Assorted Stupidity #143

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  • Not many things would be more frightening than waking up at 4 a.m. to find someone pointing a gun at your head and demanding that you give him your cats. Well, until he got to the word “cats,” which would turn at least some of the fright to confusion. In this particular case, police believe the suspect knew the homeowner, so it’s possible this was a custody battle. The suspect took one of the homeowner’s two cats, and it’s currently unknown whether he still had the cat when he was arrested shortly after the break-in. (He either did or he didn’t, so I interpret “Laurium police told TV6 … that it is unknown” So yes, this could be an example of a “cat burglar,” at least in a sense, but it could also be an example of a cat liberator. We don’t yet have enough facts to know.
  • Speaking of animal liberation, earlier this month authorities liberated numerous goats from the property of Nancy Burton, a former lawyer who was disbarred for repeatedly accusing Connecticut judges of corruption without ever producing any evidence. According to the recent report, Burton adopted her first goat in 2008, adding additional goats thereafter until the total goat population had risen to 50. (Local zoning rules permit a maximum of nine.) According to Burton, testing the goats’ milk was an important part of her project to monitor radiation releases from the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is upwind of Burton’s property. There does not appear to be a law against setting up your own goat-milk-based radiation-monitoring station, but one is required to otherwise adequately care for the animals, which authorities said Burton was not doing.
  • “I know you want to control this room,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Marlena Pavlos-Hackney on March 14, “but this isn’t Burger King.” This was at a hearing after Pavlos-Hackney was arrested for violating a contempt order directing her to follow coronavirus health restrictions at her Michigan restaurant. Initially, Pavlos-Hackney refused to respond to any of the judge’s questions, including a fairly important one at the start about whether she would swear to tell the truth. That might fly at BK, the judge suggested, but BK this was not. “When the sign changes to Burger King you can have it your way,” she continued. “Right now this is my courtroom, and you will answer my questions.” At last report, the sign still had not changed.
  • In other refusing-to-wear-masks-for-some-reason news, a 24-year-old man was arrested in Denver on March 9 after a flight from Seattle, not just for refusing to wear a mask but because he “swatted” at the flight attendant who asked him to wear one, and later “stood up, took out his penis, and began peeing” in what may (or may not) have been a further protest. Court documents show the man admitted drinking in Seattle during a layover. An FBI agent wrote that the man “had one beer, and then had three to four beers”—I interpret this as meaning he had a total of four to five beers—”and ‘a couple of shots’ before boarding….” Six or seven drinks during a layover likely contributed to the behavior. In an unfortunate coincidence, the aircraft also “experienced an unspecified ‘mechanical issue'” that required an emergency landing, for which the crew was said to be preparing at the time of the alleged urination event. The odds that a mechanical issue will arise at the exact moment you are trying to urinate on a plane must be astronomically low, although, obviously, the chance is not zero.
  • Meanwhile in London, a man was fined £2,748 after his “terrible” karaoke singing prompted at least 150 noise complaints. According to the Evening Standard, Jason Harvey held regular karaoke parties at his home in Romford, and witnesses testified that he also “embarked on late-night DIY sessions,” which I at least assume also refers to karaoke. “It has been a nightmare,” one neighbor said. “I dreaded Saturday nights. It was so loud and his singing was terrible.” Harvey received a noise-abatement notice in 2019, but ignored it. Officers reported specific complaints about his renditions of songs by Abba as well as the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton duet, “Islands in the Stream.”
  • Long-time readers are likely aware of the significant risks posed by poor karaoke performance and/or song choices, risks that range well beyond potential fines up to and including injury or even death. Karaoke-involved homicide is one of those things that I should not find funny, but do. See, e.g., “Good Reason to Kill #11: Sang ‘My Way’ Poorly” (Oct. 27, 2010) (discussing the “My Way Murders” in the Philippines and a similar incident in Thailand reportedly triggered by “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”) Just one of the many reasons that karaoke should be avoided at all costs.
  • Finally, as you’ve probably heard, there’s a very large ship stuck sideways in the Suez Canal. If you want to know whether it’s still stuck, you can find out at, which provides real-time updates on whether it is, in fact, still stuck. As of the date and time I wrote this, it was still stuck, and it didn’t look like it would be moving anytime soon. Not really on topic, but I provide this as a public service.