Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

Of course last Wednesday was 09-09-09 and in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, it was an entire day of nines for Henry Michael Berendes–the third child of Polly and Chuck Berendes. Henry was born on Wednesday at 9:09 a.m. and yes — you guessed it — weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces. His father Chuck, who is twenty-nine-years old said, “I don’t know how it happened, but it’s pretty crazy.”  ***MARLAR: So he went out and bought a lottery ticket using all nines… and lost.  Because playing the lottery is also crazy.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took it upon themselves to ask schoolchildren to help pick a new state bird. More than 20,000 voted for the osprey, a raptor also known as the fish hawk. But the NRA has a big problem with that. Well, not exactly the NRA, but Marion Hammer, the group’s chief state lobbyist and a definite capital powerhouse. She wants to keep the mockingbird as the state bird saying they are willing to fight larger birds that threaten their nests. She likes that mockingbirds are protective of their family and of their territory. Ten years ago more than 10,000 schoolchildren signed a petition to change the state bird to the Florida scrub jay. Supporters boasted about how friendly the scrub jays are and that they will eat peanuts right out of a person’s hand. Hammer had a different spin and testified in a committee hearing that, “Begging for food isn’t sweet. It’s lazy, and it’s a welfare mentality.” She also said scrub jays eat the eggs of other birds which she called “robbery and murder.”  ***MARLAR: And what do you call telling 20,000 people that their opinion aren’t worth diddly-squat, Mrs. Hammer?  Gee… it’s good to know we’ve got such important world-changing issues being debated to make this Earth a better place.

We haven’t heard any creative sentencing stories in a while. Thank goodness for Ohio’s Western District Court Judge Jeff Robinson who is bringing back the practice by requiring some defendants to wear bright neon green T-shirts with the words “I’m a thief” while they perform court-ordered community service. The judge believes public punishment can serve as a deterrent, especially during tough economic times when theft crimes seem to rise. The shirts have mainly been ordered for convicted shoplifters. At least one defendant offered to pay a bigger fine if he could get out of wearing the shirt.  ***MARLAR: And immediately robbed someone to pay it.

In Columbus, Ohio, 20-year-old Stephfon Bennett made the insane mistake of returning to the scene of the crime — to ask one of his robbery victims out on a date! Bennett was allegedly among three men who robbed a couple in their home. The woman recognized Bennett as one of the robbers when he returned to ask her out and had a relative call 911. He was arrested in front of the victim’s home.  ***MARLAR: He realized he’d forgotten to steal her heart.

16-year-old Jessica Watson of Australia just took off on her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Unfortunately the trip hasn’t gotten off to an exactly stellar start. She managed to run into a giant cargo ship during her first 24 hours at sea. Kind of messed up her 34-foot sail boat. But her spokesman, Scott Young, described the collision as just a “small incident” and said she would continue her journey after repairs were made. Last month 17-year-old Mike Perham of England became the youngest person to “successfully” sail solo around the world.  ***MARLAR: When asked to comment about his 16-year-old female challenger, Mike said, “Pfft… women drivers.”

This is just weird. In Vienna, Austria, 45-year-old Gunther Link prayed hard when he found himself trapped in an elevator. And he believed his prayers had been answered when he was finally rescued. As a practicing catholic, Link went straight to the Weinhaus Church to give thanks to God for answering his prayers and saving him. But as he stood in the church, he embraced a stone pillar which held up an ancient 860-pound stone monument which suddenly fell right on top of him and killed him instantly! His body was found by parishioners attending Mass the next day after he had been reported missing by his cousin. ***MARLAR: Oh… and “The Final Destination” is in theatres right now.

A motorcyclist in England pleaded guilty to driving dangerously after he was clocked by radar doing 157 miles-per-hour. The man was on a Kawasaki 1200cc motorcycle and that speed is believed to be the fastest ever clocked on British radar. ***MARLAR: He was then rushed to the hospital for severe bug-blows to the head.

Scientists discovered the male Y chromosome repairs itself.  ***MARLAR: And as a male gene, it was repaired using duct tape.

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