Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
(Eric J. Garcia)
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Dateline: Germany— Police are trying to decide whether or not to charge a wheelchair-bound man with drunk driving after he was found weaving down the road near the northeastern city of Schwerin. The unnamed 31-year-old was found to be 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers. “He was right in the middle of the road,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “The officers couldn’t quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That’s a life-threatening figure.” The intoxicated man told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was just trying to get back to his home some two miles away. Police said that because the man was technically traveling as a pedestrian, it is unlikely that he will be charged with a driving offense. “It’s not like we can impound his wheelchair,” the spokesperson said. “But he is facing some sort of punishment.”

Dateline: Pakistan— Pakistani pop star Ibrarul Haq was summoned to the Supreme Court in Islamabad last weekend to answer charges that his new hit is insulting to certain women. The song seems to contain the words “Parveen tu bari namkeen” (“Parveen you are so salty”). Parveen is a common name in Pakistan and a number of girls are reported to have been teased about the song’s words. The court was impelled to act after a university student from Lahore named Parveen wrote to Pakistan’s acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas claiming that Mr. Haq’s lyrics have caused “grave embarrassment” to her and her family. “This matter is very sensitive and such things cannot be allowed in Pakistani society,” Mr. Bhagwandas was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. “Nobody can be allowed to hurt the sentiments of others.” For his part, Haq told the court that the song did not actually use the name Parveen. Instead, the song used the words “Parmeen you are so salty.” Parmeen is not a recognized name in Pakistan. “It’s a misunderstanding,” Haq told the Supreme Court. “The public has misunderstood. It’s not my fault.” The court adjourned until the end of the month without reaching a verdict.

Dateline: England— A 35-year-old window washer from Wigan, Greater Manchester, was found dead last summer. He apparently drowned in his own bucket. The jury of a court-ordered inquest ruled unanimously last week that no foul play was involved and that Mark Fairhurst died an accidental death. Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that a heart condition caused the man to collapse, but the ultimate cause of death was drowning because he had been unable to pull himself from the bucket. The father of one was working at the home of Miss Elizabeth Bebe in the town of Whelley, near Wigan, at the time of his death. Bebe told the inquest, “I went outside to hang some washing at the back when I saw a ladder propped against the wall. I then saw Mark lying on the ground motionless, with his arms tucked in and his head tilted to the right inside the bucket. It looked like he had been in that position for some time.” Bebe contacted a neighbor, who phoned the police. Fairhurst was pronounced dead at the scene. Coroner Jennifer Leeming expressed her condolences to the family of Mr. Fairhurst at the hearing last Thursday.

Dateline: California— A retired Irvine man was killed in a deadly golfing accident last week. Edwin Payne, 65, who had recently retired from his Irvine-based real estate company, was playing a round of golf with three friends at a course about 50 miles north of San Diego on Tuesday morning. According to the Orange County Register , the group was on the second hole of the Pala Mesa Golf Resort when Payne teed off and then climbed into his 2003 Club Car DS electric golf cart. California Highway Patrol officer Larry Landeros told the newspaper that the vehicle began bouncing as it came out of the tee box. Payne apparently lost control of the Club Cart as it drove off of the cart path and over a curb. The cart then careened down a 25-foot embankment and eventually sailed over a 100-foot cliff. Payne was thrown out of the vehicle just before it landed in the bike lane of Old Highway 395. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The highway was closed in both directions for nearly two hours while the accident was investigated.

Dateline: California— Kenneth Affolter, who has already been sentenced to more than five years in prison for making marijuana-laced treats and soft drinks, is now being sued by candy giant Hershey. Affolter, 40, was busted for selling the druggy treats under names like Stoney Rancher, Rasta Reese’s and Keef Kat. Each came in packaging similar to Hershey’s Jolly Rancher, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat candies, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Hershey’s suit, filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in San Jose, accuses Affolter of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition. The company is seeking $100,000 in damages. Papers were served on Affolter last Tuesday while he was in county jail awaiting transfer to state prison.

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

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