Odds & Ends
A month after rural Chinese villagers mistook a sex toy for a rare mushroom, news comes that 18 police officers in Shandong Province spent more than 40 minutes trying to rescue what turned out to be an inflatable sex doll from a river. The incident happened on July 11 when officers responded to a call of a drowning woman. The Chinese-language site RocketNews24.com reported the rescue crew worked frantically, attracting a crowd of nearly 1,000 onlookers. After determining the surprisingly buoyant maiden was, in fact, a blow-up doll, the police allegedly presented it to the crowd, who quickly covered children’s eyes and left. Shandong is reportedly a major manufacturing center for the worldwide production of sex toys.
An 11-year-old boy successfully bypassed security at a major international airport, hopping on a flight to Rome without a passport, ticket or boarding pass. Liam Corcoran walked through security at Manchester Airport without any documentation and successfully boarded a Jet2 flight to the Italian capital. It wasn’t until halfway through the journey that passengers noticed the boy was alone. They alerted cabin crew members, who reported the incident. According to London’s Daily Mail, Corcoran told fellow passengers he was running away from home. It is believed the boy wandered off from his mother while at the Wythenshaw Shopping Centre, some three miles from the airport. “This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated by officials from the airport and airline,” an airport spokesman told reporters. “It is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate,” he said, adding, “the boy went through full security screening so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised.” Corcoran was held on the plane in Rome, questioned by Italian police and border officials, and returned home.
A Goulais River man accidentally shot himself in the head while trying to smash a mouse with the butt of his hunting rifle. Police say 40-year-old Dale Whitmell spotted the rodent while camping near Anjigami Lake, about 30 miles southeast of Wawa. He tried to use his rifle to smash it, but he was apparently unaware that the weapon was loaded. Const. Amanda Huff told the Sault Star that the bullet grazed the man’s forehead. “He was very lucky,” said Huff. Whitmell was charged with careless use of a firearm and released. He is slated to appear in court on Sept. 17.
A man who refused to leave jail was arrested for trespassing and put in jail. The News & Record in Greensboro reports that 37-year-old Rodney Dwayne Valentine had been in Rockingham County Jail since May 22. He was released around 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. According to the sheriff’s office, Valentine asked deputies to drive him to a local motel. They refused, so Valentine decided to stay at the jail. By 1 p.m., he was still there, so he was charged with second-degree trespassing and returned to custody. He is being held on a $500 bond and is due in court on Aug. 9.
“Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff is suddenly a wanted man. Cumberland Farms convenience stores are reporting that some 550 cardboard cutouts of the actor have gone missing from locations throughout New England. Only 20 of the original 570 images of The Hoff wearing a tank top and plugging 99-cent cups of “Farmhouse Blend Iced Coffee” remain. “I think it’s fantastic and I encourage everybody out there to go get more. The first thing I thought of was that I was in trouble, and then I thought, Oh good, they’re not accusing me of stealing, they’re accusing people of stealing me,” Hasselhoff told WHDH-TV in Boston. Kate Ngo, a brand strategist for Cumberland Farms told the Associated Press, “this particular campaign is probably a higher rate of theft than anything we’ve ever seen.” Nonetheless, she added, the company is “flattered by the attention.”