Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
Dateline: England—In what can only be described as a freak accident, a flaming rabbit has burned down part of the 150-year-old Devizies Cricket Club. The rabbit was apparently hiding in a bundle of branches two groundskeepers set alight. The workers saw the rabbit escape, trailing its burning tail after it. Thirty minutes later, the club's mantainance shed was on fire. Despite the best efforts of 11 firefighters, they were unable to salvage the shed or what it contained. The club estimated that the unfortunate rabbit caused nearly $90,000 in damage. “We're 99 percent confident it was the rabbit that caused the fire,” said Devizies fire station commander Philip Flowers. “It was either burnt to a cinder or it escaped through a small hole in the corner of the shed. But I imagine it perished and went to bunny heaven.” Flowers added that, in over 20 years of service, he had never before fought a blaze caused by a burning animal.
Dateline: Belgium—In other animal-related mayhem, an airliner was forced to make an emergency landing after an agitated cat got into the cockpit and attacked the co-pilot. The SN Brussels flight to Vienna, Austria, had been in the air for about 20 minutes when it was noticed that a passenger's pet had escaped from its cage. Once free, the animal wandered about the cabin and apparently slipped into the cockpit when meals were being served to the two-man flight crew. “At this stage, the animal became agitated and nervous,” the airline said in a statement. An airline spokeswoman told reporters that the copilot ended up scratched on the arm. The pilot returned to Brussels as a precaution and the 58 passengers ended up leaving on another flight two hours later.
Dateline: Mexico—Law enforcement officials gained a pretty good head start on their brand-new “Most Wanted” list after it was revealed that two of the criminals listed were already in jail. Alfredo Cervantes Ramirez, also known as “The Bullet-swallower,” and Alvaro Dario de Leon Valdes were withdrawn from the much-publicized list after officials discovered they were safely locked away in prison. The state prosecutor's office put out a statement saying it “recognizes and values the unmatched cooperation of the citizens and authorities of the country ... which allowed us to locate these two dangerous evildoers, who are already in jail.”
Dateline: Spain—Uwe Dieter Krone, a German held in Madrid's Valdermoro prison pending possible extradition to Germany, decided he didn't want to let his girlfriend go after a recent prison visit--so he glued himself to her. Krone's sticky stunt was discovered last Wednesday by prison guards concerned that neither he nor his girlfriend had emerged from the visiting room. Guards went in and discovered that the 39-year-old Krone had glued his left hand to his girlfriend's right hand. The two could not be separated, and had to be taken to an area hospital. Media reports quoted Krone as saying, “We've glued our hands together to call attention to my prison situation and to be heard.” Krone is wanted in Germany on charges of trafficking in prostitutes.
Dateline: Washington—Police in King County have finally arrested a serial eater that has been plaguing the communities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. The Sanchez family was the latest to be victimized. Early Sunday morning, a man broke into the family's home. He ignored a diamond ring and two pairs of gold earrings, instead helping himself to an entire box of Creamsicles, six shrimp kabobs, a dozen mini corn dogs, a dozen lumps of frozen cookie dough, several handfuls of M&Ms, two fruit drinks and a glass of milk. A barking pet dog eventually awakened the Sanchez family, who heard someone running out of their sliding glass door. The man was arrested later on that evening when churchgoers noticed a stranger going through a woman's purse at the Berean Bible Church. They held the man until police arrived. Police eventually found “food-related evidence” in the man's car that linked him to other crimes. Investigators believe that, starting Aug. 3, the man broke into as many as 11 area homes, ransacking refrigerators, freezers and kitchen cabinets. The unnamed man in his late 20s is believed to have some sort of eating disorder.
Dateline: Missouri—Two young female entrepreneurs received an official apology and a significant boost in business a day after city health inspectors shut down their curbside lemonade stand for health violations. Mim Murray, 10, and Marisa Miller-Stockie, 12, of St. Louis have spent the last three summers selling lemonade. The two friends hoped to save up enough money to buy laptop computers before starting seventh grade in a few weeks. Unfortunately, Tuesday afternoon, a city Health Department inspector told the girls they lacked the proper business licenses and were selling “unsafe” ice cubes. The girls were caught peddling Country Time lemonade from a powder mix and using store-bought ice cubes. A nearby resident had apparently complained about the stand on Friday to the city's Citizens Service Bureau. “I just didn't want them blocking my walkway,” the sour neighbor told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mim and Marisa said the woman had previously threatened to spray them with a garden hose if they didn't close up shop. “That's not the American way, dude,” Mim said Wednesday. After a story on the local news and a complaint from their Catholic pastor to Mayor Francis Slay, the girls were back in business. Melba Moore, the city's health commissioner, stopped by and apologized Wednesday for the mix-up. Moore spent $3 on a 25-cent glass of lemonade and told the girls that, while temporary vendors are required to get licenses, exceptions are made for children's lemonade stands. The notoriety pulled in thirsty customers from around the state and allowed the girls to match last summer's profits in a single day.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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