NewsQuirks 613

Curses, Foiled Again

After receiving a report that three men were riding around an apartment parking lot in a construction-paving machine at 2 o'clock in the morning, police in Huntsville, Texas, found the machine parked in its original spot. Several residents who had witnessed the incident directed officers to an apartment where they said the culprits lived. Officers James Fitch and Jose Valles approached the unit and saw the door was partially open. Inside, they could hear the three men talking about the incident and saw them watching a videotape they had made of their joyride. The officers impounded the tape as evidence.

Inside Job Suspected

The Baltimore Police Department's campaign against police corruption took a hit when burglars struck an internal affairs office that police officials said was the secret headquarters of the department's anti-corruption program. Although police would not comment on possible suspects, investigators located stolen files in a trash bin behind a Dunkin' Donuts shop.

Land of the Setting Sun

Japan's UCC Ueshima Co. announced it has developed the world's "fastest-thawing frozen spaghetti." Instead of taking 30 seconds, the new and improved pasta cooks in boiling water in just eight seconds.

According to a survey by the Fuji Research Institute, the most famous Japanese creation of the 20th century is instant noodles. Finishing second was karaoke machines and third, the Sony Walkman.

Mensa Reject of the Week

Australian police reported a 40-year-old motorist drove into a Queensland gas station and began filling a large can with gasoline while smoking a cigarette. The inevitable explosion set the car on fire and blew the man 15 feet through the air. He landed on an ant's nest. "He suffered a few small burns and some ant bites," a police spokesperson told Reuters news agency. "We took a vote, and this is one of the stupidest things we've ever heard of."

Thanks for the Mammaries

Sixteen people who got lost trying to flee the Dominican Republic to find better jobs in Puerto Rico in a homemade boat ran out of food and water after three days but survived by sucking a mother's breast milk. The eight men and seven women took turns suckling for just a few seconds a day. The Orlando Sentinel reported the woman, Faustina Mercedes, 31, who left her 1-year-old child behind in the Dominican Republic, fed herself by having her sister Elena Mercedes suck on her breast, then pass the milk on to her by mouth. Their ordeal ended when the strong currents pushed the boat back to the Dominican Republic.

Ethiopian authorities arrested a healer who claimed he could cure women of any illness by sucking their breasts. He persuaded three women to pay him $20 each for his services, according to the Daily Monitor of Addis Ababa. The newspaper also reported that the husband of one of the women offered his belly for the healer to lick.

Nature's Revenge

Tsang Kin-keung, 45, bought two imported live piranha from a fish market in Hong Kong, intending to eat them for dinner. When he returned home, he left the fish on the floor to die before cooking them. The Malaysian Star reported that when he went to pick up one of the fish, it was still alive and bit his finger, sending him to the hospital for treatment.

When animal control officer Andrew Sanderson responded to a report of a squirrel running around a residence in Fairfax County, Va., he saw the squirrel jump into an open piano. The Washington Post reported that Sanderson began playing the song "All I Want" by the group Toad the Wet Sprocket, whereupon the squirrel jumped out of the piano and onto curtains, then on top of the officer's head and finally onto a couch, where Sanderson trapped it. He released it unharmed outside.

Felonious Food

A Hong Kong court sentenced three men to up to five years in jail for kidnapping a friend and forcing him to eat dozens of boiled eggs, four Big Macs, two bags of french fries and a large soft drink. The court heard that the trio, all in their 20s, also took random shots at Au Chi-yung, 19, with airguns. The incident stemmed from Au's demand that one of the men, Leung Wing-yan, repay a debt.

A Nigerian court sentenced Hassan Salou to the minimum 10 years in prison for beating his cousin to death, cutting him to pieces with a machete and eating bread soaked in his blood "to feel that he was dead, to convince myself that he wouldn't bother anybody anymore," Salou testified. The court said Salou received the minimum sentence because the gruesome killing spared other lives. The victim, Souley Halidou, had killed two of his relatives over a land dispute and hired a town crier to announce he would kill more.

Drinking-Class Heroes

Virginia state Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., a long-time advocate of stricter drunk-driving laws, was charged with driving under the influence after a state trooper stopped him and a breath test found his blood-alcohol level to be 0.10 percent. The legal limit is 0.08, thanks to a measure that Norment guided through the legislature.

Three representatives in Puerto Rico's Legislature introduced a bill aimed at preventing their colleagues from drinking on the job by forcing lawmakers to submit to surprise alcohol tests four times a year while the body is in session. One of the three sponsors, Rep. Melinda Romero, told the San Juan Star that drunkenness is historically a problem in the Legislature. "There were from 10 to 12 legislators in a state of drunkenness," she said of a recent session. "You notice it because they would say foolish things in their speeches."

The Last Laugh

While riding with his friend Antonio Mazelli along a main highway in Milan, Italy, Ricardo Lestrada handed him a mobile phone to answer, after first applying super glue to the hand piece as a joke. When Mazelli tried to dislodge the phone from his hand, he lost control of his vehicle and struck a barrier. Mazelli suffered minor injuries from the crash, but Lestrada died at the scene.

Compiled from the nation's press by Roland Sweet. Send original clippings, citing source and date, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.


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