Assorted Stupidity #77

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  • It's illegal in Florida to harass or disturb a manatee, as it should be because the manatee is an endangered species, and as it must be because they can't defend themselves. Neither of those factors applies to alligators. So if somebody wants to jump out of a tour boat to fulfill his lifelong dream of "swimming with the gators," he should be free to do that, or at least not charged with some made-up crime should he somehow survive. So I personally see this arrest as yet another misuse of the vague "disorderly conduct" charge.
  • The report on that item notes that after the incident, the guide "assured the tour guests that the event was highly unusual and continued his tour." I don't know. If you think your tour guests need to be "assured" it's highly unlikely that they, too, will spontaneously leap out of the boat at the first sign of an alligator, you should probably head back to base.
  • Wild blueAlso not sure I agree with pressing "mischief" charges against the Canadian who tied 110 helium balloons to a lawn chair so he could jump out of it while flying over the Calgary Stampede as a publicity stunt. He did have a parachute (although who cares) and he didn't endanger people at the Stampede (because he missed). Supposedly the charges were based on a potential risk to other third parties, because although the guy claimed the stunt followed "months of planning" he apparently didn't consider what might happen to the lawn chair once he jumped out. (As of July 7, its whereabouts were still unknown.) I guess it might have posed a risk to air traffic, and police said they expected the man to be charged under the federal Aeronautics Act as well. So, fine.
  • "Man Robs Bank With Sex Toy," declared most of the headlines on this item, which made me wonder why a teller would give money to someone "armed" with a sex toy. Turned out that he wasn't just waving it around, he used it along with some cables and duct tape to make a fake bomb. My next question was, why a sex toy, but then nothing else really came to mind that would look much like a stick of dynamite if you wrapped it in duct tape (other than a stick of dynamite). I guess all my questions have been answered on that one.
  • Last month a New Mexico man was charged with burglary after a woman found him in her kitchen baking a potato in her microwave. "She asked him what he was doing there, and he told her he was making a potato," said the police report. He had also wiped down a countertop and raked up the leaves in her front yard, so, yeah, not the worst burglary ever.
  • According to this brief report, the Magna Carta, that mighty charter of liberties intended to protect the rights of wealthy nobles to exploit others without too much interference from the King, has been cited over 800 years after its signing to support a Missouri lawsuit contending municipal-court defendants should not have to pay a $3 fee to support the Sheriff's Retirement Fund. That's how the law works, you guys.