Former English soccer star Gary Mabbutt, 57, traveled to South Africa in July to visit his daughter, who works at Kruger National Park, but it wasn't the exotic big game that left the most lasting impression on him. While he was sleeping, he later told the BBC, "... a rat has come into the bedroom, climbed into the bed and has decided to chew on my foot," which Mabbutt couldn't feel because he suffers from Type 1 diabetes and has little feeling in his foot. The rat "made quite a big hole in my toe, going down to the bone, and ate underneath my foot." Mabbutt was finally alerted to the rodent's presence when it bit his thumb and he saw his bloody foot. He flew back to the United Kingdom, where he underwent surgery and spent a week in the hospital. "All the opponents that I've played against," he said, "and I finally get taken out by a rat."
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Maine is seeking state permission to construct a permanent memorial to the 4,500 or so lobsters that perished on Aug. 22 when a truck carrying them crashed in Brunswick. The monument, a 5-foot-tall granite tombstone, would "remind everyone that the best way to prevent such tragedies is to go vegan," said Danielle Katz, director of PETA. The proposed wording for the stone is: "In memory of the lobsters who suffered and died at this spot August 2018, Try Vegan, PETA" and would include a graphic of a lobster. Of course, Maine residents are possibly the least sympathetic about their crustacean counterparts: The Portland Press Herald reports that in 2017, 110 million pounds of lobster were harvested in the state.
• Along with a nail salon, a massage parlor and a dry cleaner, a mall in Toronto, Canada, is now the site of North America's first sex-doll brothel. Aura Dolls offers "an exciting new way" for patrons to achieve their desires "without the many restrictions and limitations that a real partner may come with," says the company's website. Marketing director Claire Lee told City News on Aug. 27 that customers "come in, they have their own room ... a TV monitor that plays adult entertainment and a doll ... will be ready and waiting for you." Lee also assures potential customers that the dolls will be cleaned after each customer using a three-step process. The company says it has had requests from women for male dolls and is considering adding them.
Lifelong New York Knicks fan Evan Perlmutter, 33, finally hit the wall with his team. Fed up that the Knicks had been promising a better future for a decade, he told Bleacher Report, Perlmutter posted a listing on eBay to sell his fandom. In the description, he promised to root for the team of the auction winner's choosing and "burn no less than three articles of Knicks memorabilia." Sure enough, he got a bite: James Riedel, 23, of Orange County, Calif., paid $3,500 for Perlmutter's fandom on Aug. 24, converting Perlmutter into a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Perlmutter plans to attend a few Lakers games with Riedel and record his destruction of his Knicks gear for Riedel's YouTube channel.
A first date spent surfing in Santa Cruz, Calif., last October ended in an unconventional first kiss when 56-year-old Max Montgomery collapsed from a heart attack on the beach. His date, Andi Traynor, a 45-year-old anesthesiologist, leaped into action, performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Montgomery underwent bypass surgery the next day, and he assured Traynor that she was under no obligation to keep seeing him. "Who wants to date someone who just had a heart attack? But she told me she was not going anywhere," he told The Daily Mail on Aug. 29, and in fact, the two are still together, having sealed their relationship with a "real" kiss.
Colorado Springs resident Klete Keller engaged the services of a female dog-sitter through an app called Wag! for his pet, Jimbo. But Keller's tail was not wagging when he returned home early the morning of Aug. 27 to find two shirtless men sitting on his couch and "an open bottle of personal lubricant and a camcorder on the end table," Keller told Fox 21 News, "so it's pretty self-explanatory what was going on." When reached for comment, the unnamed dog-sitter said her keys were stuck in her car and she "didn't have WD-40 ... so I ended up grabbing what I had in my car, for things, that you know, I do on my personal time." But Keller also noticed what he suspected was "bodily fluids" on the couch and said Jimbo was locked in a bedroom, sitting in his own urine and acting terrified. "It was just, just a total mess and I can only imagine what poor Jimbo saw in there," Keller said. The sitter did admit that she shouldn't have invited guests over, but it's a good bet her former 4.96 out of 5 rating on Wag! is going to take a hit.
Government in Action
This summer, a few of Ryk Edelstein's friends in Montreal, Canada, had their requests for vanity license plates turned down for being "offensive." "I found it mind-boggling that innocent-sounding family names or place names were being rejected," Edelstein told the Montreal Gazette. So he decided to order his own vanity plate, requesting the word SMEGMA, which he was certain the Societe de l'assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), which issues the plates, would check, "and in a million years it would never be approved." But it took SAAQ less than 24 hours to approve the request and issue its congratulations to Edelstein, who now sports the plate on his car. He reports that his wife thought it was funny at first, but now she is "none too pleased about this plate."
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
William Parrish Jr., 32, and McKenzee Dobbs, 20, of Ocala, Fla., were just trying to better accommodate their customers when they turned the kitchen window of their mobile home into a drive-thru for heroin addicts. They also installed helpful directional signs and even had a "Closed, Please Call Again" sign alerting buyers when they'd next be open. Ocala police officers who raided the trailer on Aug. 23 were tipped off by a number of overdoses happening nearby: "We were able to determine that the product was laced with fentanyl," police Capt. Steven Cuppy told WFTV. Parrish and Dobbs told Ocala police they thought a drive-thru would be less noticeable than people regularly going in and out of the home.
Toms River, N.J., police are hoping the public can lend them a hand in finding a lost item. Ronald Vanarsdale, 36, of Toms River was drag racing on his motorcycle just after midnight on Aug. 30 when he crashed, sending the bike more than 760 feet from the crash site and hurling Vanarsdale 300 feet through the air, severing his right arm just below the bicep. NJ.com reported police Sgt. Ed Mooney applied a tourniquet to Vanarsdale's arm at the scene, and he later underwent surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. Toms River police, though, could not locate the severed limb and asked the public's help in locating it.
Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org