Her Text Said Sure, I’ll Drop In In A Minute

So much for the older the wiser, and for the it’s only young folks that spend their lives glued to their phones not paying attention stereotype.

First it was the 80-year-old man plowing into a police car that was on a distracted driving patrol, and now a 67-year-old woman has fallen six feet down an open sidewalk maintenance hatch.

Surveillance video captured the moment a woman in Plainfield glanced down at her cell phone before she tripped over open sidewalk doors and fell six feet into the space beneath them.
According to Plainfield police, units responded just after 12 p.m. on Thursday to the area in front of Acme Windows on Somerset Street on report of a woman injured.
There police found the 67-year-old woman, who they removed from the space beneath the open doors.

She was taken to hospital with what were only described as serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Odd little side note: Both of these cases come from New Jersey. Coincidence? Or are the elderly mental defectives there more tech savvy than the ones in the rest of the country?

Polka To Hell

The Heimatdamisch give us AC/DC’s Highway to Hell as a polka. It takes a minute to really get going, but wait for it.

The Heimatdamisch – Highway to Hell (AC/DC)

…neulich im Kinderparadies…

Nai-post ni The Heimatdamisch noong Miyerkules, Oktubre 26, 2016

United Breaks Violinists

Though the reasons why remain a mystery, we’ve known for quite some time that United Airlines and the industry in general clearly has something against musicians who play stringed instruments.

It’s happened again, this time to violinist Yennifer Correia who wound up in a literal fight over her 17th century instrument with a supervisor of all things after being told by an agent that she’d have to check it.

Correia, a classical violinist on her way to play in the summer season at the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, asked for an airport supervisor. But the supervisor said there were no other options. The violin had to be checked.
Her attorney, Phil MacNaughton, recounted what happened from there. Correia told the supervisor, “I can’t not take my violin on board. I’ll pay the money. I’ll take another flight. Just tell me what I can do.”
As the altercation intensified, Correia told the agents that she would appeal to their bosses and asked the supervisor for her name, MacNaughton said. The supervisor said she wanted Correia’s name and reached for the tag on her luggage.
“Without provocation, the supervisor for the Chicago-based carrier then lunged for Ms. Correia’s case and, incredibly, tried to wrestle it away from the musician,” said a statement written by MacNaughton.
“I start screaming, ‘Help, help, help, can somebody record what’s happening because this lady’s trying to take my personal suitcase from me,’” Correia told Houston NBC-affiliate KPRC.
The supervisor said she was going to call security, and Correia apparently responded, “Please do.” Then the supervisor dashed off. That was the last Correia saw of her.

None of this should have been a problem since there are laws on the books in the United States that allow musicians to carry their instruments onto planes with them, a fact of which you would think someone working for a damn airline would be well aware. Sometimes you get to wondering if United just can’t help itself, don’t you?

Thankfully, Correia’s violin was unharmed. Her hand, not so much. She says it was injured enough during the scuffle that she went to see a specialist juuuuuust in case, but not enough to prevent her from making her trip…on American airlines.

United offered up its usual statement, which at this point it really ought to consider plastering on the side of every plane to save time.

“We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that does not live up to his or her expectation. We are reaching out to Ms. Correia to gain a better understanding of what occurred and to offer assistance.”

So far, no pathetic make good offer has been extended, but I imagine those discounted flight vouchers and free sandwich coupons should be in the mail any day now.

Sendero Wants To Know What You Would Like Out Of An Indoor Wayfinding App

It’s really nice to see GPS app makers start to focus on indoor navigation. If you’re blind I doubt I have to tell you that getting around in giant buildings can sometimes be its own special brand of pain in the ass, so being able to use the same apps that work so well outside inside is going to be pretty great as the technology improves.

Welcome to Sendero’s user survey. This study is part of a two-year project in which Sendero and partners are attempting to develop an indoor wayfinding application.  The project, entitled, an Accessible Environmental Information Application for Individuals with Visual Impairments, is funded by a federal grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), (grant number 90BISB0003-01-00).  The Project PI is Dr. Paul Ponchillia.
The survey may be completed in the comfort of your own home, at your leisure. The survey will include 27 questions about challenges, barriers, technology, access to information, and general user needs input for independently navigating indoor facilities. The survey will be used to assess two things: (1) the perceived barriers of indoor orientation and navigation through a series of questions such as: What information should it provide? What are some of the value-added features? And (2) preferred delivery of information, specifically in output of information (tactile, verbal or audio) and exact phrasing of information. How should the device provide information to assist users as they navigate independently from store to store, gate to gate, and point to point within a variety of venues?

The survey is here. Assuming you’re not currently lost in an airport, take a few minutes and help them out.

Chuck Shepherd Is Retiring From News Of The Weird. I Am Selfishly Bummed

When it turned 25, I wrote a little bit about News of the Weird and how much it’s meant to my life. If you recall (let’s be honest, you probably don’t), I closed that post by saying “Happy anniversary to both Chuck and his amazing, strangely lifechanging creation. Here’s to as many more as you can handle.”

When I said that, I had no idea how many more there would be, but as people do with most things I just sort of assumed it would go on until the end of time. But of course, as happens with everything, it is not, in fact, going to go on until the end of time.

Yesterday this extra note came along with the regular weekly column. Turns out the answer to the question of how many more anniversaries he could handle is about three.

Dear Weirdettes and Weirdbros,
I am retiring very soon from News of the Weird and Weird Universe.
My final weekly NotW column (my 1,534th) will be posted on July 2nd, ending 29-plus years in the saddle (28 of them as distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, now known as Universal UClick).  (I don’t know what Universal’s plans are for the column, and I am not part of that discussion.)  The reason for retiring is that I am simply exhausted, i.e., so many stories to process, slower-firing synapses with which to process them.  In fact, my synapses don’t so much “fire” these days as they kinda “lurch.”  I know that some of you (because you’re kind) will be moved to shout out a few nice words to me, but, as I say, I am exhausted and thus may not (or may) respond.  Just let me say that I will forever and ever be so very grateful to readers (and editors) for allowing me this gig.  Y’all take care of yourselves.
Unsentimentally Yours,
Chuck Shepherd
WeirdNews at Earthlink dot net (until Dec 2017) / P. O. Box 18737,
Tampa FL 33679 (permanent)

God, I’m going to miss that guy. Sundays just won’t be the same from now on, and it’s going to be odd dropping bye WU and not wondering if I’ll stumble upon one of his midweek experimental columns.

Get some rest, Chuck. You’ve certainly earned it. I hope retirement treats you well. Oh, and thanks for everything.

Does Anyone Remember Reo’s Roundup?

I’ve watched a lot of wrestling in my lifetime. I’ve forgotten the details of quite a bit of it especially in more recent times since there’s just so damn much content thrown at you so quickly now compared to the old days, but generally speaking I have quite a good memory for the stuff.

But that said, what in the hell is this?

Ok, so I know what it is. It’s Bruce Prichard doing a poor Dusty Rhodes impression, calling himself Reo Rogers and pretending to go to Calgary to visit a fake Stu and Helen Hart with Shawn Michaels before the Survivor Series in 1993. But what the hell is it? I have literally no memory whatsoever of this segment, of Reo Rogers or Reo’s Roundup.

Perhaps I repressed the memory because let’s face it, the thing is pretty fucking embarrassingly bad. But that’s precisely why I should remember it, especially since it doesn’t appear to have been a one time thing on a week I missed.

How did poor Shawn Michaels keep getting stuck on these things? Maybe it was his punishment for not dropping titles.

Did we not get this in Canada? I can’t speak for the entire country, but where I lived at the time we got pretty much all of our televised wrestling on either CHCH Hamilton or CFPL London, and those shows were often edited slightly differently from the American versions or created entirely for international markets. Was the WWF nice enough to leave these segments off? And considering some of the stuff they left in, if they did cut them, why?

Somebody please help me get to the bottom of this.

They Got No Rings, But The Police Got A Couple Of Collars

We use this one a lot, but appropriate is appropriate, soooo…

Though it’s doubtful you would need one, if ever should come a day when screwing up a jewelry store robbery really, really badly becomes necessary, I present to you this handy guide courtesy of Colin Ayers and Mervin Chong.

  • Make sure that it’s 9:30 in the morning so that people are everywhere.
  • Dress yourselves in dark coats, hoodies, balaclavas and masks.
  • Use a moped as your vehicle of choice.
  • Don’t wear helmets like you’re supposed to though. You have enough stuff on your head that they wouldn’t fit anyway, but this makes sure that you’re just a little bit more noticeable.
  • Ensure that at least one of you is riding around on that moped looking like a helmetless robber while also trying to hide a pick axe between his knees.
  • Circle the place a few times, because people crammed onto a moped dressed like that with no ill intentions do that sort of thing every day.
  • When suspicions get the better of those people that are everywhere and they call you in, drive into the nearest pole while trying to get away from the newly arrived police.
  • When you abandon the freshly crashed moped and make a run for it, bolt straight into one of the nice officers.
  • And just to make sure that no doubt exists about who is responsible for everything, do not, under any circumstances, remove any of the pictures you took of the store from your phone.

Each has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, but Ayers was also given a bonus month for breaching bail after deciding that his sentencing hearing did not require his presence.

But You Were Asking For It!

Men! They’re so confusing! They go crazy when you eat the grilled cheese sandwich, but then go even crazier when you don’t! Who can understand them!?

According to a criminal complaint, the incident in question occurred at a residence in the 14300 block of West Lisbon Road on Jan. 9. The girl told police that she went to the house where she met with Hastings.
The girl told police that upon arriving, she found Hastings in his kitchen making a grilled cheese sandwich. After talking for a few minutes, she alleges that Hastings pulled a gun from his pocket and pressed the barrel against her forehead. She then told police that Hastings “ordered her to move into the living room where he said something along the lines of the only thing worse for a woman than getting killed is getting raped.”
At this point, the girl alleges that Hastings attempted to pull down her pants; however, he was unable due to them being too tight. Hastings then pointed the gun at her face again and the girl told him that “he was being dumb and that he wouldn’t actually shoot her.”
According to the girl, Hastings then put the gun down and said that he was joking and just trying to see how she would react. The girl then attempted to leave the residence, but Hastings blocked her from doing so.
The girl told police that she was eventually able to leave the residence at which point she left the scene and later called the police.

Justin Hastings, police say, told them repeatedly that all of this started because that grilled cheese sandwich he was making was meant for her. She had asked for one before she arrived but then refused to eat it when she got there, which pissed him off. Not helping matters was that during the bit with the gun which Hastings was sure to point out was an empty pellet gun, she was laughing at him and telling him to pull the trigger. Oh,and she also told him to “go die in a hole,” and that’s just plain mean.

But what about all that rapey stuff?

That, he said, was simply him grabbing her and pushing her toward the stairs so that her sandwich wasting ass could go the hell outside where it belonged.

He was charged with attempted sexual assault and false imprisonment, crimes which could net him up to 36 years should he be convicted.

Next time, just go the Brandon Vezmar route, dude. $3 for the bread, butter and cheese slice seems entirely reasonable.

Wrong, Xiong, Booooo


This is absolutely ground we’ve covered before, but since I consider what I’m about to share with you to be an absolutely fantabulous reason to cover it again that may perhaps never be topped, let’s do that.

When they come to your door, always (Always!) allow the nice officers to speak first so that you can be absolutely certain of the reason for their visit. Sometimes they don’t want what you think they want and chances are that if you don’t tell them what they’re supposed to be after, they still won’t want it when your chat concludes.

The latest to learn this lesson is 37-year-old North Carolina resident Cody Xiong, who police say literally had 500 million reasons to know better than to open his big, dumb mouth.

Police in North Carolina discovered a field of opium poppies worth an estimated $500 million after the man growing them assumed that officers had already uncovered the operation and offered a premature confession.
Catawba County deputies appeared at the door of Cody Xiong, 37, to follow up on an unrelated complaint, the Washington Post reports. But when he opened the door Xiong ventured: “I guess you’re here for the opium.”
They weren’t, but soon found what he was alluding to: over an acre of poppy plants aligned in rows in Xiong’s backyard.

He was taken into custody and charged with felony counts of manufacturing a Schedule II drug and trafficking in opium, but later posted $45,000 bail and was released. How ever did he come up with that sort of cash, I wonder.