Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Germany—According to reports by German police, the small Bavarian village of Elsa was flooded by liquid pig manure last Wednesday after a tank containing the fertilizer burst. Sewage rose up to 20 inches in the courtyards and streets of Elsa after gushing from the 65,000-gallon tank. “The village was swamped with green-brown liquid and it was pig manure–the mother of all muck,” said Rainer Prediger, a police spokesperson in the nearby town of Coburg.

Dateline: Germany—A dope smoker in Darmstadt was arrested after complaining to police that he had just been sold some bad weed. Hans-Juergen Bendt, 52, lodged a complaint about his local drug dealer with police after he was sold seven ounces of “completely unenjoyable” hash. Bendt said the dealer refused to refund the $400 he had paid for the drugs and described himself as a victim of fraud. Not so surprisingly–at least to the non-stoned people in the police station–officers failed to act on Bendt's claims, even though the drugs were described as of “absolutely mediocre quality.” Bendt was charged with illegal purchase and possession of narcotic substances.

Dateline: Vietnam—Under a government decree that took effect last Thursday, Vietnam's numerous karaoke bars will no longer be able to serve alcohol. The campaign is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Information and is intended to curb the country's “social evils”–which apparently include drunken renditions of Cher songs. “The decree will definitely help reduce negative activities in karaoke bars and discotheques,” said Le Anh Tuyen, director of the Legal Department at the Ministry. According to government statistics, more than 10,000 karaoke establishments are licensed to operate in the country.

Dateline: California—Stanford University has fired a tree for being drunk on the job. Erin Lashnits, 23, serves as the official costumed mascot of the Stanford band. The student was wearing her traditional tree-shaped costume earlier this month at a basketball game between Stanford and UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley police observed her drinking from a flask during the game. “She was taking drinks inside the tree,” Kevin Klintworth, assistant athletic director at Berkeley, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The officers could see the flask through the costume.” Lashnits acknowledged that she was intoxicated but denied that she had a flask or that she had been drinking during the game. “She wasn't doing anything offensive,” band spokesperson Sam Urmy said. “She was just jumping and dancing. The tree's movement is usually consistent with that of someone who's had something to drink.” Unfortunately, the pixilated pine tree's blood alcohol level tested at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in California. That violated the terms of the band's three-year alcohol ban, imposed by Stanford administrators after a notorious 2003 bus ride in which band members got drunk on the way home from a USC football game. According to Urmy, the band will be choosing a new tree next month.

Dateline: Indiana—Sheriff's deputies in Columbus had reason to doubt the story of the motorist they pulled over for driving erratically when he identified himself as “Robert.” Their first clue? The name “Cecil” tattooed on the back of the man's neck. Cecil S. Carmer's attempt to pass himself off as his brother Robert ended rather quickly with his arrest. Following the arrest, police found equipment and ingredients used to make methamphetamine in Carmer's car. Carmer was charged with false informing, for driving with a suspended license and with possession of anhydrous ammonia and other ingredients for making meth. He was taken to Barthelomew County Jail and held on a $90,500 bond.

Dateline: Florida—A 56-year-old man from Moss Bluff is accused of beating his roommate to death with a sledgehammer and a claw hammer after their apartment ran out of toilet paper. According to the Marion County Sheriff's office, Franklin Paul Crow was charged last Monday with homicide in the death of Kenneth Matthews, 58. Crow confessed during interrogation that the two began fighting over the lack of toilet paper in their apartment. Crow told investigators that Matthews pulled out a rifle. Crow said he then began beating Matthews with a sledgehammer and later a claw hammer. Matthews' body had to be identified by fingerprints, detectives said.

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

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