Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: March 02, 2011

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A toddler spent two hours trapped in a bank vault in suburban Atlanta.  Conyers firefighters rescued the 14-month-old from the vault Friday night after the child went missing while visiting a grandparent who worked at the Wells Fargo bank in Conyers. The child was found after being spotted on security cameras inside the vault, which has a timed locked.  Rescue workers arrived and pumped fresh air into the vault while a locksmith worked on prying loose the door. Authorities said the baby could be heard crying during the rescue.  Authorities did not release the child’s name.  ***MARLAR: But they did say the child was better with money than the government.

In an already crowded city, some 40,000 have gathered in the Indian capital, Delhi, to take part in a rally to protest against rising food prices and unemployment.  The result – massive traffic jams in the city.  ***MARLAR: Up next in Delhi, protesting traffic congestion.

Get ready to pay double or even triple the price for fresh produce in the coming weeks after the worst freeze in 60 years damaged and wiped out entire crops in northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. Farmers throughout northern Mexico and the Southwest experienced unprecedented crop losses. Zucchini, cucumbers, and asparagus in many fields were wiped out. About the only produce not impacted by the freeze in the coming weeks are things like potatoes and apples.  ***MARLAR: So I can still get my french fries and apple pie, but I won’t be getting zucchini, cucumbers and asparagus?  I’m not seeing the downside on this.

Firefighters say they have removed a 5-foot-long alligator who was hiding behind a couch after floodwaters washed it into a home in northern Brazil.  A woman saw her 3-year-old son petting something behind the couch. It was an alligator.  She called the fire department.  ***MARLAR: Because apparently, lizards hate water.


Charles Pierce, 92, plowed his sedan into the side of Biscuit’s “N” Gravy and More restaurant in Port Orange, Florida, apparently stepping on the gas instead of the brake.  The local TV stations says that rather than panicking, Charles calmly got out of his car and placed his breakfast order, then asked if anyone was hurt before digging in.  The damage is estimated to be about $25,000.  ***MARLAR: Exactly what it would cost to install the restaurant’s planned drive-thru window anyway.

What did your dad do when you went home and told him that you got a speeding ticket? Make you pay it? Ground you? Hang your car up on a tree? When 16 year old Stephen Cost of Alabaster, Alabama received his third ticket in a month, his dad hoisted the boy’s pickup truck in the air! Alan Cost used a backhoe to lift the truck’s back end several feet into the air and chained it to a tree to keep it there. He also put a sign in the window that read, “May be for sale!”  ***MARLAR: I don’t know if that’s what it literally means to “suspend driving privileges.”

An Ohio man has created a frosty fairy-tale setting for a memorable marriage proposal, building a snow castle for his girlfriend. Ryan Knotek says he wanted to pop the question to Christi Lombardo in a way that would give her a unique story to tell. Using blocks of snow, he constructed a one-room, one-story palace topped with roof spires in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, where they live.  On the inside, Knotek set up candles, rose petals, wine – and a portable heater to keep the chill away.  The atmosphere apparently warmed Lombardo’s heart when she arrived – she said yes.  ***MARLAR: An icy proposal in a giant igloo is also a good way to get used to the icy cold feet this guy will feel at the end of his bed for the rest of his life.

French Parliament Senator Bernard Plasait issued a scathing report on why France is suffering a big drop in tourism. Turns out it’s because the French are arrogant, rude and surly. The list of tourist complaints includes slow baggage handlers, no “Welcome to France” signs at the Paris airport, cab drivers who refuse to speak English, and a general haughty attitude that it’s a great honor to visit France. Plasait admitted this is not a new problem, as English author Horace Walpole wrote in the 18th century that he found the French insolent and detestable. ***MARLAR: All the other French senators listened politely to his report, then they spit on him in disapproval.

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