Assorted Stupidity #148

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  • According to a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, if snakes are infesting your home, trying to smoke them out is probably not the best way to go. The problem is that the heat source you use to generate the smoke could easily set the house on fire, which is what happened on November 23 in Dickerson, Maryland. Hot coals ignited combustible materials, the spokesperson said, and the resulting fire pretty much destroyed a recently purchased $1.8 million home. “We recommend you have professionals deal with any pest control issue,” he said.
  • I had, frankly, forgotten it was only in April that we discussed a somewhat similar event. See Alleged Arsonists Say They Set Fires to Get Rid of Snakes” (Apr. 2, 2021). But there, the snake-haters set fire to somebody else’s property, which is a crime and not just a hugely embarrassing mistake.
  • According to The Smoking Gun, a man facing a battery charge took the opportunity to commit a second battery against the same victim while he was waiting to be arraigned. Security footage showed he had grabbed a letter from a sign outside the courtroom and threw it at the victim, “striking her with the letter ‘G’.” (The Smoking Gun says he “violated the letter of the law,” but I’m not saying that.)
  • Police in Seattle reported in October that a man who tried to rob a convenience store tried to ask for his gun back after the store’s manager took it away from him. The manager caught him shoplifting, and “struck out at the suspect’s hand in a chopping motion” when he saw the suspect trying to pull a gun. Amazingly, this actually worked, causing the suspect to drop the gun. The manager picked it up and ran back into the store. “The suspect followed him,” the report says, “asking for his gun back and offering to trade the stolen items in return.” Just FYI, this is not an offer you should accept, even if the stolen items are probably worth more than the gun. The manager wisely did not accept it, calling 911 instead. Police found the gunless suspect about two hours later.
  • ALERT: San Francisco has suspended its Cannabis Business Tax, a move supervisors said was necessary to help legal cannabis businesses compete with drug dealers (sorry, “illegal cannabis businesses”). The tax was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, but will be suspended for the first year. Supposedly the 1–5% tax on gross receipts is making it easier for illegal businesses to undercut legal ones. The legislation’s sponsor said he planned to collect data during the hiatus, working closely with San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis. Because we have one of those.
  • Sources in Germany, where assisted suicide is legal, report that the German Euthanasia Association has announced it will no longer help its members die unless they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered from a bout with the disease. The statement, entitled “Euthanasia Only for Vaccinated and Convalescent People,” says the purpose of the new policy is to protect “our members, employees, and doctors,” although presumably it’s mostly the employees and doctors they’re worried about.