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News » News of the Weird

People Different From Us

A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



People Different From Us
Chengdu, China, street barber Xiong Gaowu offers a most unusual service at his roadside location in Sichuan province. For $12, Xiong will scrap the inside of his customers' eyelids using a straight razor, according to Reuters. Xiong suggests being "gentle, very, very gentle" when performing eyelid shaving, or "blade wash eyes," as the technique is known in Mandarin. A Chengdu ophthalmologist, Qu Chao, says shaving might unblock moisturizing sebaceous glands along the rim of the eyelid, leading to a more comfortable and refreshed feeling. "If he can properly sterilize the tools that he uses, I can see there is still a space for this technique to survive," Qu added.

Uncontained Excitement
Traffic slowed to a crawl on I-95 in Palm Beach County, Fla., on Nov. 21 as President Trump's motorcade arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday. Author and sportswriter Jeff Pearlman was among the delayed drivers, but things turned weird when "these people (kept) getting out of the car dancing," he posted in a Twitter video. WPTV reported that Pearlman recorded the people two cars in front of him emerging from their car and twerking on the highway, then jumping and dancing around enthusiastically before getting back in the vehicle.

A 35-year-old Indian man employed a unique method for dealing with his depression: swallowing metal. Maksud Khan was rushed to surgery at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, India, after developing severe abdominal pains, according to Metro News. An endoscopy showed that Khan had "coins, nails and nut-bolts in his stomach," said Dr. Priyank Sharma, who led the surgical team. In late November, surgeons removed 263 coins, 100 nails and other metal items, including razor blades and dog chains, from Khan's stomach. His family had no idea he had been ingesting metal, and Khan promised doctors he would never eat metal again.

Unclear on the Concept
In Iowa, autumn is breeding season for deer, when the animals can get a little wacky and try to cross roadways. It's also the time of year when the Iowa Department of Transportation begins fielding questions from drivers asking why deer crossing signs aren't erected at safer spots for deer to cross. "This sign isn't intended to tell deer where to cross," the Iowa DOT helpfully posted on its Facebook page on Oct. 24, according to the Des Moines Register. "It's for drivers to be alert that deer have been in this area in the past." State Farm Insurance reports that Iowa drivers have the fourth-highest likelihood in the U.S. of hitting a deer. Coincidence?

• Rocky, an enterprising 7-month-old border collie in Devon, England, took the command "bring the sheep home" a little too literally in early November when he herded nine sheep into his owner's kitchen. "I was in the kitchen and heard a noise," Rocky's owner, Rosalyn Edwards, told the BBC. "I turned around and the sheep were just standing there. It was funny at the time, but then there was quite a lot of wee, poo and mud everywhere." The sheep stood around for a few minutes, then allowed themselves to be shown out the front door.

As elder members of the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, Tenn., gathered on Nov. 16 to discuss the recent church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, one of those present asked if anyone had brought a gun to church. One man spoke up and said he carries a gun everywhere, reported WATE-TV, and produced the gun, emptying the chambers before passing the weapon around. When the owner got the gun back, he replaced the magazine and recharged the chamber—accidentally squeezing the trigger and shooting himself in the hand and his wife in the abdomen. Both victims were taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Last Wishes
On Oct. 10, Richard Lussi, 76, of Plains Township, Penn., succumbed to heart disease. But before he died, he made sure his family knew there was one thing he wanted to take with him: a cheesesteak from Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia. "No onions because they'll come back to haunt me!" Lussi told his family. So the day before Lussi's funeral, his son, John, grandson, Dominic, and two friends drove to Philly, where they ate cheesesteaks and bought two extra for Lussi's casket. John told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the funeral director advised not putting the sandwiches in the coffin until after the viewing, "because people would take them." Pat's owner Frank Olivieri Jr. said he was flattered and proud that his cheesesteaks were held "so dear" by someone. "Maybe it's a bribe for St. Peter," he added.

In Your Own Backyard
Lisa Cramps moved into a new home in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, England, this fall and quickly discovered a mysterious manhole cover in her backyard. Rather than ignore it, Cramps dug up the cover and unearthed a World War II-era bunker underneath. Neighbors informed Cramps that the shelter pre-dates her house and originally had two stories, with the upper level partially above ground. "It's very exciting to find this in our garden," Cramps told Metro News. "I love Second World War history, and my mission now is to find out exactly why it's here."

Undignified Death
Linda Bringman, 64, of the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, died on Nov. 27 after being found unresponsive three days earlier with her head stuck between two posts of a wrought iron fence. Paramedics were called around noon that day to a PNC Bank branch where the fence was located, and Bringman was taken to the Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Chicago Police could not provide an explanation for her being stuck in the fence, but they did not believe criminal activity was involved.

Ja Du of Tampa, Fla., was born a white male named Adam Wheeler. Today, he is not only transsexual, but also considers himself transracial, saying he identifies as a Filipino. "Whenever I'm around the music, around the food, I feel like I'm in my own skin," Du told WTSP-TV in November. Du even drives a motorized rickshaw called a Tuk Tuk, a vehicle used for public transportation in the Philippines (but which Filipinos call "trisikels"). However, some Filipino-Americans are less than welcoming, claiming that Du has overlooked centuries of their people's struggle. "To say you are that race is both unrealistic and problematic," said Jackie Fernandez, a Filipino-American journalist. She believes Du has crossed a line between "cultural appreciation and appropriation."

Police Report
Stacy Scott of Anchorage, Alaska, arrived home on Nov. 24 to find thousands of dollars' worth of clothing and jewelry missing, along with a signature item, "George" the mounted zebra head, which was a gift from a friend. The thief was bold enough to call a taxi to use as the getaway car and loaded the zebra head into its trunk—all of which was caught on surveillance camera at Scott's home. Anchorage police tracked down and arrested Desiree Fuller, 38, for felony burglary and theft, and recovered most of Scott's items. But George remained at large until the cab driver saw a story on KTVA-TV and contacted them—he had been holding the zebra hostage because Fuller neglected to pay her cab fare. In the spirit of the season, George is home for the holidays.

No Longer Weird
Firefighters in North Philadelphia burrowed through trash for hours to free a man who was trapped in the back of a garbage truck on Nov. 27. Philadelphia Police were not sure how the 33-year-old unnamed man had landed in the truck, but speculated he might have been sleeping in a dumpster when it was emptied into the truck. WCAU News reported that the man went to the hospital with abdomen, hip and leg injuries.

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