An angry mob stole his head.

September 1, 2011 § 5 Comments

If you are a comet, and you are going to make the nerds down at NASA nervous that you will smash into earth and end life as we know it, you’d better not fall apart before you get here. You may remember me mentioning recently that the comet Elenin (C/2010 X1) was going to miss us by about 22,000,000 miles. Originally, some had worried that Elenin (C/2010 X1) was going to hit the earth and we would all die horrible fiery deaths. Well, I have an update about Elenin (C/2010 X1): it’s falling apart.

Comets, as we all learned in 10th grade science class, are made up of rock, dust, and ice. They are sometimes called “dirty snowballs” by scientists. (And all this time I thought a “dirty snowball” was a inappropriate act involving a Hostess-brand pastry). So it seems that Elenin (C/2010 X1) is breaking up into cosmic debris and fizzling out. So not only is it not going to cause our unspeakably terrible deaths, it’s not even going to get close enough to give Doomsday prophets anything to make signs about. (@Doomsday2012: “Stupid comet. I guess I can go back to worrying about the government listening to me through my fillings. #betterlucknexttime”)

But even though Elenin (C/2010 X1) won’t be showing up, something that has been showing up a lot in the past couple of years are dismembered feet, still wearing shoes. There have been twelve cases reported in Vancouver of shoes washing ashore in the past 3 years, all of them with feet still inside. What Canadians are doing to their feet is a baffling mystery.

I am a Canadian, as I’ve mentioned before. I used to live next door to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. But that was in Calgary, which is a land-locked city, with no possibility of ocean-going dismembered feet washing up onshore. Why Vancouver is so keen on collecting them is beyond me. I should mention that I know several people from Vancouver and they all seem very nice and pleasant, but now that I think about it, I’ve never seen them barefoot. There might be something going on in ol’ British Columbia.

There is definitely something going on in Germany. As well as being a Canadian, I also lived in Germany and grew quite fond of Germans and their particular weirdnesses. I am pleased to report that even though I have left, Germany remains silly in its own special way. Prostitutes now have their own “parking meters.”

Prostitution is legal in some parts of Germany, but the Germans had trouble collecting taxes from them, because they tended to work as “independent contractors” (if you catch my drift). Although there are prostitute consortiums (“brothels,” if you will), most German ladies-of-ill-repute work in a more ambulatory idiom. So German officials pondered the issue, and came up with the following idea: if you are a prostitute, you must go to a specific vending machine (which looks like a parking meter), and get a “parking pass-like ticket” to practice your trade. Tickets are apparently going at a rate of six Euros (about $9.50) per night, and if you are caught prostituting (…is that a word?) without your daily “prostitute parking pass,” the police take you to jail and you have to pay a hefty fine. So before you get a “dirty snowball” from a girl in Berlin, make sure she has her daily prostitution pass!

Oh, and “dirty snowball” is “schmutziger Schneeball” in German.

For those of you who were worried, scientists in Australia have recovered Ned Kelly’s bones. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. His headless remains were uncovered in a mass grave near the Old Melbourne Gaol (“gaol” is a prison, for those who don’t recognize the word). Now he can hopefully be reunited with his head and put to rest.

Ned Kelly was an Irish-Australian “Robin Hood-style” outlaw who robbed banks to support his family and community. He is a folk hero in Australia for “fighting the man” or whatever. He was captured and hanged in November 1880 after shooting a bunch of police officers in a shootout and wearing a bucket on his head as armor. (That’s true: google it. His bucket helmet is in a library somewhere in Australia). In 1929 his body was exhumed (to be moved from the old prison cemetery to the new prison cemetery) (which seems unnecessary, when you think about it), and an angry mob stole his skull. But his bones we re-exhumed in 2009 and, using DNA evidence, confirmed as his. Now the hunt for Ned Kelly’s skull is in full “nationwide search mode.” Apparently back in 1929 someone labeled it “E. Kelly” (“Ned” being short for Edward), so if you come across any skulls labeled “E. Kelly,” call Australia: they’re looking for it.

Also, if you ever get the chance to watch the movie, Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom, let me just give you this warning: get ready to be depressed. That movie will bum you the hell out. (Maybe just watch the trailer). The end of Ned Kelly makes the end of Braveheart look like the end of Babe 2: Pig in the City.

All the cool kids are following Kids of the Recession on Facebook. Are you?

(Alternate title for this article: “Schmutziger Schneeball.”)

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

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