xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Rap as a Second Language: In a June copyright infringement case, British High Court judge Kim Lewison ruled against the composer of the 2001 song “Burnin’,” explaining that he could not help Lewison because he did not know what certain lyrics meant (such as “shizzle my nizzle”). The lyrics, said the judge, although written in a form of English, were “for practical purposes a foreign language” and therefore, he could not be sure whether the borrowed use of the lyrics impugned them.
Several times since 1999 News of the Weird has run stories of incidents in which someone telephones the manager of a fast-food restaurant claiming to be a police officer and asks the manager to strip-search one of the employees while the caller listens to the episode on the phone. (Police later concluded that the calls were hoaxes for sexual gratification.) In July, police in Panama City, Fla., arrested supermarket supervisor James Marvin Pate, 36, on the complaint of a local woman who reported a similar situation. At least one of the calls in the previous incidents (in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana and West Virginia) had been traced to a telephone in Panama City, but there were no suspects in those cases until Pate’s arrest.
The District of Columbia government’s inspector general reported in April that D.C.’s child-support office had been sitting on nearly $3 million in long-overdue, already-collected distributions to custodial parents and that several ranking officials in the office had long known about the delay (a problem apparently caused by incomplete records in “thousands” of cases). (Roscoe Grant, the deputy director of child-support enforcement in the District, himself resisted supporting two out-of-wedlock children until ordered by courts in 1998 and, regarding a 20-year-old son, 2002.)
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD