Alibi V.25 No.5 • Feb 4-10, 2016 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: England

A cheeky filmmaker pranked the British Board of Film Classification, forcing censors to watch all 10 hours of his film Paint Drying. England’s Sky News says Charlie Lyne started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in hopes of making the longest and most boring film possible. “About a year ago I went to a filmmaker open day held by the BBFC,” Lyne wrote in a Reddit AMA. “I expected to see quite a lot of conflict between the BBFC examiner and the visiting filmmakers whose work was at the mercy of the board, but ... most of the filmmakers—even those who’d had trouble with the BBFC in the past seemed totally resigned to the censorship imposed by the board, even supportive of it.” Lyne’s Kickstarter campaign raised $8,500, resulting in a 607-minute movie, which he submitted to the board for classification. The BBFC charges $145 per film, plus $10 for each minute the film runs. Two examiners were required to view Lyne’s film. In the end, they described it as “a film showing paint drying on a wall. It contains no material likely to offend or harm” and awarded it a “U” rating, meaning the film “should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over.”

Dateline: England

Police in West Midlands say they have arrested a suspected thief with 38 mobile phones stuffed down his pants. Investigators believe the 30 year old and an accomplice lifted the phones from concertgoers at a show by The Libertines in Birmingham, Central England. The suspects were spotted at the venue with their trousers taped closed at the bottom. When the men were searched, 38 cell phones were recovered. Police were reportedly on the lookout after reports of phone thefts during an earlier Libertines gig in the northwest England town of Manchester.

Dateline: Germany

A man suspected of buying chemicals in order to make bombs had the perfect excuse, telling police he was simply trying to manufacture drugs. Police in the western city of Cologne questioned the unnamed 44-year-old man late last month after he turned himself in following a manhunt. Staff at a local hardware store initially said the man was “Middle Eastern-looking” and had purchased a suspicious amount of chemicals. Surveillance video of the suspect was made public, forcing him to turn himself in. Turns out he was not of Middle Eastern origin and eventually admitted the chemicals were purchased to produce “narcotic substances.” Following the questioning and a search of the man’s home, police determined he was, in fact, a drug manufacturer and not a bomber. He is now being investigated on suspicion of violating Germany’s narcotics laws.

Dateline: Michigan

State police say a pantsless motorist who died in a single-vehicle crash on Sunday, Jan. 24, was masturbating while watching a pornographic movie on his cell phone. While driving. FOX-2 News in Detroit reports the rollover crash occurred around 3:40am as 58-year-old Clifford Ray Jones was driving his 1996 Toyota on a freeway near Interstate 75. According to reports from the Michigan State Police, Jones became “distracted” while watching the film and lost control of his car. Jones, who was not wearing a seatbelt (or pants) at the time, was ejected through the vehicle’s sun roof and died on the scene.

Dateline: Alabama

Organizers of a half marathon say an unregistered participant—a runaway bloodhound named Ludivine—joined runners and ended up finishing seventh in the inaugural race. The Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon took place in Elkmont on Jan. 17, the same day April Hamlin’s 2 1/2-year-old dog escaped from her back yard. Ludivine showed up in the parking lot where the race started, and organizers posted several pictures of her following alongside the other runners of the 13.1-mile race. “My first reaction was that I was embarrassed and worried that she had possibly gotten in the way of the other runners,” Hamlin told Runner’s World magazine after the story went viral. “All I did was open the door, and she ran the race of her own accord.” Ludivine completed the entire race course—stopping occasionally to play in streams, greet other dogs and “investigate a dead rabbit.” She finished the race in 1:32:56 and was given a medal by volunteers. “I can’t believe she ran the whole marathon because she’s actually really lazy,” Hamlin said.

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