xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Because perhaps hundreds of Japanese Yakuza gangsters are nearing retirement age, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has drafted rules for the former gambling, loan shark, and protection workers to qualify for benefits, according to a March dispatch from Tokyo in The Times of London. Since organized crime leaves no employment paper trail, ex-mobsters must supply a letter of retirement from their crime boss in order to sign up, although local governments are expected to accept as partial proof gang tattoos, criminal records, demonstrations of missing finger tips (the sign of traditional Yakuza punishment for mistakes).
Among the places of business particularly affected by Americans’ cell-phone rudeness was the Green Oaks Family Dentistry clinic in Arlington, Texas, according to a February USA Today story. Office manager Lisa Teague said patients were carrying on phone conversations while hygienists worked in their mouths. “It was very disruptive,” she said.
Chicagoland Schools in Crisis:
–In February, a sixth-grader at Waldo Middle School was suspended and charged with a felony by Aurora, Ill., police when he brought powdered sugar to class for a science project and jokingly told another student that it was cocaine. A custodian overheard the conversation and reported him.
–The Chicago Tribune reported in March that dozens of blind students in Chicago public schools are nonetheless required to take driver education classes. One sightless but otherwise optimistic student told the Tribune she resented the requirement because it made her uncharacteristically dwell on something that she cannot do.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD