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News » News of the Weird

Cliches Come to Life

A weekly roundup of international news oddities



Cliches Come to Life
Gabriel and Tracy Brawn moved into Gabriel's childhood home in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, in 2012 and enjoyed a warm relationship with next-door neighbor Steve Ritter, whose garage had been partially built on the Brawns' property decades ago. But after Ritter passed away in 2016, his wife and grown children took over the property, sometimes renting it out, and "this place turned to craziness and chaos," Tracy Brawn told the Bangor Daily News on July 16, leading finally to Gabriel Brawn grabbing his Sawzall on May 26 and cutting the Ritters' garage in half, right down the property line. "We're putting up a fence," Tracy Brawn said. "Fences make good neighbors." Dover-Foxcroft police Chief Ryan Reardon said, "We were aware of the situation and believe it's been resolved at this point."

Latest Alarming Headlines
A roving gang of baboons in Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside, England, is known to vandalize cars and otherwise alarm visitors, but lately, The Sunday Times reported, they've been seen carrying knives, screwdrivers and a chain saw, which workers believe they've acquired from visitors. "We're not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests ... or if they're fishing them out of pickup trucks and vans," an employee said. Park officials have pooh-poohed the reports, saying, "We believe that many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they've been retold."

A $64,000 glass replica of a Disney castle on display at the Shanghai Museum of Glass in China was shattered in July after two kids "hit the exhibit counter when they were chasing each other," a museum spokesperson posted on Weibo. The Today Show reported Spanish glassblower Miguel Arribas spent 500 hours creating The Fantasy Castle in 2016, but "luckily it's not destroyed," said Arribas Brothers company spokesman Rudy Arribas. When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Miguel will go to Shanghai to repair the castle. "We're used to kids and this kind of stuff happening," said Rudy. "Glass breaks."

Lost and Found
• Chris Marckres of Hyde Park, Vermont, went skydiving on July 25, but, he told NECN, "I think my adrenaline was so high and I was just so excited, I didn't realize I had lost it." "It" was one of Marckres' two prosthetic legs. The double amputee was harnessed to an instructor and landed safely, but he didn't know where the leg ended up. His plea for help on Facebook was answered the next day by farmer Joe Marszalkowski, who found the prosthetic in his soybean field. Marckres said the leg suffered a few scratches but was otherwise unharmed. "We kind of take for granted sometimes how many truly good people there still are in the world," he mused.

• Mike Evans of Woodson Terrace, Missouri, went for a 5-mile float trip with friends on the Meramec River on July 25 and decided to get out of the raft and walk behind it in the water for a bit. As the water got deeper, he had to swim to catch the raft, and as he climbed back in, Evans discovered his prosthetic leg was gone, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He searched with no luck, but a Missouri state trooper responding to a call nearby heard about the loss and coordinated a dive team to help. It took divers a couple of hours the next day to find the leg, saving Evans about $27,000 to replace it. "It was a happy ending to a stressful few days," Evans said.

• After Christian Meyer of Berlin, Germany, lost his running shoes to a thief, he posted a notice on a community sharing platform and learned other residents had also lost shoes that were left outside. Meyer soon discovered the culprit, telling local media on July 26 that he caught a fox "red-handed" with a pair of blue flip-flops in its mouth and eventually found its stash of more than 100 multicolored shoes, according to Fox News. Meyer's shoes, however, were not among them.

The Street Where You Live
Concerned friends of Hartford, Connecticut, retiree Victor King contacted police on July 26 when they couldn't reach King, who had recently reported being threatened with a samurai sword by a man he rented a room to, according to an arrest warrant. The Hartford Courant reported that first responders arriving at the house on Asylum Avenue found King's body, badly slashed and decapitated. Police began a search for the renter, Jerry David Thompson, who was soon found and arrested, but refused to cooperate with detectives, referring them instead to paperwork in his car indicating he believes himself to be a sovereign citizen and therefore not subject to the law. He was arraigned on July 28 and held on $2 million bail.

A Gwinnett County (Georgia) Sheriff's deputy is recovering at home thanks to three inmates who came to his rescue. The unnamed inmates noticed the deputy didn't seem well as he conducted security checks, the sheriff's office said in a July 28 statement, and then saw him lose consciousness and fall to the floor, "splitting his head open." The inmates began shouting and banging on their doors, which roused the deputy enough that he "thought an inmate needed help and somehow managed to rise to his feet and press the control panel to open cell doors." The inmates rushed out and called for assistance as the deputy lost consciousness again, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported. "These inmates had no obligation whatsoever to render aid to a bleeding, vulnerable deputy, but they didn't hesitate," the sheriff's office said. "We're proud of them."

Out for an early morning stroll on July 27, Mariel Kinney, 32, and Kevin Pinto, 30, drew the attention of residents in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, who called police to report a naked couple walking their dog down the street, authorities said. "It was kind of wild," Police Chief Joseph Bennett told the Milford Daily News. "They were buck naked." Officers asked the couple why they weren't wearing clothes, but they declined to answer or were incoherent, Bennett said, and "(t)here was a short foot pursuit." After a struggle, they were captured and charged with indecent exposure and assault and battery on a police officer, along with other crimes.

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