Strange But True | Anorak - Part 229

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.

Well, I Never

‘POLICE in Switzerland surely don’t have the most demanding job in the world, so they must have been pretty excited when they were called out to tackle a deadly snake.

The cops turned out in force after residents of Allschwil near Basel claim to have spotted the snake down a well.

After confirming that it was not one of the slow-worms resident to the area, officers decided that the long green snake was a deadly African Mamba.

But after poking the deadly snake with a long stick for over an hour, it dawned on the police that it was in fact nothing more dangerous than a rubber toy.

”The light in the well was poor and from where we were standing it looked real,” a police spokesman said. ‘

Posted: 26th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Gas Attack

‘IF you thought Gordon Brown was good at coming up with new things to tax, he has got nothing on the New Zealand government which has just announced plans to tax the flatulence of livestock.

Farmers will have to pay a levy of up to 25p a head on cattle and 3p per sheep in an effort to combat global warming.

Apparently, the methane and nitrous oxide from animals’ belches and farts accounts for more than half of all the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The government says it will spend the tax it collects from the flatulent animals on researching ways to make them less windy, but farmers complain they are the only country that has to pay such a levy.’

Posted: 25th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Birdie Opportunity

‘WE all know about the 19th hole, the bar into which golfers disappear after 18 holes on the course. But what of the 20th hole, in which players enjoy refreshment of a different kind?

A golf course in California is alleged to have offered players lap dances and sex for money inside tents erected near the putting greens and under canopies at private functions.

And, as a result, the owners of the Hidden Valley Golf Club at Norco have been charged with felony pimping and pandering.

The defence claims that no one actually saw their clients take part in the prostitution operation, but prosecutors insist that managers had to know what we going on.’

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

Beckham II

‘WHEN football-mad Joo Imre and Viorica Precup had a baby son, they had no doubt what they were going to call him – David Beckham. The Romanian couple are big fans of the England captain and when Joo was asked by the registrar for a name it was the first thing that came into his head.

”I hope one day my son can meet the man who gave him his name,” he said. ”A lot of friends have told me it is a stupid name, but I think it’s great.” Unfortunately, the officials registering the birth were not such big fans of Real Madrid’s newest player and managed to put his name down as David Becham.

Not that that 23-year-old Viorica is worried. ”I love Beckham, I love my son – so it’s the perfect name,” she said. ”He’ll grow up to be a footballer. If we have a daughter we want to call her Victoria Beckham.” Or Vicoria. Or Victoia.’

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

The Irish Rover

‘EILEEN has taken the news that Todd’s not sitting his A-levels and not going to university better than expected. By the way he’s walking, he’ll still be able to father children one day.

”Have yous heard the one about the Oirish papstar who joined a soap?”

She restricted herself to simply throwing him out of the house and a small catfight in the street with Sarah Lou.

Todd is determined to make a life for himself though and has got himself a job as a hospital cleaner and next week he moves into the flat above the bookies.

Since the only person on the Street to have a degree is Ken Barlow and he was a supermarket trolley-stacker, it’s not really surprising Todd decided he was wasting his time.

Everyone’s least favourite Irish stereotype, Ciaran, is back. He burst into Sunita’s flat just as Dev was about to propose marriage. ”Jeysus and Begorrah! ‘Tis marvellous to be to back to yer arms me love,” he told a startled Sunita and Dev.

Both Ciaran and Dev are prepared to fight dirty to win Sunita’s hand: Dev admitted that he’d hidden a letter Ciaran had written her and Ciaran pretended to Dev that he’d slept with Sunita the night she let him sleep on her sofa.

Sunita admitted to Bev that she’s finding it hard to chose between them and, let’s face it, there isn’t much that separates the pair of selfish, sexist pigs, is there?

There’s more heartache in store for Karen, who finally realised that Joe never loved her and had only been using her to get at Mike. Karen finally discovered her conscience (down the back of the sofa, probably) and confessed to Mike what she and Joe had been up to.

Mike made her sign a confession and confronted Joe about the bogus company he’d set up. ”Arctec? Do you think I’m stupid? That’s an anagram of Carter.” Joe looked amazed – not least because Mike knew what the word ‘anagram’ meant.

Karen caught up with Joe as he was clearing out of the flat. ”You never loved me, did you?” she sobbed. ”Let’s just say you were enjoyable,” he sneered.

Well, what does Karen expect when she advertises her services on the gents’ wall in the Rovers?

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

Pot Luck

‘MAKING a change from the occasional mouldy boot and rubber tyre, a fisherman in France has hauled up an interesting find – 66 pounds of cannabis.

Fishing on the river Yvette, on the southern edge of Paris, the fisherman spotted something in the waters. He threw in his line and snagged 28 bags of cannabis resin.

”Perhaps it was the usual hiding place for a drug trafficker,” a local policeman said.

”With the heat, the [water] level had fallen. There was only about 50 cm of water,” he said. ”It’s very rare that people bring in this sort of commodity in such quantities.”

But very tasty, all the same. ‘

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

Nice Ass

‘PROVING how versatile a donkey can be in isolated parts of the Balkans, comes the story of a new donkey taxi service.

Tourists getting off a Greek bus at the new Qafe Bote border crossing with Albania were less than enthralled by the local taxi service: a donkey with a taxi sign tied to its head.

Albanian villagers have started the novel taxi service at the new crossing to help travellers pass the 1.5-mile mountain path between the two Balkan neighbours. The price is two euros.

‘During weekends and holidays people come loaded with luggage. On those days I make six runs,’ said Avni Mullai, 50, a donkey enthusiast. ‘

Posted: 19th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Go Forth And Multiply

‘NORRIS McWhirter has much to answer for. In a bid to enter the famed Guinness Book of Records, a man from the United Arab Emirates has just married an 18-year-old bride of good childbearing stock.

The suitably named Dad Mohammad Murad, 53, has already been married many times – he has three other current wives, four dead wives and four divorced.

Together these wives have presented him with a total of 63 children. And he’s going for the magical ton.

”I hope to have 100 children and get in the Guinness Book of Records,” said Murad, who thanked a diet of fish and dates for his stamina.

Murad has 30 sons and 33 daughters.’

Posted: 18th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Shark Attack

‘COMEDIAN Guy Venables’ act is in trouble. He could face criminal charges over the death of what experts are calling a ”sensitive” shark.

For the sake of comedy, Venables decided it was the right time in this career to jump naked into a shark tank at Brighton’s Sea Life Centre.

The 12-year-old smooth hound shark, whose home Venables had crashed, was not best pleased and promptly died from shock.

”This variety of shark is susceptible to stress. We are very concerned he died as a result of seeing Mr Venables jumping into the tank,” said Lisa Handscomb of the Sea Life Centre.

”The shark is being examined by our biological services team and if it is found that he died from stress, we will prosecute Mr Venables for criminal damage.” ‘

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

Room For Complaint

‘BASIL Fawlty is alive and well and living at the Villa Pinaccia hotel, on the Italian island of Venotene. Going under the name Anello Aiello, Basil locked up guests after they complained that their rooms were not being cleaned properly.

”Right, that’s it!” said Aiello. ”I’ve had enough. Nobody is leaving.” He then locked the doors and stopped anyone from escaping his allegedly dirty hotel. The hotel’s 80 guests were only freed when police arrived. ‘

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

Car Trouble

‘A CAR thief in Norway has been doing a roaring trade since January – taking the cars he has stolen to junkyards to collect a deposit of 1,000 kroner (£90), paid by the government when a worn-out car is consigned to scrap.

Police say the man collected £7,270 after stealing 83 cars and taking them to various authorised junkyards in the south-east of the country before he was caught. ”I have no information about what condition the cars were in when he stole them,” Arne Huuse, head of the national crime police said. ”But they are wrecks now.”

In Norway, car owners pay a deposit when they bring a car into the country, which they get back when they junk the car – but the rules are now likely to be tightened. Police will now start investigating anyone who has junked two or three cars a year to collect the deposit. ‘

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

Gas Leak

‘TRAGEDY almost struck on board a Norwegian air ambulance, when the crew ignored the smell of a fire because they thought it was just the patients farting.

The cabbage-like smell turned out to be a blaze near the front window of the aircraft, caused by burning wire insulation.

”Everyone who has flown knows that gases arise that need to slip out. It isn’t unusual that this happens to our patients,” said ambulance chief Geir-Arne Soerensen of Air Transport.

The co-pilot eventually managed to bring the plane down, where an emergency evacuation took place.’

Posted: 12th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Nanny From Hell

‘POOR Ashley’s not very good at picking women. First he marries Weatherfield’s very own open-all-hours leisure centre (Maxine), then he goes and hires the nanny from The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

”One across…Someone who cooks rabbits (5,6)”

Claire seemed a nice enough girl (although she’s ginger so that should have set off warning bells), but is now showing all the signs of being one tube stop away from Barking.

Ashley has found himself the talk of the Street after someone phoned in a radio dedication to ”Ashley, from his girlfriend Claire,” and then placed a ‘Congratulations on your engagement’ notice in the paper.

”He’s moved a bit fast,” muttered Norris in the Rovers, hitching his bosom up, like Les Dawson in drag.

Ashley went round to confront Claire, who broke down in tears and admitted that her ex boyfriend Gary was ”the possessive type” and he’d done things like this in the past. Ashley promised to sort him out and put a comforting butcher’s arm around her. What odds on a Christmas-ratings wedding eh?

It’s unlikely Karen and Joe will make it that long in the relationship stakes. Not least because pictures of his leaving party were in the tabloids last week. Joe’s dastardly plan to take over Mike’s factory are working out well and Karen is having a serious crisis of conscience.

So far, Joe’s managed to swindle Mike out of £50,000, cancel the company credit cards and ensure that the insurance company won’t pay out for the stock he stole. Mike is convinced that his business rival, Naveen, is behind it all.

”I don’t know what I’d do without you Joe,” Mike told him. Be fifty grand better off for a start.

Todd is another one making very costly mistakes in his life. This week he decided to throw away his chances of going to university by walking out of his A-levels. He’s also throwing away the chances of seeing 21 as, when Eileen found out, she went absolutely mental.

”You’ve ruined your life for a schoolgirl so stupid she got herself knocked up at 12,” she ranted, referring to Todd’s girlfriend, Sarah Louise.

Someone should point out to Eileen that if she’s giving out awards for female stupidity, getting knocked up twice by two different men who then ran away should qualify her for a bronze medal at least.

Posted: 12th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Your Town Needs Loo

‘RECRUITING people in toilets is usually termed cottaging and, as George Michael knows, tends to be frowned upon by the authorities.

But a small town in Germany is doing exactly that – trying to enlist citizens by putting up adverts in the university loos.

Giessen, which has a population of 73,000, also has 27,000 students, most of whom are registered at their parents’ address.

The town wants them to register as Giesseners so it will qualify for more help from federal and state governments and they will be entitled to benefits that come with citizenship .

The slogan on the posters says: ”Those who stay sitting too long go out empty (handed).”

No bad thing when leaving the toilet, you might think.’

Posted: 11th, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Dead Online

‘YOU’RE never to old to learn how to use a computer – except, of course, if you’re dead.

But even that needn’t be a stumbling block in Italy, where a man dead for 30 years has just received a cheque from the government to help him buy a computer.

Innovations minister Lucio Stanca wrote to Nicola Valeriani: ”Dear Nicola, this year, to congratulate you on coming of age and to mark this special occasion, I want to congratulate you with a special gift.

”As part of an initiative by my ministry known as the ‘Fly with Internet’ project you have been selected to receive a grant to help you get on-line and buy a new PC.”

Valeriana, who died in 1974, would have been 116 this year – not 16 as the ministry computer had assumed.’

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

Briefs Encounter

‘IT’S hard to know which is more embarrassing – trying to rob a shop with a pair of Y-fronts over your head or failing so miserably.

But police in Gwent are on the look-out for a man who bungled a robbery of a Spar shop in Blackwood, south Wales, when his underpants slipped over his eyes at a vital moment and then almost knocked himself out by yanking the cash till so hard that it hit his head and knocked him to the floor.

Police said the man, who then tried a second unsuccessful robbery at a nearby shop, fled empty-handed – still with the blue and white briefs over his face and an injury to his left eye.

”They apparently had two holes cut in them for him to see through,” a police spokesman said. ”But this does not seem to have been the best prepared attempt.”’

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

Missing, Presumed Dead

‘FEW of us bother to look at all the names on a town’s memorial to its war dead.

And for years George O’Key failed to spot a certain name of the list. The name? George O’Key.

The inscription on a plaque in Middlesbrough was meant to be the name of George’s brother, who died in Burma. George, 83, was surprised at what he saw.

“I’ve never studied the memorial in detail before,” he said. “All these years I’ve been wandering round the town while it listed me as dead.”’

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

Summer Loving

‘SUMMER’S here and it’s clear that the sap is rising for several of the Street’s residents.

”Didn’t you use to be Ivor Notion?”

Katy is still actively pursuing Martin. For his birthday she brought him a watch, ”I can’t possibly take this,” he told her, probably because it came free with her latest My Little Pony.

Later Martin confessed to Curly that there was a ”young girl” interested in him and if it wasn’t for her age (and the fact she looks like a startled gremlin) he’d jump at the chance.

Dev has come back from India a transformed man – like David Essex on acid, he’s growling about how we’re all just put on this planet to like fall in love and treat people the way we’d want to be treated.

He proposed to Sunita on their first date, which not surprisingly, startled her somewhat. ”You’d make a great wife,” the old romantic told her.

Tracy has also started a new bizarre relationship. Tracy likes to think of herself as a lily of the field (although in reality she’s more like a stinging nettle) and wants to laze about on her not inconsiderable bottom, doing nothing all day.

Although to be fair, to achieve this goal, she’s prepared to give it her all. Tracy’s started dating Blanche’s boyfriend, Wally (aka Bernard Cribbins in a blazer).

On discovering that he’s a multi-millionaire with a mansion and swimming pool, she kindly agreed to go round and keep an old man company.

For obvious reasons, Tracy tried to keep the fact she was dating Bernard Cribbins quiet but you have to get up pretty early to keep Deirdre’s interfering beak out of your business.

Not having a life herself, she was determined to discover where her daughter had spent the night. On arriving at Wally’s house, she discovered the pair on a sun lounger.

”You money-grabbing little tart,” screeched Deride, neck veins out in full force. ”Well, it takes one to know one,” retorted Tracy. The pair ended up falling into the pool in a quality WWF wrestle.

The fight ended with Wally’s wife unexpectedly turning up and demanding to know not only what was going on but also why her husband the gardener was pretending that he lived in the house.

Poor Tracy, she’s learning the hard way that you have to kiss a lot of randy old goats to find your Peter Stringfellow.

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

Get Ahead – Get A Hat

‘IN a move that epitomises the best excesses of rock’n’roll, Bono, lead singer of U2, has just spent £1,000 to fly his favourite trilby hat from London to Italy.

First, a cab picked up the hat and drove it to Gatwick airport. The hat then took up its own seat in first class on a flight to Bologna.

At destination, the hat was picked up and chauffeured to Modena, where Bono was playing in concert.’

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

Stag Shagged

‘JUSTIN Scheidt had a stag night that he can never forget.

Following incidents at the Showgirl III nightclub in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Scheidt clams he has been left unable to consummate his marriage.

The story goes that pole dancers took it in turns to slide down a 6ft pole onto the groom’s groin.

Said club owner Bub Butler: ”The girls are told they can’t slide down the pole onto anybody.” ‘

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

Fangs A Lot

‘DENTISTS are just about the least popular members of any society. But news from Italy casts them in a new light.

The country’s Order of Dentists estimates that there are over 45,000 unqualified people working as dentists in Italy.

A survey has revealed that plumbers, traffic wardens and even tailors have been spotted rooting around in people’s mouths.

The question, however, is not how these people get away with it, but why on earth they would want to do it…’

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

The Pits

‘MARKETING types who talk of breast men, leg men and, in this post-Bridget Jones world, bottom women now have another group: armpit lovers.

In response to being called the armpit of America, the town of Battle Mountain, Nevada, is staging a contest to find the most beautiful armpit.

Other competitions will include a trial to see who is the quickest with an anti-perspirant spray and a ”sweat T-shirt” contest.

Posted: 2nd, June 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Looking A Million

‘AS Les continues to languish in jail, Emma and Curly are serving their own marital prison sentence – one where you don’t even get time off for good behaviour. Emma has been promoted to Inspector (which means she’ll be able to corrupt even bigger cases) but on the condition that they leave Weatherfield in case Les causes a stir when he gets out.

”What do you see in me, you great hunk of man?” ”Is someone there..?”

Not surprisingly, Curly isn’t too keen on the idea. ”You’ve always put your career before us,” he shouted, clutching baby Ben. ”It’s either us or the job.” Unfortunately it was Curly who was left with nothing, as Emma locked him out of the house – leaving him with nothing but the clothes he stood up in and Jack Duckworth for comfort.

As tabloid readers will know, Curly is set to leave the Street and in a case of life imitating art, I predict it won’t be long before he puts his acting skills to proper use and becomes a real-life supermarket shelf-stacker.

Steve is also desperately trying to sort out his love life. He’s determined to win back Karen, despite the fact that she’s now moved in with Joe and refuses to speak to him. ”I didn’t want it to end this way,” Steve told his sobbing wife. Steve should hang in there, though, as it’s surely only a matter of time before Joe’s get-rich-quick scheme comes to a very messy end. If Steve’s really lucky, Joe will get to share a cell with Les Battersby.

The path of true love is proving to be smoother for teenagers Sarah Lou and Todd. They’re planning on moving in together in Oxford, although they’ve yet to share the joyous news with their parents. However, as the only revision Todd seems to have done consists of sitting in the caff with a plate of chips and an open folder, they may not have to bother.

After being dumped by Dev, Tracey Luv has decided that love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and the way to happiness lies with an 80-year-old millionaire called Wally. Wally is Blanche’s new boyfriend; or rather he was until Tracey discovered that he’s a millionaire several times over.

”I could never resist a beautiful woman,” purred Wally, as Tracey leaned over him in a very tight top. Which just goes to show how senile the old goat must be. Blanche catches Tracey at Wally’s house next week and the pair launch into a comedy catfight. Jerry Springer, eat your heart out.

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

Almost A Stiff

‘A ROMANIAN man has been saved from almost certain death – by a prolonged erection.

Mihai Tancau suffered concussion and several fractures after a road crash and was taken to hospital for treatment.

But doctors failed to notice that his spinal cord was also damaged – until they started to investigate why he could not get rid of his erection. He was taken away for tests and the problem as diagnosed.

Doctors say the 44-year-old from Bacau would almost certainly have died had the injury not been spotted.’

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

Arrest At Last

‘IN 36 years on the force, Bombay’s assistant police sub-inspector Gangaram Rane had not made a single arrest. And, needless to say, his dismal arrest rate was the butt of his colleagues’ jokes.

Not anymore – Rane was patrolling Mumbai at night when he heard there were four armed robbers at a residential colony barely yards away the Dadar police station.

When he arrived, he found local residents had already overpowered four of the five robbers, who armed with knives, a pistol, a sword, had entered a jeweller’s shop and stolen £15,000 of jewellery.

”Though I was carrying a revolver, I was a little worried,” Rane said after his ordeal. ”But I wasn’t scared, because the people had already overpowered the robbers.

”I have managed my first arrest thanks to these brave people.”’

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