News of the Weird

Lead Stories
*According to an October communique from the North Korean Communist Party, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il, age 55, has been promoted to "Great Leader," which, according to the official government news agency, is cause for "jubilation," even in the midst of widespread famine. The news agency added that fantastic natural phenomena were occurring to mark the occasion, including the landing of a ten-inch-long white sea cucumber by an angler and the spontaneous, prolific blossoming of numerous pear and apricot trees.

*Sports highlight reel: In September Susie Nelson, who used to live across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago, filed a lawsuit against the Cubs because she says a ballpark security camera was sometimes aimed at her bedroom window during the eighteen months she lived there. And electrician Randal Jay Palmer, age 37, was charged with trespassing in October after he allegedly set up a video-camera feed in a light fixture in the Kingdome dressing room of the Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders. According to police, the accident-prone Palmer not only hit a button that disabled the remote control, he turned the recorder on during installation, while he was looking into the lens. Police have the tape.

What Goes Around Comes Around
*On August 7 police in Delaware, Ohio, and Thibodaux, Louisiana, reported that alleged child molesters had received "private" justice. According to police in Ohio, the wife and mother-in-law of Rodney Hosler, age 27, abducted him shortly after he was released from prison on child-molesting charges, tied him up, shaved his body, applied hot ointment to his genitals, inserted a cucumber into his body, wrote "I am a child molester" on him, and dumped him naked in front of a pizza parlor in his hometown, 70 miles away. In Louisiana Adam Trahan, age seventeen, was hospitalized with two spinal fractures and swollen testicles from a beating allegedly given by the father of a boy Trahan was accused of raping.

Unclear on the Concept
*Several news organizations reported in March and April about the increasing sexual fascination Japanese men have for high school and junior high school girls. One expert interviewed by the New York Times, Hiroyuki Fukuda, age 30, editor of a magazine whose title can be translated as Anatomical Illustrations of Junior High School Girls, said, "The age at which the girls seem interesting is clearly dropping. But it's only the maniacs who go for the girls below the third grade."

*An ad from an Atlanta Journal story in May referred to the large number of Internet sites devoted to classified ads from prison inmates seeking romantic relationships. "Aren't you fed up with meeting all the wrong men?" asked California inmate Ronald E. Mays, who also wrote, "[Are you in] search of a truly honest and good man?" Mays is serving life without parole for first-degree murder, second-degree murder, sodomy with force, and kidnapping.

*Actress Rose Jackson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles in June against MTM Enterprises for making her originally scripted character in an episode of the UPN-TV series Good News seem vulgar. She said her character, a church secretary, was expanded to include a romantic relationship with her pastor, which she said offended her moral sensibilities. Jackson's husband is Michael Moye, cocreator of Married ... With Children.

-- By Chuck Shepherd

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Chuck Shepherd