In Magazine: a man gets a tall fine for waking up the mayor with a complaint, a woman takes her mother’s ashes to an energy company to prove that she’s not about to pay any more bills, a singing lawyer runs for a seat in the Senate and the police catch a foxy thief red-handed.

Illustrative photo: Štěpánka BudkováIllustrative photo: Štěpánka Budková The Ombudsman’s Office was recently asked to pass judgment on a case in which a man was fined 1,000 crowns for waking up the town mayor in the middle of the night and asking him to deal with a noise pollution problem there and then. The citizen of an unnamed town in Moravia called the police to complain about loud music coming from a local gathering. The police told him to resolve his problem with the mayor and the man promptly went to ring the mayor’s bell at 1.30 am, waking up his whole family. The mayor, grumpy at being rudely woken up in the middle of the night, put the matter to the local committee deciding on misdemeanors – his own subordinates, as it happened - and the man was given a 1,000 crown fine. He promptly turned to the Ombudsman’s Office for help and the office ruled that while the decision to fine the man was highly disputable the procedure itself was not illegal since it was the duty of the local police not the mayor to restore law and order. Had the man wanted the mayor’s assistance he should have gone through normal channels and filed a complaint during work hours. Nothing to beat red tape!


Ivo Jahelka, photo: Miroslav BžochIvo Jahelka, photo: Miroslav Bžoch Lawyer, singer and song-writer Ivo Jahelka has announced his intention to run for a seat in the Senate in the autumn elections. Asked to explain his motivation Jahelka said that as a lawyer he knows how to read and interpret the law and is good at advising people how to live by it –which he does in a funny, witty manner in his songs. And the Senate, he said, would give him plenty of inspiration for new hits. Well, if he wins a seat we may be in for some surprises.


Illustrative photo: European CommissionIllustrative photo: European Commission A woman from Prague made headlines after dealing with repeated requests for payment from an energy company on her mother’s behalf in a most unusual fashion. After repeatedly informing the company –both over the phone and in writing – that her mother was long dead and getting more calls for payment – the woman took the urn with her mother’s ashes and marched to the local branch of the company to drive the message home. They were absolutely speechless and settled the matter there and then, she told the media, adding, I know it seems cynical, but when you are hounded by bureaucrats what else can you do?


Illustrative photo: Kristýna MakováIllustrative photo: Kristýna Maková A woman driver in Vsetín was left in shock after an accident in which a young cyclist failed to give her right of way and smashed through the car’s window onto the back seat. The young man smashed through the glass headfirst and when I turned he was stuck in the back seat up to his waist, the woman said later. Before I could speak to him he shook off the bits of glass, wriggled out of the window, grabbed his bike and cycled off, she told the police. The officers were unable to find the young man who must have run off for fear of being asked to pay for the glass pane.


Illustrative photo: Štěpánka BudkováIllustrative photo: Štěpánka Budková Eating competitions are popular outdoor events in the summer months and none more so than the annual competition in who can consume the most fruit dumplings in the town of Miroslavi in Moravia in the shortest possible time. The event is part of the traditional apricot harvest celebrations and local dumpling eaters practice their technique for weeks in advance. Last year’s champion Kamil Hamerský easily defended his title consuming 75 dumplings in the space of 20 minutes.


Illustrative photo: Kristýna MakováIllustrative photo: Kristýna Maková Citizens from a Plzen suburb asked the police to investigate who was creating a mess around their garbage cans every night. After a few days the police managed to solve the mystery –it was not a homeless person as some of the locals had thought – but a fox foraging for food. The culprit got away and far from being fined he was given the name Jirka, after the officer who caught him red-handed.

Each Sunday, participants will be able to vote in our new series Hit of the Century, covering 100 years of music in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. (More)