Odds & Ends
Dateline: Japan—Investigators in Asia are trying to figure out the mystery of how 700,000 condoms vanished while being shipped by sea to Japan. Sagami Rubber Industries said earlier this month that the jimmy coats were loaded into a shipping container at the company’s factory in northern Malaysia. Unfortunately, when the ship arrived in Tokyo, the locks on the container had been switched and it was empty. “We take the matter of the missing condoms very seriously,” a Malaysian police spokesperson told Agence France Presse. “We are investigating the matter.” Officials at Sagami’s head office said the special ultra-thin condoms are worth $1.5 million on the Japanese retail market. “We are unhappy over the incident,” Sato Koji, manager of the Sagami rubber factory in Malaysia’s Perak state, told reporters.
Dateline: England—An excited 7-year-old in London almost landed the ultimate toy—a real-life Harrier Jump Jet. The young lad purchased the British-built fighter off of eBay for the bargain price of £69,999 ($113,515) by hitting the “buy it now” button. When the boy’s parents found out, they quickly contacted the seller, Jet Art Aviation of Bradford. “His dad rang up and profusely apologized to us, so it’s still for sale,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying on news.com.au. “We’ve put it on as an auction now so that won’t happen again.” The Harriers were used heavily by England during the Falklands War, but were decommissioned in 1997. For legal reasons, working military jets cannot be sold, so it would have taken millions of dollars to get the Harrier Jump Jet T-Bird Aircraft XW269 airborne. It is believed to be one of only six left in the world.
Dateline: Connecticut—A Hartford County man was arrested after calling police to ask if he would be arrested for growing pot in his house. “I was just growing some marijuana and I was just wondering what, how much, you know, trouble you can get into for one plant,” asked 21-year-old Robert Michelson. When the police dispatcher asked if there was an active crime in progress, Michelson answered, “Possibly.” Police traced the call to Michelson’s home in the central Connecticut town of Farmington. There, they located drug paraphernalia and a small amount of pot. Michelson admitted he had recently purchased seeds and equipment online for the purpose of growing marijuana. Police say that as he left the police station, Michelson gave dispatchers two middle fingers. “Presumably for doing such a good job,” a police spokesperson said.
Dateline: Indiana—Despite winning an online poll to have a new city-county building named after him, legendary Indiana politician Harry Baals will probably not have the Harry Baals Government Center added to his legacy. Baals, who served four terms as mayor of Fort Wayne in the ’30s through ’50s, garnered more than 8,000 votes in the online poll—three times as many as his nearest competitor. Unfortunately, modern leaders believe the ex-mayor’s name will be the butt of too many jokes. “We love Fort Wayne, too,” Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. “We’re not going to make any decisions that look bad.” Jim Baals, the 51-year-old great-nephew of Harry Baals, expressed disappointment in the city’s decision. “Harry served four terms and was a wonderful mayor. I don’t know what the problem is.” Despite not knowing what the problem is, Baals’ descendants have changed the pronunciation of their last name since Harry’s day. It used to be “Balls.” Now, it’s “Bales.” That’s still not snicker-proof enough for city officials. “We realize that while Harry Baals was a respected mayor, not everyone outside of Fort Wayne will know that,” Malloy said in a statement to the Associated Press. “We wanted to pick something that would reflect our pride in our community beyond the boundaries of Fort Wayne.” City spokesperson Frank Suarez told the Journal Gazette that Mayor Tom Henry will now meet with local groups and choose a list of up to 10 suitable candidates to name the new government center after.
Dateline: California—A 35-year-old Lamont man died on Sunday, Jan. 30, after being stabbed in the leg by what we can only assume was a vengeful rooster. Jose Luis Ochoa was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center shortly after Tulare County sheriff’s deputies were called to a reported cockfight about three miles north of the Kern County line. Ochoa and others tried to flee when deputies arrived at the alleged cockfight. A later autopsy revealed that Ochoa died after being stabbed in the leg by a sharp blade that was attached to one of the fighting birds. Cockfights are invariably fatal to roosters, but rarely for the observers. “I have never seen this type of incident,” Sgt. Martin King, a 24-year-veteran, admitted to the Californian newspaper in Bakersfield. Ochoa apparently had a history of cockfighting. Last year, he paid $370 in fines after pleading no contest to one count of owning or training an animal for fighting.