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 V.15 No.32 | August 10 - 16, 2006 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India--If you’re Indian, you fight fire with fire and monkeys with monkeys. In an effort to keep marauding monkeys off the nation’s trains, India’s Delhi Metro has started up its own monkey squad. On June 9, a monkey boarded a subway at the underground Chawri Bazaar station and reportedly scared passengers by scowling at them for three stops. The monkey disembarked at Civil Lines station. In the wake of that most recent incident, officials at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have hired a langurwallah--a man who trains and controls langur monkeys--to patrol the train cars in an effort to scare off freeloading primates. “It started working about a month ago, and since then we’ve not had a single incident,” Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal told the Hindustan Times. The langur handler is being paid a retainer of 6,900 rupees ($160) a month and “will be called whenever there is a monkey problem.” Langur monkeys are already employed around the grounds of parliament and some government buildings in New Delhi.

Dateline: Germany--A woman who could get no sexual satisfaction from her husband ended up calling police in the city of Aachen. The couple had reportedly been sleeping in separate beds for several months without intimate contact. Last Wednesday night, the 44-year-old woman woke her husband, 45, and demanded he satisfy her sexual needs. When the husband refused, a fight broke out. Eventually, the wife called police and asked them to intervene. “The police officials did not feel able to resolve the dispute, let alone issue any kind of official order,” police spokesperson Paul Kemen told reporters.

Dateline: Poland--Pilgrims who lined up to drink from the “miracle fountain” which suddenly began spewing from underneath a statue of late Pope John Paul II were disappointed when it was revealed that the miracle was actually a water pipe installed by the town council. Locals in the pope’s birthplace of Wadowice, near Krakow, were convinced a miracle had happened when water started to run from the base of the statue. Word spread throughout Poland and religious pilgrims from around the country came by to fill bottles with the “holy” water. Unfortunately, Mayor Eva Filipiak shattered their hopes by admitting a water pipe had recently been installed under the statue. “We didn’t mean anything by it,” said the mayor. “It was just supposed to make the statue look prettier.”

Dateline: England--A 6-year-old Doberman pinscher intended to safeguard a valuable collection of teddy bears at a children’s museum is now accused of treating each and every one of the fuzzy collectibles as his own personal chew toy. Barney the guard dog tore through the collection, valued at over $900,000, last Tuesday night. “He just went berserk,” said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells. Among the most valuable items eaten by Barney was a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Elvis Presley. The Elvis bear was owned by English aristocrat Benjamin Slade, who bought it at an Elvis memorabilia auction in Memphis, Tenn., and loaned it to the museum. “I’ve spoken to the bear’s owner, and he is not very pleased at all,” Medley said.

Dateline: California--Police in Arcata arrested a suspicious man in a clown mask after he tried to withdraw money from a West Valley ATM. Officer Bob Martinez told the Times-Standard that the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Ray Holland, was first reported by a passing motorist, wearing a clown mask and pumping gas at the Chevron station on Giuntoli Lane. He was later spotted by bank employees attempting to withdraw money from a Coast Central Credit Union ATM one block away. He was still wearing the mask. According to officials, Holland had stolen a number of bank and credit cards and was attempting to use them without being recognized. After failing to get cash from the machine, Holland reportedly returned to his residence at the Town and Country Mobile Home Village, approximately a block and a half from the ATM. There, he was seen removing electrical tape from the license plate of the mini van he was driving. When police arrived at Holland’s residence, he failed to answer the door. A 90-minute standoff began and only ended when officers made a forced entry using a key given to them by the park’s manager. Holland and his girlfriend were found hiding in the bathroom. Officers found the stolen cards, as well as Holland’s wallet, dumped behind the suspect’s trailer. Holland was arrested and charged with the fraudulent use of a debit card, being in possession of stolen property as well as a probation violation. “If you are trying to get away with something, wearing a clown mask on a Monday afternoon in Valley West is not the way to do it,” said officer Martinez at the scene of the arrest.

Dateline: Vermont--Town officials in Springfield decided not to issue a liquor license to a man who wanted to run a bar out of his home after it was determined that his “home” was, in fact, the state prison. Paul Murphy had applied to the town for both a first- and second-class liquor license. But when officials checked the home address on Murphy’s application they realized it was the address for the Southern State Correctional Facility. Murphy is serving time there for aggravated assault, escape and passing bad checks.

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

 
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