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News » News of the Weird


A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



A Whataburger location in Bastrop, Texas, was the scene of a gruesome plunge to an oily demise on Aug. 31. As customers waited in line at the counter, the Austin American-Statesman reported, kitchen workers tried to catch a mouse scampering across the food prep counter. A customer captured the scene on video as the mouse, fleeing a person trying to trap it, leapt into a fryer full of hot grease. On the video, an employee can be heard asking, "Who else needs a refund?" The video was posted to Facebook, prompting Whataburger to comment that the location had been closed and "the entire restaurant has since been cleaned and sanitized."

Police in Hamilton Township, N.J., say an unnamed 80-year-old woman snoozed right through an apparent carjacking on Aug. 28—even though she was in the car. The victim told police she had fallen asleep in her car, parked in her driveway, around 9 p.m. that evening. She called police around 4 a.m. to say she woke up on the driveway and her car was gone, but she had no recollection of how she got there, the New York Daily News reported. Police observed a fresh abrasion and bruise on her face. The car was recovered later that day in Trenton, but the search is still on for suspects.

Bright Ideas
In the Mexican state of Tlaxcala, high school instructor Luis Juarez Texis inflamed the ire of parents when he made students wear cardboard boxes (with cut-out eye holes) on their heads as they took an exam in order to deter cheating. Parents are calling for Texis' removal, OddityCentral reported, saying the boxes amounted to "acts of humiliation, physical, emotional and psychological violence." Others, however, applauded Texis' idea, with one saying the boxes "teach them a great lesson." Texis told reporters the students consented to the anti-cheating method.

 A graffiti artist in Frankston, Australia, has been painting the Melbourne suburb purple with a message to someone named Chris, saying "u need 2 talk 2 me B4 baby is born, or don't bother after," according to a July 30 report from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The messages have appeared on several public spaces, such as sidewalks and the sides of buildings. Frankston Mayor Michael O'Reilly said the city council "would encourage those involved to consider more constructive, and less illegal ways of communicating in the future. ... I hope Chris and this mystery person can work through their issues."

Uber driver Yasser Hadi of Atlanta was going about his business, dropping off a fare on Aug. 25, when a woman "came out of nowhere, threatened to kill him, and then violently bit him," Fox5 News reported. Hadi told the station: "She's acting weird, she's acting wild, and she's on the car hitting it, telling me I need to die. ..." Next the woman climbed inside the car, and scratched and bit Hadi as he tried to pull her out. "I said, 'God, just let her take my flesh, I don't care.' I want her to go away from me," Hadi said. Later, Atlanta police arrested 26-year-old Tasheena Campbell, who already had a warrant for an assault charge, for battery and criminal trespass. But Hadi is left with a damaged car, medical expenses and no insurance. "She's hit me in my job, my health and my financial pocket money. It's hard," he explained.

For her Aug. 10 wedding in Omaha, Neb., Deanna Adams, 40, told her bridesmaids, including her sister and maid of honor, Christina Meador, they could wear "anything" they'd be comfortable in. So after carefully considering several options, Meador chose her outfit: an inflatable T. rex costume. As the bride and her groom took their vows, Meador towered over them, delicately clutching her bouquet of sunflowers and, no doubt, shedding a few dinosaur tears. Meador, 38, told Adams ahead of time that she would wear the costume, according to the Omaha World-Herald, giving Adams a chance to shut the idea down, but her sister didn't balk. In fact, Adams defended the choice on Facebook: "It's a giant middle finger at spending thousands of dollars and putting ungodly amounts of pressure on ourselves ... The point was to get married to the man who treats me like I hung the moon, and we did that part."

Crime Report
Izaebela Kolano, 49, of Nutley, N.J., pulled a fast one on Costco employees in two stores on Sept. 1, police said. Kolano first visited a Costco in Wayne, N.J., where she allegedly stole a $2,000 diamond ring. Then, authorities say, she went to a store in nearby Clifton, where she asked to see a $28,000 diamond ring—and handed back the $2,000 ring, which was similar. Costco employees didn't notice the switcharoo until Kolano was out of the building, the Associated Press reported. Police found Kolano at home, and eventually recovered the ring. Kolano was charged with theft.

News You Can Use
In Jacksonville, Fla., as Hurricane Dorian approached on Sept. 3, Patrick Eldridge became concerned that his Smart car would "blow away." So he proposed to his wife, Jessica, that he park it in their kitchen. (Her car was already in the garage.) She doubted he could do it, but "he opened the double doors and had it in. I was amazed that it could fit," Jessica told the Associated Press. She said there was still room to move around and cook, but "my dogs are confused by it." Dorian narrowly missed Jacksonville as it moved up the East Coast.

Least Competent Criminals
If you're going to commit a crime, go all in, we always say. But two unidentified crooks in the Bronx, N.Y., went to great lengths Sept. 2 to rob a Little Caesar's pizza shop and took ... a pizza, police said. Video shows one thief holding open the drive-thru window, the New York Post reported, as the other crawled in on his belly, but workers rushed to push him back out. Changing tactics, the two then entered through the front door, threatened workers with a knife and made off with a $23 pizza order. "They did all that just for pizza?" a police source told the paper. Chances are, the evidence is long gone.

The former Spearmint Rhino Gentleman's Club in Trenton, Wis., has found an unlikely new life as the Ozaukee Christian School, opening on Sept. 16, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Kris Austin, the school's administrator, said the stripper pole had been removed, along with the leopard-print carpet, but the stage and bar are still there, and the building is still owned by the Spearmint Rhino chain, based in California. It's an arrangement school leaders have had to come to terms with. "Our take on it is that people are people," said school board president David Swartz. "We're sinners, too. Even though we don't agree with their business model per se. ... Now we're going to transfer that place into a place where boys and girls are raised to be our next leaders with character."

Ow! Ow! Ow!
Jamie Quinlan, 12, of Louth, Lincolnshire, England, was bouncing on a trampoline in his friend's backyard in early September when a spring broke off and lodged in the boy's back. Jamie's dad, Ian, rushed him to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where surgeons removed the spring. "It took them about 10 minutes to actually get the spring out of my back," Jamie told Sky News. "The doctors said they had never heard of something like this happening with a trampoline." He said he didn't realize the piece of metal had entered his back, but "All my friends looked shocked."

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