Alibi V.28 No.51 • Dec 19-25, 2019 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Arizona

A man has registered a swarm of bees as his emotional support animals. According to WTRF in Arizona, Prescott Valley resident David Keller told reporters that he thought the process for registering an emotional support animal is too easy and encourages fraud. To prove his theory, he attempted to register a swarm of bees with USA Service Dog Registration, a website that allows users to register a support animal and print a registration page for free online. Keller says he was able to successfully register the swarm and even uploaded images of the insects to the website. He told reporters he did it to “bring awareness to the issue that anyone could do this.” There are reportedly numerous websites similar to the one Keller visited that unofficially register pets as service animals. His stunt highlighted a rampant problem with fraudulent claims of service animals in the US. It is a crime in some states to attempt to pass a pet off as a legitimate service animal—although registering a service animal is not required. At the federal level, only dogs and miniature horses are recognized as legitimate service animals. Keller says he wants the fraudulent websites to stop handing out fake registration papers. “It’s making people believe all animals are service animals when they’re not,” he said. “There’s a clear difference.”

Dateline: Nevada

Wildlife officials are concerned about the welfare of Las Vegas' pigeons after two of them were found to inexplicably be wearing tiny cowboy hats. According to KVVU in Las Vegas, Nev., a video showing two pigeons wearing miniature pink and red cowboy hats went viral last week. A number of people captured footage of the birds, and they became an instant social media success. But pigeon advocate Mariah Hillman—of Lofty Hopes, a bird rescue organization—told reporters she was worried that someone had harmed the animals to make them more photogenic. “At first, I was like, oh my god that's cute!” she said. “Then, I was like—wait a minute. How did they get those hats on there?” She told CNN that during one sighting, rescuers noticed “some loose feathers in the glue around the hat,” leading them to believe that it had been glued onto the pigeons' head. The rescue group is trying to capture the birds—whom they dubbed Cluck Norris and Coolamity Jane—to get a better assessment of their health status. Rescuers are also on the lookout for a rumored third pigeon rumored to be wearing a brown hat.

Dateline: Florida

An artist's controversial exhibit faced destruction at the hands of another artist, defacement by conspiracy theorists and unimpressed reviews last week. Miami Herald reports that a man entered Art Basel Miami Beach and used red lipstick to write “Epstien (sic) didn’t kill himself” on the white wall to which a banana had been duct-taped as part of an art installation that sold for $120,000 last week. The piece, titled “Comedian,” was the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It garnered some controversy in the press and on social media, where many seemed offended by it. Last week, the man who vandalized “Comedian,” identified as Roderick Webber of Massachusetts, reportedly asked a security guard, “This is the gallery where anyone can do art, right?” As he was escorted off the premises, Webber shouted, “If someone can eat the $120,000 banana and not get arrested, why can’t I write on the wall?” Exhibitors were forced to cover the slogan with white cardboard following the incident. Webber’s final comment referred to an incident that had occurred just days before. Performance artist David Datuna ate the banana in front of shocked witnesses and a camera earlier in the week. He told those gathered that he ate it because he was hungry. The gallery director of museum relations, Galerie Perrotin, pointed out that Datuna's act did not destroy the art work. “The banana is the idea,” he said. This isn't the first time a piece by Cattelan created controversy. He made headlines in recent years for creating an installation that featured a fully-functional 18-karat golden toilet titled “America.”

Dateline: Michigan

A man admitted to police that he'd been spraying deer repellent around his brother's hunting stands as an act of revenge. M Live reports that Mike Wells, a conservation officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, recently received a complaint of hunter harassment. The complainant met with Wells and handed off two SD cards from trail cameras that showed footage of a subject using a yellow backpack sprayer to distribute an unknown substance on two hunting stands. The complainant said the man in the footage was his brother, and the property was located next to a private camp willed to both men by their father. According to the man, the brothers had been disputing over the land, and he was suffering from a campaign of harassment. Wells went to the stands and collected samples of a liquid that had been sprayed. He then confronted the brother, who admitted to spraying “liquid fence,” a deer repellent, on the complainant's blinds. He said he'd done it because his brother was intentionally hunting deer in the public land next to the camp to cut them off from the private land. He said he'd let his emotions get the best of him and apologized.

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