In the shadows
Undocumented immigrant Jose Munoz, 25, believed himself an ideal candidate for President Obama's 2012 safe-harbor initiative for illegal-entry children, in that he had been brought to the U.S. by his undocumented parents before age 16, had no criminal record and had graduated from high school with honors. Since then, however, he had remained at home in Sheboygan, Wis., assisting his family, doing odd jobs and, admittedly, just playing video games and "vegging." Living "in the shadows," he found it almost impossible to prove the final legal criterion: that he had lived continuously in the U.S. since graduation (using government records, payroll sheets, utility bills, etc.). After initial failures to convince immigration officials, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in March, Munoz's lawyer succeeded by submitting Munoz's Xbox Live records, documenting that his computer's Wisconsin location had been accessing video games, day after day, for years.
During the massive February Southern California manhunt for former Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner, nervous-triggered LAPD officers riddled an SUV with bullets after mistakenly believing Dorner was inside. Instead there were two women, on their early-morning job as newspaper carriers, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck famously promised them a new truck and arranged with a local dealership for a 2013 Ford F-150 ($32,560). However, the deal fell through in March when the women discovered that Beck's "free" truck was hardly free. Rather, it would be taxable as a "donation," reported on IRS Form 1099, perhaps costing them thousands of dollars.
Sculptor Richard Jackson introduced "Bad Dog" as part of his "Ain't Painting a Pain" installation at California's Orange County Museum in February. Outside, to coax visitors in, Jackson's "Bad Dog's" hind leg was cocked, with gallons of yellow paint being pumped onto the building. "We'll see how long it lasts," he told the Los Angeles Times, "but you never know how people will react." "Sometimes, people feel they should protect their children from such things, then the kids go home and watch 'South Park.'"
Some Third-Worlders eat dirt because they are mentally ill or have no meaningful food. However, diners at Tokyo's upscale Ne Quittez Pas eat it because it is a trendy dish prepared by prominent chef Toshio Tanabe. Among his courses are soil soup served with a flake of dirty truffle, soil sorbet and the "soil surprise," a dirt-covered potato ball. (Spoiler alert: It has a truffle center.) Tanabe lightly precooks his dirt and runs it through a sieve to eliminate the crunchiness.
Arlington County, Va., police reported in February that a resident of Carlin Springs Road told officers that someone entered her home and stole chicken from her simmering crock pot --- but only the chicken, leaving the vegetables as they were. The report noted that they had no suspects.
Prison guard Alfredo Malespini III, 31, faces several charges in Bradford, Pa., resulting from a marital dispute in March, when, presumably to make a point, he tried to remove his wedding ring by shooting it off. The ring remained in place; his finger was mangled.
It's a small world
In March, Jose Martinez pocketed an $8,000 settlement with California's Disneyland after he was stranded on a broken It's a Small World ride for a half-hour in 2009. Because Martinez is disabled, he could not easily be rescued and was forced, he said, to listen to the "It's a Small World" song on an endless loop until help arrived.
A woman and her son doing yard work at their home in Texarkana, Texas, in March "cleverly" dealt with a menacing snake by dousing it with gasoline and setting it afire, but of course it slithered away --- under brush next to their house. Moments later, according to an Associated Press dispatch, the home caught fire and burned down, and their neighbor's house was heavily damaged.