Odds & Ends: Hamburger Turtle, Spy Hawk, Literal Road Thief, Ben & Jerry’s Pornos, Absurdly High Water Bill

Odds & Ends: Hamburger Turtle, Spy Hawk, Literal Road Thief, Ben & Jerry’s Pornos, Absurdly High Water Bill

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

A traveler identified only as “Mr. Li” tried to sneak a turtle onto an airplane by attempting to convince security officials that the animal was a hamburger. The X-ray machine at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport reportedly revealed “suspicious corners” on what appeared to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken sandwich package. “There is no turtle in there, just a hamburger,” the nervous Mr. Li told security staff. “There’s nothing special to see inside.” According to the
South China Morning Post News, officials forced Mr. Li to open his bag and discovered that he was, in fact, transporting his “beloved” pet turtle by disguising it as a hamburger. The man reportedly entrusted the animal to a friend’s care before being allowed to continue on his flight to Beijing. Since the incident, users of Weibo—China’s version of Twitter—have been uploading countless Photoshopped “turtle burger” images.

Dateline Turkey

A wayward hawk has been cleared of espionage charges after Turkish officials branded the bird an Israeli spy. The Dogan news agency reports that villagers in a rural town in the western Turkish province of Elazig found the kestrel and delivered it to local police after discovering a leg band marked “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel.” Israeli officials said such bands are used to track bird migrations, not to identify undercover animal spies, but Turkish authorities were having none of it. Authorities did confirm in a statement, however, that the small bird of prey was released back into the wild after X-rays performed by medical personnel at Firat University confirmed “there was no other device”—such as a microchip, recording device or spy camera—attached to the bird.

Dateline: Russia

Stealing cars is common. Stealing bridges is somewhat more rare. But stealing an entire road is all but unheard of. Police in Syktyvkar, capital city of the Komi Republic, have arrested a man accused of stealing a road. The road, made up of 83 reinforced concrete slabs, linked the village of Parcheg, located several miles north of Syktyvkar, with the Vychegda River. According to RIA Novosti, the suspect allegedly loaded the slabs, worth a total of $6,100, onto three trucks and tried to haul them off. The trucks were stopped by police. The man, unidentified in local media, has been charged with theft and faces up to two years in prison.

Dateline: New York

Gourmet ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has won a consent judgment against an adult filmmaker that has been marketing pornographic films inspired by the dessert-maker’s iconic ice cream flavors. The Vermont-based company filed suit in September 2012, claiming that Caballero Video infringed on its flavor names and the art and graphics of its ice cream packaging by producing such films as
Hairy Garcia, Boston Cream Thigh, Peanut Butter D-Cups and Chocolate Fudge Babes. Attorneys for Ben & Jerry’s had argued the DVDs and the ice cream containers shared “large white puffy clouds” and the company’s trademark “grazing cow.” Lawyers said the similar packaging could confuse buyers into thinking the products were affiliated. Late last month New York District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan issued a consent judgment, ordering Caballero to cease production on its line of ice cream-based pornography.

Dateline: Texas

For the second time in less than a year, Dallas resident Tom Hoffman has received an erroneous water bill for more than $60,000. Back in April, the homeowner was mailed a water bill for nearly $66,000. The massive bill froze his bank account, and for two days neither Hoffman nor his wife could access their finances. The city eventually fixed the problem and gave the Hoffmans an apology. After the incident earlier this year, Hoffman canceled the auto-pay feature on his utilities. Lucky he did because the city just sent him another water bill for nearly $67,000—that’s enough to fill four entire water towers. “To see this happen twice … I don’t know,” Hoffman told WFAA News 8. “It’s annoying.” A spokesperson for the City of Dallas told News 8 the billing was a mistake and the result of a stuck meter. “We apologize for the inconvenience to the customer.”

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

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