xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Britain’s Prince Philip has for at least 30 years accommodated a tribe of 400 “cargo cult” people on the South Sea island of Tanna, who revere him as the human face of an ancestral spirit, according to June revelations by London’s Daily Mail. Both sides have been discreet, but the prince has acquiesced by sending the tribe signed photographs, including one in which he is holding the traditional war club (even though a totally authentic pose would require that the prince hold it while naked). Cargo cults are so named because, lore has it, an ancient god forecast that one day, wealth would fall from the sky, and then, during World War II, it did, in the form of parachuted-in supplies for American troops who used the islands as staging areas.
An Iowa tribunal turned down Chris T. Coppinger’s demand for unemployment benefits in May, following his firing from a charitable fund-raising company in Davenport for various alleged indiscretions. Among the company’s charges was that Coppinger had had sex on top of his desk with a co-worker, but Coppinger argued that that should not be a terminating offense, since many other company employees had had sex on his desk, too.
Ronald Blankenship, a shoe repairman in Birmingham, Ala., finished second in June’s Democratic primary for sheriff and was placed in a run-off, when the Birmingham News discovered details of an apparently shady past: faking his death in connection with an insurance policy, assault and passing bad checks. Blankenship’s defense, a week later: It must be another Ronald Blankenship (even though “both” men have the same middle name and birth date and coincidentally are married to women with the same first, middle and maiden names).
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