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Lead Story

Miami cosmetic surgeon Ricardo “Dr. Lips” Samitier has started performing designer-penis operations, to add “thickness but not length.” Samitier says he injects fat, then molds it “into the shape we want.” He says some men get the $2,000 operation “to look fuller inside their clothes” and others to spare their wives vagina-reduction surgery. He said he expects criticism from the medical profession because most doctors are male and have “deep-down insecurity about the size of their penises.”

Least Competent People

In October 1989 prison inmate Vincent Federico, applying for a furlough in Massachusetts, thoughtlessly listed as his destination a safe house in Medford, Massachusetts, at which New England Mafia members were conducting an induction ceremony that weekend for new associates (including, allegedly, Federico). The FBI showed up too, and in April 1991 a judge decided the evidence gathered then about their illegal activities would be admissible in court against those in attendance.

In January Jack Carl McMorrow, 47, stopped by the offices of the Barberton, Ohio, police department to inquire whether there were any outstanding warrants for his arrest. An officer ran a check, discovered two, and arrested him.

Brian Siegle, 18, shot himself in the left shoulder with a .22-caliber pistol in Newark, Ohio, in July. At first he told police he was the victim of a drive-by shooting but then admitted that he had shot himself because he “wanted to see how it felt.”

Four men were arrested in July and charged with trying to pass a forged $33 billion certificate to the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, in an attempt to get their hands on Iraqui money that had been frozen in the United States. Two problems: (1) “Saddam,” in whose name the money was being held, was spelled “Sadam” on the note, and (2) the certificate, dated “1967,” was signed by James Baker, who was secretary of the treasury only from 1985 to 1988.

In September, Melvin Lincoln, a 52-year-old funeral director in Sacramento, California, was sentenced for defrauding an insurance company by trying to fake his own death and that of his wife. He was found out when he tried to renew his driver’s license.

Jail officials in Clearwater, Florida, released inmate Michael Ewers in May after falling for his escape ploy. Ewers, in jail awaiting extradition to Alaska, telephoned local jailers from inside the jail pretending to be an Alaska official and said it was not worth the expense to return Ewers there and therefore to let him go. They did.

In February a man disgruntled about an unemployment-compensation claim walked into the Salt Lake City Job Service Center, poured gasoline on an employee’s desk, and set it on fire. He then failed to get out of the way fast enough, and suffered first-degree burns on his hands and third-degree burns to his face.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Associated Press reported in June that the burial ground of choice for victims of gang murders in south central Los Angeles appears to be Inglewood Park Cemetery. The cemetery handles an average of one gang-murder victim every other day, and the operations manager admits he employs “a large sales force” that goes door-to-door in some neighborhoods to sign up customers.

The Spellbound brothel in Melbourne, Australia, signed a four-year contract this summer to sponsor the Williamtown United soccer team. The $4,600-a-year contract provides that the brothel’s logo will be on uniforms and advertising signs at home games and that discounts will be available for players and team officials.

Optik Paradies, an upscale eye wear shop in Munich, offers eyeglasses for dogs. A typical pair has three supports and sits on the dog’s nose with a band tied round the head. The store claims that some veterinarians have praised the idea of improving dogs’ eyesight with glasses and protecting them from the sun. The glasses are also used to protect the eyes of dogs that stick their heads out of car windows. The store sells about 300 pairs a year for about $150 a pair.

David Kendrick of Berkshire, New York, recently received a patent for a watch that runs in reverse chronological order. The wearer sets it according to an actuarial table, and the watch indicates how much time he has left on Earth. Kendrick says the watch will encourage people not to waste time. D-day can be adjusted depending on life-style changes.

A spring issue of Flight magazine advertised the “Tie Shade,” a brass-plated tie bar with an actual shade that pulls down to protect the tie while the wearer eats and retracts back into the tie bar afterward. It costs about $15.

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