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In December, police in Vienna, Austria, confiscated the driver's license of soldier Gregor Hajek, 29, for drunk driving as he was on his way to his girlfriend's house. Police then drove him back to his barracks 35 miles away. Several hours later, Hajek confiscated an M-60 tank, crashed through the army base gates, and headed back to his girlfriend's house. Police followed at 30 miles an hour and arrested him as he arrived at his destination.

Well Put

Lyni Marie Nowack was fined $500 in Montgomery County, Virginia, in January. Annoyed at her $226 personal-property tax bill, she had mailed her check to county treasurer Ellis Meredith by addressing the envelope, "Ellis Meredith, Bastard," and writing "[expletive deleted in original news story] you" on the memo line of the check.

In September in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Arlindo Barbosa da Silva was exonerated by Judge Antonio Carlos Goncalves of "thrashing" his mother-in-law during a domestic dispute. The woman had tried to intervene to help her daughter, but the judge concluded, "The accused acted in the strict fulfillment of his duty, which is to keep outsiders from perturbing conjugal harmony."

A radio station in Kitchener, Ontario, sponsoring a "What Would You Do for $10,000?" contest last fall, permitted such stunts as eating a dung-covered apple and regurgitated spaghetti and going snorkeling in a tub of worms but rejected the idea of a woman who wanted to hand out bumper stickers while nude on a downtown street corner. Said a station spokesman, "We didn't want to be associated with that."

Briton Peter Brimblecombe, a specialist in atmospheric chemistry, told reporters in December that two major causes of the sulfide that erodes museum photographs and paintings are wet woolens (people often go to galleries on rainy days) and "bio-effluents" (i.e. flatulence). His solution? "If people have to go to galleries and museums, they should wear no clothes and control themselves."

In December, Daniel Tarpenning III turned down a judge's deal that would have released him from jail in San Francisco, where he had been held on drug-dealing charges, because he preferred confinement. "I want stability, and the streets don't offer me stability."

A note from the office of U.S. Representative Robert Michel (of Illinois) in November, responding to a vitriolic letter from Henry Herman, 77, who complained about "putrid souls," "jackals," "liars," and "parasites" in government and included a $1 bill to "get [Michel's] attention," read in its entirety, "Henry, up yours."

Won't Take No for an Answer

Louis Lakes, 29, was arrested in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, in November. Reportedly he approached two men in a bar and tried to sell them drugs, and when they declined, Lakes followed them into a convenience store, argued with them, grabbed a knife, chased the men into a parking lot, and threatened to kill them.

Carlos Norman Mullis, 24, pleaded guilty to drunk driving in Red Deer, Alberta, last spring but poignantly asked for leniency in sentencing, claiming that he had finally given up drinking several months before. At the prosecutor's request, Mullis was taken from the courtroom for a breathalyzer test, which revealed a 0.11 percent blood alcohol level.

Three instant photographs of a man exposing his genitals were found taped to the drive-through window of a Salt Lake City restaurant in January, and police had reports of similar photographs found taped to a doorstep and under a windshield wiper. Police speculated that unusually cold weather had forced the flasher to rely on substitute behavior.

Chutzpah

Denver Broncos football player Blake Ezor, convicted of shoplifting in October in East Lansing, Michigan, and ordered to pay a fine and perform 24 hours of community service, told reporters immediately afterward that he thought he already did perform a community service by signing autographs after games.

Steven Lane, the chief executive officer of Emerson Radio Corporation, who suffered $12 million in losses on October 1987's Black Monday, sued Drexel Burnham Lambert recently for incompetence. Lane's Drexel broker was his wife, Trina.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration announced last year that it was investigating Dr. Sheldon L. Zigelbaum for sexual abuse of several women. One incident of abuse reportedly took place shortly before Zigelbaum asked the woman's husband for a $6,000 loan to defend himself against the board's allegations.

Jamel Dahman, 31, was arrested in Athens, Greece, in December when he filed a complaint with airport police demanding the return of a suitcase lost on a flight from Damascus. Police dogs had intercepted it, and $330,000 worth of cocaine was inside.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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