The North Koreans called it a “cruise ship” and tried to establish a business model to attract wealthy tourists from China, but to the New York Times reporter on board, the 40-year-old boat was more like a “tramp steamer” on which “vacationers” paid the equivalent of $470 to “enjoy” five days and nights at sea.
More than 200 people boarded the “dim” and “musty” vessel, “sometimes eight to a room with floor mattresses” and iffy bathrooms. The onboard “entertainment” consisted not of shuffleboard but of “decks of cards” and karaoke.
Dinner “resembled a mess hall at an American Army base,” but with leftovers thrown overboard (even though some of it was blown back on deck).
The trip was capped, wrote the Times, by the boat’s crashing into the pier as it docked, knocking a corner of the structure “into a pile of rubble.”
to the fuzz
Sally Stricker was angry that the Nebraska troopers patrolling the state fair grounds had told her that she had an “illegal” message on her T-shirt and that if she wished to remain at the fair, she would have to either change shirts or wear hers inside out.
The “message” was a marijuana leaf with the slogan “Don’t panic, It’s organic.”
Stricker was at the fair to attend the night’s live concert — starring (marijuana-friendly) Willie Nelson.
A 51-year-old woman told police she fought off an attempted street robbery in Pennsville Township, N.J., by burning the age-20-something assailant with her lit cigarette.
She said the man yelled “Ouch” and ran away.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)