Odds and Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
MARCH 20, 2000:
Dateline: Colombia -- According to Colombia's leading daily El Tiempo, a female visitor's plan to smuggle a handgun into a Bogota prison backfired last Sunday when the weapon became lodged inside the woman's colon and had to be surgically removed. According to officials, Tirisa Ruiz, 43, planned to pass the well-hidden firearm off to a loved one inside Bogota's Picota Prison on visiting day. Unfortunately, the weapon didn't come out as easily as it went in, and the woman had to undergo surgery at the city's El Tunal hospital.
Dateline: Jamaica -- In other unpleasant colo-rectal prison-related news, a mass wave of diarrhea has swept through two Jamaican prisons, incapacitating more than 1,000 convicts. According to medical sources, some 700 cases were reported at the General Penitentiary in Kingston and 400 at the St. Catherine District Prison in Spanish Town. Convicts blamed their intestinal distress on their Sunday dinner. A new caterer hired by the prison system served a meal of callaloo (spicy crab soup), bok choy (Chinese cabbage) with salt fish, dumplings and dasheen (taro root). The prisoners were expecting their normal Sunday meal of rice, chicken and peas, however, and registered their displeasure by tossing paper sacks of their "leftover dinners" into passageways of cell blocks.
Dateline: London -- Eager to mark International Women's Day and angered over a plan to evict them from London's colorful SoHo district, British prostitutes went on strike last Wednesday. The English Collective of Prostitutes said the local Westminster council was threatening their landlords with compulsory purchase of properties and that police were intimidating them and entering their homes without legal consent. The sexual sick-out was intended to shed light on the dwindling red-light areas of London's infamous West End. Prostitution is not illegal in Britain, although soliciting on the street is. The prostitutes claim that they are vital to the economy of SoHo and that, without them, the area would be nothing but "office blocks and non-stop clubs."
Dateline: Paris -- Apparently underwhelmed by the selection of Gaulic porn on hand, a 25-year-old Frenchman fell asleep watching an adult film inside a sex shop last weekend and ended up with more erotica than he could handle. The dozing degenerate woke up in the middle of the night to find himself trapped inside after the owners closed their doors for the weekend. According to the daily Liberation, the young man managed to "amuse himself for most of Sunday." By mid-afternoon, though, the man's interest in the material available began to fade and he phoned police to free him from the shop in Reims, northeastern France.
Dateline: Florida -- A Florida man who got drunk, climbed up a transformer tower and was shocked with 13,000 volts of electricity is suing six bars and stores that allegedly sold him the alcohol that got him there. According to the lawsuit, Ed O'Rourke is "unable to control his urge to drink" and, therefore, the bars and stores were negligent in serving or selling him alcohol. O'Rourke also named the Tampa Electric Co. as a defendant for failing to properly prevent him from breaking into a fenced, gated and locked substation and scaling the electrical transformer late one night in May 1996. O'Rourke was subsequently thrown more than 40 feet from the transformer and burned on over 60 percent of his body. Bruce Martin, owner of The Waterhole Sports Bar -- one of the bars named in O'Rourke's lawsuit -- says he remembers the transformer incident but denies that O'Rourke was even in his bar that night. "He was previously thrown out of here because he was writing on the bathroom walls," Martin told the Tampa Tribune.