Odds & Ends
Dateline: England—The U.K.’s Metro newspaper reports that Paul, the “psychic” octopus who correctly predicted the winner of the recent World Cup soccer tournament, has an agent and will be recording an Elvis tribute album soon. Talent agent Chris Davies, from Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, claims to have signed the all-seeing cephalopod after watching him correctly predict the outcome of World Cup matchups in South Africa. Paul lives in the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, where handlers had him choose between two boxes decorated with the flags of rival teams. He went eight for eight with his World Cup predictions but has since retired from the odds-making game—apparently to enter show biz. “One of the most exciting things is that he has a record deal in place for an album, called Paul the Octopus Sings Elvis,” Davies told the British newspaper. “There are books being written, a range of octopus toys are coming out this Christmas and there is even a new iPhone app.” No word on how exactly an octopus would “sing” Elvis tunes.
Dateline: New Jersey—A 67-year-old man has accepted probation after admitting to charges of shooting his family’s 20-year-old African Grey parrot to death because it was interrupting his Nascar viewing. Randolph resident Dennis Zeglin said in a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders that he was intoxicated when he shot Mikey the parrot on June 7, 2009, with a pellet gun. He told state Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan he did it because the parrot’s squawking distracted him while he was watching a Nascar race on television. If Zeglin successfully completes three years probation and 100 hours community service, the charges of animal cruelty will be dismissed from his record. Zeglin must also enroll in alcohol counseling and forfeit any weapons he owns.
Dateline: Georgia—An armed criminal, angry over what he deemed a measly take, called the Atlanta fast-food restaurant he had just robbed to complain about its lack of money. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a thief wearing a ski mask and brandishing a gun walked up to a Wendy’s drive-through counter and ordered an employee to put the cash drawer on the counter. The thief then grabbed the drawer and ran off. Later that evening, the restaurant received a call from the unhappy robber. “Next time there better be more than $586,” he reportedly complained. Police said he made a “similar threat” in a second phone call. Police recovered the stolen cash drawer from the grounds of a nearby business but found no fingerprints. A witness to the crime said the robber was wearing yellow rubber gloves.
Dateline: Michigan—Jerry Douthett, 48, was passed out in a drunken stupor when his dog chewed his big toe off—an act the pet owner credits with saving his life. The Rockford resident woke up on a Saturday night late in July to discover Kiko, a Jack Russell terrier, gnawing on his right big toe. Douthett said he had been out that evening with his wife and consumed “six or seven beers” and a couple of Margaritas “big enough to put goldfish in.” Thoroughly intoxicated, Douthett stumbled home and passed out on his bed. His wife, Rosie, was in another room. “I woke up and looked down at my foot, and it was wet,” Douthett said. “When I looked, it was blood, and there was the dog looking at me with a blood mustache.” Douthett’s wife rushed him to the hospital where doctors discovered he was suffering from type 2 diabetes and a severe infection. Mrs. Douthett, a gerontology nurse, had been urging her husband to get the infected toe examined for weeks, but he refused. Doctors cleaned up Douthett’s wound and amputated what was left of the bone. Fortunately, the toe-chomping pooch “pretty much just ate the infection,” Mr. Douthett told WOOD-TV News 8 in Grand Rapids. “So he saved my life.” Kiko is still with the Douthett family but is being kept under observation. “He knew when to stop, which was great,” Mrs. Douthett was quoted as saying. Since his diagnosis of diabetes, Mr. Douthett says he has given up drinking.
Dateline: Illinois—A mother is suing the Illinois Central School Bus company, claiming her child was injured in a school bus crash last December. According to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the bus full of school children crashed into a ditch after the driver opened the door of the moving vehicle to vomit and fell out. Akilah Giddings, mother of Jacqual Calbert, claims the driver opened the door on the bus “in an attempt to lean over so he could barf.” The driver then fell out of the vehicle at an intersection in Pembroke Township in rural Kankakee County. The bus continued without him, eventually crashing into a ditch. Calbert, who was a passenger on the bus, suffered an unspecified injury. According to the Chicago-Sun Times, Giddings is seeking at least $50,000 in damages.