Photo: CTK

A team of firefighters assist with a surgical operation in hospital, President Klaus gets a cake to celebrate six years in office, and a Czech thief cuts the skin off his fingertips to prevent the police identifying his fingerprints – in vain. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.

Photo: CTK
Not many people noticed that last Friday marked six years since President Klaus was first elected head of state. It is not clear if the president celebrated the anniversary in private but he did receive a cake from the pro-European Liberal Party. On the icing was a picture of the president against the backdrop of the blue EU flag with a halo of yellow stars around his head. The president –who is known for his eurosceptic views -sent back a gift in kind, giving the Liberal Party a signed copy of his latest book about the Lisbon treaty – a guide for beginners in which the Czech president explains point by point what exactly is wrong with it. Those who don’t have it will find a brief outline in Mr. Klaus’ speech to the European Parliament this week.

Jiří Čunek
Plans are in the pipeline to shoot a film based on the life and work of one of the most controversial politicians in the country –former deputy prime minister Jiří Čunek – currently chairman of the Christian Democrats. For years the scandals surrounding this politician as well as his outrageous remarks were daily fodder for both the tabloid and serious media but clearly the enfant terrible of Czech politics is not adverse to more publicity. According to the daily Právo he is said to have cooperated with the scriptwriters and even quipped that someone worthy should get to play his part in the film – someone like Jean Paul Belmondo. According to the daily, the story will depict the life of a regional politician who is catapulted into the world of high politics overnight and who manages to retain his posts in the face of corruption scandals and accusations of sexual harassment. The film should be shot in the summer and be released in the course of next year. Given the amount of jokes made at Mr. Čunek’s expense this is one film Czechs will swarm to see.

A Czech restaurant in Malá Strana has decided to follow the example of a London restaurant owner and fight the credit crunch by asking customers to pay what they think the meal was worth. The Prague restaurant owner said he considered it a marvelous idea and had already alerted regulars to the change by email. The experiment is to last until the end of the month. The story made the prime time news but business experts are cautious saying that the Prague restaurant owner may live to regret his decision. They say the risk of launching such a PR stunt is much bigger in Prague than it is in London.

A thief’s work is never easy – this week the media reported on the hottest candidate for the “bungler of the year” award – a thief who broke into a jewelry store and selected two trays of diamond rings whose price tags added up to around 10 million crowns. Eager to get away with the loot the thief failed to notice that his mobile phone slipped out of his pocket as he bent down for the trays - but there was worse to come. When he switched on the telly that night he learnt that all the jewelry he made off with was fake – the store was exclusive and only made rings to order – which were kept in a safe in the back room. The fake rings were there for customers to make a selection and at best could only be re-sold at a country fair for a few crowns apiece.

On the other hand, there are thieves who take excessive precautions to cover their tracks. A twenty-five-year old man from Vránov, who’d been out of work for some time, broke into a number of uninhabited country cottages in the town’s vicinity and raided their larders for food. At the time he failed to take the precaution of wearing gloves and realizing –much later – that he had left lots of fingerprints behind decided that the only solution was to cut the skin off his fingers, which he did using a penknife. Unfortunately for him, the police traced him anyway and he owned up to the thefts after a few hours of questioning. His fingerprints alone would not have given him away since his badly-healed fingers resembled crocodile skin. What he was unaware of was that eventually the skin on his fingertips would have grown back just the way it was since the papillary lines on ones fingertips do not change.

Traffic police in the town of Frýdek-Místek say they sometimes witness outrageous behaviour on the road. Last week they stopped a car for a routine check only to find that its driver had had a few drinks before setting out. They confiscated his license on the spot and warned him he’d be in big trouble if they caught him driving before he had it returned. Twenty minutes later another police check revealed that the same car was now being driven by the man’s wife who was in much worse condition and could barely walk straight. Her license was confiscated as well and the police are now keeping a sharp eye out for that particular vehicle.

Last week a hospital in Moravia had to call in firefighters to help with some rather delicate surgery. A young man came in complaining that the surgical steel ring on his finger was giving him acute pain. His finger was so swollen it was impossible to get the ring off and after making several futile attempts to cut through it with the instruments they had in the operating theatre the doctor decided to call in the local fire-brigade to help. Firemen are equipped with special instruments to cut people out of wreckages but they said they’d never had to tackle anything as minute as this. Nonetheless the operation ended well and the man’s finger was saved.