Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume 156

We’ve seen a lot of bad driving during the pandemic – something few of us would have predicted, but now that restrictions are loosening up, many are getting ready to take to the skies.

This week we’ll start on the ground with a darn fine freedom of expression driving case and then we’ll look to two stories about people wanting to take to the skies, one funny and one, well… we’ll warn you first because although it’s instructive, it’s also sad.

Follow the jump to read more of this week’s weirdest and wackiest legal cases.

Humans. We do strange things.

Not so strange was Tennessee driver Leah Gilliam’s desire to keep the personalized license plate she’s had for more than a decade. Strange was her justification against the (barely) arguable position taken by the State that it was somewhat offensive. Her vanity plate, 69PWNDU, might have some sexual connotation but so what? I mean, who are these prudes who don’t like a little…

But I digress. Gilliam received a threatening letter from the state revoking her plate. She fought back saying that she chose “69” to celebrate the Apollo moon landing in 1969 and that PWNDU is gamer slang meaning “totally defeat or dominate.”

Fair enough. This is plausible and America is all about freedom.

To keep her vanity plate she has had to file suit against the State. Her lawsuit points out that nobody has ever been injured by her license plate. Amazingly she’s facing 30-day in jail if she doesn’t give up her long-possessed plate.

Check out the story and you’ll see pretty clearly that this is just another case of people not liking some other person’s sense of humour or tastes. What’s funny to one person is in bad taste to another. Bad taste isn’t a legal category. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. And so forth.

Wacky! Let’s hope Ms. Gilliam PWNDs the Revenue Commissioner in court.

Learning to Fly

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their hit Leaning to Fly in June 1991. That’s 30 years ago if you’re keeping track.

Learning to fly. But I ain’t got wings. And neither does Florida man, Brandon Marti who, after allegedly crashing a stolen car then attempted to steal a helicopter.

Does he know how to fly? I note, a helicopter doesn’t have wings. Was this some sort of performance art? The news stories describe him having an accident, running from the accident and breaking into a home to get keys to steal a car and then driving the stolen car to the airport where he is alleged to have stolen a helicopter.

Sounds to me like it was just a bad day. But it may have been an ode to the late, great Mr. Tom Petty.

People do strange things after suffering head injuries, including occasionally attempting to steal aircraft.

Speaking of flying, or not…

Now, not everyone should get on an airplane, and in many cases one can assume that people are on the no-fly list for a good reason. And as the pandemic ends, people want to fly. Indeed, people have places to go, family to visit and the excitement of jetting off to another city is a big attraction.

If you’re on a no-fly list, I would imagine that would be frustrating. Still, it doesn’t excuse the behaviour of this attempted passenger (is that such a thing?) at the Orlando airport. My goodness. She throws a fit. And she throws computer equipment, and then picks up a stanchion and starts swinging that around while screaming.

There is a viral video but we want to warn you before watching it. Think about it before clicking. In it the woman’s daughter, about age 7, is calling out for her mom to stop. It’s heartbreaking. Mom is irrational and the daughter is rational and obviously and understandably distraught.

This is Weird and Wacky Wednesdays. Human foibles, human error and some of the sad moments that are part of the human story may be on display. We’re not making fun of anyone here except the prudes who don’t get a joke. We all have bad days and it’s important to be forgiving.

Still, as we go from cars to aircraft as pandemic restrictions lift, don’t steal a helicopter and keep your cool at the check-in counter, on the flight and at the baggage carousel, even though that gum-chewing guy is driving you nuts and that shifty lady almost took your bag.

“Hey, get away from my bag!”

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