Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 April 1-31

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A Big Tent

In New Zealand, Steve Wyn-Harris rented a wall-less tent for the 50th Jubilee of Central Hawke's Bay College. Local officials told him he'd need to put fire exit signs on the tent.

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Elizabeth Collins came up with an idea she thought would appeal to the environmentally conscious and the thrifty, as well as those whose religions generally practice simple burials. She wanted to create a cemetery in Macon, Georgia, where people would be buried without coffins or vaults and without embalming. Macon-Bibb county officials squashed her plans by mandating caskets or vaults for all burials.

Tasmanian Devils

In Australia, traffic leaving an outdoor concert was backed up for six hours as Tasmanian police set up a roadblock. They stopped almost 1,000 vehicles and tested drivers for booze and drugs. They claimed to have charged 32 drivers for DUI or drugs.

No Time Like Now

Ryan Moats, a running back for the Houston Texans, and his family rushed to the hospital when they heard his mother-in-law was dying. But when they pulled into the hospital parking lot, Dallas police officer Robert Powell confronted them and drew his sidearm. He claimed that Moats had run a red light in his haste to get to the hospital, and he was determined to give Moats a ticket before letting him go see the dying woman. For 20 minutes, Powell ignored the pleas of nurses and a fellow police officer to let Moats go while he chastised the man and demanded paperwork from him. "I can screw you over," Powell told Moats. That he did. By the time Moats made it to the emergency room, his mother-in-law had died.

A Concrete Proposal

Janitor Jesus Barajas saved for 30 years to build his dream house on a piece of property he owns in Seattle. But he's going to have to downsize his plans thanks to a new city ordinance. The law requires him to build a sidewalk outside his home. The estimated cost is about $15,000. City officials admit it will be the only sidewalk in the area, probably for decades. They also admit the law as aimed at big developers. But they say they are powerless to waive the rules.