Odds & Ends
Dateline: New Zealand—A man who suffered from repeated bouts of depression has joined the short list of people who have cooked and eaten their own body parts. According to the New Zealand Herald, the incident—which took place in 2009—is the first known case of self-cannibalism in New Zealand and one of only eight reported around the world. The story came to light in mid-April in the professional journal Australasian Psychiatry. The unnamed patient, who was 28 at the time, was described as moderately depressed and had not consumed drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. The journal says “Mr. X” ruminated for several days about cutting off his own fingers following a personal crisis and “while not being fully compliant with his medication.” Following the deliberation, the patient cut off one of his fingers with a jigsaw and “cooked it in a pan with some vegetables and ate its flesh.” The journal article says the patient planned to amputate two more fingers the next day, but experienced such a relief from the experience that he changed his mind. “Given the instantaneous benefit, he felt that there was no point in cutting off any more fingers.” The article’s authors, South Island forensic psychiatrist Erik Monasterio and clinical psychologist Craig Prince, noted that Mr. X did later regret the self-mutilation “because of its debilitating effect.”
Dateline: Spain—The Real Madrid soccer team waited 18 years to recapture the Copa del Rey trophy, the coveted top award in Spain’s annual football cup competition. Mere hours after defeating arch rival Barcelona, however, Madrid defender Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy from the top of the team’s bus, smashing it on the street below. To add insult to injury, the team bus then ran it over. The members of Real Madrid were touring the streets of the capital city early in the morning on Thursday, April 21, interacting with thousands of overjoyed fans. As the bus approached the Plaza de Cibeles, where the team traditionally celebrates its victories, Ramos let the 33-pound trophy slip from his hands. The award—which was first handed out in 1902—was eventually retrieved from underneath the bus’ right front tire. The pieces of the handcrafted silver trophy were quickly spirited inside the bus and did not make another appearance during the celebrations. “It is not in good shape, evidently. It was run over by a bus,” Madrid spokesperson Marta Santisteban told the Associated Press.
Dateline: Massachusetts—Earlier this month, a Rhode Island man appeared in Attleboro District Court and asked a judge to dismiss a traffic violation dating back to 1974. Michael Young, of Warwick, R.I., found out about a warrant for his arrest recently when he went to conduct business at the Rhode Island Registry of Motor Vehicles. The warrant stems from a “driving to endanger charge” issued in September 1974, when Young was just 23 years old. The motorist is now 60. The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro reports Judge Daniel O’Shea remarked that half the people in court had not even been born when Young racked up his traffic violation. The judge granted Young’s request, dismissing the case with payment of $100 in court costs.
Dateline: New York—Chalk up another win for gender equality. The International Hot Dog Eating Contest, sponsored every Independence Day by Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in Coney Island, has finally given women their very own competitive eating division. Women will now have a chance to compete for a $5,000 prize. “Each year we see more and more women entering our qualifying events in the hopes of making it to Coney Island,” said Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathan’s Famous Inc. “We surely have had some impressive female eaters compete on July 4, so we’re introducing this new round to give female competitors the notoriety they deserve.” Among those entering this year’s new competition at Coney Island, Major League Eating’s No. 4-ranked competitor Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas. Her personal record is 41 hot dogs in 10 minutes—which lags behind world champion Joey Chestnut, who devoured 68 hot dogs in Nathan’s 2009 competition.
Dateline: Mississippi—A pharmacist at Fred’s Drug Store in Pascagoula was so fed up with burglars breaking into his business and stealing his product that he decided to pull a switcheroo on them. Pharmacist Mac Clark told WLOX-TV in Biloxi the store has been broken into several times over six months. Each time, the burglars stole bottles of the pain medication Lortab. Clark took to filling a large Lortab bottle with kidney beans and leaving it on the pharmacy counter as a decoy. At around 6 a.m., on April 13, the burglars returned. The only thing stolen was the large Lortab bottle filled with beans. At least the thief has his daily dose of fiber.