Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

Perhaps a police officer in Staffordshire was smelling a big promotion when he located what he thought was a major shipment of marijuana—but it turned out to be a pile of potpourri. The unnamed officer had been called out to a parcel sorting depot after the staff reported several suspicious packages. The officer was shown several cardboard boxes that had been returned from an address in the south of England. Noting the strange aroma of the boxes, the officer believed them to be filled with drugs. He seized all the boxes and filled his entire police car with them for a ride back to the station. The officer then spent 30 minutes unloading the boxes. A request was made for a drug-sniffing dog, who had to be routed from 20 miles away. When it arrived, the dog showed no interest in the boxes—possibly because they turned out to contain nearly 18 pounds of flowery potpourri. The officers allegedly spent the next hour packaging the potpourri back up and returning it to the parcel depot.

Dateline: Washington

A lifelong football fan who passed away shortly after the end of Super Bowl Sunday has had his obituary published, listing his cause of death as “the Seahawks.” Michael Vedvik, of Kent, Wash., died of a heart attack in the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 2. The event occurred several hours after the Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots thanks to an infamous interception. According to the obituary published in the
Spokesman-Review, 53-year-old Vedvik “loved his family, work, clients, traveling, the Seahawks and life. We blame the Seahawks lousy play for Mike’s ultimate demise.” Vedvik’s sister wrote the obit, but said her husband added the comment about the Seahawks. Although Vedvik’s wife admitted the obituary wasn’t completely accurate, Vedvik “would have thought it was hysterical.”

Dateline: Texas

The father of a fourth grader in Kermit, Texas, claims his son was suspended from school because he allegedly threatened to use the “One Ring” from J.R.R. Tolkien’s
Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to make his friend disappear. The 9-year-old was accused of making a terroristic threat, even though invisibility is the most prominent power of the mythical ring. Jason Steward told the Odessa American his family recently watched The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and that his son liked the film very much. According to the Odessa American, the school’s principal “said threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated—whether magical or not.” Steward wrote an email to the Daily News, saying, “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence. If he did, I’m sure he’d bring him right back.” Steward says his son has already been suspended twice this school year, once for referring to another classmate as “black” and once for bringing the children’s encyclopedia The Big Book of Knowledge to class—which, as a teacher was apparently shocked to discover, contains an illustration of a pregnant woman.

Dateline: Georgia

A suburban Atlanta barber is offering old man haircuts for misbehaving kids. Russell Fredrick, co-owner of the A-1 Kutz barbershop in Snellville, said he is offering customers a “Benjamin Button Special,” a shaved head with the sides and back left in place to simulate a balding head. Fredrick told the
Washington Post he gave the first special to his 12-year-old son last fall and saw that his once-failing grades “dramatically skyrocketed.” The first customer to accept the offer said her 10-year-old’s misbehavior disappeared after the haircut, and she returned to the shop four days later to have it corrected. “There are a few people saying it’s emotional abuse,” the barber said. “But on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in—and applauding me as well.” After photos of the prematurely balding 10-year-old hit Instagram, Fredrick said, “you gotta reach these kids somehow, and I would gladly do it again.”

Dateline: Wyoming

A sheriff’s deputy chose to retire rather than give up his cowboy hat. The newly elected sheriff of Sublette County, Stephen Haskell, recently instituted some changes in the department’s dress code. Gone were 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots. In their place were black trousers, tan shirts, black combat boots and a black ball cap. According to Haskell, cowboy boots can be slippery on ice, and wide-brimmed hats blow away in Wyoming’s heavy winds. Deputy Gene Bryson, a 28-year veteran, didn’t cotton to the new uniform, however. “When you take away my individuality, I don’t want to stay,” Bryson told the
Casper Star-Tribune. Rather than lose his cowboy hat and boots, the 70-year-old Bryson chose early retirement. He turned in his badge on Jan. 31.

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

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