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 V.18 No.23 | June 4 - 10, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: JapanA publishing company has printed the world’s first toilet-paper-based book. Drop, a new novella by horror author Koji Suzuki, is being released exclusively on rolls of toilet paper. The nine-chapter story, which takes place in a public restroom, takes up about three feet of the roll and is designed to be read in just a few minutes, according to the manufacturer, Hayashi Paper. Each roll carries several copies of the story, in case someone else comes along and “uses” the chapter you’re on. Hayashi promotes the toilet paper, which sells for 210 yen ($2.20) a roll, as “a horror experience in the toilet.” Toilets in Japan were traditionally tucked away in a dark corner of the house due to religious beliefs that evil spirits could haunt the stinky bowls. Parents would tease children that a hairy hand might pull them down into the dark pool below. The TP’s author, Suzuki, is known as “the Stephen King of Japan,” having penned the popular novel Ring, which was turned into several films in Japan and Hollywood.

Dateline: RussiaA woman, upset by the news that her boyfriend was planning to leave her, got him drunk, tied a string of firecrackers to his penis and lit them on fire. According to the Life.ru website, the 33-year-old victim, identified as Alik D., had lived with the woman whose name was reported as Kira C. for about two years. Kira began pressuring Alik to get married, but the man refused and said that he would rather return to his first wife with whom he had a son. When Alik started moving out, Kira suggested that the couple have a farewell dinner. After a hearty meal and some heavy drinking, Alik fell asleep. The vengeful girlfriend then attached several firecrackers to Alik’s blini and broke out the matches. The man was rushed to intensive care and according to doctors is still in critical condition. Even if the man survives, the woman faces up to 12 years imprisonment.

The nine-chapter story, which takes place in a public restroom, takes up about three feet of the roll and is designed to be read in just a few minutes.

Dateline: GermanyA man trying to impress his friends accomplished nothing of the sort when he stuffed a loaded pistol into his pants pocket and pulled the trigger. Lukas Neuhardt, 27, of Saarbruecken thought the safety catch was on when he jammed the gun into his pants and fired. It wasn’t. The bullet hit exactly where you’d expect it to, severing Neuhardt’s wienerschnitzel. The trigger-happy Neuhardt was so embarrassed that he told police a masked mugger had blasted him in the crotch in a bungled robbery attempt. But police noticed that the gunshot had miraculously left the outside of Neuhardt’s pants unpunctured. “Instead, there was a charred hole in the pocket, so either it was the shot of the century or he did it himself,” a police source told London’s The Sun. Surgeons managed to reattach Neuhardt’s manhood, but he’s now facing three years in jail for breaching Germany’s strict new antigun laws.

Dateline: EnglandResidents of Butt Hole Road in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, can finally put their return address on envelopes without embarrassment. The road, named after a communal water butt used centuries ago, has officially been renamed Archer Way. “It was a bit tedious having the street laughed at all the time,” 77-year-old Elizabeth Brennan, who uses the street for access to her home, told London’s The Sun. “The new name is much nicer.” The short street only serves four houses but was a frequent destination for pranksters, who often stopped to bare their backsides (or “bums” as they are called in England) for photographs. Despite the relief of longtime Butt Hole residents, there is already an Internet campaign underway to get the name changed back.

Dateline: OhioPolice in Carrollton searching for a suicidal 62-year-old man tried to trace him via his cell phone, but service provider Verizon refused to help police until they agreed to pay the man’s overdue bill of $20. As reported in the Times-Reporter, the unidentified man was found unconscious and unresponsive last Thursday morning after an intense overnight search involving two K-9 units, several fire departments and 100 individuals on foot. Sheriff Dale Williams told the Times-Reporter that the man fled his residence, taking several bottles of medication with him, after a domestic disturbance call to deputies. Williams said he attempted to use the man’s cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff’s department agreed to pay the overdue bill. After some arguments, Williams agreed to pay the $20 in order to find the man, but deputies discovered the man just as Williams was making arrangements for the payment. “I was more concerned for the person’s life,” Williams said. “I would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill. Ridiculous.” The missing man was treated at the scene by emergency medical technicians and was later taken to nearby Aultman Hospital.

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

 

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