Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

Animal keepers at the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Norfolk, East Anglia, say their 22-year-old African spurred tortoise Bert has given himself arthritis by having too much sex. Workers at the park noticed Bert developed swelling in his left rear leg when he returned from a breeding program in 2011. During the two-month session, Bert mated with five females, producing dozens of offspring. “He is a lover not a fighter, that is certainly true,” Martin Hocking, acting manager at the park’s Secret Animal Garden told the U.K.’s
Metro newspaper. “African spurred tortoises are prolific breeders and can produce up to 60 to 70 offspring a year, and he is no exception.” The park’s staff say Bert’s libido has caught up with him recently. For the last eight weeks, he’s had to wear a set of strap-on wheels over his back legs to help with mobility. Park operations manager Adam Goymour told reporters veterinarians are hoping the wheels will help the randy tortoise heal by aiding circulation. In the meantime, the park has posted a sign on Bert’s enclosure explaining his “previous injury.”

Dateline: California

San Francisco Chronicle reports a library book was just returned, a mere 100 years overdue. Webb Johnson of Fairfield brought the book back on Jan. 13. The book, a collection of short stories titled Forty Minutes Late, was checked out by Johnson’s great-grandmother Phoebe Webb in 1917 from the old Fillmore branch. That branch of the library is no longer around. Johnson said he researched family history and found that his great-grandmother passed away a week before the book was due. Head City Librarian Luis Herrera welcomed the book’s return and told reporters the library was glad to get it back. At the 2017 rate of 10 cents a day, the overdue fine for Forty Minutes Late would have been $3,650. Fortunately for Mr. Johnson, fines on overdue books are capped at $5. Johnson didn’t even have to pay that fine, as the 100-year-old text qualified under the library’s current amnesty program on overdue books. Since the amnesty program began, the library says it has gotten back more then 2,000 missing books.

Dateline: Philadelphia

Some news, evidently, is fake. Earlier this month a FOX affiliate in Philadelphia wished heavyweight champ Joe Frazier a happy 73rd birthday and reported that he would “be meeting with friends and supporters” at City Hall later that day to honor championship youth boxing teams and coaches. Unfortunately, the report aired on FOX-29 on Jan. 11, not Jan. 12—which is Frazier’s real birthdate. Also, he died in 2011. “He really is a legend,” Thomas Drayton, co-anchor of “Good Day Philadelphia” said regarding the no-longer-living boxer. “Such a force!” Needless to say, Smokin’ Joe did not appear at the youth boxing event. “Good Day Philadelphia” later corrected the report.

Dateline: Alabama

Local fire departments and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency went searching for a missing hunter—only to discover he was in jail the whole time on public intoxication charges. The family of 50-year-old Randy Keith Holt reported him missing on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 16, after he was three hours late returning home from a weekend hunting trip. Law enforcement officials coordinated with Huntsville Air Traffic Control to bring in a low-flying helicopter to search for Holt. Search crews also employed dogs to find the missing man, who was believed to have disappeared near the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. Turns out local sheriff’s officers found Holt “exposing himself” earlier in the day and arrested him on public intoxication charges. The Limestone Country Sheriff’s Department told WHNT News 19 that Holt was taken to Limestone County jail just after 2pm on Monday. The mix-up was eventually discovered and the search was called off.

Dateline: Florida

A driver was arrested for using a remote-controlled license plate shield to avoid paying a $1.25 toll. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say 27-year-old Joshua Concepcion West of Apopka equipped his Honda Civic with a remote-controlled shield that dropped down over his license plate whenever he zipped through a toll booth without paying the fee. Unfortunately for Mr. West, an FHP trooper happened to be right behind him as he cruised through an automated toll plaza on State Road 408 in Orlando. “Kind of James Bond-like, where this device is activated remotely,” FHP Sgt. Kim Montes told WESH-TV. “After he cleared the toll booth, the tag came back up. The tag was exposed again.” West now faces felony charges of petty theft and cheating.

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

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