Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:53

Weird National Briefs (04/21/2021)

Written by Allen Adams

Caffeinated criminality

LAKE VIEW, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York couple may have finally solved the mystery of who’s been tossing used coffee cups in their front yard for nearly three years.

Edward and Cheryl Patton told The Buffalo News they tried mounting a camera in a tree in front of their home in Lake View to catch the phantom litterer. But it wasn’t until some neighbors got involved recently and followed a minivan and jotted down its license plate number that there was a break in the case.

After Edward Patton called police, they waited and pulled over a vehicle driven by 76-year-old Larry Pope, who Cheryl Patton said had once worked with her and had had disagreements with her over union issues.

Pope was charged with harassment and ticketed for throwing refuse onto a roadway.

“I found it very hard to believe that someone I knew would do something like that, especially at his age,” Cheryl Patton told The News.

The Pattons said the littering has stopped since Pope was pulled over.

A message was left at a phone number listed for Pope on Sunday.

TME – We begrudgingly admire the commitment to the bit.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:33

Celebrity Slam - Host with the most

Written by Allen Adams

We spend a lot of time examining and unpacking the various foibles and/or misdeeds of the rich and famous in this space. Most weeks, we’re tickled to find this or that celebrity saying or doing something so arrogant or stupid or (usually) both that we can’t help but address it. Taking shots at those folks is undeniably fun – we don’t deny that.

Every once in a while, however, we choose to use this space as more of a celebration. Sometimes, it’s because a famous person that we admire has left us. Other times, it’s because one of our usual celebrity targets has found a way to turn things around. Still others, it’s an act of altruism that captures our attention.

We’re mostly snark, but not ALL snark.

This brings us to LeVar Burton. Now, everyone who has spent any time invested in popular culture over the past few decades knows LeVar Burton. The dude starred in “Roots,” was a cast member on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” AND hosted “Reading Rainbow” – of COURSE you know who he is.

Well, we’re talking about LeVar Burton this week for one reason and one reason only: he wants to be the new permanent host of “Jeopardy!” And he’s far from the only one.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:29

Weird National Briefs (04/14/2021)

Written by Allen Adams

Muddy metaphor made manifest

BOSTON (AP) — Camille Coelho just wanted to take a stroll on the beach and look for some sea glass. Instead, the Massachusetts nurse ended up feeling the way so many have felt during the pandemic: she was stuck in the mud.

The 54-year-old was taking a walk at Boston’s Constitution Beach on Thursday when she found herself sinking into the low tide’s wet sand. Soon it was up to her knees and left her unable to move, according to an account she gave to The Boston Herald.

“It’s a great metaphor for the year,” Coelho, a nurse in South Shore Hospital’s intensive care unit, told the Herald. “I can’t believe it. I stepped in mud and pretty soon it was up to my knees, and I was stuck.”

Her dilemma caught the attention of other beachgoers, who called for help. Coelho was with her son’s lab, Lucy, who didn’t get stuck and stayed near her side.

While she was waiting, she saw a traffic helicopter and wondered if her quandary was somehow to blame for backups.

“I called a friend and told them, ‘Google woman trapped in mud,’” Coelho told the Herald.

Before long, firefighters arrived and were able to pull her to safety. All told, it was one more awful episode during a pandemic that has been full of them. But Coelho said this one made her laugh.

“I guess I just had my 15 minutes of fame,” she said.

TME – Man, she’s a real stick in the mud.

It probably will come as no surprise to those of you reading this space that we’re often gifted with an embarrassment of potential riches. Sure, there’s the occasional dry week where we have to reach, but for the most part, we’ve got plenty to choose from. Because here’s the thing: Famous people do stupid stuff ALL THE TIME.

This has led to us developing a sort-of system for determining which item to choose to run with in a given week. It’s not particularly complex – there’s some wiggle room, but it basically boils down to striking the balance between degree of fame and audacity of offense. The more famous you are, the less egregious your misdeed needs to be to get you into the conversation. The inverse is also true – the less famous, the more outlandish your antics must be to warrant discussion.

And sometimes, you get a weird one that might not necessarily hit all the marks, but is just ridiculous enough to land here in Celebrity Slam.

Tuesday, 06 April 2021 11:56

Weird National Briefs (04/07/2021)

Written by Allen Adams

Subtracting digits

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A mixed martial arts fighter had his finger severed during a match in Philadelphia, but doctors were eventually able to reattach it.

Khetag Pliev was injured Thursday night during the second round of his fight, which was stopped when the referee noticed Pliev was missing his left ring finger.

“In the second round, he (opponent Devin Goodale) caught my glove with one hand and held it,” Pliev told ESPN. “I felt my finger snapped. He kept pulling my glove and my finger snapped. We kept fighting. When the second round was finished, I see my (bone) was out in the open. I wanted to keep fighting, because I felt like I had this guy. But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight. ”

Event promoter Rob Haydak told ESPN that officials began searching inside the cage where the match was held, and an announcement was made to the crowd, asking them to look for it also.

After several minutes, the finger was ultimately discovered inside Pliev’s glove, Haydak said.

“It was crazy,” Haydak told ESPN. “He didn’t even flinch. He was getting ready to do the (official) decision and I was like, ‘Uh, guys, get him out of the cage and go put his finger back on.’”

Pliev was taken to a hospital where the finger was reattached. He said the doctor told him he tore 50% of the tendon on the finger, and he may need another procedure.

His opponent, Goodale, was ruled the winner by TKO. Pliev, though, said he will appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, claiming Goodale illegally grabbed his gloves during the bout.

Pliev, 37, is a native of Russia who competed in the 2012 Olympics as a wrestler for Canada.

TME – That is NOT how you give someone the finger.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:13

Celebrity Slam - Rock the boat

Written by Allen Adams

By now, you’ve probably heard about the colossal container ship Ever Given that managed to turn sideways and block the Suez Canal in Egypt, crippling international commerce to a degree that no one outside the maritime shipping industry would have ever believed possible. You’ve probably also heard that the ship was finally pulled free and sent on its merry way after a six-day ordeal.

What you haven’t heard is how.

Oh sure, you’ve heard the bullcrap story that Big Ship is out here pushing, with all this stuff about rising tides and tugboats and all that noise. And we have no doubt that that is what they want you to believe, because the truth is something that none of them have any interest in admitting.

It was The Rock. The Rock did it.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:11

Weird National Briefs (03/31/2021)

Written by Allen Adams

Beef on the lam

JOHNSTON, R.I. (AP) — A steer that has been on the lam for nearly two months after escaping while on the way to a Rhode Island slaughterhouse was finally corralled Friday morning, police said.

The beefy, 1500-pound (680-kilogram) fugitive was captured unharmed in Johnston by its owner and returned to a Connecticut farm, Johnston Chief Joseph Razza told WLNE-TV.

The steer took off Feb. 4 when a wholesaler lost control of it outside Rhode Island Beef & Veal in Johnston, according to authorities.

Since then, it has been spotted a number of times, including by a startled Uber driver who reported seeing it during an early morning run to pick up a passenger as he was waiting for a traffic light to change.

Razza previously said he just wanted to make sure the animal kept to wooded areas where it could not endanger drivers, and said Friday he’s relieved it has been captured without anyone getting hurt.

TME – Turns out it’s two months ‘til the cows come home.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 09:05

Celebrity Slam - That's how I beat ... Lamar Odom?

Written by Allen Adams

As anyone who has spent time with us in the past knows, we here at Celebrity Slam do our very best to stay on top of the ever-shifting sands of celebrity culture. And it’s not an easy beat – the nature of our relationship to celebrity (and celebrity’s relationship to us) is constantly evolving.

It used to be that fame was reserved for those who reached the pinnacle of their profession and/or craft – entertainment, athletics, politics, what have you – but the explosion of options means that the definition of “pinnacle” has changed significantly. Instead of a few dozen movies and whatever turns up on the three broadcast networks or top-40 radio, the entire world is made up of content, all of it growing increasingly granular and niche as offerings expand.

Of course, to pinpoint just how ridiculous it all is, the previous 150ish words are there basically to introduce this reminder: celebrity boxing is still a thing.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 09:03

Weird National Briefs (03/24/2021)

Written by Allen Adams

DA delivery

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A top aide to a district attorney in suburban Philadelphia has been demoted because he was caught moonlighting for DoorDash during work hours.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced the punishment Thursday against prosecutor Gregg Shore, who was demoted from the office’s first assistant district attorney to being a deputy district attorney.

Weintraub said Shore had been working for DoorDash, delivering food during work hours, from October to February. The Bucks County Courier Times said Shore’s salary as first assistant was $125,000.

“I primarily worked the job at nights and weekends, however, I made the incredibly poor decision to deliver during the workday at times,” Shore told the paper Thursday.

Shore told the Courier Times he was motivated by personal circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic to work the delivery job.

Weintraub said Shore repaid the county with unused vacation time for the money he made delivering food while on duty.

Weintraub cited the importance of redemption and second chances as reasons to keep Shore on the office payroll.

Shore has also worked for the state attorney general’s office, as a Lehigh County prosecutor and was a deputy secretary in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry during the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett.

TME – Tough to fault a guy for trying to double his billable hours.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:08

Celebrity Slam - A J-Rod journey

Written by Tim Bissell

Here at Celebrity Slam, while we spend the majority of our time taking famous folks to task for the idiotic things that they say and do, we’re well-rounded celebrity-following individuals. There’s more to us than just snark and derision. We contain multitudes, as they say.

For instance, anyone who follows this space with any degree of regularity already knows that we are lovers of lovers here at the Slam. We are HUGE fans of celebrity relationships – we’re all about coming up with those cutesy portmanteau couple names (although we freely admit that we sometimes get a little out of hand and wind up with some weird ones – our all-time favorite was “Hiddleswift” during the blink-and-you-missed-it PR-driven courtship between T-Swift and everyone’s favorite Marvel villain Tom Hiddleston) – and we enjoy watching these people find each other amidst the rarified air of celebrity culture.

On that note, we’ve always had a real soft spot in our collective heart for J-Rod, the pairing of global pop superstar Jennifer Lopez and baseball legend Alex Rodriguez. It was one of those couples where the degrees of fame seemed to level out; J.Lo is more famous than A-Rod, but not so much more famous as to create an imbalance in the dynamic, especially since the overlap in the Venn diagram between fans of either person seems relatively small.

So obviously, we were sad to hear the rumblings about trouble in that particular paradise, with reports coming out last week that the couple had broken up after four years together, officially calling off the wedding that had already been delayed twice before due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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