Alibi V.25 No.18 • May 5-11, 2016 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Australia

According to Australia’s Herald Sun, a woman in suburban Melbourne turned to online crowdsourcing to get her neighbor’s cat out of a tree. Susie Butler of Ferntree Gully, Victoria, reportedly found her neighbor’s cat, Boots, stuck in a tree around 6am on the morning of April 26. She tried to coax it down, but had no luck. She also tried contacting the local fire department, the city council and the RSPCA. None of them were able to climb the tree and bring the pet down. After Boots spent about 12 hours in the tree, Butler set up an account on GoFundMe to raise the $205 dollars it would take to hire a professional animal rescuer. Within four hours the account reached its goal, with donations from as far away as the United States. Nigel Williamson of Nigel’s Animal Rescue showed up at 10am on April 27 and successfully removed Boots from the tree. “There’s never been a cat I haven’t been able to get down [from a tree],” Williamson told the Herald Sun. Williamson has been rescuing cats for more than 30 years but said this was the first time people had crowdfunded for his services.

Dateline: Germany

An FBI-themed stripper created a security panic in Frankfurt’s red-light district after being spotted with what appeared to be an assault rifle and a bulletproof vest. A “significant number” of police officers were deployed on the night of Saturday, April 16, after the costumed dancer was spotted. The 30-year-old Hungarian man was later found inside a “table dance” bar where he was in the process of stripping out of his FBI-emblazoned clothing. The man’s weapon turned out to be a plastic replica, but a police report said the prop “had deceiving similarities to a G36 assault rifle.” After a questioning by police, the stripper was allowed to perform. “Whether his act was a success is not known,” police noted in their report. Prosecutors have yet to determine if the dancer’s rifle replica violates German gun laws.

Dateline: France

A 45-year-old woman was arrested after she entered a police station in Toulouse, in southern France, and asked them to check if her cocaine was pure. The unnamed woman handed officers two bags of pure cocaine and a third of crack cocaine. When asked why she came to a police station with drugs, the woman claimed she simply “wanted the officers at the reception desk to test it because she wanted to know it was good quality so people do not die of an overdose.” The conscientious drug dealer will be charged with possession or intent to supply and is scheduled to appear in court in January 2017.

Dateline: Thailand

Two anglers told England’s Telegraph newspaper they used their friend's ashes as bait to catch a monster fish. Ron Hopper, 64, died of liver cancer in December before he could go on a much-anticipated fishing trip to Thailand with friends Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale. While on his deathbed at home in Hull, East Yorks, Hopper made his friends promise to bring him along on the fishing trip no matter what. “A few days before he died he asked us to take his ashes to Thailand and scatter them around the lake because he had really happy memories of the place,” said Fairbrass, who went with Dale and Hopper to Thailand last year as a retirement present. “I told him we would go one better than that and turn him into bolies and catch a big fish with him. He just cracked up and said it was a brilliant idea.” Fairbrass and Dale, both aged 65, took Hopper’s ashes and mixed them into special bait balls known as “bolies.” The two fishermen named the special bait “Purple Ronnie” and used it at the end of their lines throughout their nine-day Asian trip. Eventually the anglers landed a 180-pound Siamese carp. “We were gutted that Ron couldn’t come on the trip because he was really looking forward to it,” Fairbrass told the Telegraph. “But he was definitely with us when we caught that fish.”

Dateline: Montana

County officials in Bozeman are trying to get rid of a wealth of Cold War commodes. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the makeshift bathroom facilities were intended to be used in fallout shelters. The county no longer has any use for the aging “SK IV Sanitation Kits,” which consist of a fiberboard drum, a toilet seat, commode liner and 10 rolls of toilet paper. The toilet paper warns nuclear holocaust survivors to “use sparingly.” The Department of Defense didn’t want the emergency toilets back and the Federal Emergency Management Agency didn’t have a use for them either. The county has offered some to museums. The rest will be sold off at auction. No one has yet offered a valuation on the well-aged paper toilets.

Dateline: Texas

An Austin area elementary school named after no-longer-cool Confederate General Robert E. Lee was looking for a name change, so officials turned to the best place for such things, the internet, and asked the general public to find a new, more culturally appropriate name. Back in March the school board of the Robert E. Lee Elementary School voted eight to one, with one abstention, to change the institution’s name. “Students should not be required to attend schools named for people who made a choice to lead the fight to keep a race of people in slavery,” said board President Kendall Pace. “The time has come not to change history, but to honor it differently.” Among the “different” suggestions offered by community members was Harper Lee Elementary School, Spike Lee Elementary School and Bruce Lee Elementary School. The Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance ended up garnering eight votes. The winning vote, however, with 45 ballots cast, was Donald J. Trump Elementary. Second place, with 34 nominations, went to Robert E. Lee Elementary. According to Austin’s Statesman newspaper, the school district allegedly presented the top vote-getters to the board of trustees for review.

Dateline: Mississippi

A group of residents in Jackson held a birthday party for a pothole that has graced their neighborhood for more than a year. Eddie Prosser, who lives on Devine Street in the Bellhaven neighborhood, started off the celebration by placing colorful balloons and a sign in front of the 16-month-old pothole and its two “younger brothers.” The stunt obviously paid off. Shortly after WJTV reported on the five-foot wide pothole, city crews reportedly filled in the pothole with dirt. “Maybe they’ll come back and pave it,” resident Tracey Metcalf told WAPT-16. “If that’s the case, we are happy.”

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