Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 12, 2010


An Erie, Pennsylvania man was jailed on felony shoplifting and other charges after failing to make a clean getaway during an unusual crime: allegedly stealing $86 worth of body soap. Police said 38-year-old Rickey Scott stole 13 containers of soap from a Rite Aide store Wednesday evening. Police did not immediately say why Scott stole the soap or why he allegedly wanted or needed so much of it.  ***MARLAR: The store owner describes Scott as a “filthy criminal.”

Wyoming tops the nation in chewing tobacco use, with nearly 1 in 6 adult men in that state using the product.  Government researchers found men use chew, snus and other smokeless products at much higher rates than women.  ***MARLAR: Probably because they’re in Wyoming and there’s nothing else to do there.

Officials in Wyoming want people to be on the lookout for a black box with white lettering that says “METH,” after a deputy lost a stash used to train police dogs.  Teton County sheriff’s Sgt. Lloyd Funk says the deputy accidentally left the box on a bumper after a canine training exercise Oct. 27. It contained nearly an ounce of methamphetamine.  The deputy drove off with the drugs perched on the vehicle.  ***MARLAR: Isn’t the whole point of this to get drugs OFF the street?

Police say a North Dakota man was surprised to find two people sitting in his hot tub when he went to check on a noise at 4 a.m. Officer Ron Van Doorne told The Dickinson Press that the man asked them what they were doing. They said, “We’re sorry,” then left. Van Doorne said there was no disorderly conduct or damage, “other than the fact that they were sitting in his hot tub at 4 o’clock in the morning.”  ***MARLAR: It’s the first time in recent history where criminals were in hot water before being caught.


Ralph Avery’s first balloon ride was a bust. The Massachusetts man was given a ride in a hot air balloon for his birthday. Some present. The 63-year-old Avery ended up with two broken legs and two broken ankles. A half hour after liftoff, the wind came up forcing a hard landing in Sandown, New Hampshire. The gift was from Avery’s daughter. He’ll now miss six weeks of work.  But Avery says once he’s healed, he’d try another balloon ride. ***MARLAR: Six weeks off of work – that’s a great birthday gift!

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.

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 isn’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.

They’re not exactly the kind of thing you’d find at Victoria’s Secret, but undergarments that were designed for Queen Victoria herself, at the end of the 19th century, have been given “national designated status” by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council of England. This award is given to museum collections which are considered of both national and international significance. They look more like oversized linen pajamas and are embroidered with a small crown and the initials VR. The undies will become part of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection – 12,000 items worn by royalty and courtiers from the 17th century until the present day including a tweed suit created for Princess Diana for her 1981 honeymoon. ***MARLAR: It’s old underwear that’s now worth money… I’ve got plenty of ancient tighty-whities; what am I doing working for a paycheck?

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