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Maybe it was the dirty air, or the oppressive heat, or the cumulative effect of a brutal summer. Whatever the reason, this past week was filled with instances of Marylanders behaving badly.

Consider this menu of the week's weird news:

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A couple checks into the downtown Hilton for a few nights. Instead of romance in the air, there was gunfire. The woman ends up shooting the man in the stomach with her gun, wounding him with what police said was a non-life-threatening injury.

A 3-foot-long caiman, the cousin of an alligator, shows up in the Patapsco River. Authorities speculate that

t
he critter, a native of Central and South America, was dumped in Patapsco State Park by someone who had grown tired of caring for the caiman as a pet.

A 28-year-old Maryland man was accused of squirting semen on women shopping at a Giant grocery store and a Michaels crafts shop in Gaithersburg. According to police, the man then took a photo of the women with his cell phone.

If these people were celebrities, then playing with pistols (see video of reality TV’s Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt at a firing range) or keeping inapproriate pets (see stories of actress Angelina Jolie traveling with a pet rat) or applying their precious bodily fluids to others (see Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz in the hair gel scene in "There’s Something About Mary"), this might be passed off as expected behavior. But no; the perpetrators of these acts appear to be regular folk.

Maybe the cold front that is supposed to move through the state this weekend will cool things down. But last week, it was kind of crazy out there.

Rob Kasper

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