Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 20, 2010

NEW NEWS…

A Festivus for the rest of us? A convicted drug dealer in California thinks so. He cited his adherence to the holiday celebrated on a famous episode of “Seinfeld” to get better meals at the Orange County jail. The Orange County Register reported Monday that Malcolm Alarmo King disliked the salami meals served at the jail, so he used his devotion to Festivus as a reason to get kosher meals reserved for inmates with religious needs. Keeping kosher is not one of the tenets of Festivus, which was depicted on “Seinfeld” as celebrated with the airing of grievances and the display of an aluminum pole. Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Burris says King got salami-free meals for two months before the county got the order thrown out in court.  ***MARLAR: At which point the prisoner responded in his best Jerry Seinfeld voice, “What… is up… with salami?”

A cowboy on horseback lassoed a runaway reindeer that escaped from a California Christmas tree lot and eluded capture for hours.  The 9-year-old reindeer was on the lam for 2 1/2 hours Thursday, scampering through busy Santa Maria streets, strawberry fields and residential areas.  Rancher Bob Acquistapace, riding a horse and wearing a cowboy hat, boots and spurs, finally got a rope over the reindeer’s head at about noon and tied the exhausted animal to a lamppost. The reindeer was eventually loaded into a trailer.  The reindeer escaped from the Hopper Bros. Christmas tree lot at the Santa Maria Fairpark. Acquistapace, who is married to a Fairpark employee, happened to be at a nearby ranch with his horse.  ***MARLAR: It’s a lot harder to lasso a reindeer than a cow – because reindeer can fly.

More than 30 million Americans admit to drunken driving in the previous 12 months and more than 10 million say they drove while on illicit drugs, according to a survey of driving habits between 2006 and 2009.  The survey’s state-by-state breakdown shows states with the highest levels of past-year drunk driving were Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and North Dakota (22.4 percent).  ***MARLAR: Probably because there’s nothing else to do in those states.

A New York City woman says she’ll fight a $100 summons for tossing a newspaper into a city litter basket.   The Manhattan resident said she offered to take the paper out but the agent wrote out the summons for putting “improper refuse in a city litter basket.”   In a statement, the department said that many city residents use corner litter baskets as “their personal household dumping site.” But it conceded that “being fined for tossing a newspaper into a basket is odd.”  The 80-year-old Gluckin says she’s on a fixed income and will fight the fine.   City litter baskets have signs that read: “litter only” and “no household trash.”  ***MARLAR: If she’d kept the “Lifestyle” section and tossed out the “Opinions” and “Celebrity” sections she’d probably be fine.

Are you getting your pet a gift this Christmas?–Fifty-six percent of dog owners say they’ll buy their pets a gift this Christmas, but only 48 percent of cat owners plan a gift-according to an Associated Press-Petside poll.  A majority of all pet owners-53 percent-plan to get their animals a present this holiday season. ***DUANE MATZ: I picked up a rawhide gift card from the local pet store… boy was that a waste of money.

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

A report says banks may be the next target for terrorists. ***MARLAR: Terrorists hate us for our freedoms, yet they’ll attack the one place we have so little freedom that they even chain the pens to the desks.

In Boca Raton, Florida, the head chef and manager of the Pizza Time Restaurant, Mark DeCraepeo, just lost it. Completely lost it. It seems one too many orders for the restaurant’s mozzarella caprese salad pushed him over the edge. When waitress Cathy Vultaggio hung yet another ticket for the popular salad on the rack, DeCraepeo allegedly yelled out, “If I get one more ticket for mozzarella caprese, I swear… I’ll shoot you!” DeCraepeo then allegedly slammed a gun inside a holster on the counter top and reportedly said, “Now you see I’m serious!” The waitress called the police, DeCraepeo was arrested.  ***MARLAR: And there were indeed no more mozzarella caprese salads that day.

What started as a routine test drive ended up being a marathon trip across the country with a kidnapped car salesman. The 32-year-old suspect went to a Honda dealership in Massachusetts and he and the salesman went on a test drive. But the guy refused to turn back around and the salesman was trapped in the car until he finally escaped when the driver slowed down at a tollbooth near the Massachusetts state line. Police finally caught up with the driver over 1,000 miles away in Wisconsin! He was arrested and charged with speeding, reckless driving kidnapping and operating a motor vehicle without owner consent.  ***MARLAR: After finally being stopped the driver did offer to buy the car – but for a discount because it had so many miles on it.

Gerrie Hawes of Fresh Daisy, an organic frozen baby food company, says she’s finally solved the problem of how to get toddlers to eat their greens. She’s invented green pea ice cream.  She also has ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes that include broccoli, carrots, parsnips and cabbage.  ***MARLAR: And if it doesn’t get them to eat their greens, it’s a great way to get them off of ice cream.

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