The Widdershins

Hold the salamander, just light weekend fare…

Posted on: March 6, 2015

Hope your weekend will be a good one Widdershin friends. I’m still under the weather and not 100% — and true to my exhausting prolix nature, I’m only about 37.632%. Most of the weekend’s stories come from the compilers of weird news and to them I say thank you.

Before I begin, does anyone else think they must be playing that self-satisfied mumbling Matthew McConaughey car commercial on a loop in the interrogation rooms of Gitmo? What is he saying? And why would it make me or anyone else want to buy a luxury SUV for those dangerous four-wheeling excursions in the parking lots of suburban malls? I say have old Matthew “herbed up” like the McCormick aisle in the grocery store and I would gladly listen, but mumbling existentialism from stale Hallmark cards? Really!

I admit it — being sick makes me surly.

Do not pass go, but collect $2.0 MillionKY Jailer

Kentucky loves a big lot of elected offices. The 1890 Constitution provides for an army of elected officials. One such office is each county has its own jailer, but Kentucky enjoys 120 counties. It was easier to create another county than to blacktop a cow path around the mountains.

Today, in 41 counties there are jailers who are without jails since the jails have been closed or consolidated into regional facilities. Guess what? Those jailers are still receiving their salaries and hiring assistant jailers who have no one to jail — instead of no room at the inn, there is no pen or something like that. This largesse costs the taxpayers at least $2.0 million a year. The jailers and their assistants, one jailer has 11 part-timers on the payroll, are grateful. Paying Monopoly is as close as they come to a jail.

There ought to be an App

AirpnpUndoubtedly you have heard about or maybe even used Airbnb — the app for private lodging by homeowners. Using the same idea, entrepreneur Travis Laurendine created “Airpnp” — yes, an app to connect people to bathrooms, ergo “pnp“. Prices vary from free to $20. Amenities also vary from a sweet-smelling room stocked with reading material to a barely maintained toilet with no lavatory and a few more flies than the great plague. While Laurendine thinks New York will be a promising market, his two best cities so far are New Orleans and Antwerp, Belgium. Go figure.

What would Miss Manners say?

A generous resident of South Oakland, Pennsylvania, in the seasonal spirit of Christmas, invited a pregnant, homeless woman home with her for a hot shower, a change of clothes, and a warm bed for the night. This generous homeowner had met this down-on-her-luck woman at the Rite Aid.

Everything went swimmingly until it didn’t and the police had to be called. It seems as though the pregnant homeless guest had engaged in a series of sexual acts with the do-gooder’s pit bull. The pit bull lovin’ guest was insulted by the interruption and proceeded to vandalize the home before the police escorted her away. What would you give to see Miss Manners’ face when she got this question — “my guest has become romantically involved with my pit bull, how do I ask them to put their relationship on hold for the holidays?”

Munchie Farming

The Territorial Seed Co. of Cottage Grove, Oregon, introduced a plant last year that sprouts both tomatoes and potatoes. It is aptly named “Ketchup ’n’ Fries”. Grafting is used rather than genetic modification — you wouldn’t want the plant to be too weird. The Territorial Seed elves graft the tomato plants onto potato plants. This process produces single plants capable of harvests of 500 red cherry tomatoes and 4.5 pounds of potatoes each. No word yet on whether or not these noshables will be sold at herb dispensaries.

Named for SuccessNutella

A French couple had their dreams smashed by the long arm of the judiciary when the name they had chosen for their sweet baby daughter was unceremoniously nixed. The couple had wanted to name their beautiful daughter after the delicious hazelnut spread, but the judge thought the name “Nutella” was nutty and not in the best interest of the baby.

This article is quite exhaustive on child naming conventions around the world if you are interested. I will mention a few of the highlights.

In New Zealand, you can name your child “Number 16 Bus Shelter,” but not “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116,” “Bishop,” or “Mafia No Fear.” (That sentence just blew up spell check.)

Sweden has blocked the names “Metallica,” “Superman,” “Veranda,” “Elvis,” and this one, I don’t understand at all — they have blocked calling your spawn, “Ikea” — go figure.

Then you have New Jersey where your average infamous white supremacist couple named their children, “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell,” “Adolf Hitler Campbell,” and “Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell.” The names had nothing to do with the fact the New Jersey Family Services ended up taking the children after other forms of abuse where reported.

And in Tennessee a judge was fired after changing a baby’s first name from Messiah to Martin since “labeling this child ‘Messiah’ places an undue burden on him that as a human being, he cannot fulfill.” The judge is out of a job and there’s no word yet on how Messiah is filling the sandals of his namesake.

Police Blotter

Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was sentenced in January to 25 years in prison on computer child pornography charges. Before his conviction, he was acting director for cyber security at the Department of Health and Human Services. I bet he wasn’t good at his job.

There was a fire in Innisfil, Ontario. No one was killed since the fire was at the Innisvale Cemetery and Crematorium. Firefighters rescued the 15 who were waiting in line for the crematorium. When asked for comment, none of them said anything.

Hold the Salamander

salamanderOfficials in Shenzhen, China raided a banquet. The feast was illegal under China law since the guest of honor and main course was an endangered six-foot-long giant salamander. Consuming the salamander is supposed to “improve the skin and fortify the heart”. The total cost of the meal was $865, not including drinks and the prep of the dear departed guest of honor. Those attending this salamander soiree: none other than Shenzhen police officers. If you are wondering, their skin was flawless.

Have a great weekend and take the conversation in any direction you might like.

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7 Responses to "Hold the salamander, just light weekend fare…"

Absolutely enjoyable!

I hope you are at least on the mend Prolix. Sorry to hear you’re still feeling on the puny side.

Regarding AirPnP and nola I can probably explain. During Carnival season and leading to Mardi Gras there are tons of parades. Also in nola, if you have not finished your adult beverage at a bar you can take it with you in a “go cup”. But then comes the necessity of having to “go” in another way. Now the city is very kind in putting up porta potties but sometimes it’s not an option if you aren’t nearby and sometimes you need an oxygen mask to go into those things. Commercial establishments along the parade routes aren’t going to open up their restrooms merely for your stop ‘n’ go convenience so hence the app.

As to the popularity in Antwerp Belgium…I have no idea.

People are so damned weird.

sue@3: Oh definitely!

@2, Fredster, I have needed the PnP app on no less than several dozen occasions, but it was prior to phones being smart and for that matter, me acting smart.

Prolix@6: It can be awfully uncomfortable, to say the least, when you’re at a night parade in nola, have quaffed numerous cups of your adult beverage that you brought along, and then all of a sudden you are looking for a corner or someplace to just go that is not subject to public view!

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