MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17 This week of reimbursed wangs, malicious flatulence, and sword-wielding ex-Scientologists kicks off like so many weeks before it—with a decaying corpse on a toilet. This week's toilet corpse comes from Mauston, Wisconsin, where two members of a religious sect have been charged with allowing a dead fellow member to rot in a bathroom for months in order to collect the dead member's Social Security checks. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies the sect as the self-identified Order of the Divine Will, whose purported leader—58-year-old Alan Bushey—stands accused of executing the hideous scam with 36-year-old follower Tammy Lewis. Featured prominently in the alleged scam: 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth, a sect member who died in March, after which her dead body was placed in one of bathrooms of Lewis's home. While Bushey allegedly collected Middlesworth's Social Security checks, he reportedly assured Lewis—whose home increasingly smelled like a rotting corpse—that God would revive the dead woman. In May, investigators came looking for Middlesworth and were told by Lewis that the elderly woman was on vacation. But cops quickly followed the stench to the aforementioned corpse on the toilet, eventually arresting both Bushey and Lewis. Which brings us to today, when Lewis bargained for her future, entering into a plea agreement that reduces her conviction to a misdemeanor in exchange for her testimony against Bushey. "We also understand the power, the mental power, that Alan Bushey was exercising over [Lewis]," said District Attorney Scott Southworth. "We view her as a victim as well of Alan Bushey."
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 The week continues with the story of the Washington man who learned the precise value of his penis, thanks to the flesh-eating bacteria that devoured his wang and resulted in a $300,000 settlement from the Washington State Department of Corrections. Details come from the Seattle Times, which identifies the well-compensated wangless man as 61-year-old Charlie Manning, a repeat offender sentenced to one year and one month in Washington State's Stafford Creek Correctional Center in 2004. During his incarceration, Manning was struck by a slew of ailments, including a fever, swollen genitals, an infected hemorrhoid, rectal bleeding, and a rash on his torso, which prison medical staff initially diagnosed as an allergic reaction to cold medicine. Unfortunately, they were wrong, and by the time a doctor at Aberdeen's Grays Harbor Community Hospital correctly diagnosed Manning with necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacteria had spread to his pelvic area, necessitating Manning's airlifting to Harborview Medical Center where surgeons saved his life by removing several pounds of flesh, including his penis and one testicle. As the Times reports, a replacement penis was made with skin from Manning's thigh, and as yesterday's announcement of the $300,000 settlement makes clear, a replacement penis hacked from a thigh is not enough. "It's been a nightmare," said Manning to the Times. "I figured I should settle for what I could get because I just want it behind me.... It's like something from Mars."
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Nothing happened today, unless you count the commencement of Washington State's three-week crackdown on nighttime seat-belt scofflaws. Details come from King 5 News, which reports that for the next 21 days, 60 police agencies across the state will be conducting extra seat-belt crackdowns at night. The reason for the evening focus, according to Washington State Patrol Sgt. Harlan Jackson: "The people who choose not to wear their seat belt at night tend to be involved in other criminal activity. So we might not be just pulling over someone for a seat belt— that might lead to someone driving under the influence." Buckle up, watch out, and don't drink and drive.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20 The week continues in the cabin of a UK-bound passenger plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean, where a flight attendant was required to ditch her beverage tray and take over piloting duties after a copilot suffered an apparent mental breakdown. Details come from the official investigation, the results of which were released today and reported by the UK's Daily Mail: Last January, an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Heathrow was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon Airport in Ireland after the copilot effectively went bonkers. (Bonker-ish behavior cited in the official report: disoriented confusion, disjointed rambling, uncooperative belligerence, screaming for God.) After the crew forcibly removed the copilot from the cockpit and restrained him in a seat in the cabin, the captain of the Boeing 767 asked if there were any trained pilots onboard. Answering the call: a female member of the cabin crew in possession of a commercial pilot's license, who took over the copilot's seat and helped land the plane. Congrats to the heroic flight attendant, condolences to the broken-brained copilot.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21 Today brings a story that will be used to put the fear of God into gassy children for the next several decades. Our protagonist: the 12-year-old boy in Florida who was arrested by police for his disruptive farting. Details on Little Lord Fartleroy come from the Smoking Gun, which reports the incident occurred on November 5 at Stuart's Spectrum Jr./Sr. High School, where the unnamed 12-year-old "deliberately passed gas to disrupt the class." According to the police report, the boy admitted that he "continually disrupted his classroom environment by breaking wind and shutting off several computers." (The hobbled computers were a separate action, not the result of the broken wind.) Following his arrest for disruption of a school function, the boy (who turned 13 on November 15) was released and turned over to his mother.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22 The week continues with an oddly affecting story from Hot Tipper Bruce. "I was in the Subway restaurant on Third Avenue and needed to use the restroom. I knocked on the door. When no one answered, I asked for the key. To my astonishment, one of the sandwich makers came out with a paring knife and pried open the lock, revealing a horrified young man on the toilet, desperately trying to shut the door. I don't think I can eat there anymore."
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23 The week ends with an unusual Sunday service at the Hollywood Scientology center, where early this afternoon, 48-year-old Mario Majorski parked his car in front of the church's Celebrity Centre and emerged brandishing two samurai swords, which he reportedly swung at the center's security guards until the guards were required to shoot him. Identified as a problematic former member of the church, Majorski was taken to a hospital where he died from his wounds.
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