Three weeks ago, News of the Weird touted the “genderless,” extraterrestrial-appearing Hollywood makeup artist known as Vinny Ohh, but then Marcela Iglesias announced (following a leaked TV clip) that she had formed an agency for would-be celebrities who had radically transformed their bodies (and that Vinny is now a client). Iglesias’ Plastics of Hollywood has human “Ken” dolls (Rodrigo Alves and Justin Jedlica), the Argentine “elf” Luis Padron, a Jessica Rabbit look-alike (Pixee Fox), and seven others who, Iglesias figures, have collectively spent almost $3 million on surgery and procedures (some of which are ongoing). (Padron, 25, seems the most ambitious, having endured, among other procedures, painful, “medically unapproved” treatments to change his eye color.)
- A 65-year-old man is the most recent defendant to choose, as a trial strategy, to show the jury his penis. A Broward County, Florida, court was trying him in the choking death of his girlfriend. (He called the death accidental, as it occurred during oral sex, and there was conflicting medical opinion on whether that could have proved fatal.) His lawyer said his standby position was to show a mold of the penis, but insisted that a live demonstration would be more effective. (Update: The judge disallowed the showing, but in May the jury found him not guilty anyway.)
- In rare cases, a mother has given birth for the principal purpose of “harvesting” a baby’s cells, ultimately to benefit another family member with a condition or illness that the cells would aid. However, an Oklahoma woman gave birth in April for a different purpose. After learning while pregnant that her baby would not long survive after birth (because of anencephaly), she nonetheless carried it to term — just to harvest organs for unspecified people who might need them (though the grieving woman and her husband said that some might judge their motive harshly).
- In some parts of traditional Japanese society, it remains not uncommon for someone to feel the need to “rent” “friends.” For example, relatives at a funeral bear grief better if they realize the many “friends” the deceased had. Or, a working man or woman may rent a sweetheart just to help deflect parental pressure to marry. In northern China, in April, a man was arrested for renting “family” and “friends” to populate his side of the aisle at his wedding. Apparently, there were conflicts plaguing each family, and police were investigating, but the groom surely worsened the plan by not coaching the actors on his personal details, thus making interfamily small-talk especially awkward.
Our Litigious Society: 1.) A 57-year-old man fell off a barstool last year and needed surgery, and of course he is suing the tavern at Ziggy’s Hotel in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, for continuing to serve him before he fell. He wrote, “You’re not supposed to feed people so much booze.” 2.) A man filed a lawsuit recently in Columbia, Missouri, against the Hershey chocolate company because there was too much empty space in his grocery-store box of Reese’s Pieces, which he thought was “deceptive” (even though the correct number of Pieces was printed on the label). In May, federal judge Nanette Laughrey ruled that the man’s case could continue for the jury to decide.
For not the first time in News of the Weird’s experience, a man shot himself but had the bullet pass through him and hit a bystander (except this time it was fatal to the bystander). A 21-year-old man was charged in Anchorage, Alaska, in May with killing his girlfriend even though he had aimed at his own head. Investigators were persuaded that it was a genuine attempt, though he survived, but in critical condition.
More Animals With Affordable Health Care: In April, the annual report of the Association of British Insurers on its members’ policies for pet owners noted that among the claims paid were those for a bearded dragon with an abscess, an anorexic Burmese python, a cocker spaniel that swallowed a turkey baster, a cockatoo with respiratory problems, and even a “lethargic” house cat (which nonetheless cost the equivalent of $470 to treat).
Legal “Experts” Everywhere! American “sovereigns” litter courtrooms with their self-indulgent misreadings of history and the Constitution (misreadings that, coincidentally, happen to favor them with free passes on arrests and tax-paying), but now, the U.K.’s Exeter Crown Court has experienced a 41-year-old man, who said in May that he simply could not step into the courtroom dock to state a plea concerning possession of cannabis because he would thus be “submitting” to “maritime law,” which he could not legally do on dry land. Judge: “Don’t talk nonsense. Get in the dock.” The man was ordered to trial. Before leaving, he gave the judge a bill for his detention: the equivalent of $2.5 million.
More Third-World Religion: In March, a Zimbabwean pastor of Victory World International Ministries was captured on video during a sermon telephoning God. Clutching a phone to his ear, he yelled, “Hello, is this heaven? I have a woman here, what do you have to say about her?” (Her two children, one epileptic, the other asthmatic, are then confusingly described by “heaven” as being “changed,” and Paul ended the call to resounding cheers from the congregation.)
More of the World’s Third-Oldest Crime (Smuggling): In the latest awesome drug-mule haul of gold (into South Korea, where it fetches higher prices than in neighboring countries), 51 people were arrested in May for bringing in, over a two-year period, a cumulative two tons, worth $99 million, by hiding it in body parts befitting their biological sex.
Almost an Epidemic: Men suffering compulsive public masturbation recently: 1.) In the midst of evening rush hour in the New York-New Jersey Lincoln Tunnel, a 48-year-old man stopped his minivan and engaged (May 11). 2.) In downtown Portland, Oregon, a man was arrested engaging “vigorously” because he “hates Portland” (and was charged with “felony” public indecency (May 3). 3.) In Dunbar, West Virginia, a 27-year-old man allegedly broke into a relative’s home and stole security camera recordings of him engaging (April 23). 4.) A 70-year-old man allegedly engaged at a McDonald’s in Springfield, Massachusetts (April 20). (Bonus: Police found a paper-stuffed tube sock bulging underneath his pant leg.)