Alibi V.26 No.29 • July 20-26, 2017 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: China

An umbrella-rental business inspired by bike-sharing services hit a snag when almost 300,000 of the company’s umbrellas ended up stolen. Zhao Shuping, founder of Sharing E Umbrella, told the South China Morning Post earlier this year that his Shenzhen-based umbrella rental service would make 300,000 umbrellas available for rental at strategic locations in Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Nanchang. The umbrellas could be obtained from vending kiosks for a 20 yuan (about $2.90) deposit and a 7-cent per half-hour rental fee, payable via the phone app WeChat. The deposit was intended to be refunded upon return. Most of the umbrellas, however, went missing within a few weeks. According to UPI the company lost $8.82 on each umbrella that went unreturned.

Dateline: Texas

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, a local strip club was recently tagged with several violations by the city’s health inspector, including one for a “breast implant” found inside the club’s bar utensil holder. Cassidy’s Polo Club received nine demerits, which the City of Amarillo’s Environmental Health Department described as “an average number,” during the June 23 health inspection. Among standard demerits for failure to have “thermometers provided, accurate and calibrated,” and “non-food contact surfaces clean” was an additional comment regarding a “breast implant found inside bar utensil holder.” According to the Globe-News, there was “no word on how the breast implant came to be there.” Shaun May, Amarillo’s Environmental Health Director, assured KVII-TV in Amarillo that the “personal item was removed immediately from the kitchen and the issue is resolved.” The club has until Aug. 10 to clear up the other listed issues.

Dateline: Louisiana

A drunk driver was arrested while trying to bail out a friend who had been arrested for drunk driving. The Slidell Police Department—located on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain—said on its Facebook page that officers pulled over a “car full of drunks” on the night of Saturday, July 8. The driver of the vehicle was arrested for DWI. The car was safely secured in a parking lot, and the intoxicated passengers were sent home in a cab. Unfortunately, “an hour or so later, one of the dunk passengers from the original traffic stop decides to go back and pick up the vehicle. She then drives drunk to the Slidell Police Department in order to bail out her friend.” According to the post, the woman was unable to bail the driver out, but “she was able to join him inside the jail.”

Dateline: New Jersey

A museum at a New Jersey university knocked down one of its walls and found a stash of wine bottles up to 221 years old. Officials at the Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union said they knew an old wine cellar was located behind the Prohibition Era wall, but they had no idea what they would find when they tore down the plywood and plaster construction as part of a renovation program. What they found were three wooden boxes containing more than 50 unopened bottles of Madeira wine. The wine turned out to be from 1796. It was imported from Portugal and rebottled by Robert Lenox, a millionaire wine importer from New York who died in 1839. One rare wine dealer said the sealed and stamped bottles could be worth up to $20,000 each. Amazingly, the wine could still be drinkable. “It is one of the longest-lived wines in the world,” Kara Joseph, a certified sommelier at New York Vintners, told UPI. “It is almost indestructible because of how they make it, of the fermentation process.”

Dateline: Texas

A company contractor was performing some maintenance work at a Bank of America branch in Corpus Christi, changing the locks on the bank’s ATM service room, when he became locked inside. Without his phone, the engineer slid an SOS message through the machine’s receipt slot to customers outside. The note read, “Please help, I’m stuck in here and I don’t have my phone. Please call my boss.” The contractor told police that the majority of folks thought the note was simply a practical joke. But eventually, someone took it seriously and called police. Senior Officer Richard Olden told KZTV-10, “We come out here, and sure enough we can hear a little voice coming from the machine. So we are thinking this is a joke. This has to be a joke.” Police ended up having to kick down the door to the machine to get the contractor out. Police say the man was stuck inside the ATM for about two hours.

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