Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Women Asked to Smell Rag


KARE-TV [Minneapolis, MN]
30 July 2012

WAITE PARK, Minn. - Police in Waite Park are searching for three suspicious individuals who are allegedly asking women to smell a rag in parking lots.

Police received a complaint from a woman who said she was approached by another woman in a parking lot. The suspect asked the woman to smell some perfume. When the woman agreed, the suspect pulled out a rag and asked the woman to smell that. [...]

Monday, July 30, 2012

Light Bulbs & Toilet Paper Removed from Sold Home


30 July 2012

Boston Real Estate Now

by Rona Fischman

I developed a habit because of an urban myth. Since it is not a problem to anyone, I just keep doing it. The habit: I turn on an overhead light at any pre-closing walkthrough, even if it is broad daylight.

Why do I do that? There is a story that I heard at least a half dozen times when I was new in the business. It always happened to a cousin’s brother-in-law’s ex-wife’s sister or some such impossible-to-trace source.

A seller was so unhappy with the outcome of a sale that he removed all the toilet paper and all the light bulbs from the house before closing. He then scheduled the closing for 4 PM, leaving the new owners in the dark and without bathroom material. I also heard it as 4 PM on a Friday of a holiday weekend, when it would be hard to get light bulbs and toilet paper. [...]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

John Lennon: An Asshole with a Kotex on His Head

Rolling Stone, 14 February 1974, p. 24

Random Notes

John Lennon went to the Troubadour to hear Ann Peebles, and for the occasion he wore a Kotex on his head. There were about 11 people in his party; he didn't leave the waitress a tip, and in response to her scowl he said, "Do you know who I am?" "Yes," she said. "You're some asshole with a Kotex on your head."

Rolling Stone, 5 June 1975, pp. 48, 68

Long Night's Journey into Day: A Conversation with John Lennon

By Pete Hamill

What actually did happen those nights at the Troubadour when you heckled the Smothers Brothers and went walking around with a Kotex on your head asking the waitress, "Do you know who I am?"

Ah, y'want the juice...If I'd said, "Do you know who I am?" I'd have said it in a joke. Because I know who I am, and I know she knew, because I musta been wearing a Kotex on me head, right? I picked up a Kotex in a restaurant, in the toilet, and it was clean and just for a gag I came back to the table with it on me head. And 'cause it stuck there with sweat, just stayed there, I didn't have to keep it on. It just stayed there till it fell off. And the waitress said, "Yeah, you're an asshole with a Kotex on," and I think it's a good remark and so what? Tommy Smothers was a completely different night and has been covered a million times. It was my first night on Brandy Alexanders and my last.

[That conditional sentence he starts with gives me the impression that Lennon doesn't remember the remark, while the rest of his answer establishes that he believes it happened. -- bc]

Larry Kane, Lennon Revealed (Philadelphia: Running Press, 2005), p. 100

One night, John, May Pang, and legendary guitarist Jesse Ed Davis got together for an early evening dinner at a restaurant in Santa Monica, where John got famously drunk before disappearing into the bathroom.

“He returned from the bathroom with a Kotex on his forehead,” May recalls. “I pleaded with him to take it off. He just smiled.”

The trio headed to the Troubador where John continued to drink and ignore the pleas of May Pang. This episode ended unceremoniously when John said to the waitress, “Don’t you know who I am?” The waitress, in one of the more direct retorts in John Lennon’s life, said, “Yeah, you’re some asshole with a Kotex on his forehead.” 

Philip Norman, John Lennon: The Life (Anchor Canada, 2009), pp. 723-4.

One evening, about halfway through Julian's visit, John went with May and the Keltners to the Troubadour, the famous club on Santa Monica Boulevard that had given Elton John and many others their first big break. Headlining that night was Ann Peebles, a rather dour soul chanteuse whose single, "I Can't Stand the Rain," had lately been on the U.S. and British charts. Before going to the club, John's party ate dinner at Lost on Larrabee, a restaurant popular with the rock crowd. As they were leaving, he slipped into the women's room and rifled a cabinet full of Kotex sanitary pads. When he reached the Troubadour, he took a Kotex from his pocket and clamped it to the center of his forehead like an unwieldy caste mark. (Even this may have been a symbol of missing Yoko. Not long after their first meeting in 1966, she had sent him an artwork called Mend Piece, consisting of some Kotex and a broken cup, which he'd unwrapped in the presence of both his then wife and mother-in-law.)

As Jim Keltner recalls, Ann Peeble's appearance onstage was slightly delayed, so the club's whole VIP section had ample opportunity to share in the joke. According to hallowed legend, John snapped at a dilatory waitress, "Do you know who I am?" and she snapped back, "Yeah, an asshole with a Kotex on his head." Neither May nor the Keltners recall any such words being said.

[The following incident, also at the Troubadour, occurred later, on 12 March. The waitress in this case wasn't so witty in her response to the drunk rock star.]

Rolling Stone, 25 April 1974, p. 13

Trouble at the Troubadour
Lennon's Hard Day Night

There is a special raised platform at the Troubadour informally known as the VIP section. Lennon was sitting with a female companion, May Pang, and Harry Nilsson in that section the night of the altercation. The Smothers Brothers, on the comeback trail, were about to start the second act of their first Los Angeles appearance in five years.

During the intermission, according to [Troubadour owner] Doug Weston, Lennon and Nilsson were harmonizing, barbershop style, on the Ann Peebles song, "I Can't Stand the Rain." A few photographers began snapping shots of the Lennon party. Lennon, according to a Troubadour waitress, barked "fuck you" to a male photographer, who responded, "Did you say 'fuck you' to me?" Lennon replied, "No, I said it to the waitress."

"Well," said the waitress to Lennon, "fuck you."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cheating Couple (Kenya)


The Kenyan Daily Post
18 June 2012

Patrons at a popular guest house in Mlolongo town along Nairobi-Mombasa highway were over the weekend treated with a rare kind of drama when a husband and wife burst each other in the hotel. The two had made the guest house homage to their infidelity.

A hotel employee told sources that the two frequented the guest house often separately but they had no idea that each was a patron at the hotel. [...]


The Standard [Kenya]
18 June 2012


A married couple busted each other when they bumped into each other at the same lodging in Mlolongo town on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The little town, which is just a collection of shops and pubs spread on both sides of the highway, is popular with amorous track drivers and married men and women with secrets to hide.

According to Salma, an eyewitness in Mlolongo, husband and wife separately hooked up with their respective clandestine lovers a fortnight ago. [...]

Pyramids Have No Date With the Wrecking Ball


New York Times
24 July 2012


CAIRO - What's this? Egypt's new Islamist leaders want to raze the Great Pyramids, scratch away the images on the death masks of the pharaohs, maybe even wipe the grin off what is left of the face of the Sphinx?

Someone who reads a lot of right-wing blogs in the United States these days might be forgiven for thinking so, though there is no sign here that any such Islamist clamor to destroy the monuments of ancient Egypt has actually arisen.

The fear that it has, though, is a textbook example of how a rumor, especially about a place as tumultuous as Egypt these days, can take on a life of its own - fed by a kernel of fact, a dash of Twitter, and a convenient coincidence or two. [...]

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Beatles' Sexual Superpower

Paul Gambaccini, "The Rolling Stone Interview: Paul McCartney," Rolling Stone, 31 January 1974, p. 40.

[Paul McCartney:] Then the this-little-bit-if-you-play-it-backwards stuff. As I say, nine times out of ten it's really nothing. Take the end of Sgt. Pepper, that backward thing, "We'll fuck you like Supermen." Some fans came around to my door giggling. I said, "Hello, what do you want?" They said, "Is it true, that bit at the end? Is it true? It says 'We'll fuck you like Supermen.' " I said, "No, you're kidding. I haven't heard it, but I'll play it." It was just some piece of conversation that was recorded and turned backwards. But I went inside after I'd seen them and played it studiously, turned it backwards with my thumb against the motor, turned the motor off and did it backwards. And there it was, sure as anything, plain as anything. "We'll fuck you like Supermen." I thought, Jesus, what can you do?

[McCartney also discusses this incident in Barry Miles' Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now (New York: Henry Holt, 1997), p. 332, where the declaration is said to sound like "We'll fuck you like Superman" (singular). In this version he remembers inviting the fans inside to hear the record being played backward. -- bc]

I had quite a few visitors there, but these kids came in one day and said, 'What's all that swearing when it goes backwards on the end of the loop about?' I said, 'No, it doesn't, it says, "It really couldn't be any other." ' They said, 'It does do it, though, we've done it.' I said, 'No, it bloody doesn't.' I said, 'Well, come in, look, we'll get my record player.' We put the record on, then you could turn the turntable backwards. It probably hurt the motor, but you could turn it backwards, and sure enough, it said something like 'We'll fuck you like Superman; We'll fuck you like Superman. We'll fuck you like Superman.' I said, 'Oh, my Gawwd!' That kind of stuff does happen. That's why you can explore the accident. But that was far out. We had certainly had not intended to do that but probably when you turn anything backwards it sounds like something ... if you look hard enough you can make something out of anything.

Foreign Cockroaches Invade Naples


New York Times
16 July 2012

Naples Journal


NAPLES, Italy - It began with ominous reports of an invasion of oversize red cockroaches, the American type, which were not only driving out the native Neapolitan black cockroaches but also possibly carrying deadly diseases.

The headline in the newspaper Il Mattino of Naples, Italy, reads "City Invaded by Red Cockroaches - Hepatitis and Typhoid Infection Risk." But health authorities and city officials say the reports are untrue.

It did not matter that city and health officials scoffed at the reports. The summer - high season for cockroaches and bottom-of-the-barrel stories in the Italian news media - was upon the land, and the story could not be squelched, no matter how many entomologists protested. [...]

Friday, July 13, 2012

No Quacking in the Quiet Car


New York Times
13 July 2012

Metropolitan Diary


Dear Diary:

As I sat in the subway at rush hour with nothing to do, I playfully scrolled through the various ringtones on my iPhone. I suddenly realized the train had reached my stop, Grand Central, and I hurried out to catch the Metro-North train home.

As usual, I walked down the Metro-North platform to get to the first car, known as the quiet car, so that I could read my Kindle in silence. I sat down opposite two men who proceeded to chat about mutual acquaintances.

After a minute or so I leaned over and said: "I'm sorry to bother you, but this is the quiet car. The first car on the train during rush hour is the quiet car."

They looked at each other, and one of them stretched his neck to confirm that there was indeed no other car before us. Seeing there wasn't, he took out some reading material, and his friend opened up his laptop.

As the three of us sat engrossed in our silent activities, a loud quacking sound seemed to come from one of their briefcases - apparently, his phone was ringing. He didn't answer it, in deference to the "no talking" rule, but the quacking was so loud and annoying, it seemed even worse than conversation.

Finally, the ringing stopped. But then five minutes later, once again - the same quacking. "Why doesn't he just switch the phone to silent, instead of subjecting us all to this ridiculous noise?" I thought irritably.

As the train reached my station, I gathered my belongings and stepped off the train onto the platform. And then, as the train pulled away, I was mortified to hear the quacking once again - coming straight out of my shoulder bag.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Craigslist Pets Used as Target Practice


Statesman Journal [Salem, OR]
8 July 2012

Written by Saerom Yoo


KOIN-TV [Portland, OR]
9 July 2012

Reported by: Brian Pryor

Paul Newman's Tip

Rolling Stone, 5 July 1973, p. 44

The Redoubtable Mr. Newman

By Grover Lewis

[Actor Paul Newman:] "Geez, ego is a very peculiar thing, you know it? I remember I was on a skiing trip in Switzerland once, and six or eight people were having dinner with me in a cafe. Our waiter kept staring at me, and finally he walked over and slapped me on the back -- practically knocked me out of the chair -- and said, 'I couldn't think of your name, but you're Steve McQueen, aren't you?' And I said, 'Oh, yeah, pal.' He said, 'God, I really love your pictures. The Reivers -- I  thought you were great in that.' I said, 'Thank you very much.' When the bill came, I left the guy a dime tip. So McQueen's name in Switzerland is mud."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Organ Thefts (Vietnam)


VietNamNet Bridge
4 July 2012

VietNamNet Bridge – Police of the southern province of Dong Thap have arrested a man for spreading false rumors of someone who kidnapped children to take their internal organs for sale.

Earlier, people in the southern province of Kien Giang and An Giang had been worried of the rumor of the appearance of a gang that kidnaps children to take their internal organs for sale. [...]

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Robert Mitchum's Nuts

Rolling Stone, 15 March 1973, p. 36

The Last Celluloid Desperado

By Grover Lewis

[Actor Robert Mitchum, "visibly sloshed" after a late lunch, clowns around outside his camper on the set of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. With him are the director, Peter Yates, actor Alex Rocco and Tim Wallace, "his long-time stand-in and constant crony."]

"Listen, you guys, I gotta tell this story on Bob here. He was ballin' this babe one time, see. He was in the saddle, see, and his nuts was swingin' back and forth in the air, see. And this babe's dog jumps up on the bed and takes his nuts in his mouth, see. Big sonofabitch -- "

"The dog was like half Great Dane and half bull mastiff," Mitchum muses. "Like a pony."

"Huge sonofabitch."

Mitchum nods. "Yeah, big yellow-eyed mother."

"So I walk into the room by accident, see, and this dog has hold of Bob's nuts like a retriever would hold a bird. I couldn't help it -- I started laughin' -- "

Mitchum grins. "I told him, don't laugh. I very slowly got, uh...disengaged. And I smacked that motherin' dog -- whap! -- clear across the room. I woulda shot it if I'd had a gun."

"I tellya, I had water in my eyes from laughin' so hard at 'im. There was water all over the place, in fact. The bed was wet, you can bet your sweet ass on that." Wallace cackles shrilly, then fixes the writer with a stern glare: "Don't put that in your fuckin' magazine, friend. It's a true fuckin' story, but jeez -- Bob's wife, you know..."

South Korean Tunnel Hunters


New York Times
3 July 2012


HWASEONG, South Korea - [...] Mr. Kim, 47, is one of a small but dedicated band of South Koreans who have been hunting for North Korean "invasion tunnels" for years, some for decades. Only four tunnels have ever been detected, all between 1974 and 1990 and all near the border. Not one has been found since, despite thousands of drilling operations conducted not only by the South Korean military but also freelance prospectors like Mr. Kim.

Although broadly dismissed as cranks, the private tunnel hunters tap into the source of one of South Koreans' greatest fears about  North Korea: its penchant for taking its war preparations underground, a reaction to the leveling of its military installations by United States air power during the 1950-53 Korean War. [...]