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POLICE IN ONE country are arresting people whose breath smells bad. Can you guess which one?

No, it’s not Singapore: not yet, anyway.

It’s India where traffic police are sniffing motorists’ breath and charging those who smell drunk. Sniffing is quicker than breathalyzers, they say.

“On Pinjore highway, most of the drivers are drunk,” a cop told theTimes of India. “If we start checking each of them with sensors, it will lead to traffic snarls on the road."

Eww. Imagine spending your workday sniffing strangers’ breath! I think I’d rather just let civilization descend into mindless anarchy. (I’m a parent, I’m used to mindless anarchy.)

Shubham Gupta, a motorist whose cough medicine gives him odd-smelling breath, complained to the newspaper about it: “Though I got my medical test done that showed I hadn't had hard drinks, they [cops] said my challan [crime listing] couldn't be cancelled as it had been fed into the system.”

To avoid errors, some officers ask drivers whose breath smells strange how many children they have. Inability to answer is taken as confirmation of drunkenness.

Surely that could just be evidence that the driver is French?


FUGITIVE MAKOTO Hirata spent three hours trying to give himself up in Tokyo last week, the Japan Times reported. He turned up at various police offices, made 10 phone calls, and pleaded with counter staff—but everyone thought he was joking. Imagine the conversation.

HIRATA: “Hi! This is your lucky day! I’m a formerly famous fugitive super-villain who has decided to turn himself in after 17 years on the run!”

OFFICER: “Yeah, right, and I’m Sailor Moon.”


A CRIMINAL robbing a Halifax bank in London last week told staff to fill a sack with money—but then accidentally handed over his gun instead of the bag. End of robbery. I do this all the time. I mean hand over the wrong thing, not rob banks. A reader told me he carefully extracted a burger from the wrapping paper in which it came and then threw the burger into the bin.


THE AWARD for dumbest criminal this week goes to a gentleman in the US state of Oregon, nominated by Hong Kong reader Sunita Chau. Dan Johnson Jr. last week allegedly stole a collection of rare coins and fed them one by one into machines, turning his valuable loot into a bag of small change. Way to go, Dan. I think they should free him. Walking around with such a tiny brain is punishment enough.


A JUDGE last week found a man guilty of offensive behavior after he called his wife a “prostitute”. The Scottish court banned Anthony Cameron from talking to his wife for six months. Wait. That’s a punishment?


IF YOU are ever having a bad day, think about a pair of thieves in the US town of Ogden, Utah. Last month they robbed a store. While they were inside, thieves broke into their car, taking items worth two or three times as much as the shoplifters stole. I can’t help but wonder what they said on their way to the police station: “Ewww, this town’s full of crooks.”


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