Cock of the walk 


When authorities raided a cockfighting operation near Gadsden, Ala., in July, they found not only a restaurant and 250-seat theater for patrons, but two air-conditioned trailers in which the roosters hung out before their matches, one of which featured piped-in country music.

Shakedown cruise

According to a Reuters wire service report in August, lobbyist called the Working Group for the Unemployed held a series of rallies in Bonn, Germany, to demand six weeks' annual paid vacation for people out of work, pointing out that those looking for work often are under greater stress than those with jobs and thus need a longer holiday.

Ganging up

Ganging up

In August, a 26-year-old woman reported being raped by five men in her van on a street in Spokane, Wash., and a massive police manhunt began. Several days later, she apologized and said the sex was consensual, part of a fantasy she lived out by picking up the men, and that her husband was involved. And in August, a couple from Silver Spring, Md., were arrested for indecent exposure at an adult cinema in Baltimore after the husband had arranged for four men to have sex with his wife on the premises.

Ear-y prediction

The Rev. Muhamed Siddeeq, spiritual adviser to Mike Tyson, told the New Jersey State Athletic Commission in July that the fighter is of such great character that not only should he get back his boxing license (which was revoked after he bit off a section of Evander Holyfield's ear in his last fight) but is a prime candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as the secretary general of the United Nations. Declared Siddeeq, "I see Mike solving many of the world's problems."

Dry run

Dry run

In July, a 28-year-old man was ticketed for speeding in Great Falls, Mont., allegedly doing 104 in a 45 mph zone. According to the Cascade County Sheriff John Strandell, the man said that he had just washed his car and needed to drive fast in order to dry it off.

God said, ‘Ha!'

News of the Weird reported in 1995 on the preferred expression of worship at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church, in Toronto, Ontario: falling to the floor in soothing laughter over the greatness of the Holy Spirit. Worshippers came from around the world seeking the "Toronto Blessing," which is likened to the euphoria in other religions that causes speaking in tongues. Among the more successful programs in the U.S., according to recent reports in the Chicago Sun Times (August) and the Providence Journal-Bulletin (September), are the nondenominational Fun Church in Chicago, and the "Laughing Revival" of the New Life Worship Center in Smithfield, R.I., whose parishioners may remain on the floor for up to an hour, giggling.

Likely suspect

James L. Liddell was arrested in Granite City, Ill., about an hour after police say he robbed a Magna Bank branch. Police said Liddell apparently decided to rob the bank while in line to cash a $12.19 payroll check made out to him, which was found at the scene, along with the ID he intended to use to cash it.

Expense accounts

U.S. News & World Report disclosed in July that Iraq, with a supposedly hungry populace yet limited to buying only essential "humanitarian" items because of the ongoing U.N. trade embargo, ordered 25 rowing machines and four liposuction devices from a German company. And in August, in a 13-page bequest released by the Register of Wills in Bethlehem, Pa., Robert Allan Miller of Bethlehem was revealed to have set aside $5,000 for 10 monthly awards "to the most conscientious police officer`s`, who `give` the most traffic tickets to motorists who double-park." Said a friend in explanation, "`Miller` lived on a really narrow street."

One for the road

In September in Lanham, Md., a 26-year-old man crashed his motorcycle, killing himself. Police said it was alcohol-related; four hours earlier the man had been driven home from a part-time job, which was to get drunk at a police training class so officers could practice doing sobriety tests on him. When he left work that day, he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12.


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