Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: England

Some people wake up from an epic bender having drunk-dialed an ex. Luke Harding, a 19-year-old sheet metal worker from Oldham, woke up in another country. According to the
Daily Star, Harding was out drinking at a pub in Manchester. That turned into a evening of nightclubbing, which led to him waking up in a public toilet in Paris. Apparently Harding was getting a ride home in a cab around 4am when he pulled his passport—which he had been using for ID—from his pocket. Naturally that gave him the brilliant idea to jet off to France. He found a travel app on his smart phone advertising last-minute flights to Paris for £100 ($161), Despite being “well and truly plastered,” he told the cabbie to change course to Manchester Airport. “It was just a spur of the moment thing and it seemed like a good idea at the time,” Harding told the Star. The tipsy traveler says he remembers nothing about the 500-mile flight or going through customs. He regained some form of consciousness in a bathroom in the Charles De Gaulle Airport and promptly tweeted, “woke up to the sound of a Frenchman shitting in the cubicle next to me, definately a low point in my life!” Harding then called his mom. “I told her what I had done and she went mental at me,” said Harding. Harding spent $247 on a return ticket, then killed the eight hours before his flight wandering around the Eiffel Tower and eating a croissant. “It’s fucking expensive here though. Mum thinks I’m a pillock,” Harding tweeted in the midst of his adventure. Speaking to the newspaper upon his return, Harding admitted the impromptu vacation “cost me an arm and a leg but I don’t regret it. It’s a funny story to tell my mates for years to come.”

Dateline: Thailand

Thailand, a Buddhist nation not known for celebrating Christmas, has nonetheless set a world record in holiday cheer. A shopping mall in Bangkok arranged a publicity stunt involving 852 schoolchildren. The schoolchildren successfully broke the record for “the largest human Christmas tree.” Decked out in green and red hoodies, the 6- to 15-year-olds arranged themselves in a treelike formation, breaking a record set by 672 Germans in 2011. “I kind of thought we’d get to stand on each other’s shoulders,” said 13-year-old Nattakit Liewkulnattana who, like most of the other participants, does not celebrate Christmas. Guinness World Record representative Fortuna Burke certified the feat, counting the children as they filed into an outdoor verandah at the Siam Paragon mall.

Dateline: France

Model-turned-weather-reporter Doria Tillier promised to deliver her forecast naked if France qualified for the World Cup. The national soccer team did just that on Nov. 19, defeating Ukraine 3-0 to lock up a spot at the 2014 event. A woman of her word, Tillier did as she promised the very next night. The 27-year-old ran naked through a field—wearing nothing but boots—while a graphic displayed the day’s temperatures. Cameras were set at a discreet distance, however, giving viewers only a tiny glimpse of Tillier. Nonetheless, ratings for the night’s broadcast on Canal+ were through the roof in anticipation.

Dateline: Louisiana

A group of frustrated ghost hunters allegedly burned a historic southern plantation to the ground. Seven people are being held on suspicion of arson for burning LeBeau Plantation in Old Arabi. The men, aged 17 to 31, arrived at the home on the night of Thursday, Nov. 21. “They had been looking for ghosts, trying to summon spirits, beating on the floors,” said Col. John Doran, who oversees the Sheriff’s Office’s criminal enforcement division. No ghosts appeared in the plantation home, however. Frustrated, and fueled perhaps by the marijuana and alcohol they were consuming, the men decided to burn the place down. “Every chief’s worst nightmare is to have a historical structure destroyed in their community, and that is what happened here,” said Fire Chief Thomas Stone. LeBeau Plantation was built in the 1850s and was one of the largest plantations south of New Orleans. Bail for the seven suspects, most of whom are from Texas, has been set at between $350,000 and $450,000.

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

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