Man’s Other Best Friends
People’s love for their pets reached a new high in December when a British man paid a veterinarian the equivalent of $500 to perform delicate surgery on a sick office goldfish (typical pet store “replacement” price: $1 to $5). Vet Faye Bethell of North Walsham, England, told the Eastern Daily Press in December that there was “nothing special” about the fish, but that the customer “just liked it a lot.” In fact, the goldfish likely did not even have a pet name — as Bethell in an interview spoke intimately of another patient by name (Cadbury, the skunk). (Bethell’s procedure involved removing the patient from the bowl, flooding its gills with anesthetic-fortified water, and using a tiny scalpel to remove lumps that were causing it constipation, with the surgery guided by a miniature heart-rate monitor.)
Iraqi TV Goes “Jerry Springer”
Iraq’s government-run channel, Iraqiyya TV, has a reality show reminiscent of American confrontational programs, but is designed to force captured ISIS fighters to acknowledge the pain they have created. One episode of “In the Grip of the Law” (described in a December Associated Press dispatch) showed family members of car-bombing victims on a street corner in Baghdad haranguing one of the men convicted of the crime. A young man in a wheelchair, having lost his father in the attack, faced off against the convict, screaming until the jihadist “began weeping, as the cameras rolled.”
On Nov. 6, a couple (aged 68 and 65) were hospitalized after spending almost 13 hours locked in their car inside their own garage in Alexandra, New Zealand. The night before, they had been unable to remember a salesman’s tutorial on how to unlock their new Mazda 3 from the inside and had spent the night assuming they were trapped because they had forgotten to bring along the battery-operated key. The wife was unconscious when neighbors finally noticed them, and her husband was struggling to breathe. (The door unlocks manually, of course.)
Undersheriff Noel Stephen of Okeechobee County, Florida, acknowledged to WPBF-TV in December that among the public services his office performs is supervising parents’ spanking of children. After two sisters argued on Dec. 29, their father decided to administer a whipping to one and asked Deputy Stephen to drop by and make sure he stayed within the law. That’s “not something we advertise to do,” said the deputy, but he estimates he has monitored about a dozen spankings.