, detectives in September in a drug bust with five bags of heroin and four of cocaine (along with $3,083 cash) and charged with dealing. Autrey (street name, for some reason: “Newphew”) wet his pants during the arrest, which police said he did under the mistaken impression that heroin would dissolve when exposed to urine. [Times-Tribune (Scranton), 9-15-2016]

■ “Clitoris activism is hot in France right now,” reported London’s The Guardian in August, highlighted by the introduction in school sex education of a 3-D model of the organ — demonstrating, by the way, that it more resembles a “wishbone” or a “high-tech boomerang” than the “small, sensitive” “bud” of dictionary description. French clitoris scholars emphasize that most of the several-inch-long organ is internal and just as highly excitable as its male counterpart, and their wide-ranging societal campaign includes a magazine whose title translates to “The Idiot’s Guide to the Clit.” [The Guardian, 8-15-2016, 9-15-2016]

Recurring Themes

■ Goldfish Revisited: (1) Emma Marsh of Kuraby, Australia, shelled out $500 in September for her goldfish’s emergency medical care to remove the pebble stuck in poor Conquer’s throat. (Brisbane’s Courier-Mail noted that the $500 could have bought 40 replacements — that $500 is about what an actual bar of gold of Conquer’s weight would cost.) (2) Elsewhere Down Under, researchers from Murdoch University in Perth said in August they were working on a goldfish-control program after learning that one species dumped in the nutrient-rich Vasse River in Western Australia could grow to 4 pounds — and the size of a football.) [Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 9-9-2016] [Australian Broadcasting Corp. News via AOL, 8-17-2016]

The Passing Parade

HIPPIE GRANMA

■ Hippie grandmother Shawnee Chasser, 65, who has lived in a tree since 1992, is under siege by county officials in Miami who plan to tear down her tree house by December unless she brings her property up to code. It’s a full-featured, well-appointed tree house — and she owns the land underneath, but prefers the “heaven” of her high perch, especially when it rains.

  Six times since 2004, cars have left New Hope Road in Raleigh, North Carolina, and crashed into the home of Carlo Bernarte, and in September he desperately sought help from traffic officials (and indicated that it might be time to move). (He suggested the state install a barrier, but apparently that would block drivers’ line of sight.) [Miami Herald, 9-3-2016] [Greensboro News & Observer, 9-8-2016]

Suspicions Confirmed

  A recent working paper by two Louisiana State University economists revealed that the state’s juvenile court judges dole out harsher sentences on weeks following a loss by the LSU football team (among those judges who matriculated at LSU). The differences in sentences were particularly stark in those seasons that LSU’s team was nationally ranked. (All sentences from 1996 to 2012 were examined, for first-time juvenile offenders, except for murder and aggravated-rape cases.) [New York magazine, 9-9- 2016]