Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Guam

An apologetic gunman hugged and kissed two casino employees before making off with more than $5,000 in cash.
Pacific Daily News reports the man, wearing a camouflage baseball cap and a black ski mask, entered the Lucky Land Casino in Hagatna earlier this month brandishing a silver handgun. Surveillance video shows the gunman approaching the office window where 23-year-old Genevie Santos was working. Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Jhan Olivarez, was there as well. He also works at the casino, but was hanging out off-duty at the time. The gunman demanded access to the office. “He said if we don’t open the door, he’s going to shoot. So we had no choice,” said Santos. Santos told reporters she couldn’t stop crying, which prompted the armed robber to wrap the couple in a hug. He then kissed Olivarez on the neck and Santos on the forehead. According to Santos, he apologized, saying, “I’m sorry you had to be the ones working.”

Dateline: China

Approximately 100 Chinese soldiers split their pants simultaneously in what could be the world’s largest pratfall. Chinese media reports about 4,500 military reservists were participating in a training session on Sept. 8 at a university in Hubei province when a group of soldiers was ordered to sit down. According to witnesses, an “audible ripping sound” was heard as 100 pants seats failed in unison. The military-issue trousers reportedly cost $15 apiece—a high price for pants in China. The clothing failure has caused some members of the Chinese media to question the country’s combat readiness.

Dateline: India

Indian lawmakers are set to repeal nearly 300 antiquated laws dating back to the years of British rule. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office earlier this year, has made it a priority to abolish 287 obsolete laws from the British Raj. Among the laws set to be axed in Parliament this November is one making flying kites or balloons without police permission illegal. In the State of Andhra Pradesh, motoring law currently dictates that car inspectors must have a clean set of teeth and that anyone with a “pigeon chest, knock knees, flat foot, hammer toes and fractured limbs” cannot drive a vehicle. A law, still on the books from 1838, prohibits property in an area of the former imperial capital of Calcutta—now known as Kolkata—from being sold to anyone other than the East India Company. The East India Company went out of business more than 150 years ago. The Indian government is hoping that this streamlining of laws and regulations will make the country more attractive to foreign investors.

Dateline: Virginia

A crematorium in Henrico County caught fire after workers tried to incinerate the body of a 500-pound man. The fire damaged the roof of Southside Cremation Services in eastern Henrico after a “very large body” was placed in the furnace. According to WTVR in Richmond, a Henrico Fire spokesperson called the fire “accidental in nature,” saying “the rubber roofing near the smoke stack was ignited by the heat of the stack.” Three people inside the building made it out unharmed. Jerry Hendrix, operations manager of Southside Cremation Services, said he has never seen anything like this in his 20 years of business. “The man was a little larger than we had done in the past,” admitted Hendrix. According to the Cremation Society of Virginia, an “average-sized adult” takes two to three hours to cremate. Larger bodies take longer. “When the person is too heavy, the guy running the crematory needs to not have continuous heat coming down on the body. Otherwise it gets too hot,” Emory Sanford of Windsor Crematory told WTVR.

Dateline: Missouri

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a couple have been chased from their home “with prime views of the third and fourth holes at Whitmoor Country Club” because it was taken over by a swarm of between 4,500 and 6,000 poisonous spiders. Homeowners Brian and Susan Trost abandoned the home after battling the eight-legged invaders for several years. According to the newspaper, the home has sat empty for the last two years, unable to find a buyer. The couple employed a number of pest control services to try and eliminate the plague of brown recluse spiders filling the walls of the $450,000 home, but nothing worked. At a trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, a jury ruled against the home’s original owners and awarded the Trosts $472,110. The original owners’ insurance company has refused to pay, however. The home, now owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association, is being fumigated with 200 pounds of sulfuryl fluoride gas, dropping the home’s temperature to 67 degrees below zero, in the hopes that it will rid the property of insects.

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

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