News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In January, Joshua Vannoy, 18, filed a lawsuit against the Big Beaver Falls School District near Pittsburgh for the disruption to his high school years when he and his family were forced to moved to another school district because Joshua was being too harshly taunted. His troubles stemmed from an incident a year earlier, just before a Denver-Pittsburgh playoff football game when Joshua chose to wear a Broncos jersey to class and was then forced by one teacher to sit on the floor and endure paper wads being thrown at him because he was, according to the teacher, “stinking Denver fan.”
In January, Ronald Dotson, 39, pleaded no contest to attempting to break into a Ferndale, Mich., store in order to steal a mannequin outfitted in a French maid’s uniform, which authorities said was his seventh “statuephilia”-related offense in 13 years. “I thought I was getting my life together,” he told the judge, even though his arrest came only days after he was paroled for the sixth offense. One of the previous arrests involved an apparently irresistible “woman” in a pink dress and bobbed hair, and in another, he was found in an alley with three lingerie-clad beauties.
Sachio Kawabata, 61, was awarded the equivalent of about $5,000 by a court in Kagoshima in January because the police abused him during interrogation over possible violations of election law. The judge found that Kawabata suffered “great mental anguish” when police wrote his family name and derogatory messages on pieces of paper and forced Kawabata to stomp on them.
People can develop intimate, romantic relationships with objects (beyond mere fetishism, which produces only short-term arousal), according to one of Germany’s most renowned sexologists, Volkmar Sigusch, interviewed for a May report in Der Spiegel. A reporter claimed to find individuals infatuated with a Hammond organ (and who feared infidelity when a technician performed repairs), New York City’s Twin Towers (whose lover bathed with a miniature version), and the Berlin Wall (which a woman ceremoniously “married” in 1979 and legally changed her name in acknowledgment). Sigusch said this objectophilia was another indication of society’s increasing “neo-sexuality.”p>