Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England– A woman admitted to a hospital for treatment of a severe migraine had her stay extended when a television fell off the wall and hit her on the head. Sharon Blake, 36, was ready to leave Yeovil District Hospital when she moved the TV, attached to an adjustable arm above her head, and it toppled over. She was left mildly concussed and needed extra observation according to the Sun newspaper. Patientpal, which runs the coin-operated TV system, has apologized for the “isolated incident.”

Dateline: New York– Brian Valentino may be the world’s worst hide-and-seek player. The 33-year-old burglary suspect was being transported to the Onondaga County jail in Syracuse last week when he kicked out the back window of the police car he was riding in and dove headfirst through the opening. Still handcuffed, Valentino ran a short distance and ducked into a building, where he ran down a hallway and hid behind a door. Can you guess which building Valentino ran into? The large yellow star on the door should have been a clue. Valentino chose the headquarters of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s office in which to hide. A retired deputy working part-time in the building noticed the snow-covered, handcuffed man dash into the lobby. The deputy followed him down the hall and held onto him until the officer he escaped from arrived on the scene. Valentino now faces additional charges for the escape attempt.

Dateline: New York– Fed up with a group of homeless people living near its Upper East Side store, a high-end antiques shop is suing them–for $1 million. According to court papers filed last week, Karl Kemp & Associates Antiques, located near 69 th Street and Madison Avenue, is suing on the grounds that the four unnamed homeless people have driven away customers by loitering on the sidewalk in “old, worn and unsanitary clothing and cardboard boxes and old blankets which they convert into sleeping accommodations.” The suit asks a Manhattan Supreme Court judge to force the homeless people to stay at least 100 feet away from the store and to fork over $1 million in damages.

Dateline: Pennsylvania– Allentown resident Carol Lopez took her Labrador retriever outside to do his morning business early last Thursday and found herself staring down 37 used Christmas trees. The trees had been propped neatly around the aboveground swimming pool in Lopez’ backyard. “I had just woke up and, boom, they’re there and that’s it,” Lopez told The Morning Call . Lopez said she phoned Allentown police, and an officer told her to call the city to have the trees removed. A city employee eventually told her husband to drag the trees out to the curb where they would be picked up free of charge. Lopez took the joke in stride, even bringing photographs to work the next day, but didn’t know how someone had climbed a tall wooden fence surrounding her yard or had gotten all 37 trees over it. “People just don’t have anything better to do,” Lopez said.

Dateline: Louisiana– Officials at the Chimp Haven animal sanctuary outside Shreveport are baffled by a bit of monkey business. It seems that one of the facility’s female chimps has given birth. The only problem? All of Chimp Haven’s male chimp population has undergone vasectomies. Now managers at Chimp Haven are planning a paternity test for the seven males who lived in a group with Teresa, a wild-born chimp in her late 40s. Once they identify the father, he will be sent back to the operating room for a follow-up vasectomy. Chimp Haven managers said they knew something was up when Teresa went missing during morning rounds on Jan. 8. Later in the day, she appeared with a newborn chimpanzee in her arms. “We were all just a bit surprised when we heard the news,” Linda Brent, a spokesperson for Chimp Haven said.

Dateline: Arkansas– An escaped chimpanzee from the Little Rock Zoo raided a refrigerator and did a little housecleaning before she was recaptured. The 120-pound primate named Judy escaped into a service area when a zookeeper opened a door to her sleeping quarters, unaware that the animal was still inside. Judy rummaged through a refrigerator where chimp snacks are stored. She opened kitchen cupboards, pulled out juice and soft drinks and drank from whatever bottles she managed to open. Possibly upset by the mess she had made, Judy then went into the bathroom, picked up a toilet brush and cleaned the toilet. Keeper Ann Rademacher said the 37-year-old chimp was a house pet before the zoo acquired her in 1988, so she may have been familiar with housekeeping chores. Judy also wrung out a sponge and scrubbed down the fridge. Zookeepers eventually sedated the fastidious chimp, who fell asleep on top of the refrigerator with half a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread she had pulled out of the freezer. Judy was reportedly groggy but fine after the incident.

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

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