Pensacola, Florida
Sunday September 21st 2014

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News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

“You eat meat, so why not blood?” asked The Globe and Mail, which sampled several Toronto restaurants’ sanguinary haute cuisines, including the Italian eatery Buca’s spaghetti with blood-blackened noodles and torta di sanguinaccio (figs, almonds, buffalo-milk creme, on a base custard of dark chocolate and slow-cooked pig’s blood). Patrons “thought we were crazy,” said chef Rob Gentile, but now “can’t seem to get enough.” The Black Hoof restaurant uses 10 liters of fresh blood a week for dishes like its own blood custard, seasoned with rosemary and pickled pears. Montreal’s DNA kitchen sometimes highlights blood soup and blood pasta. (The Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark—which some believe to be the best restaurant in the world—marinates cauliflower in pig’s blood.)

The Continuing Crisis “I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. And you’re not going to get me to get it,” warned Marine squadron commander Lt. Col. Jerry Turner (to a Wall Street Journal Afghanistan reporter writing in October), when learning that a few of his troops were sporting artistically shaped eyebrows sculpted by a barber in the town of Shinwar. “Stylist” Gulam Farooq can’t practice on Muslims (forbidden) but said “one or two” Marines come by every day (in between calling in artillery barrages) for tapering.

Family Values Too Soon? An 11-year-old California boy and a 7-year-old Georgia girl have recently decided—with parental support—to come out as the other gender. The boy, Tommy, wants more time to think about it, said his lesbian parents, and has begun taking hormone blockers to make his transition easier should he follow through with plans (first disclosed at age 3) to become “Tammy.” The McIntosh County, Ga., girl has been living as a boy for a year, said father Tommy Theollyn, a transgendered man who is actually the one who gave birth. Theollyn petitioned the school board in September (unsuccessfully) to allow the child to use the boys’ bathroom. Theollyn said the girl first noticed she was a boy at age 18 months.

Recurring Theme Italian men are notorious “bamboccionis” (“big babies”) who exploit doting mothers by remaining in their family homes well into adulthood, sometimes into their 30s or later, expecting meals and laundry service. Many mothers are tolerant, but in September an elderly couple in the town of Mestre announced (through a consumer association) that if their 41-year-old, gainfully employed son did not meet a deadline for leaving, the association would file a lawsuit to evict him. (A news update has not been found, perhaps indicating that the son moved out.)

Crime-Fighting (1) In October, about 120 professional mimes began voluntarily patrolling the traffic-congested Sucre district of Caracas, Venezuela, at the request of Mayor Carlos Ocariz. The white-gloved mimes’ specialty was wagging their fingers at scofflaw motorists and pedestrians, and mimes interviewed by the Associated Press reported improvements. (2) At least 300 professional clowns from Mexico and Central America, in Mexico City in October for a convention, demonstrated against the country’s drug-cartel violence by laughing, in unison, nonstop, for 15 minutes. (They were likely less successful than the mimes.)

Parenting Freemon Seay, 38, was arrested in Thurston County, Wash., in October on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after disciplining his 16-year-old daughter for leaving home without his approval. Seay allegedly forced the girl to suit up in armor and helmet, with a wooden sword, and to fight him (also in armor, with a wooden sword) for over two hours until she could no longer stand up. Seay’s wife (the girl’s stepmother) was booked as an accessory and was said by deputies to have been supportive of her husband’s “Renaissance fair” enthusiasm (which Freemon Seay called a “lifestyle”).

People Who Shot Themselves Recently Two men—a 23-year-old in Fayetteville, N.C. (June), and a 22-year-old in Seminole, Fla. (October), accidentally shot themselves in the head while trying to assure friends that their guns posed no danger. A firearms instructor shot himself in the thigh during his recertification class at the Smith & Wesson facility in Springfield, Mass. (September). A man on a first date at Ruth’s Chris Steak house in Charlotte, N.C., accidentally shot himself in the leg as he was escorting his date to their car (September). And as usual, at least one man (a 27-year-old in Chandler, Ariz.) paid the price for inartfully using his waistband as a holster, causing a “groin” injury (August). And Milwaukee police secured a search warrant to photograph Otis Lockett’s penis (July), as evidence that he was illegally in possession of a gun (as a felon) by showing that he had accidentally shot off nearly all of his organ.