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News » News Quirks

Born to Be Wild



Curses, Foiled Again
Shortly after receiving a call about a robbery, Ottawa police said they got a second call reporting a stabbing. Responding officers found a man in his 20s outside a store that they suspect he robbed before tripping on his way out and stabbing himself with the knife used in the robbery. (CBC News)

• A man who tried to hold up a doughnut shop with a knife stabbed himself while committing the crime, according to Vancouver police. Constable Jana McGuinness said the 22-year-old suspect man was so drunk that he fell down, landing on the butcher knife he was wielding and stabbing himself in the abdomen. Officers found the suspect slumped on the floor, took him to the hospital to treat his wound and then arrested him. (CBC News)

• Darrell Fudge, 54, relied on his global positioning system to get him from British Columbia to his home in Newfoundland, but the GPS’s shortest route led through northern Maine. When he arrived at a remote U.S. border crossing, agents searched his car and found a half-kilogram of marijuana in a cooler. (Lewiston, Maine’s The Sun Journal)

Born to Be Wild
New York state officials announced plans to implement an emergency birth-control program because a flock of wild turkeys, estimated at 72 birds, won’t stop pestering families living in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze section. “It’s frustrating,” said Christopher Decicco, speaking for Councilman James Oddo, who represents the area. “We want to do something for the residents in Ocean Breeze who keep calling and complaining their houses are surrounded by wild turkeys.” Oddo recently suggested birth control for pigeons nesting at the Staten Island Ferry but denied he is anti-bird. “I have nothing against fowl,” he said. “I have nothing against birds.”

Even though the New York City Parks and Recreation Department said that wild turkeys citywide have gone from near extinction in the 1950s to 65,000 in the 1990s, it’s illegal to hunt them. Instead, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said its program would coat the turkeys’ eggs with vegetable oil during the breeding season to prevent them from hatching. (Staten Island’s The Epoch Times and

Mensa Reject of the Week
German authorities reported that a 64-year-old man in Gumperda tried to seal off the entrance to his cellar with bricks but trapped himself inside. He didn’t realize his mistake until he’d finished the work, then waited a few days to see if anyone would rescue him before deciding to free himself by knocking down a wall. Neighbors who heard drilling noise called police, who were waiting for the man. A police official noted that instead of escaping through the wall he’d just built, the senior citizen demolished a neighbor’s wall. (Reuters)

Second-Chance Follies
Britain’s National Health Service is so short of organ donations that transplant patients are being given the lungs of chain smokers. “In an ideal world, you would rather have lungs from 20-year-old healthy people, who have never smoked,” said James Neuberger, associate medical director of the NHS Blood and Transplant. “But this isn’t a luxury we have.” The NHSBT said it’s also resorting to transplanting hearts from elderly and obese donors. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Reasonable Explanation
After receiving three anonymous 911 calls reporting a murder and stabbing in Clarksville, Tenn., city police responded with county and state reinforcements, including a K-9 unit and a helicopter, to aid in searching for the victims. After coming up empty-handed, investigators, noting the third call mentioned that Alex Baker killed his girlfriend, traced all three calls to a phone owned by Alex Lee Baker, 20. Baker denied making the calls but under further questioning admitted reporting the false crimes. He explained he was bored and anxious because he hadn’t had a cigarette in two days. (Clarksville’s The Leaf Chronicle)

Slightest Provocation
Police in Safety Harbor, Fla., arrested Joe Harland Capes, 44, after he punched his neighbor, Ronald Richards, during a shoving match that started, according to the arrest report, while the two men were “arguing over Conway Twitty’s sexual orientation.” The country singer died in 1993. (St. Petersburg Times)

Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.