News of the Weird
News of the Weird Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
“Thierry F.” recently outed himself as a professional welfare bum, bragging in his brand-new autobiography that he has lived very well off the French government for most of the last 24 years and that, even after his unemployment benefits expired, he found a second unemployment program to leech from. The latest one pays almost all of his monthly home loan, according to an October dispatch from Paris in The Times of London, and provides free medical care plus a “Christmas bonus,” leaving an equivalent of $214 per month for what the delighted Thierry calls his “leisure activities.”
Citing a “code of honor” acquired during 26 years in the Air Force, retired pilot Ralph Paul, 54, decided in March that he would not pay for the $15.99 Shrimp and Scallop Verdura at Angellino’s restaurant in Palm Harbor, Fla., because it contained only five small shrimp and five scallops. After he complained unsuccessfully and walked out, the restaurant sent sheriff’s deputies after him, and he was charged with misdemeanor fraud. Paul insisted to a St. Petersburg Times reporter that he couldn’t look himself in the mirror if he had paid, or even negotiated a settlement, so he hired a $500-an-hour New York lawyer and, in a one-day trial in October before a restive jury, he was acquitted.
(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