Alibi V.27 No.29 • July 19-25, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Louisiana

A murdered teen's wake included a display of the body sitting upright and appearing to play video games. WGNO in New Orleans reports the family of Renard Matthews, a teenager who was shot while walking his dog, arranged to have his body propped up in a chair, wearing the jersey and matching socks of his favorite basketball team—the Celtics—and holding a video game controller. In front of the body was a TV set playing a Celtics game, and beside it was a bag of Doritos and a root beer. Mathews' wake was held at Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home in New Orleans, which has reportedly been setting up “death scenes” since 2012. Among its most notable tableaux were jazz musician Lionel Batiste—who was displayed standing up—and Miriam“Mae Mae” Birkbank—a “party girl” whose body was posed at a table with a glass of Busch beer and a cigarette in her hand. A funeral home in another part of the world has also been making headlines with the practice. Marin Funeral Home in Puerto Rico has reportedly displayed a boxer posed as though he's about to enter the ring, a comic book fan wearing a Green Lantern costume, a cab driver at the seat of his vehicle with his hands on the wheel and others. Some social media commenters have called the practice “extreme embalming.”

Dateline: Egypt

The former Grand Mufti of Egypt has drawn criticism after suggesting that the underprivileged eat cake if they cannot afford meat. As Egyptians face an economic crisis of rapidly rising inflation and government-sanctioned price hikes, fuel, property and food prices have skyrocketed, causing many to become disillusioned with the country's leaders. According to Al Bawaba, former grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa took to a local TV station to address citizens' concerns over a recent governmental meat price hike. During the broadcast, the famous imam reportedly defended the government's austerity measures and told viewers that if meat was too expensive, it could be substituted with two pieces of cake instead. According to Gomaa, people need to consume 3,200 calories a day. He said a piece of cake contains 900 calories, “which means if I ate two pieces then that will be enough, and I won’t need a breakfast or a dinner or whatever else.” Detractors were quick to point out that the imam's nutritional knowledge was flawed, and that his words were reminiscent of the famous quote “Let them eat cake,” allegedly spoken by Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution.

Dateline: United Kingdom

An alleged serial flasher is in custody because of his habit for eating gummy candies. Since April of this year, Durham City police have been investigating reports of a man wearing nothing but running shoes, who was exposing himself to women as they jogged or walked on trails near a local river. The serial flasher reportedly exposed himself to at least a dozen women. Sunderland Echo reports that after a series of operations—including the use of undercover female officers—police were finally led to a suspect after discovering an empty bag of Haribo gummy candies and an accompanying receipt at a spot where authorities believe the man would hide to wait for victims. Officers went to the store where the candy was purchased and reviewed CCTV tapes from around the time that was printed on the receipt. They were able to capture images of the suspect and trace the man to his home. According to reports, the 18-year-old suspect admitted to police that he was the flasher and was arrested. He has since been admitted to a behavioral intervention program.

Dateline: Washington

A suspected burglar was arrested after allegedly breaking into an escape room and becoming trapped. According to CNN, emergency services in Vancouver, Wash., received a 911 call last week from a man who was trapped at a NW Escape Experience—a business that offers a physical game experience which requires patrons to solve a series of puzzles to escape a room. The man reportedly broke into the business through the back door and allegedly stole a cell phone, a TV remote, a beer and a burrito. Police say that when he attempted to leave, he had trouble getting out the way he came in, because the door had been damaged during the break-in. He eventually called 911 from the front desk to ask for help. While waiting, he did manage to get the door to open, but was intercepted by officers as he left the building. The man is reportedly facing a charge of second degree burglary. The man was inside the building for only 35 minutes, but owner Rob Bertrand says the record-breaking robber has to be disqualified because he called authorities. “That's not a win,” Bertrand said, “He quit.”

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.