Perspective: Of the world's 7 billion people, an estimated 2.6 billion do not have toilet access, and every day a reported 4,000 children die from sanitation-related illnesses. However, in May, in Portland, Ore., Douglas Eki and "Jason" Doctolero were awarded $332,000 for wrongful firing because they complained about being inconvenienced at work by not having an easily available toilet. Menzies Aviation had arranged for the men to use facilities at nearby businesses at their Portland International Airport site, but the men said they felt unwelcome at those places and continued to complain (and use buckets). One juror said afterward that having easy access to a toilet was a "basic human right," citing the "dignity (of) being able to go to the bathroom within 30 seconds or a minute." Said Doctolero, "Hopefully, no one will have to suffer what I went through."
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
-When Sherry Bush returned home in Westlake, Ohio, in May, she found an "invoice" written on a napkin, left by "Sue Warren," billing her $75 for a housecleaning that Warren had done while Bush was out. However, Bush never heard of Warren, and there had been reports by others in Westlake of Warren's aggressive acquisition of "clients." "Did you get the wrong house?" Bush asked Warren when she found "Sue Warren Cleaning" online. "No," said Warren, "I do this all the time. I just stop and clean your house." Warren was not immediately charged with a crime.
-Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker still owes the IRS a reported $6 million and now sells a line of "survival" products to help true believers live through the coming apocalypse. (It is unclear whether believers need to "survive," since the popular reading of the apocalypse casts it as a fast track to heaven for the faithful.) The Talking Points Memo blog did some comparative shopping and found many of Bakker's items to be overpriced by as much as 100 percent. Bakker also offers the devout a $100 Silver Solution Total Body Cleanse Kit, which includes enemas.
-Undignified Deaths: (1) A prominent karate instructor and superhero impersonator (of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine) was found dead in Carshalton, England, in February, and a coroner's inquest in May determined it was yet another sexual-misadventure death. The 50-year-old was discovered wrapped in a red nylon sheet with his neck and ankles tightly bound in what police estimated was three rolls of cling film. (2) Though authorities could not be certain, evidence suggests that Vicente Benito, whose body was found in his home in the village of Canizal, Spain, in May, might have been lying there for almost 20 years. The mayor of the 520-person hamlet told a reporter for London's The Guardian that since the man had always been a hermit, he had apparently not been missed. No one noticed a smell coming from the home, but since the house was close to a pigsty, that was not unusual, either.