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 V.14 No.31 | August 4 - 10, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Italy—A woman has fallen prey to the oldest con in the book: phony birth control to guard against satanic impregnation by vampires. Sicilian police say a couple stole 50,000 euros (nearly $60,000) from a woman in Palermo after convincing her they were vampires who would impregnate her with the son of the antichrist if she did not pay them. For four years, a male cabaret singer and his girlfriend sold the woman pills they said would abort the antichrist's son. The pills cost the woman 3,000 euros each. According to local news agencies AGI and ANSA, police uncovered the fraud after the 47-year-old woman's family became concerned when they discovered she had spent all her savings.

Dateline: Austria—Police at the Vienna Airport have turned up an expensive lost and found item: 53 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $16 million. The narcotics were found in a suitcase that had been sitting at the airport's lost and found counter for almost a month, police said. The unmarked suitcase had been mistakenly checked in at Mexico City alongside the luggage of a 60-year-old Austrian tourist. Since the suitcase was not his, the tourist left it behind when he arrived at the Vienna Airport. The drugs were placed in 22 bags wrapped in an oily, foul-smelling paper, presumably designed to fool drug-sniffing dogs. So far, no one has claimed the expensive suitcase.

Dateline: Germany—Hopefully, he didn't have to buy a full-price ticket. A 34-year-old man trying to board a commuter train in Freiberg at the last minute got his hand stuck in the closing door. The train pulled out of the station, taking one of the man's fingers with it. The man tried to run after the train and wave for it to stop, but was in too much pain and had to be taken to the hospital. Horrified passengers on board the train contacted police who retrieved the digit some 40 miles down the line toward Cologne. After tracking down the owner, doctors reattached the well-traveled digit and say it is likely the man will regain full use of it.

Dateline: Alabama—A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with indecent exposure after police found him standing naked in a cornfield near the Twin Pines Country Club in Littleville and chewing on an ear of corn. “He said he wanted to see the house where Forrest Gump lived,” said Littleville Police Chief William Nale. The character of Forrest Gump was originally created in a novel by Alabama author Winston Groom. Chief Nale declined to release the name of the naked tourist, but did tell reporters that the man's family lives in Michigan and that he had been in a California institution earlier this year. “He was standing in a cornfield, picking the corn and eating it raw,” Nale told the Times Daily. “He didn't have anything on, not even his shoes. He was naked as the day he was born.” After his arrest, the man was taken in for a mental evaluation. The suspect told authorities that he was a homeless drifter following the railroad tracks to south Alabama, where he thought he would find the Gump home.

Dateline: Kansas—Police in Lawrence recently seized a severed foot kept in a bucket on a front porch by 21-year-old Ezekiel Rubottom. Initially, police believed the foot might be evidence of a crime, but returned it after verifying Rubottom was the rightful owner. In fact, it was Rubottom's foot. Rubottom, who describes himself as an artist, an occasional hip-hop emcee and a recovering methamphetamine addict, had his right foot amputated earlier this summer after a bone infection set into the limb. “I'm not sick or, like, a danger,” Rubottom told the Lawrence Journal-World. “I just wanted my foot.” Rubottom kept the foot in a 5-gallon plastic bucket filled with formaldehyde on the front porch of a friend's house. In the months since his amputation, Rubottom has added items to the bucket, including a porcelain horse and a can of Hamm's beer. He calls it “a collage of myself.” Police investigated the surgical keepsake after the parent of a child who lives nearby described seeing the severed foot.

Dateline: Kansas—A high school student convicted of battery for barfing on his Spanish teacher has been sentenced to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who lose their lunches in police cars. A judge said last Tuesday at sentencing that he considers the upchucking incident an assault on the dignity of all teachers. The unnamed teen vomited on his teacher on the last day of classes at Olathe Northwest High School, outside Kansas City. The boy's lawyer argued that his client had been nervous about his final exams and had not intended to target the teacher. Other students testified, however, that the young man had “planned” the puking in advance. The teacher in question testified that the student was failing Spanish.

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

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