Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Joshua Lee
5 min read
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Dateline: India

A man is suing his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. According to
BBC News, 27-year-old Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel is an anti-natalist—he believes that life is full of suffering, and the world would be better off without humans. According to his philosophy, people should stop reproducing immediately to prevent future suffering. To illustrate his dedication, he filed a lawsuit against his parents, demanding to be paid to exist. “I know it’s going to be thrown out because no judge would hear it,” he told reporters. “But I do want to file a case because I want to make a point.” About a year ago, Samuel created a Facebook page, Nihilanand, which features posters of himself wearing a large fake beard and an eye mask, printed with anti-natalist slogans. “Your parents had you instead of a toy or a dog, you owe them nothing, you are their entertainment,” reads one. “Why does society reward people for having unprotected sex?” asks another. Samuel’s parents, both of whom are lawyers, are apparently taking the lawsuit with good humor. When he told his mother over breakfast that he planned to sue her, she reportedly said it was fine, but not to expect her to go easy on him in court. She told reporters that people are focusing too much on this single aspect of the story and should pay more attention to the compassionate message in her son’s philosophy and “his concern for the burden on Earth’s resources due to needless life.”

Dateline: Canada

A man’s request to use his last name on a vanity license plate was denied on the grounds that it was too offensive.
CBC News reports Dave Assman of Melville, Sask., was told by Saskatchewan Government Insurance that he could not use his name, pronounced “Oss-men,” for a personal license plate because it was an “unacceptable slogan.” Assman says he’s proud of his family name—which he says has an honorable history—and pointed out that it’s the only name he’s ever had. When he asked SGI why his application had been rejected, he was told that the plates could be misconstrued as offensive by members of the public who were unaware of its pronunciation. “Even if a word is someone’s name and pronounced differently than the offensive version, that’s not something that would be apparent to other motorists who will see the plate,” SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy wrote in an email to CBC News. Assman has appealed the decision, but McMurchy expects it to be upheld, as the personalized license plate review committee has rejected the name in the past. Assman told reporters he doubts the plate will be approved “because SGI is SGI. They’ll do what they want anyway.”

Dateline: Louisiana

A New Orleans’ Saints fan died to avoid watching Super Bowl LIII, claims his obituary. New Orleans native Henry Jaume was a US Army veteran who served as a local law enforcement officer. Last week his obituary was published by the
New Orleans Advocate, stating that he’d passed away on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1pm—mere hours before kickoff—“determined not to watch Super Bowl LIII.” Jaume’s alleged posthumous protest of the game coincided with a gathering of thousands of Saints fans who took to the streets of New Orleans during the Super Bowl in protest of an allegedly missed call made in an earlier game that kept the Saints from playing. According to CNN, game officials may have failed to notice a pass interference during the final minutes of an NFC Championship Game leading up to the Super Bowl, allowing the Los Angeles Rams to profit from a stretch of overtime and ultimately win. US Sen. Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana, took to the Senate floor last month to demand answers for the no-call from the NFL. His argument included visual aids and reportedly lasted for nearly seven minutes. Jaume, remembered by family and friends as a charismatic man who always made people laugh, has been held up as a hero by fans who honored him with posts on social media. His funeral was held Feb. 5.

Dateline: United States

Public outcry over a flirtatious napkin produced by Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines caused the companies to apologize last week.
CNN reports Delta passengers were given a napkin last month with Diet Coca-Cola branding that said, “because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey … you never know.” On the back of the napkin was the message: “be a little old school. write down your number & give it to your plane crush. you never know … .” Spaces were left for passengers to fill in their names and telephone numbers. While some people seemed to enjoy the marketing move, others were upset. One Twitter user posted a photo of the napkin, saying, “These napkins are creepy AF. Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look.” Last week the Coca-Cola Company made a public statement: “We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended.” The company said steps were being taken to remove the offending napkins. A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines told USA Today, “We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one. We are sorry for that and began removing the napkins from our aircraft in January.”

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

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