Wishful Thinking | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » News of the Weird

Wishful Thinking

A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



Wishful Thinking
Police in Las Cruces, NM, who approached a woman driving a stolen car on March 7 were surprised when she identified herself as pop singer Beyonce Knowles, according to police documents. The Las Cruces Sun News reported officers had to use a fingerprint scanner to properly identify Surena Henry, 48. Henry at first ignored police when they tried to pull her over, according to court documents, but they followed her to her home, where she got out of the car but refused to give them her name. She was charged with stealing the vehicle, concealing her identity and resisting arrest.

News of the Weird reported in July 2017 about Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, Calif., who at that time had just achieved his 2,000th visit to Disneyland in Anaheim. Since then, Reitz, 47, has continued his daily visits—until March 13, when Disney closed its theme parks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Reitz was just short of 3,000 visits, the Orange County Register reported, at 2,995. "The streak's been ended," Reitz said. He does not plan to continue his consecutive streak when the park reopens. "On the negative side, I didn't get to choose the end," he said. "But on the positive side, I didn't have to choose the end." While he's practicing social isolation, Reitz plans to watch some movies on ... you guessed it, Disney+.

People Are Good
Just a few hours after Harris County, Texas, declared that all bars and nightclubs would have to close on March 16, an anonymous diner at Irma's Southwest restaurant in downtown Houston did their best to help out. The customer, who left a $9,400 tip, wrote on the receipt: "Hold tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks." United Press International said Irma's will split the tip among the employees, giving them each about $300.

I Hate When That Happens
Sage Aaron Cummins, 24, of Gallup, NM, woke up one recent morning and found he had two TVs in his room that had not been there the day before. Two days later, he found out an acquaintance was missing two TVs and put two and two together. According to Gallup police, Cummins returned to the victim's apartment with the goods and approached an officer who was there investigating the burglary report. He told the officer he had been "very intoxicated" when he knocked on a door that evening and, when no one answered, he entered the home, but he didn't remember what happened after that. Cummins told police he "wanted to make things right and return the stolen items," according to the Associated Press. Nevertheless, he was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

When Alexandria Miller, 28, of Chicago, Ill., won a two-inch goldfish at a carnival in July 2018, she assumed he would stay the same size. But since then, Gerald the goldfish has grown to be 12 inches long, and Miller has spent $1,300 upgrading his tanks to accommodate him (she's already looking for a bigger one). And, the Daily Mirror reported, Gerald is not shy about getting his needs met. "He does lay around a lot, but it seems when he's bored or hungry, he jumps out of the water and likes to grab the thermometer inside his tank," Miller said. "He'll click it against the glass till he's got our attention." But, she went on, "If I put a smaller fish in there with him, he will eat them."

Signs of the Times
During the COVID-19 crisis, some people in Japan have resorted to pilfering toilet paper from public restrooms when the rolls became unavailable in stores. One convenience store worker put the power of the supernatural to work against such thefts. Mink Itachibe, who works at a store in the Niigata prefecture, hung signs with images of eyes and kanji characters in front of the toilet paper to curse the tempting rolls. "I did it as a joke, but it seems to have worked," she told CNN. The symbols imply that if someone nips TP from the store, a hungry monster will hunt them down and gobble them up. "People can be quite superstitious in Japan," Itachibe said. Add to the list of things not to leave in plain sight in your car: toilet paper. Police in Eugene, Ore., stated that on March 15, a thief shattered the entire back window of an SUV in order to get his mitts on two 30-roll cases of toilet paper, along with other valuables, the Blaze reported. "Anytime vehicles are left unattended for extended periods of time, local thieves view it as a favorable opportunity," police reminded Oregonians.

Compelling Explanation
Slidell, La., police pulled over a driver on Feb. 27 for an undisclosed reason, but the car's license plate really got their attention. The tag had expired in September 1997—more than 20 years ago—the Miami Herald reported. "Sorry, officer," police said the man told them. "I've been busy lately and totally forgot to renew my vehicle registration. I will take care of it as soon as I get home!" Slidell police posted the incident to their Facebook page, commenting: "For those of you who like to 'switch tags,' at least give us a good challenge."

Government in Action
In 1993, Alabama banned yoga in public schools under a general prohibition of the use of "hypnosis and dissociative mental states." Now, Rep. Jeremy Gray has proposed a bill that would let schools offer yoga as an elective class, but religious groups are expected to fight it. "It's the Hindu religion," said Joe Godfrey of the Alabama Citizens Action Program. But Gray is hoping the general acceptance of yoga will prevail. "I really don't see what the big deal is," he told NBC News. "I mean, my wife does this, my mother does this on the floor of her Methodist church."

Cody Hicks, 23, was reportedly driving erratically and crashed into another car on March 13 in Manatee County, Fla.—in itself, not weird. But what he did next perplexed the two young women in the car and onlookers. According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Hicks emerged from his vehicle, pulled down his pants and underwear, and fondled himself while sticking out his tongue at witnesses. Clickorlando.com reported deputies said Hicks would only tell them, "I want my lawyer." He was arrested for a lewd and lascivious exhibition and entered a plea of not guilty.

Ah, Snap
PSA: The Deerfield, Mich., American Legion has been forced by COVID-19 restrictions to cancel its annual testicle-eating festival, which was to take place on March 21. The big event, which draws 2,000 locals and visitors to Deerfield every year, offers deep-fried cattle genitals (also known as mountain oysters) and chicken gizzards, Metro reported. "So many people look forward to coming to Deerfield during this time of year," said organizer Nick Pulver, "[but] I think we made the best decision to delay it." Organizers hope to postpone it to May 9. The 300 pounds of delectables that were ordered for the festival have been frozen.

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