10 July 2014

Slow News Day

A reader named Garland forwards an incredible story from Uganda:
In a bizarre incident in Nebbi district, a policeman says he was attacked by an aggressive tortoise at his home. 
Charles Onegiu, who is attached to Ndew Police Post in Ndew sub-county, says he was in his grass-thatched hut sipping away on a cup of tea when the incident happened. The tortoise crept in and when Onegiu tried to scare it off, the hard-shelled creature appeared unfazed, and instead turned aggressive. The policeman, who had just returned home after a long field day training crime preventers, tried to wave off his unwanted visitor. 
“I tried to scare it but the tortoise became very aggressive. I took a stick to chase it but it instead became more violent making me to make alarm. “I immediately picked a plastic chair to hit it. It then got out of the hut and moved towards the latrine as people rushed to my rescue,” he told New Vision. 
The shaken Onegiu then instinctively reached for his firearm and shot the fleeing reptile dead. “When it came out, I reached for my gun and shot it dead. It was a very big white tortoise. As I talk now, I am still scared because it is the first time I have seen such an incident happen in my life or heard of one,” he said. “It was a wonderful morning for me after training the crime preventers for the sub-county on the basics of their jobs. Little did I know that a different chapter awaited me later at home,”. . .
He had called his boss, Onesmus Mwesigwa, who is the Nebbi district police commander (DPC), and told him about the incident. He then requested him to allow him leave his work station. “But he consoled me and advised me to keep on duty,” said Onegiu, adding, “My father also came to talk and consoled me about the incident, but I’m still scared.” 
Drawing reference from his experience, the policeman advised people to always be on the look-out for any kind of danger. 
After Onegiu had killed the tortoise, a group of people belonging to the Charismatic faith prayed for him, before burning the dead reptile to ashes. 
The only good thing about being threatened by a violent tortoise is if you don’t happen to have a firearm handy like Officer Onegiu did, you still have time to go out and buy one.

08 June 2014


I've added Pepper, Softbank’s new “humanoid” robot, to my list of enemies; partly because he’s a charlatan who pretends to understand human emotions, but mostly because of his hideous foot. In the event Pepper approaches me or intrudes on my personal space I will, in all likelihood, roundhouse kick him, and this notice releases me from any ensuing legal liability.

10 May 2014


Two shotguns, a double stove, a dishwasher, a microwave, a refrigerator, a washer, dryer, a sofa, a chair, a coffee table, a space heater, hand tools, a popcorn maker,  three barbecue grills and a table were stolen between Feb. 1 and Friday from a residence on Alabama Avenue. . . 
The New Madrid County Sheriff's Department is on the look out for a stolen BBQ grill from Marston. The United Steelworkers Union Hall in Marston reported the stolen grill on Monday. The grill is mounted on a trailer which was chained and locked to one of the building's columns. Both locks were cut and the grill was pulled away. The grill was last seen around 8 p.m. on Friday, May 2. . . 
A Rogersville man returned home to find burglars had stolen a gas grill, stove, kerosene heater and refrigerator. .  
A stainless-steel Kenmore four-burner gas grill with two propane tanks valued at $560 was stolen between 10:30 p.m. April 25 and 7:15 a.m. April 26 from the back yard of a home in the 1100 block of South Kenilworth Avenue. . . 
Three sets of headlights were stolen and a grill from Land-Rovers parked at Hillendale on Lomeshaye Industrial Estate. Police believe there were three offenders, who climbed over a fence to get in. . .

04 May 2014


     After dinner Barry would read his poems. Usually, he said, 'I'm not going to be an egotist tonight. I'm not going to read my poems.' And usually Désirée would cry, 'Oh do, Barry, do.' Always, eventually, he did. 'Marvellous,' Désirée would comment, 'wonderful.' By the third night of her visits, the farcical aspect of it all would lose its fascination for Sibyl, and boredom would fill her near to bursting point, like gas in a balloon.  To relive the strain, she would sigh deeply from time to time. Barry was too engrossed in his own voice to notice this, but Désirée was watching. At first Sibyl worded her comments tactfully. 'I think you should devote more of your time to your verses,' she said. And, since he looked puzzled, added 'You owe it to poetry if you write it.'
     'Nonsense,' said Désirée, 'he often writes a marvelous sonnet before shaving in the morning.'
     'Sibyl may be right,' said Barry. 'I owe poetry all the time I can give.'
     'Are you tired, Sibyl?' said Désirée. 'Why are you sighing like that; are you all right?'
     Later, Sybil gave up the struggle and wearily said, 'Very good' or 'Nice rhythm' after each poem. And even the guilt of condoning Désirée's 'marvelous . . . Wonderful' was less than the guilt of her isolated mind. She did not know then that the price of allowing false opinions was the gradual loss of one's capacity for forming true ones. 
- Muriel Spark, “Bang-Bang You’re Dead”.

29 April 2014

Don’t Want to Find Out

The Khaleej Times reports the drummer of the Scorpions is being held captive in Dubai. If this were the 80’s I would scour the dive bars, pool halls, and fast food restaurant parking lots to assemble a crack team of metalheads and hard rockers, and we would go give the Mussulmen what for. But this is the 21st Century. I don’t even know where those guys are these days. Some got fat, some are dead, some drink white wine and listen to Mumford & Sons. What the rest are doing, I don’t want to find out.