Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: England— According to a report in London’s The Sun tabloid, an English cat has spent the last three months scamming rides from a local bus line in order to reach a neighborhood fish and chip shop. The cat, which hops on the No. 331 service in Wolverhampton, has become a regular sight to bus riders, who have nicknamed it Macavity after the secret cat in a T.S. Eliot poem. Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, said Macavity catches the bus three times a week and always gets off at the same spot—exactly two stops from his house. “As soon as I open the doors, he jumps on,” said the driver. Passenger Paul Brennan, 19, said Macavity sits at the front of the bus and waits patiently for the right stop. “It was quite strange at first, but now seems normal. He is the perfect passenger,” Brennan told The Sun . “The only problem is he never pays.” Travel West Midlands, which operates the bus line, confirmed the tale, saying, “the cat certainly knows how to use buses and is a regular traveler on the 311.”

Dateline: California— A would-be ATM bandit was apprehended after his prosthetic leg came off during a foot pursuit with police. Gregory Daniels, 48, was arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of burglary after he allegedly used a chain and a pickup truck to yank a 1,500-pound ATM from the Pomona Ranch Market. Authorities say Daniels and another man drove up to the market about 3 a.m., smashed a window, wrapped a chain around the ATM and used the pickup to rip it from the floor. The pair loaded the cash machine in the back of the pickup and drove off. Officers chased the vehicle into a residential neighborhood, where the men drove into a dead-end street. Daniels’ accomplice fled on foot, but police said Daniels himself was unable to escape. “He was unsuccessful, as his prosthetic leg fell off,” said Sgt. E. Vazquez. The ATM and its cash were recovered.

Dateline: Missouri— Joe Selle, who was running unopposed for a seat on the city council of Missouri City, figured he was a shoe-in for the post. While he didn’t exactly get voted out of office, he wasn’t quite re-elected either. The candidate got no votes in last week’s election–not even one from himself. Selle, 42, said he simply forgot that Tuesday was election day. Apparently, so did all of his ward’s other registered voters. Despite the lack of votes, the city’s charter allows him to keep the seat unless someone else is “successfully elected and qualified.” Missouri City has just over 300 residents. “It’s pretty small-town stuff down here, man,” Selle said of the Missouri River town located 16 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Dateline: New York— Shortly after the seventh-inning stretch of last Monday’s Opening Day game at Shea Stadium, a longtime Mets fan was crushed by a 300-pound man who came tumbling down the stadium seats like the giant boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark . Ellen Massey, 58, told New York’s Newsday that an unidentified man dressed in a green Army-style jacket tumbled from higher in the seats and onto her back, knocking the wind out of her and, ultimately, causing serious injury. “I only know he came flying,” Massey told the newspaper from her bed at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. “I was literally not able to breathe for about a half-a-minute or so.” Massey, who is a lawyer, was scheduled for surgery on a vertebra last Friday.

Dateline: California— Salt plus cheese? A train derailment in Southern California sent hundreds of gallons of blue cheese dressing pouring into a canal leading to the Salton Sea. The 52-car train was carrying a variety of cargo from Dupo, Ill., to Los Angeles when it overturned last Tuesday in the California desert, said Union Pacific spokesperson Joe Arbona. Nineteen of the cars derailed, dumping bulk containers of the dressing, other food products and concrete sealant. The cause of the derailment and the amount of materials spilled was not immediately apparent. The spilled dressing and other materials flowed in the Coachella Canal about two miles from the north shore of the Salton Sea, hazardous materials spokesperson Robert Becker said. “There was blue cheese–a lot of it,” Becker said. The canal was dammed and there was not an immediate threat to the Salton Sea’s stock of salty water. Cleaning up the condiment spill would take a few days, according to Union Pacific officials.

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

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