MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE  |  october 28, 2015

A flamingo named Pedro

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james k white This strategy did not seem to work: A twenty-four year old man in Tulsa, Oklahoma tried to avoid receiving a parking ticket by kissing a policewoman on her elbow as she filled out paper work. Not only did the man receive the ticket, he was additionally convicted for physical assault.

Another event in the “Doh!” column: In 1943, the U.S. Army Air Corps accumulated some thirty million bats with the intention of attaching tiny one ounce incendiary bombs that were to activate with a slow fuse. The plan was to release the bats over enemy cities and cause fires as the bats sought refuge in buildings, etc. The scheme was never implemented abroad, but at least one general’s staff car, one large airplane hangar and one small forest were all destroyed in the United States when some of the armed bats escaped military control.

All polar bears thus far observed have been left pawed.

A flamingo named Pedro resides in England’s Banham Zoo. I mention Pedro because he has been successfully fitted with an artificial leg constructed of plastic tubing.

William Painter worked as a foreman at a machine shop. In 1892, William developed the metal cork-lined bottle cap. The inventor also fashioned a machine for applying the caps and an opener for removing those lids. He patented all three inventions and rapidly became a millionaire. The company Painter founded is still listed as a Fortune 500 enterprise (Crown Holdings, Inc.).

The Swaythling (really spelled that way) Cup is an international table tennis competition. Following the opening serve in a 1936 match, the ensuing volley required 2 hours and 12 minutes to conclude.

Catwoman’s “real” name is Selina Kyle.

The bubonic plague of 1340 – 1400 killed over 100 million people in Europe. There were some significant economic and status changes resulting from this gloomy era. First, there were fewer workers in the countryside and in cities which led to huge pay increases for those workers who did survive. Secondly, land and chattel became cheaper because the properties were not as productive with fewer workers available. These factors made it possible for families that had spent generations in poverty to purchase land, even castles. Some serfs and tradesmen became landed nobility in a short time. Well, I cannot recommend trying to kiss your way out of a citation, but I can recommend that you have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at