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 V.18 No.41 | October 8 - 14, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York—In August, ultra-dissatisfied customer Dalton Chiscolm sued the largest U.S. bank, demanding “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” for poor customer service. He also asked for an additional $200,165,000 in punitive damages, according to court papers. Last Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin called Chiscolm’s lawsuit against Bank of America “incomprehensible” in Manhattan Federal Court. “He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a ‘Spanish woman,’ ” the judge wrote. Chiscolm’s unusual monetary demand is larger than a sextillion dollars, or a 1 followed by 21 zeros. The sum far exceeds the world’s 2008 gross domestic product of $60 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank. “These are the kind of numbers you deal with only on a cosmic scale,” Sylvain Cappell, New York University’s Silver Professor at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Science, told New York’s Daily News. “If he thinks Bank of America has branches on every planet in the cosmos, then it might start to make some sense.” Judge Chin gave Chiscolm until Oct. 23 to better explain the basis for his claims or else see his complaint dismissed.

Dateline: New Jersey—During a bizarre hearing last week in Burlington County, a Superior Court judge dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown police officer accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves in rural Southampton in 2006, claiming a grand jury couldn’t infer whether the cows had been “tormented” or “puzzled” by the situation or merely irritated that they’d been duped out of a meal. “If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, ‘Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk,’ ” Judge James J. Morley asked in court. Burlington County Assistant County Prosecutor Kevin Morgan was irritated by the ruling, claiming a grand jury didn’t get to see videos of the alleged incident. Morgan said in court that the owner of the cows was “very upset.” Currently, New Jersey has no law against bestiality. Although freed from charges of bestiality, suspended police officer Robert Melia and his former girlfriend, Heather Lewis, of Pemberton Township, are still accused of sexually assaulting three underaged girls over a five-year period. Evidence of Melia’s encounter with the cows was found on a home computer alongside images and video of child pornography.

Dateline: Michigan—A Detroit man who claimed he was “brainwashed” into losing hundreds of thousands of dollars at the MotorCity Casino has had his lawsuit thrown out of court. Italo Mario Parise, 61, says he no longer gambles but managed to lose a total of $673,854 playing cards, slots and table games in the last few years. Parise said he is trying to recover some of the money he lost as a result of being brainwashed into returning, time and time again, to the casino. Parise’s lawsuit claimed the casino should have known of his enormous financial losses and made an attempt to stop him. Parise’s attorney, Frank A. Cusumaro, claimed that under Michigan law a casino is obliged to stop a gambler when he is down. Unfortunately, Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Sapala said the law in question only applies to illegal gambling, not legal gambling.

Dateline: Missouri—A St. Louis teenager is being sued by the makers of the popular North Face outdoor clothing line over his comedic “South Butt” shirts. Jimmy Winkelmann, a college freshman, has been selling the parody T-shirts at local shops and through a website. The 18-year-old’s father, Jim Winkelmann, recently received a letter from The North Face asking that The South Butt line “immediately” stop production. “We don’t understand why they are taking this aggressive posture,” Winkelmann’s father told KPLR-11 News. According to the letter, The North Face owns the trademark on the distinctive “half dome” design. Winkelmann’s shirts feature a similar dome—only turned upside down to resemble ... well, buttocks. Albert Watkins, an attorney for The South Butt, believes the differences are obvious. “I did try to explain with a great deal of candor to counsel for The North Face that the general public is aware of the difference between a face and a butt.” For now, sales of The South Butt clothing line will continue.

Dateline: Texas—A Houston-area woman—angered when her estranged common-law husband took back some jewelry he had given her—took her revenge by going to his apartment, stealing his seven goldfish, frying them up in a pan and eating them. The former husband called police about the missing pets. Pasadena police officers went to the woman’s home to see if they could retrieve the fish. According to the report, the woman told police, “They’re in there,” and pointed to the kitchen. Finding a plate with four fried fish, officers asked the woman where the others were. She answered, “I already ate those.” Because the fish were bought when the couple lived together, they were considered community property. No charges were filed in the fishy incident. “There was nothing we could do,” police spokesperson Vance Mitchell told the Houston Chronicle. “If he wants to pursue it, it’s a civil case.”

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

 
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