Crapper keeper

Retired pediatrician Alva J. Hartwright, 63, pleaded guilty in February to sexually assaulting two boys, age 11 and 14 at the time, by giving them enemas (part of a 30-year pattern of administering enemas to as many as 40 boys, prosecutors said). When police arrested Hartwright at his Morrisville, Pa., home in June, they found "feces everywhere," with "so much feces in one room [that] it was impassable," an officer said. Also found were "thousands" of photographic images of boys receiving enemas, all of which, insisted Hartwright, were "medically necessary" and not sexually gratifying to him.

Bring the noise

A January Wall Street Journal report described "dB Drag Racing," a "sport" in which the winning car is not the fastest but the one with the loudest stereo system; ordinary urban street cruisers are not in these drivers' league. In the "Extreme" category, cars are completely rebuilt and powered with enough juice to operate several private homes. Extra-thick glass and concrete poured into the floor and doors keep the sound inside, where the measurement takes place. Last year's winner, from Germany, registered 177.7 decibels.

War and pieces

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to Yasser Arafat deploring public bombings, at least when the bomb is delivered (as one was on Jan. 26 in Jerusalem) on a donkey. A PETA official said, "It's not my business to [comment on] human wars."

In Cebu, Philippines, this month, a German man, Frank Oesterle, was detained by police after knifing an American tourist at a bar. They were arguing over their respective countries' views on imminent war with Iraq (i.e., U.S. says fight; Germany says don't fight).

To help the U.S. military, a Las Vegas porno distributor offered 500 videos free of charge (except for postage) to servicemen as thanks for their sacrifice.

Thanks for the mammaries

Allison Adams, 23, a veterinary technician for Wildlife Rescue in Austin, Texas, warms up traumatized baby animals (squirrels, kittens, rabbits, etc.) by putting them in her bra -- while she's wearing it, according to a profile in the Austin American-Statesman in January. Adams reports that squirrels are the hardest and possums are the easiest. She's done it about 75 times, and no, they don't itch. She says her fiance is OK with it, even though he was deprived of a hug once because of "hissing possums."

Floored by the Lord

Gloria DeFrancesco, 61, filed a lawsuit in Akron, Ohio, last December against TV evangelist Ernest Angley. She alleges that the muscle men who surround the stage during his healing sessions roughed her up in August 2001 while she was accompanying her 94-year-old, wheelchair-bound, generously tithing mother to be cured. DeFrancesco said she was struck, grabbed and pushed by six men, resulting in a detached retina and other head, nose and body injuries that required hospitalization and surgery.

By the numbers

According to trial coverage in the Omaha World-Herald in October, the prosecutor of accused Omaha sexual assaulter Akhiktemelo Braimah said that DNA evidence indicated that the probability of another "African-American" besides Braimah having committed the assault was "1 in 30.3 sextillion" ("303" followed by 20 zeros). The figure represents 5 trillion times the number of people of all nationalities on Earth right now and 303 billion times the likely number who have ever lived. (Braimah pleaded "no contest" two days later.)

Crime never sleeps?

The burglar who apparently broke into A Little Bit of Country, a western emporium in Mineral Wells, Texas, was arrested on Feb. 8 shortly after the store opened at 9 a.m. It was one of the state's easiest collars: He had fallen asleep on a bed in a furniture showroom. In the fiasco of a caper, a few coins were scattered on the floor (this was the only money on the premises), the culprit had left his gun in the store's restroom, and of all the places in town, he had picked a store owned by the wife of the Palo Pinto County district attorney.

Stand up or shut up

Freshman Missouri state Rep. Cynthia Davis, at a legislative orientation session in December in Jefferson City, took her turn at learning how to preside over debates and interrupted Rep. Chuck Graham, who had the floor. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Davis recited the rule that members must be standing in order to speak and that Graham was thus out of order, in that the veteran legislator Graham has been in a wheelchair for 21 years, the result of a car accident.

Nincompoop meets ninjas

Tyrone Jermain Hogan, 20, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles this month to attempted carjacking. This was six months after trying to steal a van that -- unbeknownst to him at the time -- was carrying a martial-arts team visiting from Florida International University. The students, said their instructor, held Hogan "like a pretzel on the ground" until police arrived.


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