Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Not-So-Romantic Dinner

     Yeah, it's gruesome . . . but I love stories like this. A 32-year-old Pakistani woman named Zainab Bibi drugged her husband, hanged him to death, and then carved his body into 51 pieces for easy cooking. I am not bothering to add "allegedly" because this did not happen in the United States, where seventeen eyewitnesses can describe and identify a murderer drenched in his victim's blood and holding her decapitated head, but he is "alleged" until they lock him up or execute him. Even then, some people still insist on "alleged."

     But I digress.

     Zainab's hubby was apparently fixated on his teenage stepdaughter (an Islamic Woody Allen!), and planned to divorce his wife and marry her.

     Zainab did not like that, and enlisted her 22-year-old nephew to help deal with Mr. Bibi's remains in spirited "Goodbye Earl" fashion.

     No, she was not planning to eat him (gross). She simply thought she'd found a superior way to get rid of a human body. Might've worked, too, if a neighbor hadn't smelled something funky. (Never try out a new recipe near a window.)

     I shudder to think what they will do to Zainab in an Islamic country. I don't mean this ugly, but Mr. Bibi probably had it coming.

Here are the details:

     I hope she gets a fiercely excited Rachel Ray and Paula Deen on her side. When the full truth about Mr. Bibi's evil ways comes out, she may have women rallying around her from all over the place.

Love from Delta.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black and Blue Friday

     It's a bit eerie in light of Target's new crazy Christmas shopping lady commercials to witness what the first official day of the season brought. You may have heard of the rather Grinchy woman who used pepper spray when Black Friday bargain hunters tried to cut in her line at a crowded Walmart store in Los Angeles. She attacked at 1:20 a.m. because she apparently feared the loss of opportunity to get an X-Box.

     This was the merry scene:

     God bless us every one. Fifteen people were injured in her wake. She left without her intended purchase, though one presumes little Timmy will still get his gift. Or not . . . but in the words of Merle Haggard, Mama tried.
     I have never been willing to do the Thanksgiving midnight grabfest thing. I have friends who bravely march into the darkness for deals, risking life and limb at the hands of armed Walmartians. Unless Walmart, Target, Best Buy or TJ Maxx start giving away complimentary Christian Louboutins for the first thousand shoppers, you will not see me participate. Even then, I would probably choose the safety of my couch and a leftover turkey sandwich.

    In related news:

     A Rome, N.Y., man was charged with disorderly conduct after a fight that broke out the moment Black Friday shopping began at midnight. Several shoppers at the electronics department at a Walmart store were pushed to the ground, and a number of fights broke out. Two shoppers were taken to a hospital for minor injuries.
     Police said they were investigating a possible shooting in the parking lot of Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa. Police got a call of shots fired shortly before 4 a.m., when the mall opened. 

     A 55-year-old shopper was shot and wounded during a robbery near a Walmart in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Tonia Robbins, 55, took a bullet in the foot after two men demanded her purse shortly after 1 a.m. ET Friday as she stood by the trunk of her car with friends.
     An explosive device was found at a break room at a Walmart in Cave Creek, Ariz., according to reports Friday. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said a suspicious package was found inside a refrigerator in the store break room on Thursday. The store was evacuated as a precaution while deputies investigated the package.

     A shopper was shot and critically injured during a robbery outside a Walmart in San Leandro, California early Friday. Police patrolling the parking lot found a victim suffering a gunshot wound and a possible suspect being detained by his/her angry family members. They were walking to their car with Christmas purchases and approached by thugs who demanded the merchandise.

     Gunfire erupted at a North Carolina mall as holiday shopping commenced. People were very cross at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville. No injuries were reported.

     Black [and Blue] Friday kicks off the holiday shopping frenzy, when merchants can make 25 to 40 percent of their annual revenue. It is expected that shoppers will spend nearly $500 billion during the 2011 shopping season, about 3 percent more than they did last year.

     "It's a good move to try to get shoppers to spend sooner, before they run out of money," says Burt Flickinger, III, president of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group.

     Uh huh. Call me when you have those complimentary CL's or large Jay Strongwater pieces, Burt. Until then, I'll shop online in my jammies or in stores where the kinder, gentler people tend to gather during normal business hours.

Love from Delta.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Not-So-Friendly Skies of Comtel

     Air travel has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when you donned your Sunday best and sipped cocktails delivered by svelte seductresses. Flights are . . . well, different . . .  these days.

     On Tuesday, passengers aboard charter company Comtel's jetliner traveling from India to Britain were held up for the equivalent of about two hundred bucks each in U.S. funds. During a layover in Vienna, they were commanded to fork over the cash if they wanted to reach Birmingham. This was thoughtful: they were allowed to leave the plane to access ATM's to fetch the money.

     Folks were told the payment was for either fuel or . . . suspiciously . . . "fees." Even though they'd presumably purchased tickets from Comtel, a bit more was necessary to get them to where they were going.

     "I could not believe what I was witnessing," Lal Dadrah told British network ITN. "It was as if we'd been held hostage against our wills, with the 24,000 pounds we all eventually had to pay being the ransom."

     Today, passengers aboard a Comtel flight were asked for money before takeoff from Amritsar, according to Madrid-based Mint Aviation. They own the aircraft and provide the crew.

     Richard Fluck, Comtel's CEO, told CNN that the dispute involves Comtel, Mint and a third firm, Astonbury Ltd., which sold the tickets under the name Skyjet. Skyjet suddenly suffered corporate failure this week, with the British government urging about 200 passengers who booked flights with them to make new arrangements.

     Officials at Birmingham Airport said all Comtel flights to and from Amritsar have been canceled for the coming weekend, and the Civil Aviation Authority said it would help get stranded fliers back home.

     Here's the kicker: Astonbury had not paid either of the other two firms for their last two flights, so Mint told its crew to collect the money it was owed from passengers or refuse to continue.

     According to a defensive Mint CEOAlfonso Martinezit was Comtel that refused to pay and owed money to Amritsar's airport authority as well. Martinez said Comtel ordered the flight crew to take up a collection in Vienna.

     Next time you're annoyed at having to remove your shoes in security or choking down what passes for an in-flight snack in the USA, remember it could be worse. Maybe the TSA's scanners can see more than modesty allows, but you can be fairly sure you won't be shaken down in Atlanta on your way to JFK.

Love from Delta.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oops He Did It Again

I admit it: I was on the Perry bandwagon early on. 

Television interviews with the Texas governor last year—pre-presidential candidacy, with earnest Rick declaring that the federal government was interfering with his state's efforts to stem illegal immigration and the attendant crime wave—were impressive. He was manly, handsome, articulate, confident and charismatic.

I thought I had my guy for 2012.

Now I'm trying to figure out what went wrong. The Debate Debacle . . . seen by every non-cave-dwelling American citizen . . . has caused me to shed the last vestige of support I had for Perry. I can't shake the image of him aww shucks oopsing, struggling to remember the third government agency he aspires to eliminate.

This was no stumble. It was the creation of a tumbling Rick avalanche.

Been in a cavern somewhere?

Governor Robot Romney has been programmed to make light of the situation and appear all sympathetic as he suppresses his spontaneous tap dance chip in front of the press.

Herman Cain is apparently a bit too randy to be President, though Bill Clinton set the bar pretty high. Ron Paul is, well . . . Ron Paul. There will be no foil-hat inaugural ball, and we all know it. Bachmann? Can't see that happening. Newt? Nope.

What's a Republican to do? Year after year I wait for a field of candidates who impress, not depress, me. Maybe 2016 will be better. I've pretty much lost interest in this election.

Love from Delta.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who Else Is Going to Stand Up For the Dead Fish of America?

     Ah, PETA. Thank you for interrupting a fairly boring news day with your insistence that people stop cruelly throwing dead fish.

     People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Robert Zonies, president of the Terra Ceia (Florida) Village Improvement Association, urging him to cancel the annual “mullet toss” at this year’s Terra Ceia Mullet Smoke-Off, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 12.

     The annual event challenges contestants to try their hand at aiming and tossing dead mullets into a toilet, wheelbarrow or wash tub, positioned a challenging distance away at Seabreeze Park.

     According to PETA’s manager of corporate affairs in Los Angeles, Dave Byer, “It sends a terrible message to kids when adults are throwing the carcasses of animals. If you wouldn’t throw a dead puppy or kitten into a toilet, why throw a dead fish?”

     Indeed. As the friend who forwarded the article to me remarked, "I normally put a helmet on the fish I plan to toss." (She has a gift for sarcasm.)

     I know of no festivals in which dead puppies and kitties are thrown for fun, but I would find it more appropriate for PETA to focus their efforts there. A dwarf-tossing intervention would make more sense. Perhaps a new branch is warranted: PETAADAOTTGT (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals And Dwarfs And Other Things That Get Tossed).

     I get it—we should demonstrate kindness to all creatures. That is a noble thought. I am just wondering if the dead fish really care if the Terra Ceia residents have a bit of fun with their carcasses.

     In addition, PETA would much prefer that alfalfa spouts be substituted for the smoked mullet sold for consumption at the event. “It would be great if they served vegan,” Byer said. “But we are only asking them to stop playing with dead bodies.”

     Naturally, the Association was taken aback at receiving the official letter urging discontinuation of the barbaric hurling of inanimate sea creatures. The Mullet Toss is a fundraiser, supplying money for maintenance of the park as well as teacher supplies for local schools.

     Maybe the teachers could simply include notes with each pack of crayons saying, "Don't throw dead fish. It's cruel."

Love from Delta.