News of the Weird

“Friendly Gesture”

▲ Ingrid Paulicivic filed a lawsuit in September against Laguna Beach, Calif., gynecologist Red Alinsod over leg burns she bafflingly acquired during her 2009 hysterectomy — a procedure that was topped off by the doctor’s nearly gratuitous name-”branding” of her uterus with his electrocautery tool.
Dr. Alinsod explained he carved “Ingrid” in inch-high letters on the organ only after he had removed it and that such labeling helps in the event a woman requests the return of the uterus as a souvenir.
He called the branding just a “friendly gesture” and said he did not know how the burns on Paulicivic’s leg occurred.

Cultural Diversity

▲ BBC News reported in August that government officials in southern Sudan had unveiled a $10 billion plan that would rebuild the area’s major cities (heavily damaged during the ongoing civil war) “in the shapes of animals and fruit.”
New blueprints for one state capital, Juba, show its boundaries in the shape of a rhinoceros, and for another capital, Wau, a giraffe, and for the town of Yambio, the outline of a pineapple.
(Such municipal planning might appear quixotic, especially in view of Sudan’s wartime chaos, but investors can hardly ignore a country that sits on rich oil deposits.)

Questionable Judgments

▲ Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, feeling under-respected academically, commissioned an in-state firm to create a direct-mail campaign highlighting the many benefits of a Drake education. The pitch to potential students, which was rolled out in September in brochures and on Drake’s website, is called the “Drake Advantage” and is graphically represented (curiously, for an academic institution) as “D+.”
▲ Samuel McMaster Jr. pleaded guilty to securities fraud in August in Albuquerque but struck a deal with prosecutors to enable restitution to his two dozen victims. McMaster fancies himself an expert at poker, and the judge agreed to withhold sentencing for six months to let McMaster prove he could earn at least $7,500 a month for his victims at Las Vegas poker tables.

Bright Ideas

▲ Sixteen condom dispensers were installed at the San Francisco County jail in San Bruno, Calif., in September, paid for by community grants, to assist in the county’s safe-sex program. (Of course, jailhouse sex remains illegal.)

Recurring Themes

• Jonne Wegley joined the Army in 2009, but during basic training was distracted by troubles at home (a brother severely injured; his girlfriend aborting their child and two-timing him) and wanted out. Like others facing Army assignments (some chronicled in News of the Weird), his escape of choice was to ask a pal to shoot him in the leg, rendering him unfit for duty (but, he hoped, not too badly hurt).
The reluctant pal fired one shot, which resulted in the “mangl(ing)” of Wegley’s leg and which has so far required 25 surgeries. (Sources cited by the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., near Wegley’s post at Fort Benning, said there are easier legal ways to leave the Army.)

A News of the Weird Classic (April 2004)

• At a special Friday evening session of the New Mexico House of Representatives in February (2004) (on health insurance taxation), Democratic leaders needed Rep. Bengie Regensberg to cast an emergency vote and sent state police to retrieve him at the Santa Fe motel where he was headquartered during the session. Troopers managed to bring him to the capitol, but reported having had to subdue and handcuff the naked, combative and “likely intoxicated” Regensberg.

Categories: Legacy Archive