Welcome to The Wide World of Nuts, where we report on some of the wacky things coming out of legal systems in faraway places. As Americans, you are encouraged to read this so you know that there are even dumber things going on in other countries.
Let’s begin in Malaysia, where four tourists have been detained for causing an earthquake. I know what you’re thinking: “What a great superpower to have! Perhaps a bit over-the-top for stopping your standard robbery, but it sure will look great when they make a TV series out of it!”
You may be right, but that series will have to be on one of the premium channels because of the way these tourists implement their powers. Evidently, they have to stand on the highest mountain and take naked pictures of themselves (and post them, of course). Here is a shot of Team Tremors foiling some sort of criminal activity. (Fortunately, they are hands-free crime-fighters.)
According to local media, the detainees are…
…two Canadian siblings as well as a Dutch male and a British male. They were believed to be part of a group of 10 people who stripped naked before taking photos at Mount Kinabalu on May 30.
(As of this writing, there is an ongoing manhunt for the rest of the asses.)
Now I’ve been on group tours before, but never has everyone gotten off the bus and gotten naked. Given the average age of the folks on the tours I’ve been on, that’s probably just as well. But my point is, was the nudity part of the tour? Did they undress at every stop? “Here we are at famous Jamek Mosque, symbolic birthplace of Kuala Lumpur. We’re running late, so we can only stop for a few minutes to take pictures. Please leave your underwear on.”
If the tour wasn’t promoted as an, um, open air trip, that means the group participated in a spontaneous strip. Someone would have had to instigate that, don’t you think? I bet it was the British guy, engaging in some clever wordplay as the English are wont to do: “Hey, we’re at the peak. So, come on, let’s have a peek. You first, ladies.”
About now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, okay, so they got arrested for indecent exposure. What’s that got to do with an earthquake?”
I’m glad you asked. Turns out, just days after these people were, let us say, “seeing the sights,” on Mount Kinabalu, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near the mountain, killing 18 climbers, some of whom, sadly, may have been naked fugitives. Naturally, officials blamed the tragedy on the foreigners for showing “disrespect to the sacred mountain.”
When confronted by this accusation, the Dutch guy said, “nee, het is helemaal jouw schuld” which is really very witty, especially for a Dutchman.*
Have We Been Exporting Lawyers to China?
The second stop on our tour takes us to China, where officials have recently taken yet another step toward Americanizing their society, this time by easing restrictions on lawsuits.
Some Chinese were worried that this might cause an avalanche of frivolous lawsuits, and, in fact, according to the Supreme People’s Court, lawsuits are up about 29% over last year. (By the way, the Supreme People’s Court airs daily right after The Supreme Price is Right.)
But the relaxing of the rules has also opened the door for citizens to seek damages for legitimate grievances. This was the case for a man in Shanghai who is suing a famous television actress, Zhao Wei (left), for staring at him too intensely, causing him “spiritual damage.” And wait–here’s the best part: she was allegedly doing this through his TV.
Despite the obviously imbecilic nature of this lawsuit (after all, the guy could have just stared back at her with equal intensity), the legal action was permitted to continue because of the lessened restrictions. I know one thing: I’ll be following this case closely, because if the guy gets any money out of it…well, frankly, I don’t like the way Kaley Cuoco’s been looking at me lately.
But It Seemed So Real…
Finally, we end our travels closer to home, where a judge in Florida has shown leniency in sentencing Cleland Ayison. Ayison had been convicted of trying to pass a novelty U.S. Federal Reserve note with a face value of $500 million. Federal Judge William Dimitrouleas let him off with house arrest and community service because his crime “was so silly.”
Here’s my question: How was Ayison trying to pass the bill? I mean, what can you pay for with a $500 million bill? Who’s going to be able to give you change? Do you have a really nice dinner and leave a $499,999,505.00 tip?
See you soon.
*Dutch for ”No, it’s entirely your fault.” Because it’s an earthquake, get it?