Sunday, June 21, 2009
Father's Day News
The protests in Iran over the recent election results are taking over the airwaves on cable news. Although no foreign reporters are allowed in the Iran, social networking sites are allowing citizens to send information via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Images are being shown on the TV news from the cell phone cameras of ordinary citizens. It's disturbing and hard to watch, as Iranian anti-riot police use clubs, tear gas, water cannons and in some reports, guns, to combat protesters. In America, in order to balance the violent images coming out of Iran, we look for the lighter news that can give us something to laugh about as we celebrate Father's Day. The "cocaine-in-the-frozen-shark" story became old news when a man in Oklahoma was mugged for his bologna sandwich, with a street value of 76 cents. Now we find out that a city in Florida has a new dress code that requires city workers to wear underwear and use deodorant. The city council in Brooksville north of Tampa recently approved the "personal hygiene" code. Last week's report about a man who set off fireworks in a bathroom in an Arby's restaurant, blowing up a toilet, was upstaged by a story on Friday about two wayward cows in Massachusetts who went AWOL from their farm and walked over five miles into New Hampshire. Nashua authorities tracked down the cows with the help of concerned citizens, who called 911 with reports of the stray cows. Thursday's story about a Washington man who drove over three miles on I-5 in reverse is still being talked about around the water cooler. But the story last week about an Indiana lawyer who was found asleep headfirst in a neighbor's trash can after a night of drinking has been largely forgotten. Then there's the story of the New York woman who has been dead for six years who showed up at the DMV to get her driver's license. Actually, it was her son, Thomas Parkin, who dressed up in drag, reminiscent of the movie "Psycho". The incident happened in April, but the Associated Press has picked up the story and is running with it. It's spreading through all the major Internet news sites. As new information comes in, we're finding out that Parkin impersonated his mother for over six years and has collected over $100,000 in Social Security and housing benefits using her identity. Although he's been caught on the DMV security cameras dressed in drag, Parkin still professes his innocence. He is awaiting trial at Riker's Island on larceny and fraud charges, and he is giving interviews from prison. Parkin has reportedly hired a publicist, and this is one story that won't go away. That's OK. We need a little levity on Father's Day.