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 V.21 No.37 | September 13 - 19, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Australia

Police in Northern Territory have decided not to ticket a drunk man who set off fireworks in his own buttocks, saying he has “suffered enough.” Alex Bowden, 23, of Wagaman—a suburb of Darwin—told police he was showing some friends from Queensland “a Territory good time” on the weekend of July 28. Naturally, this consisted of beer and illegal fireworks. As the festivities progressed, “I put one in my arse,” Bowden told the The NT News. The cardboard-winged “flying bee” exploded between Bowman’s cheeks. He spent several weeks recovering in the Royal Darwin Hospital. Earlier this month, Acting Senior Sgt. Crispin Gargan confirmed that Mr. Bowden will not face the usual $282 fine for contraband explosives. “We believe he has suffered enough in relation to firecrackers,” Gargan said in a statement. “He has learnt his lesson and was given a caution.” At the time of the incident, Bowden told the newspaper his mother thought it was funny. Plus, he added, “I didn’t burn my balls or back.”

Dateline: France

The Original Condom Company, makers of the world’s “first luxury condom with a French touch,” have been fined $10,000 euros ($12,600) over false claims that their product hails from the French town of Condom. The company—which sells one-, two- or three-packs of condoms in elegant black-and-gold jewelry boxes—advertises itself as being headquartered “in the town of Condom in the south of France.” However, a court in the city of Bordeaux has demanded that the firm remove references to the town from its advertising. Although the owners of the company are French, the prophylactics are made in Malaysia. In fact, the small town of Condom has no connection to contraceptive devices. The French use the word preservatif rather than the word condom. That hasn’t stopped English-speaking tourists from snapping pictures of the town’s main sign. “We’re not going to hide our heads in the sand; we won’t prevent people from making a link with the name, but retreating into such notoriety can only compromise the tourism qualities of the town,” Condom Mayor Bernard Gallardo told Reuters.

Dateline: Florida

Two teenagers came up with what they thought was the crime of the century. Unfortunately for them, it was anything but. Police in Port St. Lucie say 17-year-old Brandon Rhoads entered a Walmart store at around 3 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. According to the police report, Rhoads had a “gun in a holster on his hip” and “quickly opened and closed his wallet,” flashing what looked like a badge at the store’s manager. Claiming to be an undercover cop, the teen then approached an unnamed 14-year-old cohort and “placed handcuffs on him.” Rhoads told the manager he had spotted the boy shoplifting four packs of Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards. The duo then marched out of the store (with the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards). Suspicious, store manager Laura Dougherty followed the alleged cop and robber into the parking lot. There, she watched Rhoads unlock the handcuffs. When Rhoads and his accomplice realized they were being watched, they tried to run away. Cops captured the criminal geniuses as they ran through a parking complex nearby. Rhoads was carrying a “black bi-fold wallet with a badge” and “a set of ‘toy handcuffs’ silver in color.” Police also found a pellet gun that Rhoads tossed while being chased. The Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (worth an estimated $20) were successfully recovered and returned to the store. The two suspects admitted to planning the “fake arrest” in order to “not get caught.” Rhoads was charged with impersonating a police officer and resisting an officer. The 14-year-old was charged with retail theft and resisting an officer.

Dateline: Florida

Teenager Mark Welch had a bad dream. Then he did what any smart-thinking person high on synthetic marijuana would do: He called 911. According to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office news release, the 18-year-old phoned emergency services at around 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2. “Everything that happened today is actually a dream, and I want to prove it to everybody,” the frantic teen told the dispatcher. “What did you dream about that’s happening?” the dispatcher is heard to ask on the 911 recording. “It’s all on paper,” Welch informs the dispatcher. “I wrote it down.” Officers were sent to Welch’s residence in Orange City. When they arrived, Welch admitted to smoking K2, a synthetic marijuana. After determining the caller was not in need of medical attention, a deputy informed him he would be arrested if he called 911 again. According to the police report, the man’s parents hid the phone so he would not bother officers again. Undeterred, the mad dreamer escaped to a neighbor’s house and dialed 911 just 40 minutes later. “The officer told me not to call back,” Welch said, “and he said if I called back, then y'all were going to take me to court. So I'm calling back.” Deputies returned and arrested Welch for misuse of the 911 system. No word on what, exactly, Welch was dreaming about.

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