Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O’Leary
Dateline: England--Dedicated James Bond fan David Fearn has legally changed his name to all 21 official 007 film titles. The 23-year-old from Walsall, Stratfordshire, is now known as “James Dr. No From Russia With Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live And Let Die The Man With The Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View To A Kill The Living Daylights License To Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond.” The 69-word name is the longest in the UK Deed Poll Service’s history.
Dateline: England--A Welsh food company could be facing legal action for its “confusing” food products, including the popular “Welsh Dragon Sausages.” More than 200,000 of the sausages made from pork, leek and hot chili are sent to UK restaurants and shops each year from the Black Mountain Smokery in Powys County, Wales. Consumer watchdogs took action, however, after being tipped off that the sausages were in breach of the 1996 Food Labeling Act. A warning letter from the Powys County council’s trading standards department informed the smokery, “The public analysis has stated that the name Welsh Dragon Sausage is not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the true nature of the food.” Although the product’s ingredients--including pork--are listed prominently on the Welsh Dragon Sausage label, the Black Mountain Smokery was informed that they were breaking the law over the misleading name. Trading standards recommended that the product name be changed to include the type of meat being used. “I don’t think any of our customers actually believe that we use dragon meat in our sausages,” company owner Jon Carthew told BBC News.
Dateline: Idaho--Two employees of the city skating rink in Boise were fired last month after taking two Zambonis on a midnight joyride. An anonymous tipster reported seeing the two big ice-resurfacing machines chug through a Burger King drive-through and return to the rink around 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 10. The squat, rubber-tired vehicles, which have a top speed of about 5 mph, drove 1 1/2 miles in all. The Zamboni operators, both temporary city employees whose names and ages were not released by the Parks and Recreation Department, had to negotiate at least one intersection with a traffic light on their late-night jaunt from Idaho Ice World. “They were fired immediately,” said Parks Department Director Jim Hall. Hall said neither the $75,000 Zambonis nor their $10,000 blades appeared damaged, but the city could charge the employees with operating an unlicensed motor vehicle on a public street.
Dateline: Virginia--A man who dresses like a giant cigarette and uses hip-hop music to encourage children not to smoke pleaded guilty last Tuesday to charges of bigamy. According to The News & Advance, 37-year-old Phillip Dale Williams had as many as four wives at one time. Williams’ fourth wife, Lashawn Stevenson, became suspicious earlier this year when her husband began receiving child support notices in the mail. After investigating on her own, Stevenson called a Vallejo, Calif., woman, Antoinette Borum. Borum told her Williams left her in 2002 with two children and no child support. Stevenson confronted Williams. He admitted marrying Borum and two other women before her, said Chuck Felmlee, Lynchburg deputy commonwealth’s attorney. Since creating the character of “Douglas ‘Dude’ Cigarette” in 1996, Williams has made appearances in nearly a dozen states. At his March 9 sentencing, the bigamist butt faces up to 10 years in prison.
Dateline: Kansas--According to Witchita police, a botched kidnapping attempt came to an abrupt end last week when one of the assailants shot himself--twice. The man had just stuck a handgun back into his waistband when it fired, shooting him in the left testicle. Naturally, the man cringed, causing the gun to fire again, sending another bullet shooting through his left calf. When the shooting was over, the man managed to walk himself into the hospital for treatment. He and his two accomplices, aged 18 and 20, were arrested for aggravated attempted kidnapping and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Police told reporters that the men were attempting to kidnap a teen in a dispute over some stereo speakers.
Dateline: Florida--A small black box found attached to the underside of a woman’s Jeep turned out not to be a bomb. Initially, the discovery of the device prompted a three-square-block evacuation. A temporary shelter was set up at the Queen of Peace Church in Gainesville to house the 45 people who had been evacuated, while authorities investigated for more than two hours. Eventually, it was determined that the mysterious black box was a GPS tracking device put there by the woman’s husband. Alachua County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Stephen Maynard said the unnamed couple are going through a divorce and that the husband had hired a private detective to keep tabs on his wife.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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