Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Michigan— Detroit police bravely waded into a public park and broke up a pillow fight last weekend. The impromptu pillow fight was scheduled to take place at Campus Martius Park on Saturday, April 4, and was one of at least 50 slated across the world. World Pillow Fight Day was organized through the website pillowfightday.com and a number of online social networking sites. Despite the seemingly innocuous nature of the event, police swarmed the park and shut down the event. “I am furious,” 23-year-old Elida Quesada of Ferndale told the Detroit News . “[A pillow fight] is so silly and childlike. It would have been fun. It seems like everything that is fun is illegal.” Officers in blue jumpsuits were reportedly polite to the would-be participants but were firm about confiscating any and all pillows. One officer told a unarmed fighter that 5,000 of the fluffy headrests had been seized by the 4 p.m. start planned for the event. Michael Davis, 32, of Hamtramck told the Detroit News , “They took my pillows but let me keep my cases. They told me I needed a permit. I can understand.” Scott Harris, a 48-year-old Ferndale resident whose pillow was taken by officers, was not as understanding. “It is not illegal to own a pillow,” he was quoted as saying. Detroit Police spokesperson James Tate would not tell reporters how police learned of the event in advance but said there were numerous Internet postings. Tate said the unsanctioned event posed a “cleanup issue” and there were concerns about people getting hit who did not wish to participate.

Dateline: Missouri— Harry Stonebraker handily won his fourth term as mayor of the small northeastern town of Winfield last Tuesday. Unfortunately, Stonebraker will not be able to assume the office, as he died of a heart attack last month. Stonebraker, 69, passed away on March 11. Nonetheless, he captured 206 votes in Tuesday’s mayoral election, or 90 percent of the ballots cast. “I figured he’d win because he seemed to get even more popular after he died,” Lincoln County Clerk Elaine Luck told the Associated Press. Stonebraker’s opponent, Alderman Bernie Panther, got only 23 votes. Lincoln County Clerk Elaine Luck said city aldermen would appoint a mayor to serve until a special election can be held in April 2010.

Dateline: California— An administrative law judge at the National Transportation Safety Board upheld the revocation of San Diego helicopter pilot David Martz’ license on the grounds that he allowed a noted porn actress to perform oral sex on him while flying over the downtown San Diego waterfront. The incident, which reportedly happened in 2005, recently surfaced as an Internet video. Judge William R. Mullins said 52-year-old Martz may have been unable to respond to a flight emergency because his pants were down around his knees and the woman’s head was at times blocking access to the aircraft’s controls. Martz took the witness stand during the three-hour hearing, testifying that while the incident didn’t represent “the brightest thing” he had ever done, he had learned from it and other mistakes and wouldn’t do it again. Though not identified in the administrative hearing, Martz’ costar in the brief video was pegged by the San Diego News Examiner as 35-year-old Swedish-born erotic film star Puma Swede.

Dateline: Texas— A woman in Haltom City called 911 to report that she didn’t get as many shrimp as she wanted in her fried rice at a suburban Fort Worth restaurant. Last Tuesday, police released the taped emergency call, in which the customer is heard telling the dispatcher, “to get a police officer up here, what has to happen?” When asked the nature of her emergency, the caller responded, “He didn’t even put extra shrimp in there.” The upset customer was gone by the time an officer arrived at the A&D Buffalo’s. Restaurant workers said the woman had been denied a refund after she left with her order and returned later to complain. The restaurant’s cook, June Lee, told Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram there was nothing wrong with the meal. “Some customers are happy. Some are not.”

Dateline: Colorado— A vegan woman’s love for bean curd has gotten her labeled as “profane” by state officials. Kelly Coffman-Lee, 38, submitted a proposal for a new vanity license plate for her Suzuki SL-7: “ILVTOFU.” Unfortunately, the Division of Motor Vehicles read it differently. State Department of Revenue spokesperson March Couch told the Denver Post , “We don’t allow ‘FU’ because some people could read that as street language for sex.” Colorado officials meet periodically to ensure state plates remain free of letters that abbreviate gang slang, drug terms or obscene phrases. Coffman-Lee told reporters tofu is a staple of her family’s diet because they are vegan and believes the DMV has misinterpreted her message.

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

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