His ruling wouldn’t pass constitutional mustard. Maricopa County, Ariz., Superior Court Judge Robert Myers got an earful when he ordered Ed “The Hotdogger” Haramina to close his hot dog stand. Myers complained that the stand was too close to the courthouse and interfered with traffic. County officials reversed the decision after receiving a wave of e-mail supporting Haramina’s weenies.
Flap tax. Officer Bob Geary took on the San Francisco Police Department and won. Now he’s set his sights on the IRS. The police didn’t want Geary to use his partner, Officer O’Smarty, a ventriloquists’ dummy, because they thought it made the department look bad. Geary took his case to the voters and won the right to use O’Smarty on his beat. Now the IRS has kicked back the $11,465 that Geary spent on getting O’Smarty on the ballot and which he claimed as a business deduction.
H Or maybe just the local art critics. A 7-foot-tall sculpture depicting a dead woman, a good Samaritan and a horrified observer has been removed from the lawn of the Nassau County (N.Y.) Courthouse. It was determined that the sculpture, which was supposed to depict the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, might bother jurors in such cases.
You can take away my radio and make me live on bread and water, but you can’t make me wear horizontal stripes. Carroll County, Md., Sheriff John Brown has forced prisoners at the county detention center to become, well, fashion mistakes. Brown ordered new uniforms for the center’s inmates (black-and-white striped jumpsuits with a big red “P” on the back), apparently from a catalogue that caters to cartoon characters. Inmates are required to wear the jumpsuits at sentencing and bond proceedings, and defense attorneys are complaining.
Sometimes crime pays. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, officials are miffed because inmates at their juvenile detention center watched “Con Air,” a movie about a wrongly imprisoned man who, upon his release from jail, saves a jetliner. What really ticked them off, according to USA Today, was the $2.95 pay-per-view fee. Officials are investigating how the enhanced cable service, which included some Playboy Channel shows (at $6.95 apiece), was added.