At the December ceremony in Najaf, Iraq, in which U.S. commanders turned over control of the city, Iraqi commandos took the stage carrying frogs and a rabbit and soon were eating the animals raw in a show of feral manliness. As U.S. personnel looked on apprehensively, one Iraqi cut open the rabbit's belly, screamed, snatched its heart in his teeth, and passed the bloody carcass down the line, with each commando taking a bite. According to a Baltimore Sun dispatch, locals said that Saddam Hussein's special forces used to do similar things, but with snakes, dogs, cats and even wolves.
Floyd Kinney Jr., 49, pleading guilty in Northampton County, Pa., in December to indecent assault on two young girls, blamed the incidents on his wife's obsessive bingo habit, which he said took her out of the house "three, four times a week." (Said the judge, "Some people, when their wives aren't home, decide to clean the living room.")
¢ Numerous witnesses saw Michael Stone charge into the parliament building in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in November, armed with bombs, a knife and a handgun. After he was wrestled to the floor, he was charged with trying to kill separatist leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who were inside. However, in December, Stone said everything he did that day was merely "performance art replicating a terrorist attack."
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Charles Littleton, 22, was defiant even after being Tasered by police when he resisted efforts to remove him from a Saginaw (Mich.) City Council meeting. He said he had to stand up for his right to wear his Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, despite a rule banning hats for men inside. "It means more than just a hat," he said. "It's like my crown. It's like asking a king to remove his crown."
¢ IBM fired Vietnam veteran James Pacenza from his job at a research facility in East Fishkill, N.Y., because he had logged on to an Internet chat room at work after being told not to. However, Pacenza responded with a $5 million lawsuit in November, claiming that he is "addicted" to chat rooms, as "self-medication" for his Vietnam-based post-traumatic stress disorder. (IBM said it does accommodate illnesses, but was not aware that Pacenza's obsession amounted to one.)