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News » News of the Weird

Family Values

A weekly roundup of international news oddities



Family Values
You let your grown son, his girlfriend and their child move into your house, and what thanks do you get in return? For a 43-year-old Lone Rock, Wisconsin, woman, "Happy Mother's Day" was expressed with a shock to the neck from a Taser wielded by her 22-year-old son, Andrew Peterson. According to The Smoking Gun, Peterson became upset on May 9 because he couldn't find his phone, so he stunned his mother, then left her home with 20-year-old Colleen Parker and their child. Peterson was arrested for the shocking assault; Parker also was arrested for allegedly punching Peterson's mom in the face earlier in the week.

Four-year-old Noah of Brooklyn, New York, knows nautical nonsense when he sees it, so he went all-in on SpongeBob SquarePants Popsicles, ordering 918 of them from Amazon in April without his mom knowing. When 51 cases arrived at his aunt's home, his mom panicked: Jennifer Bryant is a social work grad student at NYU and has two other boys, The Washington Post reported. She couldn't pay the $2,618.85 bill, and Amazon wouldn't take the frozen confections back. A family friend set up a GoFundMe page, raising more than $11,000, which Noah's mom said will go toward his education. Noah is on the autism spectrum, and his mom hopes to send him to a special school. Amazon is working with the family to donate to a private charity of their choice, and as for the treats? They've mostly melted.

Government in Action
Since 1989, Mauro Morandi, now 81, has been the caretaker of Budelli, an otherwise uninhabited island in the Mediterranean Sea off Sardinia. He stumbled into the job when his catamaran broke down near the island, and he learned that its caretaker was getting ready to retire, The Guardian reported. Now known as Italy's Robinson Crusoe, Morandi lives in a former WWII shelter and keeps things tidy on the island, clearing paths and keeping beaches clean for day-trippers who visit. But ownership of the island has passed to La Maddalena national park authorities, who are evicting Morandi and turning the isle into an environmental education destination. "I have given up the fight," Morandi said. "I'll be living in the outskirts of the main town (on neighboring island La Maddalena), so will just go there for shopping and the rest of the time, keep myself to myself. ... I'll still see the sea."

Weird Science
Angie Yen, 27, of Brisbane, Australia, had her tonsils removed on April 19, a simple surgery that went smoothly, reported. But on April 28, as she got ready for work, she started singing in the shower and noticed something unusual about her voice. "I was singing in a different sound and also talking words in a funny accent," Yen said. She called a friend, who agreed that her accent suddenly sounded Irish and told her about FAS, foreign accent syndrome. Yen went to the hospital, but doctors told her to go home and see if the new accent would disappear in a few days. Nearly two weeks later, the brogue remains, and Yen is scheduled for an MRI and a visit with a neurologist. "I'm very lucky to have very supportive friends and family," she said. "If they find something hopefully there is a cure or treatment for it."

Lost and Found
Parker Hanson, a pitcher at Augustana College in Illinois, was born without a left hand, but he adapted over the years so that he could still play his favorite game. On May 3, Hanson realized that the backpack he had left in his car, which contained his prosthetic arm and some of its attachments, had been stolen. Hanson told the Argus Leader that he had lost hope of finding the expensive prosthetic and had started to focus on fundraising for a new one when he received a text on May 11. Nate Riddle and Tim Kachel, who work at Millennium Recycling Inc. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, found the arm as they sorted recycling materials. "I recognized it instantly," said Kachel, who had heard about the theft on the news. "I was jumping up and down screaming 'Stop!'" While Hanson is happy to have it back, he said the arm is "pretty banged up" and unusable. Shriners Children's Twin Cities has stepped up to provide Hanson with a new arm free of charge, and his fundraising money will be donated to help other amputees get their own prosthetics. "If I can help impact some kid's life for a positive, then that's what I'll take out of this whole experience," Hanson said.

Smile for the Camera
The Colonial Pipeline shutdown and subsequent gas shortage has produced its fair share of hysteria-fueled incidents in the Southeast, but Jesse Smith, 25, of Griffin, Georgia, may have set the bar. Police there were able to track down and arrest the would-be thief after he attempted to steal gas from a U-Haul truck on May 12 by drilling holes in its tank, resulting in a huge hazardous materials mess ... and no looted gas. WSB-TV reported that Smith was long gone by the time his handiwork was discovered, but security cameras in the U-Haul lot caught Smith walking around the trucks, and a camera trained on the area behind the KFC where Smith parked his own truck caught his hopeful arrival and the walk of shame that followed his failed gas heist.

Meanwhile in Florida
It wasn't a desire to relive her glory days that led 28-year-old Audrey Nicole Francisquini to pose as a student and trespass at American Senior High School in Hialeah, Florida, on May 10; it was the yen for Instagram followers. The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department reported that Francisquini arrived at the school around 8:30 a.m. and blended in with the students by wearing a backpack and carrying a skateboard and a painting. According to Click Orlando, the wannabe social media mogul said she was looking for the registration office when confronted by security, but she was later found outside a classroom handing out flyers with her Instagram handle printed on them. This time Francisquini fled, but police used her flyers and footage from the school's security cameras to identify and arrest her on charges of felony trespassing, interfering at an educational institution and resisting an officer without violence.

Least Competent Criminal
When Keith Adams, 37, was arrested during a traffic stop on April 24 in Largo, Florida, he was found to be sitting on a "glass pipe which contained a thick white residue which field tested positive for cocaine," The Smoking Gun reported. Adams, who wears a prosthetic leg, was asked during his arrest if he had anything concealed in his leg and was warned that if he did, it would result in another charge. Adams denied that there was anything in his leg, but when he was searched at the Pinellas County jail, officers found a gram of fentanyl and some Xanax pills. Adams was detained on three felony charges and one misdemeanor.

Mistaken Identity
Zhang Li, a Chinese woman who lives in Shanghai, decided in 2018 to get a pet. She wasn't really into cats or dogs, though, so she purchased a micro-pig, Oddity Central reported. Her research said that the animals were clean and intelligent, and usually grew to be about the size of a small dog. By the time Zhang's pig grew to 330 pounds, she was too attached to it to let it go. The breed, Bama Xiangzhu, is known in food circles for its tender meat and thin skin, and among owners for its healthy appetite. Zhang takes her pig for walks but says she gets annoyed at its laziness.

Sweet Revenge
On May 4, in Taipei, two masked men entered the G House Taipei restaurant carrying bags filled with more than 1,000 cockroaches, Oddity Central reported. They released the creepy crawlies at the reception desk on the second floor, then fled. Law enforcement officers who happened to be attending a banquet at the restaurant that evening initially thought the attack was directed at them, but as it turns out, the suspects are part of Bamboo Union, an organized crime ring, and the restaurant owner allegedly owed money to the mob. Police said they would pursue the perpetrators as if the stunt had been an act of violence, something like attacking someone with paint.

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