Odds & Ends
Dateline: Australia—A pet dog has had to undergo surgery after downing a shot of Jägermeister—glass and all—at a house party. Billy the short-haired German pointer’s owner was out of town on vacation when some dog-sitting roommates decided to throw a party in the Northern Territory town of Darwin. A few days later, Billy began vomiting blood. The dog-sitters rushed him to the vet where an x-ray revealed a shot glass in his stomach. The 18-month-old dog’s owner told Northern Territory News that Billy the booze hound must have seen “everyone else having a whole lot of fun. He would have thought, I want to have a good time too. I’ll try their drink myself.” After three hours in surgery, the shot glass was removed from the Billy’s stomach. “We’ll put the shot glass and the x-ray photo in a frame and put it up on the wall where he can see it. I hope it reminds him of alcohol abuse,” added the owner.
Dateline: Austria—An Austrian zookeeper has been arrested for growing a secret cannabis plantation inside his zoo’s rhinoceros enclosure. Police say the man’s scheme was quite clever, as the 59-year-old had sole access to the rhino pen at the Salzburg Zoo. Also, the notoriously irritable 1-ton animals were likely to deter any trespassers. Police discovered 33 healthy cannabis plants growing amid the enclosure’s foliage after getting a tip from a drug-user that this grower had supplied him. “It was appalling. We had never thought something like that could happen in our zoo,” Sabine Grebner, the zoo’s director, told the Salzburger Krone newspaper. “We cater to families and children. We don’t want anything to do with drugs and these people.” Police don’t know how long the cannabis was growing inside the rhino enclosure, but say the zookeeper had been in charge of the animals for “a number of years.”
Dateline: England—Professional sports has taken its toll on another athlete. Mere minutes after capturing the Women’s World Gurning Championship, gurner Anne Woods was rushed to West Cumberland Hospital. The 62-year-old’s four-minute gurning performance appeared to wear her out and she suddenly collapsed to the ground outside the competition room at the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. Male champion gurner Tommy Mattinson, who won his 12th World Title that day, told London’s Daily Mail, “I came outside to get some fresh air and Anne was lying on the floor.” Ms. Woods was released from the hospital the next day. Gurning is the art of making exaggerated, ugly or silly facial expressions—often while sticking one’s head through a horse collar.
Dateline: Wisconsin—Police in Wauwatosa say it wasn’t the alcohol in his system that got a drunk driver pulled over earlier this month—it was the fact that he was making a sandwich behind the wheel of his car while driving. Dispatchers received a call reporting a reckless driver at 9:34 p.m. on Sept. 12. According to witnesses, the driver nearly struck a car, was swerving between lanes and failed to use a signal. When an officer pulled behind the man’s vehicle, he noticed the driver was leaning over the passenger seat. Turns out the 24-year-old driver wasn’t just drunk, he was busy making a sandwich with the loaf of bread and packages of salami and cheese he had situated on the passenger seat. When stopped, the driver said he had gotten into a fight with his mother and was “just driving around.” He admitted that he was a recovering marijuana and Oxycodone addict who had recently relapsed, but denied using drugs that day. He did, however, have a bottle of vodka on the floor of the car and admitted to having six to 10 vodka drinks that morning. His blood alcohol content was less than the legal limit for drunk driving, but he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Dateline: Oregon—Portland’s public transportation agency TriMet fired a city bus driver after a cell phone video showed the driver reading a Kindle while steering through morning traffic on Interstate 5. The driver, Lahcen Qouchbane, had the digital reading device perched on the bus’ dashboard. According to The Oregonian, this is the second time that Qouchbane has been fired by TriMet. In September 2006, the agency terminated the 40-year-old driver for pushing a passenger off a bus. However, the driver’s union appealed the decision and an arbiter reinstated the driver with a 30-day suspension. Earlier this month, a rider on the Line 96 bus took a cellphone video of Qouchbane appearing to read his Amazon Kindle while maneuvering the rainy Terwilliger Curves on Interstate 5. Although Qouchbane’s attorney maintains that the driver wasn’t actually reading the device at the time, TriMet believes he was and said his actions posed “an immediate threat to public safety.” Company policy prohibits the use of “audio or video devices of any kind” while operators are in the driver’s seat.