Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

A government worker didn’t show up to his job for six years, and no one noticed—at least until he received an award for his stellar job performance. Joaquín García, now 69, stopped showing up at his job as a building supervisor for a water treatment plant in Cádiz, but he continued to collect the $41,200 a year salary. The town’s deputy mayor, Jose Blas Fernandez, told the newspaper
El Mundo it wasn’t until 2010 when García was chosen to receive an award for his 20 years of loyal service that anyone noticed his absence. Suddenly, nobody could locate the plant’s building supervisor. “I wondered whether he was still working there. Had he retired? Had he died? But the payroll showed he was still receiving a salary,” Blas told the Spanish daily. “I called him up and asked him, ‘What did you do yesterday? The month before? The month before that?’ He didn’t know what to say.” García’s attorney, speaking on his behalf, blamed bullying at his workplace for the six-year absence. The lawyer said his client did not report the bullying because he feared being fired. Once the allegations came to light, García retired, but he denies any wrongdoing. People close to García told El Mundo he spent his workday time reading philosophy. Last month a court sided with the government and fined García $30,000—the maximum penalty allowed under government rules. Despite getting off easy, García has appealed the ruling and has petitioned the deputy mayor to have the judge’s decision reversed.

Dateline: Australia

Australian authorities have seized nearly a billion dollars worth of meth disguised as gel inserts in padded, push-up bras. Some 720 liters of liquid methamphetamine, or “ice,” worth an estimated A$1.25 billion ($890.5 million) was taken from four Chinese nationals. The drugs were found hidden inside prepackaged bra inserts shipped into the country from Hong Kong. “This is the largest seizure of liquid methamphetamine in Australia’s history and one of the largest drug seizures in our country’s history,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan told a reporter in Sydney. The seizure was the result of a joint investigation between Australian authorities and the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission.

Dateline: Montana

Someone in Great Falls called 911 after hearing “screaming from a house about someone having a gun”—but it turned out the neighbors were just watching the midseason premiere of “The Walking Dead.” The 911 call came in at 7:28pm on the evening of Feb. 14. Great Falls Police Department Sgt. Brian McGraw told the
Great Falls Tribune officers surrounded the residence in question. “We had a whole bunch of guys on that one,” he said. According to notes from the call, officer heard “loud talking” from inside the home and observed “flashing lights.” The officers removed two adults and several children, ages unknown, from the residence. Eventually, it was determined that no one was in danger, and that the family was simply watching “a show about firearms” near two open windows. McGraw told the Tribune he later found out the show was AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead.” Based on the outcome no police report was filed.

Dateline: Arizona

A state legislator is trying to change the law in her state and make potlucks legal once again. Under current state law, people can be arrested for having any sort potluck dinner outside of the workplace. The problem came to light after health officials in Pinal County ordered a group of residents in Apache Junction trailer parks to stop holding neighborhood potlucks. Republican State Representative Kelly Townsend from Mesa called the law a “big legislative oversight” and says the spirit of the law was never intended to ban potlucks. “This is kind of like a technical correction,”
Townsend told azfamily.com. State health laws place a number of restrictions on when and where food can be served. But a previous set of legislators tried to make an exception for a “noncommercial social event that takes place at a workplace, such as a potluck.” That means, of course, that workplace potlucks are currently legal, but any other type of food-based event—be it a tailgate party or a church picnic—is illegal. “Out in our district we had some pretty serious issues with folks shutting down any kind of potluck that did not take happen at a workplace,” Townsend recently told her colleagues on the House Government and Higher Education Committee.” Townsend’s new proposal, House Bill 2341, cleared the House Government and Higher Education Committee with bipartisan 6-0 vote. It is awaiting the approval of the full House.

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

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