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Lead Story

Larry Shelton James was arrested for bank robbery in Durham, North Carolina, in June after he became trapped in the First Union Bank. He got into the bank early in the morning by breaking a window with a large rock, but after finding no money in the teller drawers, decided not to exit through the window for fear of being cut. He finally called 911 for assistance and was arrested.

People With Too Much Time on Their Hands

Three physics students at Saint Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, were hospitalized in July after a classroom argument. In their class on air-conditioning repair they had begun discussing when radiant energy becomes heat. They continued their argument in a parking lot, where a scuffle broke out and one student stabbed the others.

Recently in Alberta, Canada, Minister of Culture Doug Main downplayed concern about the province’s first ever admissions fees to museums and historic sites introduced in April. Main said that before the fees were imposed, he’d heard that many Albertans were saying, “Golly, these are wonderful facilities. How come you’re not charging?” He explained, “What we want to do is make sure that all those thousands, tens of thousands of people who [come to a museum] and reach into their pocket ready to put down 10 or 15 or 20 bucks for the family, have the opportunity to do that.”

The British Satellite Broadcasting Company has developed a new TV series called Heil, Honey, I’m Home, featuring Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living next door to a Jewish family in Hollywood in the 1960s. Sneak-preview audiences complained that the series was too sympathetic to Hitler, but a producer said Hitler “will clearly come off the loser in domestic disputes.”

The largest gathering to date of Canadian feminists met in Banff in May for a conference on “Women and Mental Health–Women in a Violent Society.” Among the highlights was an interracial screaming match that started when a black feminist read scatological poetry during a meal, including a poem on the “clitoral nature of colonialism.”

The National Gallery of Canada was severely criticized in March for exhibiting the work of Montreal artist Jana Sterbak. Her sculpture Vanitas, of a woman’s dress, was made of about 60 pounds of flank steak. When the meat rotted, it was replaced by another $300 worth of meat. The sharpest criticism came from advocates for the homeless, who complained that hungry people could have eaten the meat.

A 30-year-old man who may have spied on more than two dozen women as they used public restroom stalls in office buildings around the Minneapolis area and who said he photographed nine of them was caught in May after he accidentally locked himself in a toilet stall, giving a victim the chance to notify police. The man said he engaged in the behavior because he was bored.

Soviet UFO researcher Sergei Bulantsev told a convention of UFO fans in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, last spring that aliens who visit the Soviet Union are better-looking than the extraterrestrials who visit the United States.

In We’re Talking Vulva, a five-minute film by Tracy Traeger and Shawna Dempsey, Dempsey appears dressed as a gigantic vulva and delivers a rap song.

In November the Triple R Bar in Bath, Maine, will hold its annual belt-sander race, in which construction workers ride large sanding machines down a 24-foot-long plywood track.

Mark Carey, 27, won the 16th annual Spamput championship in April in Austin, Texas, by tossing the contents of a can of Spam 60 feet. Other events were the Spamcram, in which contestants had to force 12 ounces of Spam into their mouths and swallow it all, and the Spamcalling contest, won by Dr. Bud Luecke with a rumbling-to-whiny “Spammy Spammy Spammy Spammy.”

Actress Demi Moore, quoted last fall: “I want to do everything. I want to have everything. I have a wonderful, wonderful life. But there’s so much more out there. Do I have it all? Yes. Do I want more? Yeah, sure.”

Undignified Deaths

In Pueblo, Colorado, in February, 21-year-old Nadine A. Sanchez had been drinking bourbon to work up the nerve to have a tattoo removed when she died of acute alcohol ingestion.

Alvin C. Euell, 33, of Auburn, Washington, accidentally choked to death in June on a plastic bag containing marijuana as he tried to dispose of the dope while running from police.

Sports photographer Nestor Pereyra was killed during a bicycle race in La Plata, Argentina, in May when he stepped onto the finish line to get a photo of the winning cyclist. He was slammed to the ground by a pack of runner-up cyclists traveling about 30 miles an hour.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.