Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Poland– Police have launched a nationwide hunt for a flatulent political dissident. Hubert Hoffman, 45, was charged with “contempt for the office of the head of state” for his windy actions after he was stopped by police in a routine check at a Warsaw railway station. He complained that, under President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw, the country was returning to a Communist-style dictatorship. When told to show more respect for the country’s rulers, Hoffman allegedly farted loudly. He was immediately arrested and taken to jail. Hoffman later posted bail, but failed to turn up at a Warsaw court hearing early last week. The judge in the case rejected an appeal by defense lawyers to throw the charges out. A court spokesperson said, “Such a case of disrespect is taken very seriously.”

Dateline: Bulgaria– A car crash victim has been saved by her oversized breast implants. Elena Marinova, 24, from Sofia, was involved in a full frontal crash with another car in the Northern city of Ruse. Despite both cars being destroyed and the other driver being badly hurt, Marinova escaped serious injury thanks to her breast implants, according to the local Standart newspaper. A police expert explained that the 40DD silicone implants “absorbed the impact of the crash.” He added, “They worked just like airbags–protecting the victim’s ribs and vital organs from damage.” The expert did caution, however, “They are not as safe as the real thing because they exploded, which airbags are not supposed to do.”

Dateline: Finland– A district court has officially determined that 25,500 euros ($32,000) is way too much to pay for a little breast fondling. The court jailed a couple in their 20s for more than a year for charging a 74-year-old man who suffers dementia a total of 25,500 euros to grope the woman’s breasts on some 10 occasions. “Based on general life experience alone, it is indisputably clear that a 25,500-euro charge is disproportionate to the compensation in question,” Judge Hasse Hakki, who heard the case, said. But he said the court in Kokkola, about 300 miles north of Helsinki, would not decide “the proper financial value of the compensation.” Instead, the couple was convicted of extortionate overcharging and jailed.

Dateline: Minnesota– Paul Herold, a candidate for a City Council seat in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Blaine, is campaigning hard–for his opponent. It seems Herold recently landed a high-paying new job and doesn’t think his new career path will leave him enough time to do a decent job for his would-be constituents. Unfortunately, Herold missed a deadline for withdrawing his name from the ballot. He wrote a letter to the local newspaper pleading for their nonsupport. He even offered to drive friends and neighbors to the polls to vote for anyone but him. “I tried my best not to get any votes,” the noncandidate told reporters. Herold’s plans did not work, however. He came in second in the primary election, earning enough votes to place him on the November ballot alongside incumbent Katherine Kolb. If Herold wins in November, he could refuse to serve, but that would force a special election, costing the city $30,000 or more.

Dateline: Washington– County sheriffs searching for a man in connection with a pornography investigation raided the wrong house on Sept. 27, dragging a 67-year-old man and his wife out of their home. In a news conference last Wednesday, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie D. Knezovich said that the conduct of deputies will be reviewed. Knezovich apologized and said the error came from Detective Timothy D. Hines’ investigation into whoever was responsible for obscene phone calls to at least 20 women enrolled at Whitworth College. Hines wrote down the wrong phone number and ended up getting a search warrant for a house in Spokane, miles away from the home in suburban Spokane Village investigators were actually after. The elderly homeowner told The Spokesman-Review , which did not identify him at his request, that deputies dumped out drawers, went through his wallet and checkbook, seized computers, CDs, floppy disks, VHS tapes and other material and refused to clean up the mess in the raid. Half a dozen sheriff’s vehicles converged on the house. After taking photographs outside, Det. Hines allegedly humiliated the owner in front of his neighbors by telling officers, “Now let’s go inside and get some porn!” Although no pornography was found, police did seize copies of The Lion King and Snow White . The correct target of the investigation, 42-year-old Robert M. Sherman, was arrested about a week later. Knezovich said he accepted responsibility for procedural problems in the foul-up but warned that if the homeowner’s assertions of rudeness and humiliation by deputies are substantiated, they could face penalties ranging from verbal warnings to written reprimands.

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

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