INSTANT KARMA 


Jacksonville, Fla., resident Shannon Kramer, 35, was hospitalized in March with serious burns after (according to police) trying to toss a lighted firework at his girlfriend from his car during an argument; however, he overestimated the burn time, and it went off in his hands. And Aravis Walker, 23, was killed when his car exploded during a session in which he would light fireworks and toss them out the window at passersby; one of the fireworks didn't clear the window but ricocheted to the back seat, where it ignited the rest of Walker's fireworks.

SOME CANDY WALKING

In July, a transit system police officer in Washington, D.C., arrested, handcuffed and searched Stephanie Willett, 45, an Environmen-tal Protection Agency scientist, detaining her at a police station for about three hours because she was finishing up the chewing of her PayDay candy bar inside a Metrorail station, in violation of the no-eating rule. Transit officials pointed out that Willett had been warned by the officer a minute before not to enter the station while eating the candy bar, but she thought if it was completely in her mouth as she walked in, she was safe.

ABOUT-FACE!

U.S. military personnel and their immediate families can routinely receive elective plastic surgery at government expense, including liposuction and facelifts and even breast implants for women (if the woman supplies the implants), according to a July report in The New Yorker. The writer found that, though the military did not offer the benefits in writing, word gets around, and the benefit helps in recruiting as well as in keeping the military's reconstructive-surgery doctors sharp.

DOING IT FROM BEHIND

The Old Town House museum in Cape Town, South Africa, has scheduled an exhibit for September featuring familiar 17th-century Dutch Master paintings, but with all of them turned to face the wall, which curator Andrew Lamprecht said will be a "conceptual art intervention" that turns the pieces "into something new and unexpected" which will "force gallery goers to reconsider their preconceptions about the art."

JUST HANGING OUT

On July 12, federal, state and county officials, responding to a call about an eye-popping scene at a sandbar just off Whale Harbor in the Florida Keys town of Islamorada, discovered a young woman apparently blissfully dangling by the shoulders from meat hooks that were hanging from a makeshift bamboo tripod and stuck in her skin. A Coast Guard officer took pictures and asked if anyone was doing anything he or she didn't want to do, but the heavily tattooed, pierced people at the scene assured him they were just having fun in the sun. A sheriff's spokesman said he couldn't think of any laws that were broken but that he would look into it.

STAND BY YOUR MAN

CEO Andrew Wiederhorn began his 18-month federal prison sentence in August, but unlike other convicted CEOs, he'll continue to draw his $1.6 million a year salary while doing hard time. He pleaded guilty to two felonies (including filing a false tax return) while previously the CEO of Wilshire Financial Services Group in Oregon, but his current company, Fog Cutter Capital Group, apparently believes Wiederhorn is a real hot shot worth holding onto. Fog Cutter said it might even give Wiederhorn a bonus, in order to help him pay the restitution he is required to make under his plea agreement.

LIMO SCENES

Some people out for morning rush hour on Aug. 5 in the Dorchester section of Boston were treated to a demolition derby on New England Avenue, after Yvesnane Gethers, 27, in a white limousine, chased her husband, Wayne Gethers, in another white limo, at speeds up to 50 mph and rammed him at least five times, causing extensive damage to both cars. The couple just happen to own white limos as their vehicles of choice, and Mrs. Gethers happened to discover her husband in his, having an early morning drink with a female friend.

UNCOVERING THE TRUTH

Canadian officials now require immigrants seeking work as strippers to submit fully nude performance photos of themselves, lest nonprofessionals falsely claim to be strippers in order to get Canadian work permits, according to a July Toronto Sun report. Said an immigration lawyer, "They can't (even) be partially nude (in the photo)." Canadian club owners are so needy of strippers that they typically pay more than $3,500 a week for headliners.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

A 911 operator in Anne Arundel County, Md., apparently fell asleep in the middle of a call about a possible home break-in in progress on July 29, according to the official tape recording, which was reported by WBAL-TV (Baltimore). And in Alexandria, Va., the week after that, police found all three staff members asleep at the Sunrise Senior Living facility on Duke Street. They had slept through the buzzing call button, several telephone calls and a police siren. The supervisor had to be nudged awake despite the burglar alarm blaring just 10 feet away. One patient had fallen out of bed and couldn't get up, and another called 911 to summon the police when no one was there to help with his catheter.

OOH, BABY

London's Daily Telegraph reported in August on the veiled but apparently active market of British collectors who buy and sell fetuses and stillborn babies, with one seller saying he has heard of prices reaching almost $10,000. The major suppliers, apparently, are labs and medical schools, which dispose of their "curiosities," usually deformed fetuses such as babies with two heads. Said one dealer, of the seriousness of the collectors, "(It) is a very small market, but a very keen market."

DISMEMBERMENT PLAN

Surgeon John Ronald Brown, 77, whose medical license was revoked in 1977 but who continued to practice on the dark side, was convicted in San Diego of second-degree murder for a botched operation that brought to light the rare malady of apotemnophilia. Those afflicted – said to be fewer than 200 people worldwide – get sexual gratification by having an arm or leg removed. The Internet underground had spread word of Brown's willingness to perform the surgery without asking embarrassing questions (such as "Why?").

Speaking of News Of The Weird

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