Monday, 17 January 2011

Newsfalsh!

Welcome once again to Newsfalsh!, our look at the weird and wonderful stories that may have passed you by in the news recently. I say it every time, but by God it has been a while, so let's crack on!

Policeman 'put song lyrics' in lawyer inquest evidence

So the story here is that a lawyer got involved in an armed stand-off with police, and was killed. At the inquest, officers gave evidence in order to ascertain whether the killing was lawful. An investigation into the inquest was then started as one of the police officers, specifically a marksman, inserted 'song lyrics' into his sentences.

Now, if you ask me, this is slightly misleading. What actually happened is that the police officer inserted song titles into the evidence that he gave. Fine, if you want to argue the toss, most song titles are lyrics as well, but the specifics of this is what makes the difference. Now, while that might not sound like much of a distinction, it is considerably easier to insert song titles rather than song lyrics into something like this. Why? Glad you asked.

First of all, the obvious advantage of titles over lyrics is that they are generally shorter (unless you're a fan of Coheed and Cambria, in which case you're used to getting your thesaurus out) and as a result easier to insert. Second of all, generally song titles are devoid of any sort of context, whereas with lyrics you tend to have lyrics before and after it which put it into some sort of frame of context. Third, and probably most important, the song titles are generally harder to spot specifically for those reasons of context.

"Would you please state your name for the record."
"Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste."
"And your name?"
"Eleanor Rigby..."
"Thank you. Now, we're talking about the events of the 21st August. Just tell us how you remember it."
"At first, I was afraid. I was petrified..."

For instance, let's take one of the sample song titles he used. According to the article, the phrase "line of fire" from the Journey song of the same name was enough to set off alarm bells during an inquest into an ARMED POLICE STAND-OFF. An armed stand-off where someone would have been in the "line of fire" had they moved into the gunman's field of vision. Now, granted, the phrase "point of no return" as made famous by Duran Duran is more of an obscure one to chuck in if only because it's not an often-used phrase, but at the same time it could've been worse; it could've been "Union of the Snake" or "Wild Boys".

I'm not sure personally how they figured out that he was doing this, based on the ones that he used which were all reasonably common phrases with one or two exceptions. Maybe he was giggling as he said every title, maybe even going so far as to place emphasis on the title in the sentence. Maybe he was flicking through a copy of the Guinness Book of Hit Singles. I don't know, I wasn't there. All I know is...there may be trouble ahead....but while there's...you get the idea.



Judge rules inmate 'bitten on penis by rodent' may sue

A New York man who says a rat bit his penis during a jail stay may sue county officials, a judge has ruled. I'm not sure why it's in inverted commas, maybe the judge did those little bunny ear things you do when you're quoting someone or think their story is bollocks. Either way, I'm half tempted to commit a ridiculous crime or make an outrageous statement and see if I can get a judge do that. Maybe claim that I was dropped from a plane during a parachute jump and was deliberately aimed at an elk which I landed on and killed.

Incidentally, this seems to be the InjuryLawyers4u advert I missed.

"Were you hurt in a trip or fall that wasn't your fault? No?...Rat bite you on the cock?"

So the man, Peter Solomon (why did his name have to be Peter when he has cock-related gripes?) says that when they put him on the ward, they knew it was infested with rodents. Incidentally, I'm the only one so far to go out on a limb and say that it was a rat, and that's mainly based on the lack of knowledge of the rest of the ward.

I lost sympathy for this guy at one key point. He alleges that he was mistreated because he is black. Now, I have no qualms with that complaint per se, as I think that if they did mistreat him for that reason they should be fucking ashamed of themselves. However, if you read on, he was jailed on charges that "he had menaced his wife" (I didn't do the bunny things as I wrote that, I find it makes keyboard writing much much harder if I do that). What a fucking hypocrite. So it's ok for you to mistreat your wife, but when you're in PRISON they should handle you with velvet gloves? Do one, you prick.

I lost further sympathy when I read that he was moved to a medical observation unit amid fears that he was MENTALLY ILL. So he menaced his wife, though quite what the difference is between 'menaced' and 'threatened' is beyond me - maybe you have to wear a red and black striped jumper and have a scruffy as fuck dog called Gnasher in order to achieve the former, in which case I can see why this black gentleman would flag up as potentially unstable.

So while he was in this medical wing, a rat 'or similar rodent' (just to stop people wondering about the possibility of a gopher infestation, presumably) emerged from a hole in the mattress and bit him on the cock and hand, drawing blood. Solomon alleges that the guards 'failed to protect him from the vermin', presumably worried that vermin would menace him in a miniature version of the same red and black ensemble, like he was alleged to menace his wife. For a guy who can bully a woman, he's a bit of a...well, a massive ponce, isn't he?

What rodent is there out there that likes a bit of cock? Is Solomon the unfortunate victim of the only homosexual rat in New York state? Has this rat gone hitherto unfulfilled in the cell, living in the mattress and hoping for the day when an inmate gets his cock out (which I assume happened in this case - although the rat may also have gone in search of the cock, particularly if my 'sexually frustrated homosexual rat' theory holds up)? Did the rat originally sweet-talk the man with promises of a cottage together in San Jose? Is the real reason Solomon is annoyed because the rat doesn't write, call or otherwise acknowledge their wonderful evening together?

I don't know. All I can say for sure is that the local costume shop must have done a fucking rip-roaring trade in Dennis the Menace outfits around the time.



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