Karma Takes Wing
A Canada goose got its final revenge on Feb. 1 when, after being shot out of the sky by a hunter in Easton, Maryland, it struck Robert Meilhammer, 51, of Crapo, Maryland, seriously injuring the waterfowler. NPR reported that Meilhammer was hunting with a group when one of the large geese flying overhead was killed and fell about 90 feet, landing on Meilhammer's head and knocking him out. It also dislodged two of Meilhammer's teeth. Adult Canada geese weigh about 12 to 14 pounds and can have a wingspan of 6 feet. At press time, Meilhammer was in stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital.
When the city gets to be too much for Jo and Lonnie Harrison of Houston, they escape to their pre-fab vacation cabin, nestled on a 10-acre plot in Madisonville, Texas. Having last visited the property in November, Lonnie set out on Feb. 2 to check on it. But when he arrived, he told KTRK-TV, "I didn't see the house. All I saw were blocks and pipes sticking out. The whole house gone." Sgt. Larry Shiver of the Madison County Sheriff's Department later said, "I've never had a house reported stolen in my career yet." (Update: The house was found a few days later, having been repossessed from the previous owner.)
• Aaron Meininger, 29, of Hernando Beach, Fla., was arrested on Feb. 2 after Hernando County deputies caught him stealing items from the Demarco Family Funeral Home in Spring Hill. When officers arrived, Meininger was carrying a tub of formaldehyde out of the building. They also found makeup, nail polish, electric clippers, soap and other items used in funeral preparation in Meininger's car. Curiously, the Tampa Bay Times reported, Meininger told deputies that he was "bored" and "messed up" and didn't even know what kind of business he was burgling. He said he probably would have just thrown the stolen items away.
Somebody in Muskegon, Mich., didn't want the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LII. Immediately following the Eagles' victory over the New England Patriots on Feb. 4, Subaru of Muskegon ran an ad on local NBC affiliate WOOD-TV that featured 30 seconds of silence and a written message: "Congratulations Patriots!" WOOD-TV reported via Twitter that the business had submitted only one version of the ad and had specified that it run regardless of the game's outcome.
When a Texas stripper arrived at her 11:30 a.m. gig on Feb. 1, she smelled a rat: Her destination turned out to be Noel Grisham Middle School in Round Rock, Texas. Rather than going inside, the performer called the school and reported a prank. Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, a district spokesperson, told the Austin American-Statesman the student jokester had used his cellphone to order the stripper and paid for it with his parents' credit card. He is now facing disciplinary action.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Houston Realtor Nicole Lopez is sporting a new nickname these days: The Taco Lady. Since late 2017, Lopez has incorporated a novel incentive for buyers of homes she's listed: $250 in free tacos with the purchase of a home. "Let's be honest, everyone in Texas loves tacos," Lopez told KHOU-TV. "And so, it's really been this 'taco the town,'" she laughed. Lopez cited as proof of her success a $170,000 home that's under contract "and they are super excited for their taco party at the end of this month."
• Prason Sukkorn, owner of Coffee on the Day in Chonburi, Thailand, had his marketing idea laid bare after he posted "obscene materials" online—photos and videos of model/barista Arisa Suwannawong, 22, wearing nothing but an apron while drawing shots and serving customers. Suwannawong, who goes by the nickname "Jaenae with the big boobs," glances down at her breasts in the video while gushing, "The coffee is so good, they use plenty of milk." Police commander Thanachai Usakit from the Sattahip district station told Metro News that Sukkorn "didn't realize it would break the law, because the model in the photos wasn't fully naked." Nevertheless, the owner faces three to five years in jail or a fine of 100,000 Thai baht, or about $3,200.
News That Sounds Like a Joke
Staff at an internet cafe in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, had to call paramedics on Jan. 28 when a gamer lost all feeling in his lower limbs after playing the same game for more than 20 hours straight. Newsweek reported that the unnamed man didn't realize he had become paralyzed until he tried to use the restroom and couldn't move his legs. As he was being carried out on a stretcher, he was heard begging his friends to finish the game for him.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
A parking lot in Augusta, Ga., became the scene of a nightmare for an unsuspecting motorcyclist and his 1982 Honda bike on Jan. 31. On his way to exchange some shirts at Target in the Augusta Exchange shopping center, Don Merritt told WJBF-TV, "I was going to go around the back to avoid the speed bumps," but when he did, he and his bike fell into a sinkhole. Firefighters were called to rescue Merritt, who suffered a skull fracture and a loose tooth as a result of the 15-foot fall. The bike was totaled. "It's not good customer relations," Merritt said about the sinkhole. The center property manager reportedly is fixing the hole.
Sonny Donnie Smith, 38, of Clackamas, Ore., was feeling snubbed in September 2016 when both his father and his brother were invited to a family wedding, but Sonny wasn't. As a perfectly reasonable revenge, Sonny made anonymous phone calls to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the Midland International Air and Space Port in Midland, Texas, claiming that his father and brother were terrorists and would be traveling through the airports. An FBI investigation revealed no terrorist threats, and after interviewing the father and brother, they were both released. On Feb. 1, Sonny Smith pleaded guilty to making the calls, according to The Oregonian, and will be sentenced on May 10.
Cheryl Merrill, 60, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was arguing with her boyfriend of five years about who would win Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 and became so enraged shortly after kickoff that she picked up a wooden shelf and threw it at him. St. Johns County sheriff's deputies were called and found Merrill "extremely intoxicated," according to reporting by WJAX-TV. Merrill was charged with aggravated battery and taken to the St. Johns County Jail. Her boyfriend was unable to sign an affidavit because of the hand injury he sustained in the assault.
A Scottish farmer called Police Scotland after spotting what he believed to be a tiger in his cow shed near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire on Feb. 3. An armed response team scrambled to the farm and within 45 minutes, established that the fierce big cat was in fact a large cuddly toy. "Any call reporting a potential danger to the public has to be taken seriously," Peterhead Inspector George Cordiner told Metro News. "Until you know exactly what you are dealing with, every option has to be considered."
Undoubtedly, many records will be set during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But before the events even began, one Winter Games record was in the books: Organizers distributed 110,000 condoms to the 2,925 athletes—about 37 condoms per competitor. "We hope to aid the athletes visiting from various countries to complete their events successfully and safely," said a spokesperson for Convenience, the South Korea condom manufacturer that supplied most of the prophylactics. The Korea Biomedical Review reported on Feb. 1 that finely conditioned athletes have been notoriously "sexually unrestrained" before, during and after Olympics contests. Free condom distribution began in 1988 when 8,500 were handed out during the Seoul Olympics.
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