Odds & Ends
Dateline: Bosnia—A desperate husband tried to kill his mother-in-law with an antitank missile launcher after claiming she turned his wife against him. The woman survived the missile strike—and a subsequent machine gun attack—with barely a scratch. Miroslav Miljici apparently wanted revenge against his mother-in-law for the breakup of his marriage. Miljici was sentenced to six years for attempted murder by a court in Doboj. In defense of his unsuccessful, high-caliber murder attempt, Miljici told the court he could no longer stand his mother-in-law’s nagging.
Dateline: Norway—A church resorted to using lemon-flavored soda instead of holy water in a baptism ceremony after its taps were temporarily turned off because of freezing temperatures, the daily Vaart Land reported last week. Priest Paal Dale from the town of Stord, about 150 miles west of the capital Oslo, was forced to improvise during a recent cold snap, using soda to baptize a baby during a church ceremony. “It had gone flat,” Dale was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “Only the lemon smell made this unusual.” Dale said the child’s family was informed about the switch only after the ceremony. The priest said he felt “a need to inform” them about the lingering scent. “They didn’t say much, but I assumed they smelled the aroma as well,” Dale told Vaart Land.
Dateline: England—The grieving parents of a teenage girl who died suddenly two months ago have been sent a letter from her school demanding she improve her attendance. The letter, signed by the deputy headmaster at Macclesfield High, threatened to ban 15-year-old Megan Gillan from prom if she didn’t show up to class. Gillan’s parents Mark and Margaret were “floored” by the letter, dated March 16. “I screamed when I first saw it,” Mrs. Gillan told the Manchester Evening News. “If they want her to attend that much, I’ll take Megan’s remains. It’s disgusting. Megan doesn’t go to that school anymore more. She’s been dead for two months now so it’s not surprising her attendance is low.” The school’s head teacher has apologized for the letter, blaming it on a “software error.” The cause of Megan’s death is still unknown and an inquest is expected in the next few months.
Dateline: Cuba—Looking for a new vacation spot? Miss Universe has got a suggestion. During a recent trip, the reigning Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela declared the United States’ prison camp in Guantanamo Bay “a loooot of fun!” Mendoza stopped by the U.S. naval facility in eastern Cuba last month on a visit organized by the USO. In a blog post on the Miss Universe website dated March 27, the 22-year-old Mendoza said Guantanamo Bay was “an incredible experience.” She went on to praise the “unbelievable” beach there. “I didn’t want to leave,” Mendoza wrote. “It was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.” Former detainees and human rights groups have condemned the detention facility for its use of torture, including “waterboarding” and other physical abuses. Shortly after Mendoza’s post went up, the Miss Universe Organization pulled her blog and replaced it with a statement saying Ms. Mendoza’s trip to Guantanamo was part of a long-standing relationship with the USO and its entertainment program “which boosts the morale of U.S. troops.”
Dateline: New Jersey—Police in Newark arrested a man for driving drunk while sitting on a barstool. On March 4, Officer Michael Trotter responded to a call to assist the Newark Fire Department with a man who had sustained injuries in a single-vehicle crash. Subsequent investigation revealed that the 28-year-old driver had been operating a motorized barstool when he crashed it while trying to make a turn. The man claimed the homemade vehicle could reach speeds of 38 mph on its five-horsepower engine but that he was only going about 20 mph when he crashed. During an interview with Officer Trotter at Licking Memorial Hospital, the unnamed motorist allegedly admitted to drinking 15 beers. He was issued a citation for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving under suspension. The driver was arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—Jerome Blanchett, 19, is being dubbed the world’s dumbest criminal after attempting an armed robbery at a Pennsylvania Narcotics Officers’ convention. Blanchett took a loaded handgun into the Holiday Inn-Harrisburg East last Friday, passing dozens of unmarked police cars in the parking lot and a sign in the lobby welcoming the more than 300 police officers. Blanchett went into the men’s room and waited to rob the very next person who entered. Unfortunately for Blanchett, that man was retired New York City Police Department Lt. John Comparetto. “He chose to rob a cop in a place where there were 300 cops,” Comparetto told the Patriot-News. “He’s not very bright.” After being robbed at gunpoint, Comparetto pulled a handgun from his ankle holster and went after his attacker. Several other police officers drew their weapons and helped take down Blanchett as he tried to hail a taxi outside the hotel.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.