March 5th, 2021


Updates --- Oh, my!

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Dec. 9, 2016

Updates --- Oh, my!

Roy Pearson, a former District of Columbia administrative law judge, may be the only person in America who believes that his 2005 $54 million unsuccessful lawsuit against his dry cleaners was not frivolous -- and he has still not come to the end of his legal odyssey. In June 2016, a D.C. Bar disciplinary committee recommended that Pearson be placed on probation for two years because of ethics violations, including having made statements "unsupported" by facts when defending his contention that the cleaners' "satisfaction guaranteed" warranty made it liable for various negative occurrences in Pearson's life following the loss of a pair of pants at the store. Not surprisingly, Pearson, now 65, announced that he would challenge the committee recommendation. [Washington Post, 6-8-2016]

Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky's most infamous moment was in 2013 when, to protest government oppression, he nailed his scrotum to the ground at Moscow's Red Square. (He had also once sewn his lips shut and, at another time, set fire to a door at Russia's FSB security headquarters.) In August, the Burger King company announced a series of four limited-edition sandwiches inspired by Pavlensky for the artist's hometown of St. Petersburg. The scrotum performance, for example, will be marked by an egg "nailed" to a burger by plastic spear. A company spokesperson said Pavlensky was chosen as the inspiration because he is popular with "the masses." [Moscow Times via The Guardian (London), 8-31-2016]

Once again, Iceland's "little people" have, when disrespected, roiled the country's public policy. In August, a road crew had inadvertently buried a supposedly enchanted elfin rock along a highway being cleared of debris from a landslide, and immediately, all misfortunes in the area were attributed to the elves' displeasure. According to an Agence France-Presse dispatch, crews were quickly ordered to re-set the rock. (The incident was one more in a long series in which public and private funds in Iceland are routinely diverted toward projects thought to appease the elves.) [Agence France-Presse via Daily Telegraph (London), 8-30-2016]