Assorted Stupidity #139

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  • Given that lockdown restrictions are still in/back in place in many locations, the debate continues as to which ones make sense. In the UK—where William Shakespeare was vaccinated this week!—the debate included the nature of a “Scotch egg.” This is relevant because in the “tier two” lockdown category, one can only order alcoholic drinks along with a “substantial meal.” For obvious reasons, this thrust the definition of “substantial meal” into the national spotlight. A “Scotch egg,” as this writer described it, is “a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in miscellaneous grey sausage meat, rolled in weirdly orange breadcrumbs.” Sounds great, but is it “substantial”? Cabinet ministers disagreed on this issue, and as far as I can tell, it has not yet been resolved.
  • A Florida attorney disappointed with the 2020 election, which he believes was affected by voter fraud, is reportedly under investigation for voter fraud. According to the report, he appeared in a Facebook video telling other Republicans that because the president’s legal challenges would likely fail, the Senate runoffs in Georgia were critical and so they should consider moving there temporarily in order to vote in those elections. (That’s a felony.) He said he would be using his brother’s address in Georgia to do so, and urged others to take similar action. “If you don’t want to do it, fine,” he told the group. “[But you] might as well move to Venezuela now. Get used to that lifestyle, ’cause that’s what’s coming,” he said, although it isn’t. Reached for comment, the man told WSB-TV that he had been joking, and that would certainly be understandable under the circumstances. Except that WSB-TV “confirmed [he] registered to vote [in Georgia] the day after he made the speech, using his brother’s address and swearing [in] an affidavit that he was a Georgia resident.” That makes it seem like less of a joke, although it’s still funny to me.
  • In British Columbia, the Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of an insurer that did not want to pay $930,000 for a diamond-encrusted solid-gold eagle statue that the owner claimed had been stolen from him in a robbery. The owner, who is president of a company called “Forgotten Treasures International,” reported that two men ambushed him “as he placed a knapsack carrying the statue in the trunk of his car,” hitting him over the head with a large flashlight and stealing the eagle “plus a less-valuable decoy.” (Hint: do not keep the decoy in the same container as the item itself, as this will reduce the effectiveness of the decoy.) The statue, which was apparently going to be auctioned off in an anti-cancer fundraising event, is still missing. The court did not rule in the insurer’s favor, but rather set aside a default judgment that it somehow managed to incur, so the case will apparently continue.
  • A Welsh jury has acquitted Thomas Davies of dangerous driving and “perverting the course of justice,” the BBC reports. In an article he posted on the Piston Heads website, Davies claimed to have driven the length of England and Scotland (specifically, between Land’s End in Cornwall and John o’ Groats in northeastern Scotland) in nine hours and 36 minutes, which works out to an average speed of 89 mph. The prosecution appears to have been based entirely on the admissions in the article, but Davies convinced the jury that he had been exaggerating. “I don’t dispute a journey was made,” Davies told the jury, possibly using the passive voice to suggest someone else made it, but said he did “dispute the manner and the speed of the journey.” The BBC didn’t say what Davies had allegedly done to “pervert the course of justice,” but the jury didn’t convict him of that either.
  • I was 100% sure I had mentioned John o’ Groats before, and I was right, although like an idiot I spelled it “John O’Groats” the first time I ran the search. Who does that? Anyway, I was right, and in fact I’ve mentioned it twice, while relating the adventures of Stephen Gough, who keeps getting arrested for walking around the UK naked. See “‘Naked Rambler’ Insists on Rambling Naked” (Dec. 1, 2012) (“‘I knew I wanted to go to court naked,’ he told The Guardian, ‘and I suddenly thought, why not now?'”) and “Naked Rambler Loses Another Appeal” (June 16, 2015). As I mentioned in the 2012 item, Gough has walked “from Land’s End to John o’ Groats” naked at least twice. It took him a lot more than nine hours and 36 minutes to do this, partly because he kept getting arrested. At last report, Gough had been released from prison in 2015 and has since asserted that he has cut back on public nudity because he needs to take care of his 89-year-old mother.