Odds & Ends
Dateline: Serbia—A union official said he cut off his own finger and ate it to show how desperate he and other workers are over wages that have gone unpaid for years. “We, the workers, have nothing to eat. We had to seek some sort of alternative food and I gave them an example,” Reuters news service quoted Zoran Bulatovic as saying. The Raska Holding textile factory union leader used a hacksaw to chop the little finger off his left hand last week in the town of Novi Pazar in southwest Serbia. “It hurt like hell,” said Bulatovic. Bulatovic said the worker’s demands will not stop, but that further self-mutilations will be postponed until expected talks with government officials.
Dateline: England—They may be hilarious, but they’re also an occupational hazard. A clown with the Moscow State Circus has been ordered to ditch his floppy shoes for health and safety reasons. Valerik Kashkin, a member of the circus, was performing in Liverpool when he fell from a high-wire, hurting his left foot. Mr. Kashkin continued with the show in Sefton Park but was still in pain and later went to a hospital where he was told he had broken his metatarsal. Now health and safety advisors to the circus have told him his size 18 shoes have to go. The 40-year-old performer from Temruk, Russia, told London’s Daily Mail, “The shoes are an important part of my costume, and I was disappointed to be told I couldn’t do this part of my act. I feel fine and think I could do it in the shoes—the impact might be lost on the audience now.” Paul Archer, general manager of the circus, agreed that barefoot clowns just aren’t as funny. “I think it will definitely detract from the visual aspect of the performance,” he told the newspaper. “But we live in a litigation world, and I guess we just have to follow through these procedures.”
Dateline: Georgia—An Athens woman threatened to shoot her neighbor in the kneecaps because she thought he was leaving walnuts in her yard. The woman, who was not named, showed up in front of her neighbor’s house last week, waving a gun and threatening to shoot him, police told the Athens Banner-Herald. The woman allegedly appeared in front of the same house two months earlier and fired the .22-caliber pistol. The man showed police a note she left last Monday with a message prohibiting him from coming onto her property and leaving walnuts. Police said the Southside woman denied that she threatened to shoot the man in the kneecaps but promptly added that she would shoot him if she caught him putting walnuts on her property. She surrendered the handgun to police, who said the woman has a history of mental illness.
“I would rather count the wrinkles on my dog’s balls than sit on a jury.”
Erik Slye, in a notorized affidavit to the court
Dateline: Montana—Erik Slye, 36, tried to get out of jury duty by filing a notarized affidavit explaining, in no uncertain terms, why he couldn’t do his civic duty. The document, recently posted at thesmokinggun.com, stated that jury duty would “entail undue hardship” on Slye because of the following reasons: “Apparently you morons didn’t understand me the first time. I CANNOT take time off from work. I’m not putting my family’s well being at stake to participate in this crap. I don’t believe in our ‘justice’ system and I don’t want to have a goddamn thing to do with it. Jury duty is a complete waste of time. I would rather count the wrinkles on my dog’s balls than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls. Leave me the F—k alone.” Slye’s caustic affidavit, which he composed with the help of his wife Jennifer, did not sit well with court officials and a judge threatened to jail Slye on a criminal “failure to appear” citation. Despite not believing in our “justice” system, Slye apologized after being summoned to court. On the plus side, he was excused from serving on a jury.
Dateline: Texas—An alleged bank robber in Houston made the mistake of stuffing his ill-gotten gains down the front of his pants during a frantic getaway. The cash bundles he was given by tellers at the Wachovia Bank had explosive dye packs in them. The dye packs exploded. In his pants. Police arrested Daniel Duran shortly after he exited the bank. Red dye was streaked all over his torso. According to witnesses, Duran walked into the bank last Thursday afternoon, told the teller he had a gun and ordered her to give him money, which he then secreted in his crotch. Duran was eventually taken to an area hospital with second-degree burns to the genital area. No weapon was found.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.