Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lincoln Park Brown

Jay Lynch, "Introduction," in James Danky & Denis Kitchen, eds., Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix (New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2009), p. 14.

In '67, Skip Williamson and I started an underground humor mag called the Chicago Mirror. By the third issue of the Mirror, we were getting a little bit discouraged, though. It seemed that the hippies just didn't seem to grasp the concepts of satire. This was driven home to me one day when I was selling copies of the Mirror on the streets of Chicago's sixties hippie neighborhood known as Old Town.

At this time, the press had been reporting that some hippies had been drying and curing banana skins to smoke for a legal high. In the Mirror we ran a piece satirically stating that smoking dog poop would provide an excellent psychedelic experience. We went on to say that the best variety of dog poop was something called "Lincoln Park Brown," and we gave tongue-in-cheek instructions for preparing the poop for smoking. We said that the new breed of dog-poop smokers were known as "shit heads." Get it? "Pot heads"? "Shit heads"? It's satire, right? But then when I was selling the mag on the street, this hippie came up to me and said, "Hey, man! Thanks for the tip on how to cure dog poop! We've been smoking it all week, and it's groovy!" I tried to explain to the kid that it was satire and that he shouldn't really be smoking dog poop, but he wouldn't listen. Apparently he was too blissed out of his mind on the nitrogen content of dog feces to grasp my explanation.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pumas Secretly Introduced to Pennsylvania

Fortean Times #257 (January 2010), p. 73.


Pennsylvania pumas

[Tamy Kay Thompson of Newport News, Virginia, writes that the Pennsylvania Game Commission once tried to cut down the deer population by secretly introducing pumas outfitted with tracking device collars. Although the cats were probably responsible for the subsequent spate of missing pets and livestock, authorities denied that any pumas were in the area. -- bc]

A short while later, a farmer shot and killed a puma as it prepared to maul his cattle. He removed its tracking device and buried the carcass under his manure pit. The next day, officials with the Game Commission showed up on his porch, demanding to know where the puma was located. The famer looked them straight in the eye and used their own words against them, "There aren't any pumas around here."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heart Recipient Acquires Donor's Food Cravings

The Daily Telegraph [Sydney]
23 December 2009

Donor's heart goes on with Burger Rings craving

Richard Noone

[...] [Kaden Delaney's] parents Greg and Shelley spent two years finding David Waters, whose life was saved when he received their son's heart after he died in a car crash. But in an exchange of emails they learned Mr Waters amazingly had developed a taste for Burger Rings - which was Kaden's favourite snack treat. [...]

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Most Shoplifted Book

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
5 January 2008

Jeffrey Eugenides: Enduring love

By Mick Brown

[...] Jeffrey Eugenides has written just two books in the past 15 years. The first, The Virgin Suicides, a darkly comic fable of five suburban sisters who kill themselves, published in 1993, has sold more than a million copies, but also is said to hold the distinction of being the most shoplifted book of modern times. 'It's my most famous accolade,' Eugenides laughs, 'although Paul Auster claims one of his books is the most shoplifted. It's one of those things authors argue about.' [...]

New York Times
16 December 2009

Steal These Books


[...] Although there’s no hard statistical evidence on most-stolen titles, The Telegraph of London reported last year that Jeffrey Eugenides’s novel “The Virgin Suicides” was said to be “the most shoplifted book of modern times.” Eugenides had heard this for many years. “I just assumed that the book appealed to the young and sticky-fingered to a certain extent,” he told me, with some amusement. Years ago, Eugenides was at a literary conference with Paul Auster, another top choice among literary thieves. “Paul and I argued about whose book was stolen more,” Eugenides said. “He claimed he was stolen a lot, I claimed I was stolen a lot. Back and forth. It was one of those deep intellectual conversations.” [...]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Body in the Snow

The Globe and Mail [Toronto]
19 December 2009

Yule never believe this story

Tabatha Southey

[The columnist relates two of many legends told to her by a neighbor. 1) A couple on holiday in Florida made friends with another couple at their hotel and they arranged to babysit each other's kids on alternate nights. On the last night of their stay the Canadians went dining and dancing, but when they returned the other couple and all the children were nowhere to be found. 2) One Christmas Eve a man dutifully shoveling the driveway of his former house -- now his ex-wife's -- looked in a window and saw her and the man who had once been his best friend drinking champagne and dancing. The sight was too much for him; he had a heart attack and collapsed. "And it kept snowing and they never found him until spring."]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pishtacos article

Slate Magazine
17 December 2009

The Human Grease Murders
A mysterious crime in Peru revives a vampire legend that's more than 400 years old.

By Daniel Engber

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sick Boy Gets Mail

The Post-Standard [Syracuse, NY]
17 December 2009

Internet rumor about ill Mexico boy snowballs into avalanche of Christmas cards

By Debra J. Groom / The Post-Standard

Mexico, NY -- Day after day, thousands of Christmas cards are delivered to Jacob Hadcock in Mexico. Cards are coming in from Central New York, every state in the United States and countries as far away as England, Australia and China. They come from people who think 4-year-old Jacob is dying. [...]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bank Robber Hypnotized Tellers (Russia)

5 December 2009

Bank robber hypnotized tellers

By Kevin O'Flynn
Special to GlobalPost

MOSCOW, Russia - Bank robbers have threatened tellers with knives, shot their way into banks and tunnelled up into vaults. But one woman in southern Russia chose a more peaceful method: Police say Galina Korzhova hypnotised a bank teller into handing over tens of thousands of dollars in what is believed to be just one in a series of daring, if non-violent, bank robberies. [...]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Disney Characters Are First on the Lifeboats

[From the POPBITCH Newsletter, 10 December 2009.]

Disney's mouse and duck get special treatment

"This might be a story that does the rounds within the Disney parks, but I'm assured rather sincerely by a friend who worked a stint at one of the Disneylands that it is true.

"If a Disney cruise ship ever needs to be evacuated at sea, the protocol is that the people who get the first lifeboat (before the women and children) are two Disney employees. These two employees are required to take one Mickey Mouse and one Donald Duck costume with them so that when/if the children arrive to safety they can be greeted by Mickey and Donald so that they don't get upset thinking that they have gone down with the ship."

Fumes from Burning Bins Intoxicate Teens

Tameside Advertiser [UK]
10 December 2009

Dump this deadly craze

Sue Carr

YOUTHS setting fire to wheelie bins in an attempt to get ‘high’ are at risk of killing themselves, a fire chief has warned.

Blue bins, used for paper recycling, are at the centre of the latest craze among youngsters in Tameside who wrongly believe an urban myth that the combination of fumes from the paper and burning plastic will give them a hit. [...]

TV Remote Stuck Up Man's Ass

The Mirror [UK]
10 December 2009

Chinese man gets remote control stuck in bottom after drunk prank

[...] Nineteen-year-old Huang Chen mystified medics when he turned up drunk at Hunan Hangtian Hospital in Changsha, complaining of unexplained pain from his rear end.

While being examined, the tipsy student turned over in bed, and inadvertently changed channel on the ward's telly.

Astonishing X-rays later revealed that the teenager had a TV remote control lodged up his backside. [...]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Asian Restaurant Serves Dog Meat, Claims Leaflet (Bristol, UK)

Bristol Evening Post [UK]
9 December 2009

Bristol restaurant dogged by smear campaign offers £10,000 reward

A £10,000 reward has been put up by a Bristol restaurant owner to track down the instigators of a smear campaign which claimed it served dog meat.

Several customers have called Asian restaurant Cosmo on Clifton Triangle to tell staff about a leaflet put through doors in the surrounding area, which says the venue has been closed by environmental health officers for serving "suspicious meat". [...]

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kidney Thefts (Malaysia)

The Malay Mail [Malaysia]
7 December 2009

Two claims of organ harvesting in JB reported

Yushaimi Yahaya

KUALA LUMPUR: Two calls to his handphone yesterday by men claiming that syndicates in Johor Baru were "stealing" kidneys from those who visit prostitutes in the capital of Johor has set Datuk Michael Chong's alarm bells ringing.

Chong said in the first case, the caller claimed that his friend had visited a prostitute and ended up waking in a bath tub full of ice. [...]

The Malay Mail [Malaysia]
8 December 2009

Kidney harvesting an urban myth


KUALA LUMPUR: Johor police have not received reports of organ harvesting in the state. [...]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

McDonald's Applie Pies Contain Chayotes (Australia)

The Daily Telegraph [Australia]
6 December 2009

Are there chokos in McDonald's Apple Pies?

John Rolfe, Daily Telegraph

THE MYTH: McDonald's secretly uses chokos in its hot apple pies to cut costs. [...]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Burglars' Code (UK)

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
2 December 2009

Burglars tag homes to let each other know which are worth stealing from

A gang of burglars have been scrawling coded messages in chalk outside homes to let each other know which are worth targeting, police have disclosed. [...]

The Guardian [UK]
3 December 2009

Is your home about to be burgled?
Chalk marks left by burglars on your walls could be a signal to rob you

Duncan Campbell

[...] Inspector Elaine Burtenshaw described the use of the symbols as "a troubling development". She is now asking local residents to alert the police if they spot them. This time the chalking of circles on the wall is said to mean that a wealthy person lives in the house, a circle with a cross over it denotes "nothing worth stealing", while others indicate whether the resident was "nervous and afraid" or has "already been burgled". [...]
Daily Mail [UK]
2 December 2009
The Burglars' Code: Criminals chalk messages which pinpoint targets for other villains

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

UPDATE: Peruvian Fat-stealing Gang,8599,1943539,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

1 December 2009

Peru's Fat-Stealing Gang: Crime or Cover-Up?

By Lucien Chauvin / Lima

Much of the world was shocked and titillated by news of alleged fat-stealing murderers in the Peruvian jungle. But the story may have a much more sinister underbelly. Could the allegation of homicidal liposuction possibly be a smokescreen to distract attention from other crimes, including, some local journalists say, the existence of a death squad that may be operating within the country's national police? [...]

Reuters AlertNet
1 December 2009

Peru suspends cop behind gang of 'human fat sellers'

By Terry Wade

LIMA, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Peru suspended its top organized crime investigator on Tuesday after he misled the country by saying he had caught a gang of serial killers who acted out an ancient Andean legend and sold their victims' fat. [...]

The Associated Press
1 December 2009
Peru purges police, fat-stealing claims questioned

Associated Press
4 December 2009

Peru's fat hangover: Garcia denies police killings

LIMA, Peru — Peruvian President Alan Garcia denied Thursday that his government invented a tale about murderous fat-thieves to distract from allegations of police death squad killings, saying the claim was fundamentally true even if it became exaggerated. [...]