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News » News of the Weird

April Fools

A weekly roundup of international news oddities



April Fools
An April Fools' Day prank went wrong in Wichita, Kansas, on ... April 1, KWCH-TV reported, when Arnthia Willis, 58, called her daughter that morning and said she'd been shot. The Wichita Police and Fire departments and Sedgwick County EMS responded to the address given, but discovered no one was there. They later found Arnthia in suburban Derby and arrested her for an unlawful request for emergency service assistance.

• Michael Boatman, 41, discovered by two sheriff's deputies wandering down the street at 1 a.m. in Spartanburg, South Carolina, wearing only a "clear bag over his genitals" on April 1, told the officers he was doing a "walk of shame" in penance for cheating on his wife, according to an incident report. The Smoking Gun reported Boatman, who was smoking marijuana, according to the report, also allegedly told officers he had taken methamphetamine earlier. Boatman briefly tried to run away from officers, police said, but was captured and arrested for indecent exposure, among other offenses.

An unnamed man emerged with his groceries from an Albertson's supermarket in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on March 28, to find that his car had been overtaken by a swarm of an estimated 15,000 honeybees, according to the Las Cruces Fire Department. The man, who had borrowed the car, had left the back window down during his 10-minute trip inside the store, and the bees took up residence in the back seat. The New York Times reported he called 911, and responding firefighters turned to Jesse Johnson, 37, an off-duty firefighter who keeps bees as a hobby. Johnson brought an empty hive box treated with lemongrass oil ("It really mimics the scent of the queen," he said) and lured the swarm out of the car. "I'll do anything to keep people from killing bees," Johnson said.

Cliche Come to Life
Around 4:15 a.m. on March 24, an unidentified resident of Laurium, Michigan, woke to find a gun pointed at his head, WLUC-TV reported. Laurium Police said Warren Meyers, 52, of Calumet, Michigan, allegedly demanded the homeowner give him his two cats. The "cat burglar" left with one cat and was later apprehended, along with the gun he used, said authorities. He was arraigned on March 29 in Houghton County Court; the fate of the stolen cat is unknown.

Everyone's a Critic
Jason Harvey, 50, of Romford, England, has been fined about $3,800 after his east London town council received 150 complaints from neighbors about his Saturday-night karaoke parties. "It has been a nightmare," said one neighbor. "It was so loud, and his singing was terrible." Noise officers told the Evening Standard they received specific complaints about Harvey's covers of Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream." Harvey, who said he would appeal the fine, defended his voice: "I admit I'm no singer, but I have a go. I would have a couple of people over and they loved all that."

Don't Eat That!
Among the treasures discovered at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, England, is a 121-year-old chocolate bar, still in its tin, commissioned by Queen Victoria for troops fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa, Reuters reported on March 31. Oxburgh was the ancestral home of the Bedingfeld family for 500 years, and one of them, Sir Henry Edward Paston-Bedingfeld, fought in that war; the chocolate bar was discovered in his helmet case. "Although you wouldn't want it as your Easter treat," mused Anna Forrest, cultural heritage curator at Britain's National Trust, "it is still complete and a remarkable find." On the lid, a message is inscribed in Queen Victoria's handwriting: "I wish you a happy new year."

Unexpected Diagnosis
Kent Ryan Tomao, 25, of Kidapawan City, Philippines, has experienced pain in his chest during cold weather ever since he was stabbed by some teenagers on his way home from work in January 2020. Inquirer.net reported on March 24 that a recent X-ray taken as part of Tomao's application for a mining job revealed the source: a 4-inch knife blade buried in his chest, just inches from his lungs. Tomao told local media he had "no idea there is a knife in my chest" and now "I am just seeking help so it can be removed."

Animal Antics
n The Anchorage, Alaska, Daily News reported on March 26 that customers at a local Costco store are routinely robbed of large cuts of meat as they transfer their groceries to their cars ... by ravens. More than a year ago, Olani Saunoa was buckling her toddler into a car seat when a raven swooped in and grabbed a package of short ribs from her car. "He had picked up the entire package," she said. And this year it happened to her again n a bird snatched a pack of pork ribs. Other customers are reporting similar incidents on social media. Rick Sinnott, a former wildlife biologist, isn't surprised: Ravens "much prefer ... a package of short ribs from Costco to half of a hamburger bun from McDonald's."

• Neighbors in Northampton, England, have been annoyed by a swan that has been knocking on their doors, sometimes for hours at a time, for five years, Fox News reported on March 24. "He starts by rattling the letterbox then bashes the metal with its beak quite loudly," said resident Stephen Legg. "The racket reverberates through the whole house." The bird targets houses only on one particular block, according to local media, but no one seems to know why.

Thomas McCann, 49, of Stockport, England, was sentenced to prison for life on March 30 for the brutal murder of his wife, Yvonne, 46, in May 2020, following an argument over a bag of french fries left out of the freezer, according to court documents. The Guardian reported McCann strangled his wife in the bathroom, then dismembered her body and disposed of some of the parts in Reddish Vale Country Park, where dog walkers discovered her remains; other parts were taken to a recycling center. During this time, McCann texted their children, saying Yvonne had walked out on him. He was later spotted on video footage carrying trash bags to his car and while walking toward the park, and confessed the killing to police.

Compelling Explanation
Deputies in Brevard County, Florida, clocked Charles Thomas, 65, of Malabar, going over 100 mph on his motorcycle and weaving in and out of traffic on March 31, according to an arrest report. When they finally caught up with him, Thomas reassured them by saying "he is trained to drive like that," WKMG-TV reported. He was charged with reckless driving.

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