Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 21, 2009

The reason has yet to be found, but scientists say the planet’s bird population is shrinking.  ***MARLAR: If you want to increase the bird population in your area, do what I do: wash your car.  Trust me, the birds come out of nowhere.

Pebbles cereal was actually named after the shape of the cereal and not the Pebbles Flintstone character.  ***MARLAR: At least that’s what my Aunt Raisin Bran tells me.

In Oslo, Norway, Andreas Jankov, a serious movie buff, has decided to make a name for himself — quite literally. The professional bus driver has legally changed his name to Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacca Highlander Elessar-Jankov. He says it’s the best way he can think of to pay tribute to his favorite movie heroes. His favorite films are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but he’s also a serious fan of the TV hit MacGyver. ***MARLAR: It’s just a hunch, but I’m guessing Andreas hasn’t been on a date in a very long time.

Who says there’s no job security anymore? The folks at Mickey D’s would argue that point. In Crestwood, Missouri, 68-year-old Leonard Rhomberg is being honored for 50 years of service at the same McDonald’s. In fact, it was the first McDonald’s ever to open in Missouri back in 1959 and Leonard still works there five days a week! The restaurant’s owners, Patrick and Tom Hillmeyer, thanked Leonard with a cake, gifts and a St. Louis Cardinals jersey.  ***MARLAR: That’s it for fifty years of service?  You’d think they could’ve at least offered the guy a Happy Meal. 

(Huntsville Times) In Huntsville, Alabama, an 11-year-old boy from Ed White Middle School faked being kidnapped to avoid bringing home a bad report card. The boy told police that a man with a pistol snatched him after he left school, forced him into a “beat-up car” and threatened to kill him. The kid said he escaped by jumping out of the moving car but sadly, was not able to grab his bookbag on the way out — which coincidentally contained his report card. He ran to his grandparents’ house and later confessed to lying. Grandpa called police to apologize. Sgt. Mark Roberts said police were suspicious that the boy was able to “escape” with his band instrument, but not his bookbag.  ***MARLAR: I hope that instrument is able to play the blues. 

In Croydon, South London, 102-year-old Winnie Langley has finally decided to stop smoking — AFTER 95 YEARS! She had her very first cigarette in 1914 and has smoked an average of five a day ever since. That works out to more than 170,000 smokes during her lifetime. So why quit now? Winnie says she simply doesn’t like it any more. Ironically, her doctors have told her there’s not much point in stopping now.  ***MARLAR: She’s 102-years-old… but she’s quitting because she wants to live to the ripe old age of 102-and-a-half.

They say clothes make the man — and in this case, a man was made by his unfortunate choice of wardrobe — made by police that is. 24-year-old Stephen Frederick Hamilton, who apparently is aggressively vying for the title of dumbest robber in the world, attempted to rob a few houses in Northern Ireland under the cover of darkness. Only problem was he was wearing a bright fluorescent safety vest at the time — which of course even at night made him pretty easy to spot. He was tracked down by police officers with the help of a police dog who chased him to a nearby supermarket parking lot. Judge Peter Gibson correctly called Hamilton’s crimes as “amateurish to the extreme” and gave him a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for three years.  ***MARLAR: Our only guess is that he was attempting to blend in with suburban big-game hunters.

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