Odds and Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
FEBRUARY 7, 2000:
Dateline: Scotland -- Seems an elderly wrestling fan took her favorite sport a little too seriously earlier this month in Edinburgh, Scotland. Nora Cuthbert, 64, dialed 999 -- the UK equivalent of 911 -- after watching American grappler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin take a beating from "Triple H" in a World Wrestling Federation match broadcast live on cable TV. Ms. Cuthbert pleaded with local police to step in and save the embattled wrestler from injury. Bemused officers tried to assure Ms. Cuthbert that the matches were largely choreographed and that no actual assault was taking place, but the woman remained adamant. "It just wasn't fair," Cuthbert later told reporters. "Triple H never plays a fair game, and he was hitting poor Mr. Austin with a hammer." Even if the assault were real, police in Edinburgh would have been unable to do anything since the match was taking place in Manchester. "We take every call seriously," said a police spokesman, "but felt in this instance it was not an emergency situation."
Dateline: Scotland -- An irate Scottish judge criticized social workers in Glasgow, Scotland, recently for rescuing a monkey from a heroin-addicted couple but failing to notice the couple's five-year-old daughter living under similarly squalid conditions. Social workers had visited the couple's home 18 times but said they were allowed inside only four times. The workers eventually discovered the girl, whose fingernails had not been cut in more than a year, covered in bed sores, lying in her own filth and wearing a plaster cast on a broken leg that should have been removed 10 months earlier. On an earlier visit, months before, the welfare workers had contacted an animal welfare group about a pet monkey being kept in the flat. The Glasgow court judge rebuked them for failing to notice the plight of the girl. "To say the least, I am very surprised the girl's predicament did not come to light," he announced before sentencing the girl's parents to five years in jail.
Dateline: London -- A Welsh accountant was forced to quit his job after taking out a newspaper advertisement formally apologizing to anyone he may have offended with his drunken New Year's Eve antics. Howard Potter, 51, published the "contrite, abject and public apology" in the Western Mail following a rowdy New Year's Eve party that left the certified public accountant with a foggy recollection of his actions. Nonetheless, Potter begged forgiveness of -- among others -- the staff of a Cardiff hotel, a man at a fish bar and two passing police officers. Despite the forgiveness of his wife, his friends and the hotel staff, the South Wales branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have forced Potter out of a job. "I like Howard. He is a nice chap, but we don't feel he has acted in the best interests of the profession in this case," announced Bob Reynolds, head of communications for the ACCA.
Dateline: New York -- A Manhattan obstetrician is being sued by a female patient after allegedly carving his initials into her abdomen following a Caesarean section performed last September. According to witnesses of the procedure at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Allan Zarkin etched the letters "AZ" into the skin of new mother, Linda Gedz, following the operation because he felt he had done such "a beautiful job." Gedz has sued Zarkin and the hospital for $5.5 million, saying the three-inch-high letters make her feel "like a branded animal." Zarkin, now dubbed "Dr. Zorro" by hospital staff, is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney's office for two other alleged incidents of medical misconduct and has agreed to suspend his medical practice pending the outcome.
Dateline: Michigan -- An 11-year-old Detroit boy has been suspended from school and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly hit his middle school teacher in the eye with a carrot slice. The rambunctious, unnamed boy was being held in the County Juvenile Detention Facility after allegedly throwing carrot pieces at classmates at Murphy Middle School during lunch period. One of the deadly vegetable chunks apparently struck teacher Lee Williams in the eye. The 11-year-old could face a variety of penalties, including time in a boys training school.