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 V.19 No.40 | October 7 - 13, 2010 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Brazil—Political critics who are trying to prevent an actual clown from running for office are calling for the candidate to pass a simple literacy test. Francisco Silva—better known as Tiririca, which means “Grumpy” in Portuguese—is running in October’s general election in an attempt to represent Sao Paulo in Congress. Incredibly, the TV comedian in the multicolored hat is ahead in the most recent polls thanks to slogans like, “It can’t be any worse than it is now!” Opponents say he is unqualified, since the country’s constitution states members of congress must be literate. According to Sao Paulo’s Metro daily, critics have filed a lawsuit demanding that Tiririca be forced to take a literacy test. Época magazine recently reported claims by people who have worked with the clown/politician that he is illiterate. A video on the publication’s website shows a reporter asking Silva to read questions from an election poll. The candidate appears unable to do so, and has a campaign aide read them for him.

Dateline: England—A 9-year-old girl had her top lip bitten off when the video game she was playing sent a pet dog into a rage. ThisIsLancashire.com reports that Megan Walker was sleeping over at a friend’s house in Farnworth outside Manchester when she woke up at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, and decided to play the Nintendo DS video game Nintendogs. Barking from the handheld pet simulation game apparently enraged Saracen, a bull mastiff and boxer cross breed who was sleeping on the living room floor. “When I woke up, I turned on the Nintendo,” Walker told reporters. “It barked and Saracen dragged me off the couch by my foot. I was scared.” The dog bit the girl in several places and tore her lip off. Doctors at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital managed to reattach the lip after it was rushed to the hospital by police officers. The dog was turned over to police and has been put down.

Dateline: Pennsylvania—A judge from the town of Intercourse has been charged with disorderly conduct after handing out acorns stuffed with condoms at the State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. According to the Patriot-News, Isaac Stoltzfus, 58, was arrested after two women complained to police. “An individual was handing out acorns to some woman who were offended when they discovered the contents in the acorn included a condom,” said Edward Myslewicz, a spokesman for the Department of General Services. Police said Stoltzfus, who lives and works as a magisterial district judge in Intercourse, told them the condom-stuffed acorns were “a joke.” Stoltzfus could be fined or disciplined by the state’s Judicial Conduct Board.

Dateline: Pennsylvania—Police in Chester County say a man suspected of flashing two teenage girls and simulating “a sex act on a dinosaur-shaped playground apparatus” in a public park could face deportation to Mexico. Guadelupe Paramo-Almanza, 39, has been charged with public drunkenness and remains a “strong suspect” in the simulated sex act. Paramo-Almanza was arrested shortly after the crime was reported, but has not yet been charged with indecent exposure or similar crimes because the witnesses could not positively identify him. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the dinosaur-humping incident took place in Pomeroy Park in Avondale, at about 4 p.m. on Sept. 19. While in custody, police discovered that Paramo-Almanza, a native of Mexico, was in the country illegally.

Dateline: Ohio—Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. announced it is pulling all boxes of Chad Ochocinco breakfast cereal from its grocery store shelves. The move came after the company learned that a misprinted phone number on the label intended to connect consumers with the charity organization Feed The Children is instead sending them to a phone sex line. Feed The Children was supposed to benefit from sales of the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver’s cereal. Unfortunately, an incorrect toll-free prefix means callers get a seductive female voice making risqué suggestions and asking for a credit card number. Ochocinco told Cincinnati's WCPO-TV that the number was clearly a mistake and he’s sure the manufacturer—Pittsburgh-based PBL Sports—will fix the problem.

Dateline: California—A man was arrested for trying to rob a bank in Watsonville after a quick-thinking bank manager suggested he fill out a loan application instead. Police say 59-year-old Mark Smith walked into the bank, announced that he had a bomb in his backpack and demanded $2,000 so he could pay a friend’s rent. The bank manager suggested his better option would be to fill out a loan application. She had him sit down and said she was going to get the loan paperwork for him to fill out. Instead, she called 911. Police responded shortly and arrested Smith, a Watsonville resident, on suspicion of attempted robbery, making criminal threats and making a false bomb report. Smith did not have a bomb in his backpack and no injuries were reported. His loan application was probably rejected as well.

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