Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Scotland—In the wake of 85-year-old actor James Doohan's recent death, The Times of London is reporting that no less than four Scottish cities are scrambling to lay claim as the birthplace of Doohan's beloved “Star Trek” character Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. Linlithgow in central Scotland was the first to claim the starship engineer as its future son. Local City Councilor Willie Dunn told the newspaper Linlithgow had “information” that Scotty was supposed to have been born in the city in the year 2222. The city is planning to erect a plaque honoring him to boost tourism. But now, the cities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Elgin have all come forward claiming the fictional character. Aberdeen believes Scotty was born there in 2220, citing a fan website which quotes a “Star Trek” episode in which the U.S.S. Enterprise's chief engineer refers to himself as an “Aberdeen pub crawler.” Doohan, who died on July 20, often admitted that his Scottish accent was based on someone from Aberdeen whom he had met during military service in Britain in World War II. Edinburgh, however, cites another web page which lists Scotty's birthplace as “Edinburgh, Earth.” Meanwhile, city officials in Elgin say that Doohan named their city as his character's hometown in an interview. Linlithgow's Dunn accused the other cities as “boldly clinging to our coattails.”

Dateline: Japan—Construction worker Toru Nagasawa, 29, was arrested last Thursday in Kawasaki, just south of Tokyo, for allegedly mugging people and taking their glasses and contact lenses. According to police reports, Nagasawa confronted a man in front of his apartment building and asked for directions. Nagasawa then punched the victim in the face, saying he did not answer politely enough. A police spokesperson said Nagasawa then followed the man into his apartment and forced him to take off his contact lenses. “Are you wearing contact lenses now? Put them in my eyes,” Nagasawa told the 31-year-old victim as quoted in the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper. The Nikkan Sports tabloid said 22 similar cases have been recorded in Kawasaki city since January, all targeting men in their 30s. After Nagasawa's arrest, police in Kawasaki put on display the loot they had confiscated from his home–124 pairs of glasses and 30 pairs of contact lenses. Police did not comment on his motive, but Nagasawa reportedly said, “I felt good when I wore the glasses of a friend in my junior high school days. I have ever since been searching for glasses that fit me.”

Dateline: Taiwan—A 45-year-old man recently visited a clinic in Taipei complaining of shortness of breath and a high fever. The unidentified man is now breathing easier after surgeons removed a missing set of dentures from one of his bronchial tubes–three years after he lost them in a fall. “He had been looking for the missing dentures for three years, but they were nowhere to be found,” surgeon Chen Chun-lei told reporters. The wayward set of eight teeth was to blame for the man's mild cast of pneumonia.

Dateline: Missouri—Friday morning drivers on U.S. 71 in Kansas City were shocked to see 31-year-old Robbin Doolin come tumbling out of her driver's side door during rush hour traffic. After the fall, Doolin jumped up and started chasing after her speeding car, which careened down an embankment and into a construction site. Doolin, who spent Friday night in a hospital being treated for injuries to her arm, leg and head, told police officers, “I leaned out to spit and I leaned too far.” Police spokesperson Capt. Rich Lockhart wisely told local media, “It's certainly not prudent to open your car door on a highway, especially when you're not wearing a seat belt.” Lockhart added that the woman was embarrassed about the accident.

Dateline: Florida—An Ocala man apparently made up a story about killing a hitchhiker and burying his body in the woods in an elaborate effort to persuade his wife to divorce him. Authorities say Teddy Claire Akin, 28, was charged last Tuesday with making a false report and petty theft. Akin's wife, Felicia, called the Marion County Sheriff's office on Monday to report that her husband had murdered a hitchhiker. Akin told investigators he had picked up the hitchhiker, who wanted a ride to Tampa. He said the two got into an argument over how far Akin would drive the hitchhiker. Akin said he hit the man in the neck, causing him to gasp and make a gurgling sound. Akins said he dumped the body in a forest near a gun range and kept the man's wallet, which contained the license of Utah resident Dennis Legrande Allen. Deputies searched the area Akin described with dogs and an air unit but failed to locate a body. Akin eventually admitted to investigators that he was going through a divorce and had hoped the murder story would convince his wife to leave him, said Sue Livoti, a sheriff's office spokesperson. Akin told investigators he found the wallet on top of a newspaper stand. Investigators reached Allen in Utah by phone. Allen was, in fact, alive and said he did not know Akin. The sheriff's office said it would probably be billing Akin for the cost of its seven-hour search.

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

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