Xxxnews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In January, the Consumer Product Safety Commission turned down a petition from corporal punishment opponent Susan Lawrence to ban “The Rod,” a 22-inch-long nylon stick marketed by an Oklahoma couple as an aid to Bible-based child-rearing (“spare the rod, spoil the child”). Vying for the same market are the 9-inch-long, polyurethane spanking paddles of a Bakersfield, Calif., man and wooden spanking paddles of a New Kingston, Pa., man, both sold with an explicit Christian message. (Lawrence, who said she is a devout Lutheran, said corporal punishment of children is inconsistent with Jesus’ teachings.)
In a December Tampa Tribune feature, local Southern Baptist preacher Tom Rives was profiled in his part-time role as KoKoMo the Clown, enthusiastically delivering uplifting spiritual messages to kids and nontraditional church audiences. Said Rives (who estimates he has trained about 400 people for his clown troupes), “I don’t think (preachers) should be going around with a Bible tucked under their arms and a scowl on their face.” To his critics who say clowning is undignified, Rev. Rives said, “I tell them that all Baptist preachers are clowns. I just went to class and got certified.”
Ali Joho, who lost a close election for the parliament of Kenya in December, filed a petition two weeks later asking the country’s high court to nullify the contest because the winner, Anania Mwaboza, was allegedly spotted with some supporters under a bridge on election eve, sewing up the eyes of three cows and then drowning them, in order to cast a spell on Joho’s partisans. Allegedly, as part of the spell, voters from out of the district appeared and voted for Mwaboza, and some polling places were opened late and closed early in order to frustrate Joho’s supporters.
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or Weird@compuserve.com
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD