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 V.13 No.53 | December 30 - January 5, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Michigan—Santa's got a brand new bag! A 40-year-old Detroit man who visited a middle school in Highland Park was left with a citation after being busted for misdemeanor marijuana possession. A Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy who works at the school found the small baggie of marijuana while searching for identification in a coat left in a school restroom. The unidentified man had left the coat in the men's restroom after changing into his Santa suit. The man denied the pot was his, but now faces a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. His wife, who was at the school to take pictures of Santa with the students, apparently didn't know about the weed in her husband's coat. “She was not happy,” Lt. Paul Jones said. “It's going to be a long ride back to the North Pole.”

Dateline: Korea—South Korea has abandoned plans to replace the English word for condom with a more Korean term after fielding a string of complaints from people with a similar-sounding name. The Korean Anti-AIDS Federation announced last week that it would drop the use of the suggested new word for condom, “ai-pil,” which was derived from the Chinese characters for love and necessity. The name, picked from 19,000 suggestions sent in by the public, had prompted many complaints from South Koreans with similar-sounding characters in their names, federation official Kim Hoon-soo told reporters. “An old lady called to complain, saying she was worried about her grandson being teased due to her name being condom,” Kim said.

Dateline: England—A worker at Britain's Buckingham Palace has been fired for selling the queen's pudding. Ben Church, 25, who worked as a property administrator at the palace, was sacked after royal officials learned he had put the pudding up for sale on eBay. The 6.25-pound ($12.18) Christmas pudding was purchased at luxury food store Fortnum & Mason and is traditionally given to every member of the Queen's staff as a holiday present. Bidding on the pudding started at 20 pounds. An unnamed source told London's Daily Mirror that Church was dismissed for committing a “security breach,” adding “it's really mean and petty to sack him so close to Christmas, all for the sake of a pudding.”

Dateline: Minnesota—A 60-year-old man walked into a Wells Fargo Bank in Milwaukee last Thursday and handed the teller a note demanding money. The robber took the money and fled, leaving behind his note. Unfortunately, the robber had written the note on the back of his state probation and parole department document. According to Deputy Police Chief Brian O'Keefe, the unnamed man had recently been released on parole after serving time in prison for--what else--bank robbery. The parole document had the man's name and address on it. He was soon taken into custody and charged with bank robbery.

Dateline: Oregon—It seemed like such a good idea to the drunken young men who thought it up. How could it have gone so wrong? Adam Dwain Vickers, 31, and Kyle Albert Wisdom, 20, decided it would be really funny to play a prank on their pal Daniel Adam Maerz. Maerz showed up at his friends' apartment in Central Point early last Wednesday only to find Vickers lying in the living room in a pool of blood, the apparent victim of a gunshot wound. Unfortunately, Maerz--who just happened to be high on methamphetamines at the time--freaked out completely, ran to a neighbor's house and called 911. According to the Mail Tribune, police rushed to the home shortly after 9 a.m. En route to the scene, officers passed a nearby elementary school, and decided it would be best to lock down the facility in case the shooter was still on the loose. Police eventually surrounded the house and tried to communicate with Wisdom, whom they assumed to be the shooter. After realizing armed officers had arrived at their house, Wisdom and Vickers walked outside. Neither was injured, although both admitted they had been drinking earlier in the morning. “They immediately said it was a joke, they were just goofing around,” Central Point police Sgt. Jeff Britton told the Mail Tribune. Britton said the two roommates had consumed “quite a bit” of alcohol before staging the fake murder scene, which included dousing Vickers in fake blood. The police found little humor in the situation and took both men to Jackson County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct, conspiracy to commit a crime, initiating a false report and reckless endangerment. They are being held on $12,000 bail. Police also took note of Maerz's panicked reaction, which may have had something to do with his ingesting methamphetamine about one hour before arriving at the home. “(Maerz) was really high,” Britton said. Maerz, 20, was also taken to jail for possession of meth and an outstanding warrant. He is being held on $10,000 bail. “They weren't thinking the joke was too funny when they were leaving,” Britton concluded.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

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