News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Numerous witnesses saw Michael Stone charge into the parliament building in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in November, armed with bombs, a knife and a handgun. After he was wrestled to the floor, he was charged with trying to kill separatist leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who were inside. However, in December, Stone said everything he did that day was merely “performance art replicating a terrorist attack.” A credulous reporter for the Belfast Telegraph applauded Stone’s “use of mixed media and everyday materials,” which he said “show(ed) imagination.”
Charles Littleton, 22, was defiant even after being Tasered by police when he resisted efforts to remove him from a Saginaw (Mich.) City Council meeting. He said he had to stand up for his right to wear his Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, despite a rule banning hats for men inside. “It means more than just a hat,” he said. “It’s like my crown. It’s like asking a king to remove his crown.”
IBM fired Vietnam veteran James Pacenza from his job at a research facility in East Fishkill, N.Y., because he had logged on to an Internet chat room at work after being told not to. However, Pacenza responded with a $5 million lawsuit in November, claiming that he is “addicted” to chat rooms, as “self-medication” for his Vietnam-based post-traumatic stress disorder. (IBM said it does accommodate illnesses, but was not aware that Pacenza’s obsession amounted to one.)
(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