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How Did I Miss That? Oh, Deer! Cement Shoes Are Real

KXAN reported on a call answered by Austin, Texas firefighters.

Megan Laprelle was coming back from a hike when she happened to glance down at the storm drain under a busy intersection of several roads. There was a frightened deer looking back at her. Unable to rescue the deer, she called 911.

This is how Austin firefighters got dispatched to a call they don’t hear every day, “deer in storm drain.” The response took some thought and quite a bit of time.

They removed a manhole cover some distance from the drain and got a rope with which to lasso the deer. Then they had to frighten the deer enough to make it move towards the manhole but not enough that it would harm itself.

Eventually, they got the lasso on the young buck—weight estimated at 50-60 pounds—and lifted him straight up. Then they carried him off into the woods so he would not try to cross any of the busy highways.

Some years ago, the same department was called to my neighborhood, where a small kitten had managed to get itself to the very top of a utility pole….but not back down. After listening to it scream for a couple of hours and calling it in vain, we notified the fire department and they dispatched a ladder truck. One of the firefighters put on heavy gloves in case the feline was ungrateful and carried it down the ladder.

You’re really glad to see these guys if you have a fire, but that’s not all they do.

Associated Press reported that New York’s JFK Airport is installing a “pet relief area,” the euphemism for toilet facilities for traveling animals, usually dogs and quite often service dogs, which are not exactly “pets.” The New York facility joins those at Dulles International in Washington, O’Hare in Chicago, and Seattle-Tacoma International. A federal regulation requires these facilities in all airports serving more than 10,000 passengers per year, but the rule is not in place until August.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller reminded me that we’ve never visited the VA Hospital without seeing several service dogs. Then he asked me to speculate on what the potty police in North Carolina would do with “pet relief areas?”

I am not informed, but how could it be any crazier than the current rule requiring a person wearing male clothes who may be sprouting a beard from the hormone treatments to go in the ladies room while a person wearing female clothes with noticeable breasts from the same treatments has to go in the men’s room?

After some alleged “investigation,” the Justice Department found the North Carolina law to contain civil rights violations. Duh.

Cousin Ray wondered how you “investigate” something that’s crazy on its face? “Did they just count the number of trans people beaten up trying to comply with both the law and doctor’s orders?”

Elsewhere in the news of bodily wastes and law, NBC 6 in South Florida reported that Zoo Miami is losing animals to toxoplasmosis, a disease carried in cat feces. Cats have been observed entering the zoo from the surrounding park and using the sand in holding areas, since there are no litter boxes.

Having lost a red kangaroo and three squirrel monkeys to toxoplasmosis, the zoo has started trapping the cats to put the healthy ones up for adoption and euthanize the unhealthy ones.

Cat advocates in the community are protesting, and one emailed: "This zoo should have never been built near our homes in the first place. So you and the zoo are the ones invading and should be trapped and euthanized."

Ron Magill, a spokesman for Zoo Miami, told NBC 6, "This is Pine Rockland, the most endangered natural habitat in South Florida. There are endangered species that live in here. It's against the law for free roaming cats to be in this property."

“There ya go,” Cousin Ray hooted. “Damn cats can’t read the signs!”

The Wall Street Journal reported on a New York University study that used DNA technology to examine the microbes on U.S. one dollar bills. They were able to identify 3,000 types of bacteria, but they could not identify about 20 per cent of the non-human DNA.

Pretty scary, but maybe not as scary as a 2012 study at Queen Mary University of London that found “about 6 percent of English bank notes tested had levels of E. coli bacteria comparable to a toilet seat.”

Cousin Ray wanted to know if that’s what they mean by “filthy lucre?”

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Turning to fashion news, The New York Times reported that an organized crime myth became real when Peter “Petey Crack” Martinez washed up near Manhattan Beach in what the Times called “the unicorn of true crime,” cement shoes.

The report detailed how to fit a victim for cement shoes and it was complicated. That was offered to explain why Petey Crack was the first corpse to turn up wearing concrete on feet outside of crime fiction.

My Republican Cousin Ray remarked that cement shoes were the preferred attire for candidates in the GOP Primary.

Chris Matthews suggested a metaphor for Trump’s tactics in the Republican Primary: a demolition derby. He destroyed each candidate with charges only loosely connected to truth, repeated loudly and often. Low energy Jeb! Little Marco. Lyin’ Ted. Ugly Carly. Pathological Ben.

Matthews must have watched a demolition derby, because he pointed out that every time you smack into somebody else’s vehicle, you damage yours. Trump’s demolition of his primary opponents left him the only candidate on either side of the race with higher negative numbers than Hillary Clinton.

Before the last two opponents left the GOP nomination to Trump, former House Speaker John Boehner called the leading not-Trump, Ted Cruz, “Lucifer in the flesh” for shutting the government down over repealing Obamacare. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) commented that Boehner “gave Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Cruz.”

HuffPost contacted Lucien Graves, spokesman for the Satanic Temple, who said of Boehner and his audience, “These are simple-minded people.” Asked if that implied an endorsement of Cruz, Graves offered an opinion on the Texas junior senator:

I think he is a real disaster. I think he is possibly one of the worst. I think we have been on a race to the bottom for a long time now, and you keep thinking it can’t get worse and people would wise up after a clown like [Sarah] Palin or George Bush. But then you see people lining up around Ted Cruz.

Cruz found a new mark on the sarcasm scale when he responded to Donald Trump’s insinuation that the elder Rafael Cruz was involved in the JFK assassination.

That bit of dirty pool was based on a photo published by the National Enquirer, about which experts admitted that an unidentified man in an old picture of Lee Harvey Oswald could have been the elder Cruz. The Enquirer has fired several volleys against Cruz, which may or may not be because of Trump’s long friendship with the publisher, the aptly named David Pecker.

The best-known Enquirer report before this was an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual exploits involving five women and Cruz that would make Bill Clinton blush. Everybody involved denied the story and nobody publicly supported it but the story came to a supermarket near you along with unsupported allegations about Jeb Bush’s cocaine habit, Ben Carson’s medical malpractice, and Hillary Clinton having one foot in the grave.

Of his father, Cruz ranted, “he killed JFK, he’s really Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his back yard.”

Pointing out a report in Article 107 News, Cousin Ray ventured, “Speaking of satire, I understand there’s no truth to the rumor that Trump wants to appoint Dylan Howard to head the CIA.”

Dylan Howard is the editor of the Enquirer; so maybe The Donald is not above poaching employees from his pal Pecker, head of that organization

Those who believe Trump will settle down in the general election ought to see the buttons for sale outside a Trump event: “KFC Hillary Special: 2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts... left wing” and “Life’s a Bitch---Don’t Vote for One.”

Raw Story reported on Oklahoma justice, and Molly Redden’s report did an outstanding job of showing the contrast between people who think the law matters and people who do not.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled unanimously that Oklahoma law does not criminalize oral sex with a person too intoxicated to consent. Oklahoma has a rape statute that does criminalize vaginal or anal intercourse with a person too intoxicated to consent, proving the legislature knew how to legislate if it chose and the judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals knew how to read.

Everybody agreed that the result was wrong. The disagreement was over whether the legislature did the wrong thing when it made the law or the court did the wrong thing when it refused to make up a law to convict somebody who did something wrong not against the law on the books.

Last but not least, The New York Times reminded a grateful public that April 28 was Ed Balls day.