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 V.17 No.45 | November 6 - 12, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: SpainA British expat who speaks only a few words of Spanish has become the “accidental mayor” of a town on the Costa Blanca. Mark Lewis, 58, has been left in charge of San Fulgencio after the mayor, deputy mayor and four senior councilors were all taken into police custody following corruption allegations. Mr. Lewis was given the title as he is the only one of the two councilors from the ruling coalition not to be arrested, reports the Daily Telegraph. Mr. Lewis refused to comment on his new position except to say, “It’s only temporary, I hope.” Lewis, who lives in Spain with his family, previously held the title of Councilor for Animals, which involved organizing searches for lost pets and monitoring the local animal rescue shelter.

Dateline: FranceA 26-year-old railway passenger caused a two-hour delay last Sunday evening when he got his arm stuck in a train toilet while trying to retrieve his cell phone. It took firemen an hour to cut through the train’s pipework before removing the man from the train. “He came out on a stretcher, with his hand still jammed in the toilet bowl, which they had to saw clean off,” Benoit Gigou, a witness to the man’s plight, told the BBC. “He was cut free from the toilet on the platform and apart from suffering bruising and smelling a bit, he suffered no other injuries,” said a fire department spokesperson. The high-speed TGV commuter train from Paris to La Rochelle was delayed while rescue workers dealt with the plumbing problem.

Dateline: EnglandA poetry group has been banned from performing in its local pubon health and safety concerns. The Royal Standard in Ely, Cambs, has been threatened with a £5,000 ($8,000) fine because it has an entertainment license for singing but not for speaking. The legal action has caused pub owner Richard Whitmore to temporarily cancel the Turning Point poetry group, which has been drawing customers on quiet Tuesday evenings. East Cambridge District Council told the Daily Telegraph there are sound reasons for the different license. Principal environmental health officer Elizabeth Bailey said, “We have licenses for all sorts of reasonsfire and police need to check it is safe [sic]it is not just us being petty. There need to be certain checks in place.” Playwright Paola Trimarco, 46, who heads the poetry recital group, responded, saying, “The council are being ridiculously bureaucratic and looking to pick on someone.” Mr. Whitmore, 43, added, “It’s trivial and pathetic. We’ve got a license for 200 burly men to bounce around to whatever music they want, but not for a small number of quiet people to have a talk.”

Dateline: WisconsinTorey L. Devaux, 36, was arrested after he allegedly urinated on his female roommate’s dog after she refused to have sex with him. The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reports Devaux was drunk when he argued with a woman he lives with. The argument allegedly began because the woman refused to have sex with her intoxicated roommate. In revenge, the woman says Devaux went to the basement and urinated on her dog. When the argument continued and the woman’s sister stood up in defense, Manitowoc police say Devaux grabbed the sister and pushed her into a wall. He then left the home and punched out a window. Devaux was charged with domestic violence-related disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

Dateline: UtahPolice in suburban Salt Lake City escorted a woman off a TRAX train last Monday morning after fellow commuters complained the woman wasn’t wearing any pants. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Transit Authority officers asked the woman to get off the train for questioning at about 7:30 a.m. at the 5400 South station in Murray. After they spoke to the woman, they determined she was wearing a short skirt. The skirt was covered by the woman’s long jacket, which led fellow passengers to conclude she was naked below the waist. After officers interviewed the woman, they let her get back on the train and continue her ride.

Dateline: TexasA 21-year-old woman tried to smuggle more than five pounds of chorizo into the United States from Mexico by stashing it inside her child’s allegedly dirty diapers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge saw a pile of very full diapers inside the woman’s 2005 Ford Expedition and ordered her into a secondary inspection site for a closer look. The mountain of poo looked authentic enough, but failed the sniff test. Agents identified the lumpy brown logs as more than five and a half pounds of spicy pork sausage. “You’d be surprised what people carry in their vehicles,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Felix Garza told The Monitor. Fresh foods such as pork, chicken, eggs and avocados are illegal to import from Mexico as they can cause problems for U.S. agricultural production, Garza told the paper. But “chorizo in a diaper? That’s new to us,” Garza admitted. The woman was fined $300 and released. Minus her diaper sausage.

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

 

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