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 V.17 No.7 | February 14 - 20, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: England--A British businessman is offering motorists the opportunity to get even with England’s much-hated speed cameras--by running over them in a 17-ton tank. Bill Bailey, who runs a paintball business in southwest England, said the off-road experience would allow drivers to get behind the wheel of his Abbot 433 Self-Propelling Gun and take it for a spin around an abandoned rock quarry with a driving instructor. The climax of the experience will let drivers use the caterpillar-tracked vehicle to mow down a mocked-up speed camera. “It will cost about 100 pounds ($224) for an hour in the tank, with an extra charge of 60 pounds ($134) to crush the speed camera.” Bailey is also working on an option of blowing up a copy of the ubiquitous Gatsometer brand traffic safety cameras seen on British roads. “The gun only fires blanks,” Bailey told reporters. “But we can simulate an explosion at the other end with pyrotechnics.”

Dateline: Maine--Last week, the Camden-Rockport Middle School took the unusual step of banning intentional flatulence. “Strange, but true, thanks to a bunch of 8th grade boys, intentional farting has been banned from CRMS,” the school’s Fire Cracker newsletter announced. “It started out as a funny joke and eventually turned into a game. This is the first rule at CRMS that prevents the use of natural bodily functions. The penalty for intentional farting is a detention.” School officials say a group of 8th grade boys developed a game out of seeing who could produce the loudest butt burp in science class. Several students were interviewed by the Knox County Times about the new rule. Most of the male students seemed to find the anal antics funny, but at least one of the girls proclaimed, “It’s gross.”

Dateline: Pennsylvania--Police say a suspect in a York County bank robbery was easily nabbed after being far too willing to follow instructions. Brian Waltermyer, 38, walked into the Integrity Bank in York last Thursday evening wearing a hood. He allegedly handed a teller a note demanding money. The teller told him to remove his hood, which he did. That gave bank surveillance cameras a crystal-clear shot of the suspect. Police said officers who watched the tape instantly recognized Waltermyer, an area homeless man. Waltermyer is being held on $50,000 bail at the York County Prison.

Dateline: Pennsylvania--The Palmerton School Board is expected to reject the one and only bid received on a downtown Palmerton ball field. The district had hoped to earn $2 million on the sale of the field, but the sole bid came from Andrew Sabo, a kindergartner at Towamensing Elementary School who offered $5. Andrew’s offer, scrawled in pencil on an unlined sheet of paper, also came with a picture of the 5-year-old and his teammates on the Palmerton youth flag football team. The team, which was undefeated last year in the Lehigh Valley Youth Football League, plays on the field in question. Andrew told The Morning Call newspaper he placed the bid because he was worried about losing his football-playing field and that his dad, Dave Sabo, gave him the $5 to make the offer. “It was pretty much just to shut him up,” Dave Sabo admitted to reporters. “I made him understand: You’re not going to win.” Because Andrew’s bid was $1,949,995 below the minimum sought, the Palmerton Area School Board will not consider it when it meets later this month, said board President Carl Bieling, Jr. The board must now decide whether to reopen bidding on the 3.7-acre lot or retain it. Dave Sabo hopes his son’s interest in the athletic field will convince the school board to keep it for use by local students. Asked what he would now do with his failed $5 bid, Andrew told reporters, “I guess I’ll buy candy.”

Dateline: Oregon--Sheriff’s deputies in Douglas County say a false insurance claim helped them nab a burglar. A $4,000 antique slot machine was reported stolen from a homeowner in Sutherlin, 170 miles south of Portland, last Monday night. Investigators soon learned the victim’s housekeeper filed a police report earlier that day claiming someone had thrown a piece of sheet metal through the window of her parked van. The sheet metal turned out to be from off the back of the stolen slot machine, complete with serial number still attached. Deputies said the housekeeper’s husband stole the machine, which tipped over as he drove away, breaking the window. Unwilling to pay for the damage, the husband convinced the wife to claim it on her insurance. The 30-year-old husband and a 25-year-old accopmplice were charged with burglary and theft.

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

 
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