Dateline: Germany—Two Germans ended up in the hospital after a supermarket battle involving cold cuts. The fight took place in the western city of Aachen when a 74-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman tried to take possession of the same shopping cart. As the elderly man wrestled the cart from the hands of his rival, the woman’s 24-year-old brother stepped forward and decked him with a punch. The brother and sister, along with their 53-year-old mother, took their four-wheeled spoils of war into the store. But the defeated pensioner followed them to the deli counter where he snatched up a tube of salami and started clubbing the younger man. Thinking fast, the 24-year-old’s mother grabbed a sharp, 4-pound wedge of Parmesan and used it to fend off the meaty blows of the salami. At some point during the food fight, the 53-year-old woman was knocked over, hitting her head on the deli’s glass countertop. Police eventually arrived to break up the melee. Two of those involved were treated in at a local hospital for minor injuries. According to London’s Daily Telegraph, the trolley was undamaged.
Dateline: England—Aquarium keepers in Norfolk have lowered the water level in the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre’s turtle tank for the holidays in order to prevent flatulence-based overflow. Staff at the center like to give their star green turtle George brussels sprouts as a seasonal treat, but the green vegetable produces as much gas in turtles as it does in humans. Overflow alarms in George’s tank were triggered last year about this time when the splashes from the turtle’s gassy bubbles hit sensors. This year, thousands of gallons of water have been removed from the 12-foot deep turtle tank to reduce the water level by 6 inches, keeping it well clear of the sensitive alarms. “We like to treat him to different foods, and seeing as it’s Christmas we thought brussels sprouts would be good,” Senior Marine Biologist Darren Gook told London’s Daily Telegraph. “I haven’t noticed too many bubbles coming from George yet; but hopefully now the water levels have been adjusted, flatulence won’t be a problem.”
Dateline: Wisconsin—An intoxicated Santa Claus searching for his lost reindeer prompted an Eau Claire mother to call 911 last Sunday afternoon after the right jolly old elf stumbled into her yard and scared her children. “He smelled like alcohol. So we knew it wasn’t the real Santa, because Santa doesn’t drink alcohol,” 9-year-old Katie Dockerty told reporters for WEAU-TV. Katie said the ersatz Santa on her lawn was loud and had “really dirty hands.” He also tried to put his hat on Katie’s little sister, six-year-old Zoe, who was similarly unimpressed. She described him as “drunk.” The girls’ mom, Tina Reinart, said the sloshed Santa was “yelling at them ‘Have you seen my reindeer? If you seem my reindeer, call me right away.’ ” Officers ticketed 55-year-old Thomas Arnold of Sparta for having an open beer in a car. The driver of the vehicle, 47-year-old Kevin Arnold, was cited for operating while intoxicated. “He thought he was spreading good cheer and in some light he may have been,” said Sparta Police Chief Mike Kass. “I don’t think Mr. Arnold had any ill intent. I believe his level of intoxication probably impaired his judgment.” Arnold told police he was on his way home from a party at the time of the incident.
Dateline: Wisconsin—The Wausau Daily Herald reports that 49-year-old Granton resident Mary Strey has pleaded not guilty to drunk driving after calling 911 and narcing herself out herself for drunk driving. Back on Oct. 21, Strey allegedly used her cell phone to tell an emergency dispatcher she was too drunk to drive and wanted to report herself, according to a recording of the 911 call. The dispatcher told Strey to pull over and wait for officers to arrive. She did. Last week in Clark County Circuit Court, however, she entered a plea of not guilty on charges of drunk driving and operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .10. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 15. No word on whether Strey will testify against herself if the case goes to trial.
Dateline: Tennessee—A drunken, cross-dressing 4-year-old stands accused of stealing Christmas presents from his neighbors. WTVC-TV in Chattanooga reports that 21-year-old April Wright is going through a divorce with her husband who is currently in jail, and she has no idea how her son managed to get into her neighbor’s house, crack open a beer and loot the presents from under their tree. The boy burglar, Hayden Wright, was found around 1:45 a.m. last Tuesday, wandering the streets of his neighborhood. In police reports, officers said the boy was wearing a little girl’s dress and drinking a 12-ounce beer. Hayden was taken to the hospital and treated for alcohol consumption. The dress was reported to be among the five wrapped presents he stole from the neighbor’s house. The boy’s mother says she put safety devices on all her home’s doors so her kids couldn’t get out, but Hayden was able to break the safety device off a doorknob and escape. “He runs away to find his father,” Mrs. Wright told WTVC. “He wants to get in trouble so he can go to jail because that’s where daddy is.”