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NEWS OF THE WEIRD: France takes good care of professional bum

"Thierry F." recently outed himself as a professional welfare bum, bragging in his new autobiography that he has lived very well off the French government for most of the past 24 years and that, even after his unemployment benefits expired, he fo...

"Thierry F." recently outed himself as a professional welfare bum, bragging in his new autobiography that he has lived very well off the French government for most of the past 24 years and that, even after his unemployment benefits expired, he found a second unemployment program to leech from. The latest one pays almost all of his monthly home loan, according to an October dispatch from Paris in the Times of London, and provides free medical care plus a "Christmas bonus," leaving an equivalent of $214 per month for what the delighted Thierry calls his "leisure activities."

COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS

* The Problem Is Goats: (1) A traffic officer in eastern Ontario, who ticketed a speeding motorist from Switzerland in September, said the driver blamed it on the lack of goats. He told the officer that he felt liberated driving fast because, unlike in his country, there were no goats wandering onto the highway. (2) Authorities in the Nigerian village of Isseluku arrested a man for killing his brother in September, but the man insisted that he had only tried to move a goat from his farm. But when it wouldn't move, he hit it with an ax, at which point it turned into his brother, according to an Associated Press report.

IRONIES

* Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley told the Washington Post in August that his brilliant performance in a December game (three touchdowns against Dallas to get to the NFL playoffs) was also the reason his fantasy football team was knocked from the playoffs, in that "Chris Cooley" plays for one of his opponents.

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* Anthony Mesa failed a drug test in September because, he said, he was medically unable to urinate into a cup under supervision, and he was remanded to a judge in Deland, Fla., to reconsider his house-arrest-only sentence. Mesa's crime was that in August 2005, he spiked a Mountain Dew bottle at a grocery store with his own urine as a prank.

Visit Chuck Shepherd daily at http://NewsoftheWeird . blogspot.com or www.News oftheWeird.com. Send your Weird News to Weird NewsTips@ yahoo.com or P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, FL 33679.

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