Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Canada—Mr. Floatie, a community activist who dresses in a gigantic feces-shaped costume, has withdrawn his name from the mayor's race in Victoria, British Columbia. James Skwarok, the man inside the costume, told reporters that the city has taken issue with his candidacy because only real people can run for municipal office. “Of course I'm not a real person,” Skwarok said last week. “I'm a big piece of poop.” Skwarok has been appearing in public as Mr. Floatie for some time now in an attempt to raise people's awareness about the pumping of raw sewage into the waters off British Columbia's capital. No word on what Mr. Floatie might do now that his political dreams have been dashed.

Dateline: England—Gary Megson, manager of the Nottingham Forest football team, found the perfect way to punish his losing team, by allowing angry fans to hang out in the locker room and berate the underperforming players. The former European champions, now languishing in the third tier of English football, were down two goals to Yeovil Town at halftime when a pair of fans aired their grievances with Megson. Rather than ignore them, Megson invited John Emener and Andrew Peel to come into the club's dugout at the end of the 3-0 defeat. “I thought he might change his mind,” Emener told the Times of London. “But, to his credit, he kept his word. He just told us nothing abusive or personal.”

Dateline: Turkey—It's probably safe to assume that “Sesame Street” is not a popular show in Turkey. A court recently fined 20 people 100 new lira for using the letters Q and W on placards during a Kurdish New Year celebration. The 1928 Law on the Adoption and Application of Turkish Letters changed the Turkish alphabet from the Arabic script to a modified Latin script and requires all signs, advertising, newspapers and official documents to only use Turkish letters. Many shops and companies in Turkey have names employing forbidden letters like Q, W and X, which do not appear in Turkish. Up till now, none have been prosecuted. It is believed that the prosecution took place because the offenders were Kurdish. The Kurdish alphabet does contain the letters Q and W. Under pressure from the European Union, Turkey lifted a ban on teaching and broadcasting in Kurdish in 2002, but bureaucratic resistance has delayed implementing the reforms.

Dateline: Wisconsin—According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, a would-be armed robber was foiled in his attempt to steal cash from a man when he was run over five times by two different cars and then shot himself in the leg. The incident began at 2:45 a.m. last Sunday when a 33-year-old man was standing in a parking lot near N. 14th and W. Center streets. A 29-year-old man rushed up to him, pulled a handgun and demanded cash, which the victim handed over. Immediately afterward, a pickup truck–which police believe was the robber's getaway vehicle–screeched up in reverse. Unfortunately, instead of giving the robber a lift, the vehicle struck both the suspect and the victim, apparently by accident. The pickup sped off after that, leaving the injured robber to limp away with the cash. Moments later, a woman in a Lexus showed up and rammed the robber with the front of her car. Then she backed up and hit him again. And then she put her car in forward and hit him a third time. After the third hit, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out his gun. Instead of shooting the woman in the Lexus, he managed to plug himself in the leg. That's when the woman hit him a fourth time. Police eventually showed up and arrested the unidentified suspect and sent him to a hospital where he remains in critical condition. The lead-footed woman in the Lexus, who police believe knows the intended victim, is being sought for questioning.

Dateline: Connecticut—According to police in Hartford, six people were stabbed early last Sunday during a fight at a 1-year-old's birthday party. The injured were taken to Hartford and St. Francis hospitals, where they were treated for stab wounds to their necks and faces. All were later released. Police said they received several 911 calls around 12:45 a.m. They arrived at a two-family home to find dozens of people running around in the rain. Several were screaming and bleeding. Most spoke only Spanish, and it took some time for the police department to summon a Spanish-speaking officer. In that time, four carloads of men showed up to join the melee. Police detained so many people that they ran out of regular handcuffs; then they ran out of temporary plastic restraining devices and had to call for more. Officers said they found a knife hidden under the child's birthday cake. In the end, eight people were arrested. East Hartford's emergency management director found housing at local hotels for eight children and 12 adults displaced when the home became a crime scene. Police were interviewing witnesses to find out what started the bloody brawl.

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

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