John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
You probably don't want to know.
Welcome to a highly individualistic edition of This Week in Bans, our weekly look at what's been prohibited throughout the world:
A VERY RUDE LIBRARY PATRON, IN WISCONSIN
A man in Racine has the dubious honor of becoming what's likely history's first person to be banned from public libraries – all of them. Tyree Carter was bailed out of jail only after signing papers in which he agreed to "stay out of all the libraries on the face of the earth," reports the Journal Times.
What was the alleged violation that made Carter welcome only in the future colonial-terraformer libraries of Mars? That would be "openly masturbating" in the Racine Public Library, writes the Times:
An officer was dispatched to the library at 10:36 a.m. Wednesday for a report of Carter’s behavior. The employee who reported the behavior said Carter was on the second floor and was “standing in the open, not trying to conceal the act,” according to his criminal complaint.
When police arrived Carter was seated reading a book at a table and the officer asked Carter if he knew why police were called. He said he had no idea, the complaint said. But when the officer explained, Carter allegedly apologized and said it was his first time doing it in public, according to the criminal complaint.
Now Carter is on the hook for a potential $11,000 fine and a year in jail which, on the bright side, probably also has a library.
Racine has been trying hard lately to earn the mantle of America's Skeeziest City. According to the Times, sheriff's deputies had to pull another man off a Megabus after a woman reported him watching computer porn and “masturbating with his genitals exposed.”
AXE BODY SPRAY, IN PENNSYLVANIA
Rejoice, ladies: You now have a great reason to reject every dude in the bar hitting on you from inside a noxious Axe cloud. After a freshman student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem experienced a severe allergic reaction to what might have been every bro's favorite body scent, the principal banned the fragrant spray throughout the school.
The student was taken away in an ambulance but appears to be back at school. Here's the public notice displayed on the website of Freedom High, located about 60 miles north of Philadelphia:
The purpose of this posting is to make all parents, staff and students aware of a medical issue involving a Freedom High School student having an extreme allergy to Axe Body Spray. This allergy is potentially life threatening for this student. Most recently this student has been transported to the hospital by ambulance for emergency medical treatment due to this student being exposed to Axe Body Spray while attending school.
My request to all Freedom Family members is that we take into consideration this student’s allergy to Axe Body Spray and refrain from using it as your cologne or fragrance of choice while attending Freedom High School.
The company that makes Axe, Unilever, is “looking into the matter,” reports NBC10.
FALSELY CRYING “BINGO,” IN KENTUCKY
Don't mess around with the bingo players in the northern Kentucky city of Covington: Some people take it personally. Austin Whaley learned this recently after he walked into a gaming hall and, for a laugh, yelled "BINGO!!!" An off-duty police sergeant in the building promptly slapped handcuffs onto the 18-year-old Whaley and hauled his fake-bingo-crying butt to jail.
Listed on the police report was the crime of "disorderly conduct," reports WLWT TV. That report also gave the sergeant's rational for arresting Whaley for the prank: "This caused the hall to quit operating since they thought someone had won. This delayed the game by several minutes and caused alarm to patrons."
Whaley could have faced 90 days in jail for his "crime," but lucked out by getting a sympathetic judge who only banned him from saying "bingo" for six months. Now the teenager spends his time giving hilarious interviews to the press, messing up the lyrics to "There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog," saying "ognib" (bingo backward) and generally rubbing his light sentence into the face of the man who arrested him.