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 V.17 No.24 | June 12 - 18, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Japan—Customs officials at the Narita International Airport are looking for five ounces of marijuana that got snuck into a random passenger’s suitcase. BBC News reports a customs official hid a package of the banned substance in order to test airport security. Sniffer dogs failed to detect the cannabis and the officer could not remember which bag he had put it in. “The case was extremely regrettable. I would like to deeply apologize,” said the airport’s customs head, Manpei Tanaka. The test was conducted against regulations. Normally, a training suitcase is used. “I knew that using passengers’ bags is prohibited,” said the unnamed officer who planted the pot. “But I did it because I wanted to improve the sniffer dog’s ability.” Anyone finding the free package of dope has been asked to contact customs officials.

Dateline: New York—After observing a Volkswagen swerving in and out of the lanes on Northern Boulevard, police in Manhasset pulled over 17-year-old Gianna Vigliotti. Vigliotti, of Glen Cove, allegedly recorded a 0.15 percent blood-alcohol level in a portable breath test—nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. According to the police report quoted in New York’s Newsday, Vigliotti offered a unique defense, telling the officer who pulled her over, “I didn’t drink! I was kissing a boy who was drunk.” It made no difference to Officer Michael Pallazzo whether Vigliotti got drunk from drinking or making out. After locating four full beer bottles under the Volkswagen’s passenger seat and an empty beer can in Vigliotti’s purse, the officer arrested her. She pleaded not guilty the following day in court and was released on probation without bail. Vigliotti’s lawyer, Dennis Lemke, said the charges were devastating to his client and her family. “To now have it publicized is not only embarrassing, but demeaning as well,” Lemke was quoted as saying. “We expect it to be resolved in the near future.”

Dateline: Ohio—According to an obituary published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dr. Fredric J. Baur was so proud of having designed the unique container for Pringles potato crisps that he asked to be buried in one. The 89-year-old College Hill resident, a retired organic chemist and food storage technician, passed away on May 4. His family complied with last wishes, interring part of his ashes inside a tube-shaped Pringles can. The rest of the doctor’s ashes were placed inside a regular urn. Both containers were buried in his grave at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Springfield Township. Baur spent nearly 40 years working primarily in research and development for Procter & Gamble. He received a patent for the storage of stackable, saddle-shaped Pringles in 1970, and considered it his proudest achievement.

Dateline: Washington—In what has to count as the dullest senior prank of all time, 17 students at Coupeville High School were suspended after removing books from the shelves of the school library and placing them on the floor. At approximately 1:30 a.m. last Sunday morning, the group of seniors somehow entered the school, went to the library, pulled the books from the shelves and placed them on the floor. High School Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance said there wasn’t any damage to the school or the materials. “They weren’t trying to do any malicious damage,” Rosenkrance told the Whidbey News Times. Nonetheless, the 17 students—who make up a significant portion of Coupeville High School’s graduating class of 75—have been suspended. The Dewey Decimal-disrespecting seniors, who were caught on videotape moving the books, will still be allowed to graduate but must perform community service at the school over the summer.

Dateline: Iowa—A 20-year-old college student was arrested for assault after tossing M&Ms at a police officer. Sean McGuire, a Drake University student living in Des Moines, was arrested May 12 at about 2:30 a.m. at the Kum & Go convenience store on University Boulevard. McGuire allegedly threw several of the candy-coated chocolates at Officer Theodore Lister Stroope, according to a police report quoted in the Des Moines Register. At the time of the incident, Stroope was conducting an investigation with an intoxicated hit-and-run suspect at the convenience store where the incident occurred. The report said Drake security guards on the scene noticed multiple M&Ms falling on the ground near Stroope. Stroope eventually turned around as one candy hit him on the left shoulder. McGuire told officers he threw the candy because he was “sticking up for his friend,” the man suspected of the drunken hit-and-run. Stroope took McGuire to the Polk County Jail, but not before McGuire urinated all over the back seat of Stroope’s squad car.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to


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