Strange But True | Anorak - Part 225

Strange But True Category

Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.

Tread Softly

‘THE harsh ring of the school bell is painful to a child’s innocent ears.

So an Austrian school has replaced it with two minutes of soft music played before the end of each lesson.

Mattersburg High School, Burgenland, has replaced the shrill school bell with a short burst of stress-reducing music.

The school’s headmistress, Ms Schwarz, is delighted with results.

‘Before we introduced the music, lessons ended abruptly with children bumping into each other in the hurry to leave the classroom and the bell only used to add to teachers’ headaches, which aren’t uncommon after taking a class of unruly kids.”

Posted: 7th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Cry Baby

‘TECHNOLOGY is a wonderful thing. It’s very nearly as wonderful as children. And a combination of the two has led to police apprehending a thief in Germany.

The robber was arrested after a mother heard him telling a friend how he had tried to rob a liquor store in Herne – on her baby monitor. The man’s broadcast on an amateur radio frequency was picked up by the mother. She called the police.

The man, who only lived a few streets away, was arrested. .’

Posted: 6th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Take Him Down(stairs)

‘WHEN a man from Mironeasa village in Iasi, Romania, was sentenced for trying to kill one of his neighbours, he screamed his innocence.

And then he ran. He hid for 11 years in the basement of his house. And that’s some going – since he was originally sentenced to eight years in jail.

Now 31 and under arrest, he says: “I stayed 11 years underground because I consider myself innocent. I don’t want to go to jail for something I never did.

‘I hid under the house and went out only a few times for food supplies. But there were people who knew where I was and I think somebody betrayed me”.’

Posted: 5th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Little Big Man

‘IT takes a big man to admit his faults. And it takes a little one to apply for a free penis enlargement in Brazil.

A group of 35 Brazilian doctors are offering free penis enlargement surgery to anyone who satisfies their criteria.

To be up for the job, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have a penis not bigger than four-and-a-half inches when erect.

They must also be poor, taking home less than £200 a month.

The group’s Doctor Menezes said: ‘We are doing this to celebrate the milestone of 1,000 surgeries of this kind done in the country since 1996.”

Posted: 4th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

I’m On The Train

‘LEAVES on the line. The wrong kind of snow. Lazy staff who can’t be bothered to work so they’re striking instead. All excuses for trains not running on time. And now for a new one from America: hand stuck down train toilet whilst trying to retrieve mobile phone.

A man spent 90 minutes of his life aboard the 6:19 from New York’s Grand Central Station with his arm wedged in the toilet’s u-bend trying to reach the phone he had dropped.

After the train’s crew had tried in vain to free the man’s hand, the train was stopped at the city’s Fordham station, where it blocked the line while the rescue operation went on. Trains were unable to pass as firefighters dismantled the entire toilet.

The man never found his mobile phone.’

Posted: 3rd, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Excess Baggage

‘AN aeroplane pilot in Egypt caused a three-hour delay on a flight to Dubai when he refused to take off because he said one of his passengers was too fat.

There were angry scenes on the EgyptAir flight after the man barred the woman from boarding the plane with five passengers opting to cancel their flights in protest.

The pilot banished the woman not because of fears that the plane would struggle to get off the runway but that the trip would cause her medical problems.

The pilot was eventually forced to fly with his unwanted passenger. The woman’s identity and weight have gave not been revealed’

Posted: 31st, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

A New Craze Is Porn

‘A NEW craze is sweeping Germany – porno karaoke.

The X-rated shows, in which blue movies are loaded into a projector and contestants (normally a man and a woman) have to provide the soundtrack, are said to be sweeping the country.

A premiere was organised in Berlin last month after a successful test run in the northern city of Hamburg and the trend has already spawned imitators in other major cities.

The crowd, which tends to find the show more comic than erotic, then chooses the couple that has given the most convincing, creative and ecstatic performance while faking an orgasm before hundreds of strangers.’

Posted: 30th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Claret Jog

‘FOUR local breweries are doing their best to persuade more people to give blood by offering donors a free pint of beer for every pint of blood.

The promotion by the United Blood Services of Durango also involved workers at the blood bank dressing up in Halloween costumes, including vampires.

Meanwhile, the four breweries are competing to see which one could collect the most blood.

The owner of the brewery collecting the lowest amount gets a special booby prize – hair dyed blood red.’

Posted: 29th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

The Orgasmatron

‘FORGET foreplay – a Texas company claims to have invented a device that takes women to a pre-orgasmic state simply by stimulating sexual nerve pathways to the pelvis.

Stimulation Systems says its Slightest Touch invention is designed to be used 10 to 20 minutes before sex and bring the wearer to a state of sexual readiness where the ‘slightest touch’ can trigger an orgasm.

About the size of a Walkman, the £120 battery-powered device, which works via a pair of electrical pads attached to the ankles, was invented by accident when one of the four co-inventors was trying to develop an electrical foot massager.

Company spokeswoman Cherisse Davidson said the device produced a ‘very gentle tingling sensation’ in the lower ankle, and ‘butterflies’ or ‘sparklers’ in the pelvis.

‘I prefer my sex with it,’ she said. ‘It intensifies the experience. The orgasms are more intense, they last longer and I usually have more than one.’

However, retired psychiatrist Stephen Barrett has his doubts. ‘That’s nuts. That’s bullshit. You’re not going to stimulate anything in the pelvis by stimulating the ankle,’ he said.’

Posted: 28th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Whiff Of Trouble

‘A MAJOR security alert was sparked off when a novelty dog toy which breaks wind as it bends over set off an explosives detector at a US airport.

Armed security staff sprang into action after something in the dog’s ‘wind breaking’ mechanism apparently registered as high explosive TNT on their equipment at Norfolk airport in Virginia.

Owner Dave Rogerson, 31, from Leeds, was grilled by FBI agents and looked on in amazement as they took a series of swabs from the replica animal’s rear end. They eventually returned the dog but stopped Mr Rogerson taking his planned flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, and rerouted him via Philadelphia.

‘They told me its was the highest reading they had for explosives and they took it very seriously,’ said Mr Rogerson. ‘They were very jumpy and convinced there was something explosive in the dog.’

He said the situation was made worse because he had placed his passport and boarding card under the dog as it passed through the sensor machine. When the agents demanded his papers he had to tell them they were in the isolation zone around the dog.’

Posted: 27th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Something To Judge By

‘JUDGE are a famously odd breed. And news from France that one of their number has been seen masturbating in court doesn’t surprise us in the least.

A magistrate, whose name is not mentioned in despatches, has been spotted pleasuring himself in a court in Angouleme. Witnesses to the fact number one lawyer, a woman in the public gallery and a journalist.

An investigation into the incident is underway, and the judge is expected to undergo some psychiatric tests.’

Posted: 24th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

In The Frame

‘WISHING to keep alive the memory of a great day out, many of us take pictures with a camera.

And it’s the same for idiots and villains as it is for the rest of us, a truth confirmed by reports of an incident in Hampshire.

A gang had broken into a school and set about smashing it up when they spotted a camera. So they took picture of themselves amid the devastation.

There is a particularly nice shot of them pouring paint into a computer.

Problem is that when they fled the scene they left the camera behind, so giving the police a pretty decent chance of catching them.’

Posted: 23rd, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Family (Mis)fortunes

‘IF there’s a soap award going for Most Dysfunctional Family, then close all bets now for you’re going to be hard pressed to beat the Barlows.

‘Mind who you call boring!’

There’s dad Ken (affairs too many to mention; fathered a ‘love-child’ with a deranged hairdresser), mum Deride (went to prison after falling for a manager of Tie Rack and then married a Moroccan waiter), son Peter (bigamy) and daughter Tracy (where to start?).

Peter has returned to the bosom of his (Addams) family to discover if he’s going to be charged with having two wives or not, although quite frankly that punishment alone is suffering enough.

Peter was startled to discover that his ‘sister’ was pregnant. “Crikey Tracy luv, I thought I had troubles but you! You’re havin’ a baby with an anorak-wearing freak who’s married to a bloke called Harold.”

Tracy calmly pointed out that she wasn’t about to take relationship advice from a bloke looking at six months in prison for bigamy.

Roy and Hayley are understandably concerned that, given Tracy’s rather ‘special’ mental state, she may back out of the deal to sell them her baby.

On the advice of their solicitor (who clearly went to the same law school as Judge Judy), Roy has proposed marriage to Tracy. “You have GOT to be joking,” she screeched. “I’m enough of a laughing stock as it is.”

Roy, not being as simple as his special needs tartan shopping bag may suggest, thought Tracy may be trying it on and pretending that he’s the father.

Roy went to confront Wally Bannister (the gardener who pretended to be a millionaire), to ask him if he could be the father. Wally was able to put Roy’s mind at rest by telling him that, as he’d had mumps as a teenager, he couldn’t possibly be the father.

Unfortunately for Roy, he doesn’t know that Tracy also had a dalliance with Steve McDonald. And according to the papers, Steve is the baby’s father.

Let’s hope for all concerned that the news doesn’t get out – the body count in Kill Bill will be nothing compared to the blood bath in Weatherfield if Karen ever finds out.

Elsewhere on The Street, Nick has started ‘dating’ Candice – although their dates seem to start and end in her bedroom. “I’m only having a bit of fun,” Nick told Martin, “but she’s getting so serious.”

Nick probably decided to confide in his step-father on the grounds that if anyone knows teenaged girls, it’s him.

Most incredible storyline of the year, however – even over the Tracy-Roy-Steve love triangle – is that Les Battersby managed to ‘charm’ a woman into bed. Les had told her that he was a record producer called Clint (“as in Eastwood”) and told her he’d like to “audition” her back at her flat.

Amazingly she fell for it. It will come as no surprise then when it’s revealed soon that Les’ new girlfriend is actually Fizz’s mother.’

Posted: 23rd, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Got Wood

‘LADDA Satiya, 66, felt very ill after ingesting poisonous mushrooms – a foolish thing to do, but she did it.

Feeling dizzy and breathless, the Malaysian woman sought help.

So, as anyone would, she contacted her local abbot, Pra Boonsong, at the Thepprasart Temple in Pattaya. And he lent her a carved wooden phallus.

He suggested Satiya swallowed a blend of rice and water ground up by the penis. This she did and soon felt much better.

But this medical wonder is not open to all us just yet since Boonsong is refusing to reveal the source of the penis wood for fear of forest devastation.’

Posted: 22nd, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Shoot On Sight

‘APPLEDORE FC are not an especially bad outfit. Their misfortune is that they play on a pitch that runs very close to the home of one Paul Vose.

And, as is the way with football, many balls have flown over the fence into Mr Vose’s garden.

Indeed, the number of balls to have made such a journey currently stands at 18.

Problem is that Mr Vose has locked the balls in his shed and will not return them.

Gary Ford, who manages the Devon-based team, is threatening to sue his neighbour.

“His garden is eight yards from the back of the goal. This is not a high standard of football – some balls are bound to go over.“

Says Mr Vose: “They should be better at shooting.”’

Posted: 21st, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Batteries Not Included

‘NEWS now that Germans are not all ruthlessly efficient. Police in Bremen are hunting a thief who might just be the country’s most useless burglar of all time.

Having broken into the offices of a timber firm, the villain ripped open the coffee machine looking for cash. There was none to be had – since it only accepted tokens. Our hero then nicked a mobile phone – which only works in the office – and an electronic cordless screwdriver, leaving behind the batteries and charger.

He then drank a can of Coke that forensics later revealed to have been one year past its sell-by date.’

Posted: 20th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

The Whole Tooth

‘POLICE are used to having to identify murder victims by their dental records, but it’s not often that suspects’ gnashers get them into trouble with the law.

However, Paul D Lee, of Indiana, found himself charged with burglary after his dentures were found at the scene of a crime. The teeth were found by a relative of the burglary victim, a day after the break-in – and it appears they fell out of Lee’s mouth as he committed the crime.

Lee, aged 39, was traced because an Indiana law requires false teeth to carry the owner’s name underneath the artificial gum. He was later allowed to keep the teeth after signing for them, although he is currently in prison awaiting trial.’

Posted: 17th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Body Of Christ

‘DUTCH priest Father Stefan van Dierendonck has left the Church because he is allergic to the wafers used in Holy Communion.

The 30-year-old, from Nijmegen, felt sick every time he took communion – when he was first ordained a priest and celebrated three masses a day, it made him so ill he had to spend the rest of the day in bed.

Tests later revealed he was allergic to gluten, but the Catholic Church does not allow gluten-free wafers to be used for communion.

In 1998, he got special permission to use low gluten wafers but it didn’t help.

‘It only got better when I went in a retreat in another abbey,” he said. “The diarrhoea stopped and I had no more complaints.”

He said the final straw was when the Vatican advised him to see a psychiatrist.

‘That did it,” he said. “I didn’t want to choose between faith and health.”

Posted: 16th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

It’s A Steal

‘BELGIAN firm Crime Control is offering to test shops’ security systems by sending out professional thieves to break in and explain how they did it.

The Leuven-based company says its thieves are never caught, but return all of the stolen goods afterwards – and then give advice on how shops can improve security.

Crime Control spokesman Kris van Limbergen said: ‘Our thieves are so good, they never get caught. Our clients are always very shocked to see what we have stolen.

‘They always think their security measures are too strict to steal anything.”

Posted: 15th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

New Elvis Record

‘NORWEGIAN Elvis impersonator Kjell Henning Bjoernestad has regained his world record by singing Elvis songs for over 40 hours.

Known to his fans as Kjell Elvis, Bjoernestad sang 786 songs in 40 hours, 8 minutes and 1 second – the time marking Elvis’s birthday of January 8 – thus beating the previous best of 30 hours and 10 minutes set by another Norwegian, Stephen Ackles.

Bjoernestad was said to be ‘hoarse but audible’ at the end of the singing marathon.’

Posted: 14th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Tracy Stays Mum

‘AND so it came to pass that the slut lay down with the anoraked freak and lo! a baby was born unto them. Although similarities between the Virgin Mary and Tracy are few and far between, the miracle of Tracy’s baby has certainly touched Deirdre and Hayley.

‘And here’s one I conceived earlier’

“The doctors told her she may not be able to have babies after her kidney transplant,” Deirdre told Hayley. “It’s a miracle.” Unfortunately Tracy doesn’t see it that way and is regarding her impending child as nothing more than a cheque for 20 grand.

Hayley and Roy have become increasingly worried by Tracy’s behaviour – drinking pints and smoking in the Rovers and now getting a job as a minicab driver with Streetcars.

They decided to tell Ken and Deirdre about the baby in a vain attempt to get them to make her take her responsibilities seriously. “T-T-Tracy’s having a baby,” stammered Roy, “and I’m the father.”

Tracy taking responsibility for herself, however, is about as likely as Alpay Ozalan appearing on David Beckham’s Christmas card list.

“You’re a freak!” screamed Deirdre. “It’s Hayley that’s the freak!” retorted Tracy, who earned a slap round the face from her mother for her trouble.

After plenty of chicken-necked ranting from the pair of them, Tracy and Deirdre have called an uneasy truce. “She’s carrying our grandchild, after all,” Deirdre told Ken. The pair have yet to discover though that their “grandchild” is going to be sold for 20 grand the moment it’s born.

Elsewhere in Weatherfield, Candice is causing her own fair share of trouble by dating her flatmate’s ex-boyfriend. Maria and Fizz came home to find Nick emerging from Candice’s bedroom looking very sheepish.

“The little cow,” muttered Maria. Which is a bit rich considering she not only slept with, but also got pregnant by, her former flatmate’s not even ex-boyfriend.

Peter Barlow has, sensibly, had enough of his women troubles and has left the Street. Lucy and Shelly are going for some long distance revenge, however, by clearing out the bookies of any profits every day.

“As his legal wife, I’m entitled,” Lucy told a worried Bev. “Don’t trust her, Shelly luv,” a worried Bev told her daughter. “She’s trouble.”

But the Street Psycho space that’s been vacant since the departure of the glorious Tricky Dicky looks like being filled not by Lucy but by Brenda Ferns, Bethany’s paternal grandmother.

Not only does Brenda love the Baby Jesus big time, she’s taken to dropping round to try and convince Sarah Louise to let her take Bethany out for long walks without her. Who knows yet what she’s up to? Perhaps she’s heard that Weatherfield is a Mecca for baby buying.’

Posted: 14th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Currying Favour

‘BUS company Travel West Midlands is hoping to boost passenger numbers with a balti-scented scratch and sniff timetable.

The Birmingham-based firm says 1,000 of the 30,000 leaflets (which also contain a guide to the city’s so-called Balti Triangle – the home of more than 50 Asian eateries) will feature the section.

Corporate affairs director Phil Bateman, explained: ‘We wanted to encourage people to go out for the evening by bus, enjoy a balti and a couple of beers, without worrying about driving home.

‘There’s nothing like the smell of a good curry to titillate taste buds, which is why we’ve created a special version of the leaflet.”

Posted: 13th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Stag Party

‘GERMAN politician Mathias Uhlig is campaigning for traffic lights to make bird sounds instead of the ticking noise used to alert blind people to when it is safe to cross a road.

Mr Uhlig, a member of the conservative CDU from Dusseldorf, thinks the bird sounds would be ‘idyllic’ compared to ‘that nerve-racking tack, tack, tack’.

But fellow politicians think it would be too expensive to change the signal – and potentially dangerous.

‘If a real bird sings nearby, a blind person risks walking straight into a car,’ Liberal politician Manfred Neuenhaus said.

And fellow Liberal Alexander Zeitz claimed high-pitched sounds were harder to pick up.

‘We’d be better off using the deep sound of a roaring stag,’ he said.’

Posted: 10th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Screen Test

‘MEXICO’S first lady Marta Sahagun got the shock of her life when she was giving a presentation to supporters of a children’s cancer charity and pictures of two naked men and one naked woman came up on a giant screen instead of the images intended.

Mrs Sahagun’s spokesman told the crowd it was all a mistake and that the computer they were using for the presentation was not theirs.

‘We are so sorry that this incident happened, but it was due to technical reasons beyond our control,’ he said.’

Posted: 9th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

On His Todd

‘AFTER 33 years of The Street, the ‘love that dare not speak its name’ has finally reached Weatherfield.

Ena Sharples would be turning in her grave

Some unkind critics have suggested in the past that the likes of Roy Cropper and Norris Cole were rather too fond of show tunes but that’s between them and Judy Garland. This week though, Todd Grimshaw and Nick Platt had the first on-screen kiss.

According to scriptwriters, Todd’s struggle with his sexuality has been building up for the past two years (well, he did turn down Candice, the Weatherfield training ground), but others see it simply as a ratings ploy.

Todd had been feeling increasingly claustrophobic in the flat above the bookies with Sarah and Bethany and their mounting debts. He turned to Nick as a shoulder to cry on but, unfortunately for everyone, it wasn’t only Nick’s shoulder that Todd was interested in.

Nick had come round to keep Todd company while Sarah was out and, after a Bacardi Breezer too many, Todd made his move. “Big mistake, pal. BIG mistake,” shouted Nick before rushing off into the night.

To be fair to Todd though, with his lip gloss, fake tan and hair gel, after a couple of drinks it would have been easy enough for Todd to have mistaken Nick for a girl.

Nick didn’t see it quite like that though and told Sarah that her boyfriend was “gay”. At first Sarah refused to believe it, but Todd tearfully confessed that he “hadn’t meant it” and was “confused”.

“I thought yer loved me, but yer can’t!” sobbed Sarah Louise before scooping up Bethany and running out of the flat, leaving Todd crying in the street, clutching a stuffed bear that she’d dropped.

It’s not clear how this storyline is going to pan out, but one thing’s certain though – if Les Battersby gets to hear of what Todd’s been up to, Todd will be following in Hayley’s footsteps with some unscheduled gender-realignment.

Elsewhere in Weatherfield, Karen and Steve’s divorce came though – just in time for their engagement party, held (where else?) in The Rovers. No-one turned up, however, as a protest of how the couple had pretended to everyone that they were splitting up.

“We’ll show them,” fumed Karen to a long-suffering Steve. “We’ll put on the biggest wedding this street’s ever seen.” Which given Karen’s taste will involve borrowing a set from Footballers’ Wives.

Katy and Martin are still living in sin, not surprisingly ignored by their horrified families. But hot new contenders for Weatherfield’s vilest coupling are Bev and Kieran.

Kieran and Sunita had a falling out when he had to stand her up to do an extra shift at The Rovers. At closing time Kieran was helping Bev clear up when he decided to make his move.

After telling Bev that he and Sunita had split up, he turned on the ‘charm’. “Yer still a beautiful woman Bev,” he smarmed, “And I want yer!” he continued, before falling onto her chicken neck.

When Sunita suggested he be more considerate to others, I don’t think this is the sort of Help The Aged charity work she quite had in mind.’

Posted: 9th, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment