The Widdershins

The “Weak-end”…

Posted on: May 2, 2015

Good morning Widdershins.  It looks to be a great weekend weather-wise for most of the country especially for the Derby.  Seventy-five degrees and sunny – big hats and bourbon will be plentiful.  In honor of the first Saturday in May, I thought I would begin with a story.

Wendell H. Ford

Wendell H. Ford

This story is one that comes from former U.S. Senator Wendell H. Ford.  Senator Ford recently died after a long and productive life.  I worked for Senator Ford early in my career and he was a progressive Democrat beloved by the voters back when the words “beloved” and “politician” could be in the same sentence.  In leadership, he rose to Majority Whip and consistently was voted by the Senate pages as the funniest, most entertaining senator.  Here’s one of his stories about the Derby:

On Derby day, a man walking in the Churchill Downs grandstand spied a box with a prominent empty seat. Next to the empty seat sat an older woman. “This is the first empty seat I’ve seen today,” he told her.

She explained, “Well, it belonged to my husband, but he died.”

The stranger asked, “Why didn’t you give it to one of your relatives?”

The woman replied, “I would have, but they’re all at the funeral.”


As always, I am indebted to the collectors of the Weird News for the rest of these stories.

Wait, What?

Paulo Silva, 51, facing bestiality charges in April in Framingham (Massachusetts) District Court, insisted that the charges be reduced to only attempted larceny. Yes, he was caught fondling a male purebred pit bull, but he had no sexual motivation, his lawyer explained. Actually, he said a friend of Silva’s owned a female pit bull and Silva had asked the male’s owner if the two dogs could mate, but when the owner declined, Silva said he was simply trying to collect the sperm himself. Judge Jennifer Stark was unmoved and set the case for trial.

The Armadillo “Dun went and dun it”

No charges were filed in the April incident in Lee County, Georgia, even though a 74-year-old woman was shot by her son-in-law. Deputies accepted the explanation that Larry McElroy shot at an armadillo with his 9mm handgun, killing it, but that the bullet ricocheted, traveled about 100 yards, first off of a fence and then through the woman’s mobile home, hitting her in the back. She was not seriously hurt.  No word yet about Larry McElroy.

Now you may touch the Charmin

The most recent fatwa, announced in April by the Directorate of Religious Affairs in Turkey, declared that “toilet paper” is now acceptable for pious Muslims. The directorate had previously decreed that only water could be used for such cleaning (or, if none was available, the left hand). (Toilet etiquette, called “Qadaa al-Haajah,” which obviously predates the invention of the actual “toilet,” requires entrance by the left foot, exit by the right, a post-ablution prayer and, most challengingly, “no reading.”)  This may indeed be the definitional beginning of the term, “too much information”.

Artist and Derby Festival Poster

Artist Karen Boone and her official Derby Festival Poster

Elfin Charm

There have been plenty of nights where the Glenfiddich has allowed me to see elves.  In Iceland, they truly believe or at least the road administrators do.  The Road Engineers in Iceland recently approved a new pathway near Reykjavik that had been delayed by a troublesome, 70-ton boulder in the right-of-way — which could not be dislodged because it is believed to be a “church” for the country’s legendary “hidden people.” The elves’ leading spokeswoman, Ragnhildur Jonsdottir, finally declared, to officials’ relief, that the elves had accepted the boulder’s relocation (to the side of the road), having “been preparing for this for a long time, moving their energy to the new location.”  I may have to relocate to Reykjavik.

Huh, again?

A few months back I highlighted a story about a London man’s agreement to pay the equivalent of $500 for surgery on a nondescript office-aquarium goldfish, to relieve its constipation. Subsequently, however, veterinarians in Scotland (charging the equivalent of $750) performed cancer surgery on two goldfish, and in September 2014, in Melbourne, Australia, a goldfish received “brain surgery” (for the apparent bargain of $200). No update on the conditions of the aquatic patients.

Home Unimprovement

Recent cases from the “Don’t DIY” Files:

Fred Horne of Columbus, Ohio, burned down his house in February trying to smoke the bedbugs out of his couch. Only that one piece of furniture caught fire, but carrying it out of the house, Horne got stuck in a doorway, and the blaze spread.  The bedbugs were eradicated.

Karen Boone's Derby Poster

Karen Boone’s Derby Poster

Near Darwin, Australia, in February, an unnamed woman living in an RV came face-to-face with a snake and decided to encourage the serpent to leave.  She promptly lit a fire beneath the RV’s floor. The vehicle was destroyed but, said the police superintendent, “We don’t know what happened to the snake.”

Dentist Leopold Weinstein, 63, was arrested in February in Camarillo, California, and charged with suspicion of setting fire to three competing dental offices (one for the fourth time). One victim said the arsonist even drilled holes in the roof and poured in gasoline to accelerate the blaze.  Dr. Weinstein obviously did what he knew, drilled and extracted.

Justice isn’t just blind, just backed-up

India is famous for its interminably slow justice system.  The backlog of cases is probably the largest in the world, but it has gotten worse. The open caseload grew to 31,367,915 by the end of 2013 — a quantity that, if all of the country’s judges, working around the clock, each resolved 100 cases an hour, it would still take 35 years to clear. Bloomberg Business Week reported in January that lawyers needlessly fatten the backlog with multiple filings, mainly to jack up their fees and thus encouraging “extortion threats,” in place of “law,” as the preferred method of resolving disputes.  And this method of dispute resolution is different how?


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



31 Responses to "The “Weak-end”…"

So many good ones in here Prolix I don’t even know where to begin except to say I’m always intrigued by people who want to set fire to something to get rid of something else. 😯

I worked for Senator Ford early in my career and he was a progressive Democrat beloved by the voters back when the words “beloved” and “politician” could be in the same sentence.

Indeed, it’s been quite a while since I’ve thought of a politician I could say that about.

@2, so true.

I loved the Icelandic elf story the best. I’m going to ask my sis-in-law from Iceland about it when I see her this summer.

I’ve never been to Kentucky, but when I was a little girl, my best friend and I would always watch it and then the Preakness and Belmont, hoping for a Triple Crown winner. I have no idea why two little socal girls cared about that but we did. I had an idyllic childhood, spending most of my free time horseback riding at ranches or at the beach.

The bull story…yuck!

Funny spin on the crazy dentist story. I don’t live too far from there. In fact, I have in-laws there.

annie@4: Hey that guy wasn’t their dentist, was he?

I don’t know, but I’ll ask them.

Did you see that 3 of Chris Christie’s close aids were indicted for that bridge closure? I’m annoyed they haven’t gone after Christie, hard to believe he knew nothing about it.

“The fine-grained intricacies laid out in the legal papers show the three plotting like petulant and juvenile pranksters, using government resources, time and personnel to punish a public official whose sole offense was failing to endorse their political patron. The three were in constant contact, brazenly using government emails, their tone sometimes almost giddy. They even gave the increasingly desperate mayor of Fort Lee their own version of the silent treatment.”

Remember, a woman died in that traffic jam because her ambulance couldn’t get through. I hope her family is suing all of them for wrongful death.

annie@6: Yes, I saw something on the news about it but haven’t read any details. Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

Oh! Kate had a little girl! I know we were all on pins and needles about that. 🙄

Henry has chimed in on the new baby.

Great turnout for The Derby:

The largest Derby crowd ever — 170,513 — looked on under sunny skies.

@9, LOL! I saw a picture of her, beautiful baby. Kate looked lovely.

Amazing for the KD, I never knew they could fit that many people there.

@6, Annie, I’m betting the real story is about to come out with the investigation into the Port Authority. That whole deal is so rotten it sticks to high heaven given that it was really about a piece of very valuable property virtually contiguous to the GW bridge.

David Samson not only resigned from the Port Authority, he resigned from his law firm. That sounds like a little pre-indictment housekeeping.

Samson is so tight and inseparable with Christie, the doctors probably asked Samson to help tie the knot during Christie’s lap band surgery since he’s always up his butt.

Hubbie had to work today and came home with two odd pieces of info. LAUSD is hoping to build extra classrooms out of shipping containers! Apparently, the Port of Los Angeles is overcrowded with containers as only half of the ones that come in, get sent out, so they think that would be a good way to deal with the excess. Also, his friend from China told him that the Chinese are looking to buy masses of used cars from the US. They want to restore them, and they love our older cars.

@10, the weather was just gorgeous today. Perfect weather and since the field of horses was so strong it brought everyone and their pony out today.

@13, the Chinese economy has cooled dramatically. That spells big problems for the central government. Most of those shipping containers are owned by a Chinese corporation with backing from the central government. If they don’t need the containers back they are buttoning down for bad economic news. Their real estate market has already cratered. They need somewhere around 10% annualized growth to service the growing middle class. Once people get a taste of middle class, they want more. That isn’t good for the central government.

annie said: Apparently, the Port of Los Angeles is overcrowded with containers as only half of the ones that come in, get sent out, so they think that would be a good way to deal with the excess.

I’ve read some articles where folks have purchased them and then converted them to guest houses in their back yards. The pictures that went along with the articles showed it really turned out well.

@11: They used to just crowd them into the infield. Prolix, do they still do that?

@15: From the sounds of that Prolix, it’s going to be interesting to see how the government handles it.

I’m off to scrounge up something for dinner so bbl.

I’ve read that China has severe water shortage problems also. Hubs is always getting emails of buildings in China with dramatic bldg flaws, like the bldgs toppling over and other disasters. A lot of construction guys get paid good $ to go there as consultants.

Thanks prolix for the post There are some really strange people out there.
Just as Citizens United makes it easy for our elections to be bought, the FEC says they cannot curb election abuse…

Also I clicked on an article from memorandum to Reason called “Meet the Vagina Voters”. I’m not going to link to this creep here, but basically it was a dudebro named Brendan who says voting for gender sets back the feminist movement to the age of the suffragetts. Good grief!

GAgal@22: Oh that’s just disgusting and pathetic.

@22, yes, that is truly vile. I’ve had to deal with some misogyny of my own here in my little town this past week, so I have just had my limit of this kind of crap.

I googled the article and read it. The writer isn’t even from the U.S., he’s from the U.K.

I think Reason/Reason magazine are libertarian. That could explain the crazy.

@GAgal: Yep, I got that impression.

One of the reasons I stopped going to JazzFest in New Orleans waaay before Katrina. It was just getting too messy.

Well screw the picture, just go here to see it.

Bonnie, who was adopted from The Sato Project, carries her dish across the kitchen to eat with her new pal Clyde

I saw that video of Bonnie a few days ago, very cute! My brother took his family and our mom to Maui a few days ago, and he emailed me last nite to go to some webcam website for the beach they were on, and I could see all of them on the beach, real time. It was very cool, but as my husband pointed out, another factor of our diminishing privacy.

annie@30: I’ve had that clip bookmarked and meant to add it earlier. It is cute!

That is incredible about the webcam.

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