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 Jul 17 - 23, 2008 
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Odds & Ends

By Os Davis
Eric J. Garcia

DATELINE: Russia Channel Five News reports that last week a St. Petersburg woman accidentally killed her husband with a foldout couch. In response to his drunken state, the victim’s wife kicked a lever on the side of the couch (then opened into a bed) after the man refused to get up. The lever set off the internal mechanism that folds up the bed, and the man fell headfirst between the mattress and the back of the couch, according to local authorities. The woman had left the room after kicking the couch and so didn’t notice her husband’s state for three more hours. The St. Petersburg Emergency Services Ministry stated that a private rescue service removed the man's body, and the Channel Five website is running footage of the emergency workers sawing the couch apart. Workers report the man died instantly.

DATELINE: Tasmania—Robyn Eades, 60, recently started a unique hat-making business in which the primary material used is feral cat skins. Eades obtains the skins from King Island Park Ranger Nigel Burgess, the man tasked with culling the local feral feline population in order to protect the threatened orange-bellied parrot. Eades used to use wallabies to fashion the hats, but finds the cats “just so soft and easy to skin. Wallabies were getting a bit hard as my hands are getting arthritic.” Eades has reportedly filled orders for the catskin hats from as far away as Siberia and notes that “there's no local opposition to what I do. The cats are a problem on this island. I am turning the skins into something useful.”

DATELINE: United Kingdom—Abbie Hawkins, 19, found a bat in her bra four hours after putting it on, according to the Daily Mail. Ms. Hawkins left for her job at the Norwich International Airport Holiday Inn hastily, not noticing anything unusual as she put her bra on. “The night before I had had one or two drinks and I was getting ready quickly,” she explained. “The bra was in my drawer but it had been on the washing line the day before.” Though she felt some “strange vibrating sensations” in the bra area that morning, Hawkins figured it was her mobile phone. After removing the phone from her pocket, she “plucked up the courage to investigate and I pulled out a little baby bat. ... I keep thinking, How could I have not known it was there?” A Bat Conservation Trust spokesperson reported that the trust had never heard of a bat being found in a bra before. “Bats hibernate during the winter but in May and June they have babies and that is when people are most likely to find bats,” she explained. “Bats often roost in trees or under roof tiles—anywhere that is dark or safe.”

DATELINE: Connecticut—According to the Hartford Courant, Max Minnefield, 48, called the police only to find himself arrested when he explained his complaint to officers. Responding to Minnefield’s call, police found him and an unidentified woman involved in a loud argument; after some time, Minnefield explained that a man and a woman had robbed him of $8. "I asked him how they had gotten his $8," wrote arresting officer Larry Henrickson in his report, "and he stated that he had given them the money for crack but he got nothing back." Minnefield was originally charged with criminal attempt to commit possession of narcotics, but this was dropped at his arraignment the day after his arrest, due to lack of actual drugs. "You called the police to complain that you didn't receive drugs for your $8 ... ?" Judge Bradford Ward said when addressing Minnefield. "Did you really think the police were going to go after the people? This is a rhetorical question."

DATELINE: Wisconsin—An unnamed 52-year-old Waukesha resident has been cited for defrauding a restaurant after repeatedly faking heart attacks in order to avoid paying bills. On the Monday of the incident that landed him the charge, the man took a cab to a restaurant, where the driver left him in the midst of a fake heart attack. The man then went into a restaurant where he faked a second attack rather than pay a $23 bill. After being rushed to a nearby hospital by the fire department, the doctor recognized him as having been treated in a similar situation a few weeks previously. The defrauding charge can bring a sentence of up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Compiled by Os Davis.

 
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