xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Thailand’s leading massage-parlor/prostitution entrepreneur, Chuwit Kamolvisit, reacted with outrage when he was charged this summer in connection with two criminal cases because, he said, he has paid police the equivalent of US$2.5 million in bribes to get immunity. Mr. Chuwit called a series of press conferences in July, at which he released information on whom he had been bribing and who some of his customers were, and in September, he announced he would form a new political party to put an end to Thailand’s culture of official corruption.
In August, the city of Edmonton, Alberta, ordered the owners of Keep It Simple, a nonalcoholic “bar” catering to recovering alcoholics by creating the ambience of a tavern without the temptations, to enforce the city’s no-smoking law for businesses. However, smoking is a popular crutch for recovering alcoholics, and the owners sought an exemption from the law in order to retain their customers, but the city said the only legal exemption on the books is for establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. (In September, Keep It Simple applied for a liquor license but said it would still not serve alcohol.)
For many years, News of the Weird has covered charity-sponsored “cow patty bingo” competitions (a field divided into squares wagered on by contestants; a cow released to answer nature’s call; the grand prize going to the owner of the lucky square), but in July, a variation called “Moulette” (sponsored by Dunlop Tires in Toronto) drew criticism because an actual 50-foot-long roulette board was to be used instead of a field. Critics charged that, despite the charitable aims of the contest, it was “cruel” to deprive a cow of the convenience of dirt and grass on which to conduct her business.
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD