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 V.18 No.9 | February 26 - March 4, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: New Zealand—An octopus who escaped from his tank at a New Zealand aquarium and survived five days on the run will be released back into the wild. Last month, Sid the octopus mysteriously vanished from his tank at a Dunedin aquarium. Five days later, he was spotted by a staff member making a dash for the door. Sid was hungry but otherwise fine. He is believed to have spent at least some of his fugitive time hiding in a drain that pumps fresh sea water into the aquarium. The aquarium’s senior aquarist, Matthew Crane, said Sid has done his time and will be freed. “We are realizing he is getting a little older in his life and may be searching for a mate, so that’s why we’ve gone ahead and set his release.”

Dateline: England—Passengers who hold up trains with their lengthy goodbyes have been banned from kissing at one British railway station in Cheshire. No-kissing signs have been erected in the taxi area of the Warrington Bank Quay Station, forcing lovers to snog only in designated areas. The signs are part of a $1 million station refurbishment and were erected after concerns that passionate embraces were causing delays for commuters. Colin Daniels, chief executive of the Warrington Chamber of Commerce, who came up with the idea, told reporters, “They may seem frivolous, but there is a serious message underneath.” A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said, “We are trying to tell people not to wait too long in the drop-off, but we don’t mind people waiting there for a short time.” Asked how the no-kissing rule would be enforced, he added, “We will apply this sensibly.”

Dateline: New York—Customers who wanted to bowl a few frames at the popular Thurston’s Restaurant bowling alley in Frankfort found themselves out of luck—all but one of the business’ 150 bowling balls was missing. Alicia Gatto, owner of the restaurant, told the Utica Observer-Dispatch that the alley has been closed—except for special occasions such as birthday parties—while the lanes are being renovated. The last time the space was used was Saturday, Feb. 7. When some men from the restaurant went into the bowling area the following Friday, they discovered the balls were gone. “I thought they were joking—totally thought they were joking,” Gatto told the newspaper. “It’s the case of the missing bowling balls.” Gatto said the balls were last accounted for on Feb. 7, when many customers were on hand using the lanes. Gatto says her business has security cameras operating during the day and motion-sensor alarms at night and can’t imagine how anyone could have taken so many bowling balls out of the building without anyone noticing. “There’s one left in the front, but the rest are all gone,” she said. “I’m lost.”

Passionate embraces were causing delays for commuters.

Dateline: Ohio—A 34-year-old Toledo man has been charged with kidnapping and assault after he held a homeless woman captive for three days while reading her the Bible. Troy Brisport allegedly picked up 22-year-old Shykea Boykin in Detroit last week after she told him she had nowhere to sleep and brought her back to his apartment in West Toledo. After the victim fell asleep, Brisport handcuffed the woman’s wrists and ankles, gagged her, and undressed her. He then put an adult diaper on her, according to court documents cited in the Toledo Blade newspaper. “She said she didn’t have a place to stay and wound up in Toledo. She falls asleep, wakes up and finds herself in this situation,” Toledo police Capt. Ray Carroll told the newspaper. “This is pretty unusual.” During the marathon Bible recitation session, Ms. Boykin was not given any food and Mr. Brisport tried more than once to suffocate her using pillows and a blanket. After Brisport fell asleep three days later, Boykin escaped wearing only a T-shirt and the diaper. “It’s unusual to hold somebody for that long and not commit a sexual assault, and to restrict them like that, and read Bible verses to them,” Capt. Carroll said. Brisport, 34, was charged with kidnapping and felonious assault.

Dateline: Utah—A woman used the classic high school bully technique of a headlock and a wedgie to detain a man suspected of breaking into cars. Yvonne Morris, a technician at the Brickyard Animal Hospital in Salt Lake City, told police she chased a man who broke into a co-worker’s car, but he kept squirming away from her. Morris eventually grabbed the man’s boxer shorts and hoisted them as high as she could in what the impromptu crime buster described as “an atomic wedgie.” Salt Lake City police said the coup de grâce was a headlock, administered to the miscreant until help could arrive. The burglar, identified as 21-year-old Frederick Blaze, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of vehicular burglary, possession of stolen property and outstanding warrants.

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

 

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