Thursday, August 10, 2006

Short Stories


Attack of the killer otters. Don't be fooled by the cute, little,
curious faces, folks, these vicious little monsters are on the
prowl and they are hungry for dog meat.

That's right. I just read a story about a woman in West Boca,
Florida who was out walking her labrador retriever and her fox
terrier along a canal. The lab trotted down to the water's edge
to sniff something when a large otter burst from the water and
clamped onto the dog's nose, attempting to pull it under.

"Before I knew it she ran up the embankment and grabbed Jasmine
the lab by the snout and pulled her down into the canal," dog-owner
Leah Vanon said.

Wildlife experts say otters are very curious but would only
attack if they felt threatened. They also say a mother with pups
is extremely protective.

Pups or no, Ms. Vanon wasn't going to let her precious become the
victim of an otter attack.

"The otter immediately starts going after him and starts flipping
him and dunking him and to drown him like they do to a fish. I
started punching the otter in the face which I felt really bad
about because it's cute and I didn't want to hurt it but it was
killing my dog," Vanon said.

The otter wisely backed off. The dogs had some cuts on their snouts
but they'll recover. The otter was not apprehended.


Go Directly To Jail; Do Not Ask Why

A man spent two months in jail wondering why he was there and
trying desperately to get somebody to set him free. The man,
known as Odd, was jailed at the request of a Philadelphia assistant
district attorney to ensure his testimony as a witness in a murder
case. But even after the case ended, Odd still sat in prison with
nobody coming to release him. Odd finally obtained his freedom
after he sent a written plea to a public defender, and is now
suing the district attorney who jailed him, Tom Malone. "He was
the only one in the entire system who knew why he was in jail,"
Odd's attorney Daniel Silverman said of Malone. "I can finally
use the _expression 'Kafka-esque.'


Luck Be Two Winning Lottery Tickets

BEAUFORT, S.C. - A Beaufort, S.C., man who used to live on a
street called Lottery Lane has won a second major prize from
scratch-off lottery tickets in 20 days. Harold Gray, a self-
employed contractor, buys one scratch ticket every day, and last
month won $250,000. Tuesday, his wife's 39th birthday, he bought a
ticket worth $100,000, the Beaufort Gazette reported. "I had to go
home and take a little medication to calm me down," Gray said. "I
feel like I have a horseshoe stuck up my behind." He and his wife
had already booked a cruise to the Bahamas later this month after
their first win, but neither said they would quit their jobs. Gray
said he would pay off his bills, buy a house and invest the rest
for retirement.

Woman dies after alleged home liposuction -

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - A Brazilian man was charged with practicing
medicine without a license after a woman died during liposuction
performed in a private home in Massachusetts. Luis Carlos
Ribeiro and his wife also face drug charges, the Boston Herald
reported. The victim, Fabiola de Paula, died at MetroWest
Medical Center in Framingham after Ribeiro brought her to the
hospital unconscious. Middlesex County Prosecutor Lee Hettinger
told the newspaper that Ribeiro could face more charges after an
autopsy. Ribeiro was being held on $250,000 bail while a judge
set $50,000 bail on his wife. Another patient was hospitalized
when she developed a serious infection following liposuction,
the newspaper said. The Herald said Ribeiro told police that he
is a licensed plastic surgeon in Brazil and that he and his wife
had come to the United States on short work visas.

Seals take over San Diego beach

SAN DIEGO - Harbor seals and humans are disputing possession
of a San Diego beach. The seals have their human proxies, the
Save-Our-Seals Coalition, which wants to have the Children's
Pool designated for seals only, the New York Times reports. The
area gets its name from a breakwater built with money donated in
1931 by Ellen Browning Scripps, an heir to the Scripps newspaper
fortune. She wanted the area to be a good place for children to swim
in calm water. But in the mid-1990s, seals started hauling out on
the beach in large numbers. They give birth, raise their young,
eat, squabble and defecate. While the seals have become a popular
tourist attraction, locals who want to swim and sunbathe are less
thrilled. The anti-seal faction argues there are plenty of places
along the coast for seals and few good beaches close to San Diego
for people. The Save-Our-Seals group argues the animals, almost
exterminated by hunting, have simply returned to a longtime haunt.

Woman out-sleuths police in TP prank

NORCO, Calif. - Six California teens face felony charges of
maliciously toilet-papering the home of a woman who out-sleuthed
police in tracking them down over six months. In February, Katja
Base, her husband and children awoke to find their front yard and
vehicles covered in streams of toilet paper in Norco, Calif.,
east of Long Beach. At first amused, they discovered the paper
hid smeared dog food and flour, which had damaged the paint on
two vehicles. Base told the Riverside Press-Enterprise it took 13
people three hours to clean up the mess, and that's when she decided
to launch her own investigation. She began by canvassing area stores
asking them to look through records for unusually large purchases
of toilet paper. She had luck at one store, where two days before
the vandalism, someone bought 144 rolls of toilet paper, cheese,
dog food, and flour. Using the store's security videos and a high
school yearbook, she came up with names and went to police last
week. The Riverside County district attorney's office will now
decide whether to formally charge the teens and one adult with
felony vandalism, the report said.


Poetic justice? Or the fish story of all time? Maybe both.
58-year-old Alan Card and his son, 32-year-old Ian Card, were
on a deep sea fishing expedition in the Atlantic, 15 miles off
of Bermuda.

Things were just getting exciting when one member of the group
hooked what felt like a huge game fish. Ian recalled being delighted
with the success.

Standing on the back of the boat to watch the action, his delight
was short-lived when the fish changed direction and leaped out of
the water.

It turned out to be a 14-foot, 800 pound blue marlin. This
particular species is notable for the razor-sharp spike sticking
out of its nose. On a specimen this size the spike was about three
feet...half of which impaled the younger Card right in the chest,
carrying him overboard.

Struggling for his life, Card miraculously was able to pull himself
off of the violently thrashing fish and make it to the surface of
the water. The senior Card told how his son surfaced with blood
pumping from his wound. 'He put his hand up to his chest and his
fingers disappeared,' he said. 'He had a wound about as big as
your fist.'

Truly, a million in one accident. His would staunched with towels,
Mr. Card was rushed to the hospital, where surgeons carried out
an emergency operation and yesterday he was in a stable condition.

And yes, the fish got away.


Friends Don't Let Their Passengers Drive Drunk

CARLISLE, Pa. - A lawyer for a Pennsylvania man who was charged
with DUI while he was the front seat passenger says he expects the
case to be thrown out. Last Dec. 26, a state trooper in Carlisle,
in southern Pennsylvania, spotted a car swerving, and pulled the
car over. The driver was holding a sandwich with two hands, and
Derek Pittman was sitting in the passenger seat. Pittman told
the trooper he had been steering while his friend was eating
his sandwich, and admitted he had been drinking, the Harrisburg
Patriot-News reported. He blew 0.225 percent blood alcohol. The
legal limit is 0.08. The report says the trooper spotted the car
swerving. Records say the trooper felt a strong alcohol odor coming
from the vehicle and saw the driver holding a large sandwich with
two hands. The driver was neither tested nor arrested, but Pittman
was charged with driving under the influence.


-Firefighter's Attempt To Light Cigarette Goes Up In Flames-

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Firefighter Bob Hunter forced the evacuation
of a Mishawaka, Ind. restaurant this week after he mistook
a Mace dispenser as a lighter for his cigarette. The South
Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that 20 customers and employees
at the American Pancake House evacuated the establishment and
were made nauseous by the Mace's fumes that Hunter allegedly
released. Hunter allegedly was attempt- ing to light a cigarette
with a Mace container he had taken from his mother's purse when
customers began complaining they felt ill. To make the incident
more unusual, Hunter has been involved in three Mace-related
incidents during his time with the local fire department and the
Pancake House is a no smoking establishment.

Ain't Nothing But A Teddy Bear-Eating Hound Dog

Elvis Presley's teddy bear, valued more than $75,000, met an
untimely end in the jaws of a British hound dog charged with
guarding the treasure in England. The rare 1909 Steiff bear named
Mabel was bought at a Memphis auction by British aristocrat Benjamin
Slade, who in turn loaned it to Wookey Hole Caves near Wells in
Somerset, for an exhibition, the Sun reported Wednesday. No one
knows what caused security guard Greg West's Doberman, Barney, to
go "berserk," but when the carnage ended Tuesday night, more than
100 bears were scattered throughout the exhibit area and Mabel had
lost her head, a Wookie Hole spokesman told the newspaper. "It's a
disaster," he said. "The scene is just a horrific mess, with bits
of teddy bear everywhere."


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