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News » News of the Weird


A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



Quick-thinking paramedics in Dorset, England, saved the life of a man whose fishing outing went south when a dover sole jumped down his throat and blocked his windpipe on Oct. 5. Sam Quilliam, 28, had just caught the 5 1/2-inch-long fish and went to give it a kiss when it wriggled free and lodged in his throat. "I ran round the pier like a headless chicken and then passed out," Quilliam told The Guardian. When first responders arrived, Quilliam was not breathing, but friends were performing CPR. Paramedic Matt Harrison said: "It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive. ... I was able to eventually dislodge the tip of the tail and very carefully, so as not to break the tail off, I tried to remove it—although the fish's barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up." Finally, the fish "came out in one piece," Harrison said. Quilliam said his brush with death won't put him off fishing. "Once I am back at work and fit, I will probably get back at it again," he said.

What's in a Name?
Carrie L. Hitt, 42, of Junction City, Ore., died after her Ford Bronco left the road on Territorial Highway and rolled on Oct. 4. Hitt was ejected from her car and then struck by a second vehicle, driven by Nadine M. Killmaster, 32, of Yakima, Wash. Oregon State Police told The Register-Guard they believe Hitt was using a mobile phone just before the crash.

Horsing Around
Lindsey Partridge of Ontario, Canada, booked herself at a pet-friendly Super 8 in Georgetown, Ky., for the Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover on Oct. 4. At check-in, Partridge asked the front desk clerk if the pet policy included horses, to which the clerk answered, "Aw, I wouldn't mind. You could do that." So Partridge returned to her horse trailer and brought Blizz, her retired racehorse, into the hotel. She took a video and a few photos in the room, but eventually took Blizz to the Kentucky Horse Park, where the rooms are more suited to equine visitors. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Blizz took third place in the trail competition during the event.

• Meanwhile, in Iowa, a pair of women stopped at a traffic light in Altoona in October looked at the car next to them and saw a horse staring back from the back seat. "This is the most Iowa thing that has EVER happened to me," Hannah Waskel tweeted, along with a video of the miniature horse. "We started laughing and the people driving the horse saw us and waved," Hannah told UPI. "They even rolled the window down for the horse."

Questionable Judgment
Tucson, Ariz., firefighters were called on Oct. 15 to a mobile home park after a resident there tried to remove spiderwebs from beneath his trailer using a propane torch, but ended up setting his home on fire. KVOA-TV reported that the unnamed man's elderly mother, who also lived there, suffered minor injuries while being carried out of the mobile home with the help of neighbors.

Wait, What?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport made an unusual discovery in the luggage of a traveler arriving from Vietnam in October: 54 illegal bird nests. The nests, which are considered a delicacy in some countries, are built out of solidified bird saliva and are used to make soup and broth, reported UPI. However, they are banned from entering the United States because they might carry infectious diseases. The nests were destroyed.

What We'll Do for Love
The Daily World in Centralia, Wash., reported that Rachel A. Deckert, 27, tried to turn herself in at the Lewis County Jail on an outstanding DUI warrant on Aug. 21, but was turned away because she brought along her partner—literally glued to Deckert by her pinky finger. When Deckert tried again the next day, still attached to her partner, police and firefighters were called. The two women were attached by a copper elbow pipe into which they had each inserted a pinky finger secured with "some kind of epoxy," a firefighter said. They told authorities they had been that way about a week at the suggestion of a couples therapy counselor. "They haven't been able to feel their fingers for three days," said police detective Patty Finch. Efforts to separate the women were unsuccessful, and Deckert was released with advice to seek medical attention.

Timing Is Everything
Eva Pandora Baldursdottir, a member of the Icelandic parliament from the Pirate Party, was scheduled to take part in a debate on Oct. 12, according to UPI, but an unexpected injury lent her an especially jaunty look for the televised event: She had to conduct the debate wearing an eye patch after her toddler daughter scratched her eye. "Sometimes astounding things can happen at the worst time," Baldursdottir shared on Facebook, along with a photo of her wearing the eye patch.

For the last time, Flight 666, traveling from Copenhagen, Denmark, to HEL (Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa airport), took off on Friday the 13th of October. A Finnair spokesman said the flight, questionably numbered for the superstitious among us, has been making the trip for 11 years and has flown on Friday the 13th 21 times. "Today will actually be the final time that our AY666 flight flies to HEL," a spokesman told The Telegraph. Some Finnair flights are getting new numbers, and the infamous route will be renumbered to 954. The flight arrived safely in Helsinki.

Bright Ideas
Malcolm Applegate, 62, of Birmingham, England, couldn't take life with his demanding wife anymore, so 10 years ago he escaped. Applegate spent five of those years living in the woods near Kingston, until applying to live at a homeless charity called Emmaus Greenwich Center in South London, Fox News reported. "Without a word to anyone, not even family, I packed up and left ... I went missing for 10 years," Applegate said. "I enjoyed my life," he wrote in a blog on the Emmaus Greenwich website, but says he's grateful to the charity for encouraging him to reconnect with his sister. As for his wife, there has been no reaction from her to Applegate's reappearance.

• Residents of Rogersville, Mo., are protesting a high school fundraising plan to convert an abandoned funeral home into a haunted house, according to KY3.com, calling the idea distasteful and insensitive. The Preston-Marsh Funeral Home had been scheduled for demolition, but the owner gave permission to students from Logan-Rogersville High School to use it at the end of October to raise money for a safe graduation celebration for seniors. Students said they would use leftover equipment such as gurneys to enhance the spooky experience. But one Rogersville resident said doing so is "akin to opening a strip club in an old church."

In Vero Beach, Fla., a husband and wife made a hot bet on the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers football game on Oct. 8: The loser would set their team's jersey on fire. When the Packers won, the husband, 27, took his blue-and-silver Cowboys jersey outside and set fire to it. But, as he later told sheriff's deputies, because he was drunk, he then tried to put the jersey back on, and that's when things got heated. Family members pulled the burning jersey off the man and rushed him to the Indian River Medical Center. A witness told the Sebastian Daily "skin was hanging off his arm and back." He suffered second- and third-degree burns to his hand, arm and back.

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