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 V.18 No.44 | October 29 - November 4, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline Hungary—The entire 15-man police force in the town of Budaörs resigned last Tuesday after they landed the sole winning jackpot ticket in the country’s national lottery. According to London’s Daily Telegraph, the $16.5 million jackpot is the sixth biggest win in Hungarian lottery history. Police chiefs have scrambled to send backup units to the region, located just outside the Budapest metropolitan area, until more full-time officers can be recruited.

Dateline: France—French shoe designer Christian Louboutin sparked an international controversy after calling American icon Barbie “too fat.” Louboutin was hired to design three new Barbies to celebrate the doll’s 50th anniversary. But a spokesperson for the designer told Women’s Wear Daily that Louboutin “found her ankles were too fat.” Unwilling to strap his luxury shoes—which retail for upwards of $2,500—around what he termed Barbie’s “cankles,” Louboutin decided to slim down the plastic icon and give her tinier legs. Currently, if Barbie were a real person, her measurements would be 39 inches in the bust, 18 in the waist and 22 in the hips. After Louboutin’s comments hit the Internet, he was forced to issue an apology in WWD, calling the incident “a bit of confusion.” Barbie did not have fat ankles, he said, “She just could have had thinner ankles. That’s all.” In addition to designing the dolls and producing a hot-pink, human-sized Barbie shoe, Louboutin has been officially named by Mattel as Barbie’s “godfather.”

Dateline: Alabama—A man whose vanity license plate reads “XXXXXXX” is in big trouble after receiving parking tickets for every unidentified car in Birmingham. Scottie Robertson, 38, chose the personalized plate as a combination of his nickname “Racer X” and his favorite number, seven. Unfortunately, parking enforcement officers in Birmingham enter seven Xs on their forms when they issue tickets to cars without license plates. Since the default code matches Robertson’s plates, city computers have sent more than $20,000 worth of parking violations to the motorist, who lives in nearby Huntsville. Robertson says he has contacted city officials about the problem but continues to receive notices—upwards of 10 a day. “Whenever I call, nobody seems to want to help me,” he told the Birmingham News. “One woman said not to worry about it because they didn’t have the manpower to come arrest me.” Since Robertson’s complaint went public, city officials have arranged for the fines to be dismissed and are working on a new ticketing system for cars without plates.

Dateline: Minnesota—You can add “recliner” to the list of things people have been arrested in while driving drunk. According to the Duluth News Tribune, 62-year-old Dennis LeRoy Anderson pleaded guilty last week in St. Louis County District Court to operating his motorized La-Z-Boy chair while intoxicated. According to the original criminal complaint, Anderson told police he left the Keyboard Lounge in the northern Minnesota town of Proctor on the rolling recliner after drinking eight or nine beers. Prosecutors say Anderson’s blood alcohol content was 0.29, more than three times the legal limit, when he crashed into a parked vehicle in August of 2008. Anderson claimed he was driving fine until a woman jumped on it and knocked the chair off course. Proctor Deputy Police Chief Troy Foucault said the chair was powered by a converted lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton engine. It is also equipped with a stereo, cup holders and other custom options. A National Hot Rod Racing Association sticker is attached to the chair’s headrest. Proctor City Prosecutor Ronald Envall said he charged Anderson under the portion of Minnesota law that makes it a crime to operate any self-propelled motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. District Judge Heather Sweetland sentenced Anderson to 180 days in jail and fined him $2,000 plus court fees. Anderson was also forced to forfeit the motorized recliner to Proctor police, who plan to auction it off along with other seized items.

Dateline: California—The body of a 75-year-old man sat decomposing on the balcony of his Marina del Rey apartment complex for several days last week because neighbors assumed it was part of a Halloween display. Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed apparently died last Monday and remained on the third-floor balcony in full view of neighbors until police discovered the body last Thursday. Cameraman Austin Raishbrook, owner of RMG News, was on the scene Thursday and told the Los Angeles Times that neighbors had noticed the body “but didn’t bother calling authorities because it looked like a Halloween dummy.” Zayed’s body had a single gunshot wound to the eye. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department investigator called the case an “apparent suicide.”

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

 

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