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News of the Weird: Week of April 28, 2022


No Longer Weird

Can we all agree that any alligator walking anywhere in Florida — on a golf course, down a street, through a parking lot, wherever — is no longer news, let alone weird news? This moseying gator, for instance, is NOT weird: In Venice, Florida, a large alligator walked through a neighborhood on Easter morning on its way to Harrington Lake, United Press International took the time to report, for whatever reason. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office took a video — slow crime day. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified, but did not respond BECAUSE THIS IS NOT NEWS.

Anti-Social Media

The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked Trevor Jacob’s pilot’s license, The New York Times reported on April 20, after concluding that Jacob purposely abandoned a plane he was flying and filmed it crashing into the Los Padres National Forest in California while he parachuted to the ground. Jacob then posted the 13-minute video on YouTube, calling it “I Crashed My Plane.” The FAA said Jacob acted in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” In the video, the propeller can be seen as it stops spinning, and Jacob opens the door and jumps out with a parachute and a selfie stick. The FAA noted, “During this flight, you opened the left side pilot door before you claimed the engine had failed.” The agency also noted that Jacob did not contact air traffic control, try to restart the engine or look for a safe place to make an emergency landing. But he got 1.7 million views!


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Remember to Backup Your Phone

A woman in her 40s on a visit to Olympic National Forest probably won’t want to go back anytime soon after a harrowing experience at the top of Mount Walker on April 19, The Olympian reported. The anonymous woman dropped her cellphone into a vault toilet (a waterless, nonflush toilet typically found at campgrounds and near hiking trails) and attempted to fish it out using her dog leash. Instead, she fell headfirst into the abyss; she tried to escape on her own but ended up calling 911 with her recovered phone. Fire crews from Brinnon, Washington, fashioned a platform she could stand on, and they pulled her out and washed her off. First responders, who said she was lucky not to have been overcome by toxic gases, encouraged her to seek medical attention because of her exposure to human waste.

Government in Action

Citizens in Cornwall, England, are fuming after the St. Blaise Town Council ordered that 1,000 daffodils in the Old Roselyon Play Area be cut down because they can be poisonous if eaten and could give children diarrhea, Metro News reported. But a spokesman for the Roselyon Play Park Committee called the move “preposterous” and “totally bonkers.” He went on to explain that the land was once an orchard and was home to so many of the flowers that a part of it was called Daffodil Walk. Residents took to social media to protest the directive: “When I was in primary school, every year we were given a daffodil bulb to grow … Funny, I don’t remember trying to eat them or anyone being poisoned.” Another said, “Daffodils are also poisonous to dogs, (but) even my mutt has the common sense not to eat them.”

Take a Deep Breath

Tom Jozsi, a 60-year-old maintenance worker in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was in the dentist’s chair when his visit turned anything but routine, WISN-TV reported on April 18. Jozsi was getting a cavity filled when he inhaled an inch-long dental drill bit. “I didn’t really even feel it going down,” he said, but the bit was deep in his right lung, a CT scan showed. Pulmonary expert Dr. Abdul Alraiyes and his team at the Aurora Medical Center-Kenosha decided to try a catheter that’s used for the early detection of cancer, allowing them to reach the small bit and pull it out without any harm to Jozsi’s lung. Today, the bit is displayed on a shelf in Jozsi’s home.

Focus

One unidentified person in Dublin, Ireland, was responsible for making 90% of all noise complaints received at Dublin Airport in 2021, United Press International reported on April 19. The person averaged 34 complaints per day, totaling 12,272 for the year. They nearly doubled their number from 2020, 6,227, and are already on track for a new record in 2022, with a daily average of 59. The company that runs the airport says it responds to each complaint and works with communities on issues such as aircraft noise.

Police Report

The moral of this story: Always keep an eye on that gas gauge. Police in Memphis, Tennessee, were called about an abandoned Chevy Suburban on the I-55 bridge between Tennessee and Arkansas on April 17, WREG-TV reported. The truck, left in a southbound lane of traffic, had been struck by another car, and while police were preparing to tow it away, the Chevy’s owner, Catherine Mardesich, 54, returned to the scene, saying she had run out of gas. But when police started to inventory the truck, she allegedly said, “I don’t want you going through my vehicle.” And here’s why: Inside they found 229 pounds of marijuana and $17,800 in cash. Mardesich was charged with possession. Nearest gas station? 0.9 mile.




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Suspicions Confirmed

When a load of “weird” items were delivered to a Los Angeles-area charity in February, a worker there thought the donor must have been “rich or famous or whatever,” KABC-TV reported on April 21. But one item drew the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department: a large stuffed reindeer that had a hole on its underside. A staff member at the charity was inspecting the hole to see if it could be fixed when three bags of white powder fell out. Officers said the substance resembled cocaine, but they took Blitzen away for further investigation.

Oops

Henry DeHart of Chattanooga, Tennessee, stopped to fill up his gas tank on April 14 and noticed that his 12 gallons of premium fuel only cost him $5.64. He figured out that while the price of gas was averaging more than $4 a gallon, the pump was set to $0.449. DeHart told the owner, who was “on the verge of tears,” since he had been undercharging for several hours. “There’s no telling how much money he lost today,” DeHart told KRCG-TV. DeHart said the man behind him in line was not happy that he had brought the mistake to the owner’s attention, but DeHart knew it was the right thing to do. In fact, he paid the owner what he would have been charged had the pump been set correctly. Good on him.

Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.

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