Odds & Ends
Dateline: England—A theme park in Surrey is on the hunt for England’s smelliest urine in hopes of lending authenticity to a new movie-themed thrill ride. On Friday, Feb. 26, Thorpe Park, near Chertsey, asked members of the public to submit personal water samples. The person with the country’s most pungent pee will win a £500 ($760) prize and have his or her signature scent immortalized in the park’s new SAW Alive attraction. Based on the popular Saw film series, SAW Alive is billed as “the world’s most extreme live action horror maze” and will feature “six traps depicting the most grisly and iconic scenes from the six Saw films.” The much-sought-after urine will be pumped into the attraction’s bathroom scene, recreating a “realistic and truly gut-wrenching sensory experience.” Thorpe Park’s entertainments manager Laura Sinclair is responsible for choosing the most eye-watering whiz. “We want SAW Alive to be as authentic and terrifying as possible to make visitors feel as if they are living in a real-life horror film,” Sinclair told journalists. “To do this, we need to really push the boundaries of what our guests experience from a sensory point of view.” Sinclair went on to say that the park needs the help of the public to “create the most realistic and unsavory urine odor. We are looking for a sample that will really get the public gagging.” SAW Alive is expected to open in Spring 2010.
Dateline: Norway—According to a report on the Austrian Times website, a Norwegian man has gone to trial for shooting his mother to death and cutting her body into “bite-sized” cubes because she refused to read a best-selling book. A court in Oslo heard that the 40-year-old man went berserk when his mother declined a recommendation to read Girl in the Cellar, a true-life account of Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch, written by British journalist Allan Hall. “It’s a great read,” the defendant told his mother, who replied, “No, not my cup of tea.” As a result, he shot her and carved her body up into tiny chunks with a chain saw. The unnamed attacker, who was described by prosecutors as “severely psychotic,” allegedly became convinced that Natascha Kampusch—who was held for over eight years by kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil in Strasshof near Vienna—was his daughter after reading Hall’s best-selling book.
Dateline: Louisiana—Donna Louise Greenwell, 53, has pleaded guilty to selling two children under her care for $175 and a cockatoo. “It was a really clumsy attempt at an adoption proceeding,” said the woman’s attorney, Steve Sikich. “She was trying to help the children and get them situated.” Greenwell, of rural Pitkin in central Louisiana, was sentenced last Monday to 15 months of hard labor on two criminal counts of sale of a minor. According to investigators, Greenwell contacted Paul and Brandy Romero of Evangeline Parish early last year after seeing a flyer they posted offering a cockatoo for sale. Greenwell offered to sell them a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl for $2,000. The Romeros couldn’t afford that, but settled on the bird (valued at $2,000) and $175 cash. Sikich told the court that his client had custody of the children for a about a year before she bartered them off. “It’s my understanding that the mother had requested that she take care of the kids,” said Sikich. Neither the children’s mother nor father have been located. The Romeros pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sale of a minor child, the district attorney said in an earlier statement. Their five-year prison sentences were suspended in exchange for their testimony against Greenwell. Sikich had argued that the $175 was to cover attorney costs, while the bird was merely a gift to Greenwell’s granddaughter.
Dateline: Florida—An NRA instructor wrapped up a gun safety class with some unexpected show-and-tell, shooting a student in the foot with his handgun. According to Orlando police, Robert Frauman Jr., 50, was taken to Florida Hospital after instructor Michael Phillips’ firearm discharged about 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. The incident happened at Summit Church near the Fashion Square Mall. The bullet passed through a table before striking Frauman in the foot, the church’s communications director Kristy-Lee Lawley told the Orlando Sentinel. Frauman, who is a member of the church, was described as “recovering well.” Frauman was one of three students attending the concealed firearm certification training, which was not a church-sponsored event. According to Lawley, the church offered its upstairs conference room for free after some church members expressed an interest in the class. “We won’t be having anything like that in our church in the future,” Lawley was quoted as saying in the Sentinel.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.