Little Stories: Gold Bars, North Korea, World War II Is Over and Wedding Disasters

There is apparently a debt ceiling escape hatch we can wriggle through while going over the fiscal cliff. This would have saved a whole lot of anxiety late last December if we had known about it at that time. Maybe now it’s important to know about it for next time.

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A man named Omar Santiago, who police have identified as the groom’s niece’s guest, went to the wedding of Larry and Joanna Williamson at the West Sayville Country Club and got arrested for allegedly stealing presents intended for the wedding couple. Police say the maitre d’ of the country club saw Omar in a cloakroom allegedly holding a box containing the couples’ gifts. He reportedly then shoved gift envelopes into his pants and fled, but was chased by the groom and other guests and held until police arrived. Witnesses said he had on him the loot.

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Here’s another Long Island wedding story that wound up in court.

Samantha Shea of Oceanside was getting into her wedding dress at a hotel in New York City with her bridesmaids when, as they were fluffing up the bustle of the gown about 15 minutes before she would have to make an appearance, the zipper of the dress, tooth by tooth, came slowly apart from the waistline to the neck.

“It was a complete nightmare,” Shea told Newsday. “I was two hours late to my wedding. I almost didn’t get married.”

Shea demanded that a court force the seamstress who had sewn in the zipper, Dalia Cohen of Bridal World in Baldwin, pay for
her damages.

According to the testimony, after the bride’s zipper broke Shea began crying and her mother became hysterical. Apparently Cohen was called because in her testimony she said she was “devastated” at what happened and was in her car rushing over to the hotel to fix the dress when she got a text telling her not to come, so she turned around. In the interim, what had happened was the hotel, informed of the problem, sent up two housekeeping employees to the room to help. There, for the next hour and a half, they carefully sewed Shea into her dress.

Shea was then off to the ceremony but was so late that when she arrived she found the minister was about to leave to go to his next appointment, and so therefore did an abbreviated ceremony. Shea suffered further when, after the ceremony she went to the reception in the dress and thus spent six hours unable to go to the bathroom. Also, when, finally, it was all over, the only way out of the dress was to have it torn off her.

The judge ordered Cohen to pay Shea $1,499, an amount which would cover the cost of the dress, the alterations, the last minute fixes, the excess time spent waiting by the minister and the money in cash paid by Shea to the two housekeepers who had bleeding fingers rushing through getting her sewn into the dress.

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Nineteen years ago, the manager of a bank in Vienna stole gold bars and $240,000 in cash, according to the New York Post. The police caught up with him, he was arrested, and they found the gold bars and $82,000 of the original $240,000. The gold bars were sent to the bank’s insurance company, which sold them at a handsome profit because gold had gone up so much in price. The profit was so much it also covered the whole $240,000 that had been taken and paid to the insured, and the bank interest, too.

All this time, the $82,000 the thief had been caught with remained with the Justice Ministry, which, this year, all these years later, offered it back to the insurance company. But the insurance company said they weren’t entitled to it, so the money went to the thief.

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The humor magazine The Onion recently named the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, the Sexiest Man in the World.

“With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm and his strong sturdy frame, this Pyongyang bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true,” the article claimed. “Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and of course, that famous smile.”

As a result of this designation, China’s People’s Daily Online went nuts, lavishing praise on The Onion in their article “North Korea’s Top Leader Named the Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012” and accompanied the story with 55 really hot photographs of him fully clothed, including one in which he is seen on horseback.

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There seems to be good money in getting bullied. A 23-year-old hairdresser named Anthony Zeno was awarded $1 million by an appeals court. The award has to be paid by a high school in Dutchess County.

Zeno, who is described as “dark-skinned, biracial, half white and half Latino,” transferred to the Stissing Mountain High School in Dutchess County from a high school on Long Island several years ago. Stissing Mountain High School at the time had a minority population of less than 5%.

At the trial it was proven that Zeno, beginning shortly after he arrived, was “menaced, threatened and taunted” on many, many occasions and “endured numerous serious—and sometimes life threatening—incidents of harassment.” He was also, it was stated in the case, once punched by a member of the school football team.

His parents met with the principal many times during the three years he was there to ask what could be done about it and the principal, on each occasion, did punish those who did this but he also told the parents he wasn’t sure he could keep Zeno safe on an ongoing basis. He also said when Mrs. Zeno said she might file a lawsuit against the school that “this is a small town and you don’t want to start burning your bridges.”

In the appeals court, the ruling judge wrote that they felt that the $1.25 that was originally ordered to be paid was a bit high, but that $1 million in these sorts of cases was not uncommon so that is the amount they ruled should be paid.

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In Hampton Bays last month, a man allegedly threatened a neighbor with a hatchet after telling him to stop making advances to his fiancé. As a result, the alleged victim of the hatchet threat went to the police and had the hatchet threatener arrested.

Soon after this, the fiancé went to police and claimed that after her boyfriend’s arrest—he is now awaiting trial—the alleged hatchet victim came again to her and told her that when her boyfriend’s trial came up he would go easy on the testimony about the hatchet if she’d give him oral sex. She declined. She also said that after he declined he said that $500 could get the easier testimony too, which she also declined.

Having heard this, police returned to the alleged hatchet victim, who then told them that the girlfriend first offered HIM the cash payment in exchange for favorable treatment. The result of this was the police charging the alleged hatchet victim with felony bribery.

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A feminist blog called Crates and Ribbons has taken on that wonderful photograph at the end of World War II in which a sailor is seen bending back and happily kissing a nurse in Times Square in celebration of that announcement.

The writer of the blog, who calls herself “leopard,” states that the kiss was in fact, since apparently non-consensual, a sexual assault on a woman and for people to fail to notice this is to give unconscious approval to “the rape culture in which we live.”

This attack on the Famous Kiss has brought what happened that day into sharp focus. The peace treaty was signed. Newspapers were being passed around with giant headlines that read WAR OVER. And in Times Square, this sailor, George Mendonsa, was on a date with another woman having a few drinks when, hearing about this, leaped up and grabbed the nearest nurse he could find to bend her over backwards and give her a big smack.

The nurse was Greta Zimmer Friedman (actually a dental nurse) and, still in uniform, she had gone out of the office for a coffee break at that moment when he grabbed her. She later told people she was delighted to be kissed like that, and it seemed to her to be simply an overwhelming feeling of joy on the sailor’s part and, perhaps, even a thank you to nurses worldwide for what they had done for the men during the war, even if she wasn’t a nurse.

As for the woman Mendonsa was dating, you can see her in the background of the kiss, and as it happened, Mendonsa later married the woman.

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