Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
JUNE 7, 1999:
Dateline: Canada -- A Canadian judge has dismissed a claim that the Defense Minister, Citibank and several drugstore chains had conspired to murder a complainant because he is a Martian. An irony-loving Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed Rene Joly's "vexatious" case on the grounds that, since he claimed not to be human, he had no status before the courts. Joly, described by a lawyer in the case as "not your typical Martian," has been on a three-year crusade to have his extraterrestrial roots recognized. In court documents, the atypical Martian contended that the Shopper's Drug Mart had sold him poison instead of medication, that Canadian troops in Germany had implanted a microchip in his brain and that Citibank had perpetrated a credit card fraud -- all in an attempt to further U.S. assassination attempts on his life. According to Joly, a 34-year-old college educated sales manager, he is actually cloned from material recovered in the 1960s by NASA from Mars. Unfortunately, Mr. Joly's claims can not be proven because records revealing DNA have been falsified. Lawyer Daina Groskaufmanis, who represented Citibank in the case, told the court, "I think Mr. Joly has watched too many episodes of 'X-Files.'" Joly, who is appealing the court's decision, also has an action pending against President Clinton, the CIA and Canadian Justice Minister Anne McClellan.
Dateline: Trinidad -- Investigating a farmer's complaint that someone had stolen his livestock, puzzled police on the Caribbean island of Trinidad uncovered a collection of well-dressed animals. Police gave chase in Chaguanas in central Trinidad after spotting a rental vehicle with its headlights off. The driver abandoned the vehicle, and officers found a sheep in a dress, a goat in a shirt, pants and hat, and two more goats -- also in shirts and pants -- in the trunk. Police believe the thief had dressed the animals to fool people into thinking they were humans.
Dateline: Rhode Island -- The son of famed American-basher Nikita Khrushchev has applied to become an American citizen. Sergei Khrushchev, son of the late Soviet leader, has been teaching International Studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I., for several years. The 63-year-old scholar and his wife are scheduled to take a written test at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service offices in Providence on June 23. "It is not so special or a political decision any longer," Sergei Khrushchev told reporters. At the height of the Cold War, the incendiary senior Khrushchev warned the United States, "We will bury you" and boasted that his country's rockets could hit a fly over the United States.
Dateline: New Jersey -- A firefighter was forced to give up his four Bruce Springsteen tickets after using his uniform to cut to the front of the line. Tickets for a series of concerts in The Boss' home state went on sale last week and have sold out quickly. Fans were alarmed, then, when a firetruck pulled up outside a Ticketmaster location in Newark, N.J., and disgorged several firefighters. Concerned ticket hopefuls asked what was going on and were informed that the firefighters needed to perform a fire inspection. While inside, one of the firefighters apparently purchased a block of four concert tickets. Angry fans complained, and the firefighter had his Springsteen privileges revoked.
Dateline: Massachusetts -- In honor of the new Star Wars movie, pranksters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge transformed the college's trademark dome into a giant-sized replica of R2-D2. The day before The Phantom Menace opened in theaters across the country, campus police at MIT discovered the dome covered in red, white, blue and black lightweight mesh fabric panels representing the trash can-shaped droid's sensor arrays. The student pranksters also left behind a dozen doughnuts and instructions on how to remove the installation. Good-natured campus officials decided to leave R2-D2 on the roof throughout the week.