Monday, December 17, 2007

On the silly side of the law and other matters

And now for some things completely different:

The Law is an Ass

In November the Food and Drug Administration told Smiling Hill Farm of Westbrook, Maine, that it would have to recall all of its egg nog because it did not list "egg" as an ingredient on the label. Federal law requires the listing to protect people with egg allergies from inadvertently consuming foods that they might not have realized contain egg (even products called "egg nog"). [Portland Press Herald, 11-18-07]

Jesse Rodriguez, 33, was scheduled to testify in December in Redwood City, Calif., against the man who ordered him to shoot another to death in 1989, even though triggerman Rodriguez has been, and is, exempt from any prison time. Rodriguez was 14 when he killed the man, and state law at the time prohibited authorities from holding him beyond his 25th birthday. Since Rodriguez went on the lam after the crime and did not surface until he was 31, the state would have to let him go even if he were tried and convicted. [San Francisco Chronicle, 11-26-07]

Small-Town Mayors:

Mayor Ken Williams resigned in Centerton, Ark. (pop. 2,146), in November and revealed that he is actually Don LaRose, an Indiana preacher who abruptly abandoned his family in 1980 because, he said, satanists had abducted and threatened him, and brainwashed him to rub out details of a murder he supposedly knew about. He said his memory returned only recently, thanks to truth serum. [WSBT-TV (South Bend, Ind.), 11-22-07]

Mayor Lino Donato of Poteet, Texas (pop. 3,500), said in November that he would remain in office despite his inability to set foot in city hall. That building is less than 1,000 feet from a youth recreation center and therefore off-limits to Donato, who was adjudicated a sex offender in October. [St. Petersburg Times-AP, 11-23-07]

Least Competent Criminals:

A man in a werewolf mask tried to rob a Subway sandwich shop in Pittsburgh in October, but came away empty as the two employees on duty refused to give up money even though he implied that he had a gun (covered with a paper bag). The employees said the man argued a bit and then in frustration removed his mask and fled, saying, "I can't believe you won't listen to a man with a mask and a gun." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10-31-07]

Gregory Holley was arrested in Largo, Fla., in November and charged with robbing three stores and a bank. He was picked up the day after the bank robbery, carrying cash from the bank and wearing the same clothes that the robber wore, with stains from the bank's chemical dye pack. [WFLA Radio (Tampa), 11-16-07]