Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 23, 2010


Santa has conspired with a love-struck California man by lending a knee for a surprise marriage proposal.  Jenny Hoang took a friend’s boys to see Santa at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Sunday, and she was helping the kids off Santa’s lap when Old St. Nick waved her back. Santa told the 27-year-old she’s been very good and there’s a special gift for her.  Her boyfriend of nine years, Jonathan Nguyen, suddenly emerged, got down on a knee and proposed – with Santa giving her a diamond ring.  The groom-to-be, who is also 27, told the Orange County Register he secretly enlisted the help of the shopping mall and Santa to pull off the surprise.  ***MARLAR: If Jenny really was a good girl all year, how do you explain Santa giving her a lump of coal?  (Coal, under extreme pressure, becomes diamonds.)

Call it a ho-ho-holdup.  Police say a man dressed as Santa Claus has robbed a Rhode Island yacht club.  Authorities say a bartender was alone in the East Providence Yacht Club Sunday night when a large man wearing a red suit, red hat, white beard and carrying a sack walked into the bar and brandished a gun.  The bartender fled and ran to a nearby business where she called 911.  By the time police arrived, the Santa bandit – as well as an undetermined amount of cash from the register – was missing.  ***MARLAR: Well, of course Santa turned to crime – it was the only way he could afford to give hot girls diamond rings.  (See previous story.)

Jim Henson’s Muppets made pigs and frogs endearing, and Walt Disney turned a common rodent into a cultural icon.  Now, Drew Oliver thinks it’s time for bacteria, viruses and other maligned microorganisms to share the love.  Instead of standard Christmas gifts, a growing number of people are looking under the tree for giant stuffed cold germs, cuddly E. coli, hugworthy heartworm and other oddities from Oliver’s Stamford-based company, Giant Microbes. Oliver says the toys are true to the microbes they represent except, of course, for their eyes and enhanced colors.  ***MARLAR: Because nothing says “merry Christmas” better than giving the one you love swine flu.

Feeling stressed this holiday season? Are you overeating because of it? If so, you have company. Forty percent of adults responding to a survey said they had overeaten or had eaten unhealthy foods during the past month because of stress, the American Psychological Association reports.   The APA 2010 Stress in America survey also revealed that respondents believed they didn’t have the time or willpower to make the behavior and lifestyle changes that would enable them to deal with stress in healthier ways. ***MARLAR: Those who did say they had the willpower to stop overeating then celebrated with a giant feast.


Ever thrown money around when a hot woman was watching? Men are more generous around attractive women, a recent study confirms.  British researchers found that men contributed more winnings to charity when they were being watched by a beautiful woman than when they were playing alone or being watched by another man. Men may be showing off to potential mates according to the report.  ***MARLAR: In other words, “Hey, Baby – here’s how much money I COULD be blowing on you instead of these orphans…”

Residents and visitors have voted Philadelphia the city with the least attractive people, according to a survey by Travel + Leisure. But that’s not all; the City of Brotherly Love also ranked as the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly by 60,000 respondents who ranked 30 cities in several categories ranging from food to nightlife to culture. On the bright side, the beauty of the museums and art galleries was enough to boost Philly to the third spot in the Historical Sites/Monuments category.  ***MARLAR: Sadly, most of the citizens look like historical sites and monuments.

A man on house arrest asked police to put in him jail rather than serve the remainder of his sentence at home with his wife.  30 year old builder Santino Gambio,, was serving a sentence for dumping hazardous waste at his house in Villabate, Sicily, just outside the capital. But after being home with his wife, he went to the police station and asked to be jailed to avoid having more arguments.  ***MARLAR: Her biggest complaint was that he never took her out anymore.

Legal service at one Connecticut firm can now be as easy to get as a hamburger and fries.  The Kocian (KOH’-see-ehn) Law Group has opened a drive-through office in a building that once housed a former Kenny Rogers Roasters.  Attorney Nick Kocian says clients can use the drive-through at the law firm’s Manchester, Conn., site to drop off and pick up documents.  He says it’s more convenient for his clients. ***MARLAR: It’s the perfect solution for their clients arrested for drive-by shootings.

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