xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Burglars who fall asleep on the job is a retired News of the Weird category, but Steven Jakaitis, 42, was arrested in Quincy, Mass., in March outside a CVS pharmacy, where police said he fell asleep while preparing to rob the place. His car was idling; a stocking was on his head and a pistol in his pocket; and the piece of paper beside him read, “I have a Gun DO NOT Press any Alarms or let Custermors (sic) know Empty the All (sic) the register.”
Gasoline-sniffer Brian Taylor, 36, was sentenced to three months in jail in March for violating a UK “anti-social behaviour order” by loitering around the pumps at a gas station in Middlesbrough, England. According to evidence of multiple such incidents, Taylor often dangerously reeks of gasoline fumes and is sometimes aggressive in his pursuit of a fix, including jostling gas-pumping customers. Once, he was filmed on a security camera doing an uninhibited dance after taking a huff. He apparently prefers unleaded but will settle for diesel, and denies that he drinks any of it: “I’m daft but not that daft.”
As many as 10 percent of Japanese youths may be living in “epic sulks” as hermits (“hikikomori”), according to a March Taipei Times dispatch from Tokyo, thus representing no improvement in the already alarming problem that was described in a News of the Weird report in 2000. Many of the hikikomori, in fact, still live in their parents’ homes and simply never leave their bedrooms. Among the speculation as to cause: school bullying, academic pressure, poor social skills (after obsessively whiling away hours at video games), unaccessible father figures, and an education system that suppresses youths’ sense of adventure.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD