Anorak

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.

It Takes Allsorts

‘FOLLOWING the story about the boy with his finger in the dyke, comes a tale of policeman Simon McEvoy.

Upon smelling gas leaking from a pipe in Oldham, McEvoy plugged the fissure with a Liquorice Allsort sweet.

”I tried a coconut allsort, but it didn’t fit,” says McEvoy. ”Then I tried a liquorice one and it as a perfect fit.” ‘

Posted: 20th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


All’s Wells That Ends Well

‘RESIDENTS of Tunbridge Wells have been asking themselves who the masked man is who’s been protecting the citizens of that fair town.

A man in a mask and brown cape first came to the rescue a few weeks ago, when he saved a woman from a gang of louts. The would-be victim told the local paper, the Kent and Sussex Courier, how ”a masked man rushed past me, swept in, broke up the commotion and ran off”.

More recently, the same hero returned a lost purse and swung from a rope to rescue a man from another gang of local ne’er-do-wells.’

Posted: 19th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Detached Retina

‘A FILM company in San Francisco is looking to brighten up its reception area by recruiting a person who can not only answer the phones and do a bit of filing but can play the piano as well.

Retina has advertised the job, which pays about £9 an hour, on the San Francisco Conservatory of Music website – and is expecting fierce competition for the post.

”It’s a new business and the owner thought it would be nice to have some music going,” said interim receptionist Meg Lopez.’

Posted: 16th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Welsh Auction

‘The Welsh town of Aberystwyth has gone under the hammer – and fetched only £22.

That was the top bid from visitors to online auction site, eBay, who were invited to bid for a seaside town that’s ”in a good condition”, ”can smell slightly” but where ”locals are occasionally a problem”.

It works out at 0.2p a person for the town’s 11,000-strong population.

A spokeswoman for eBay said the prank auction had probably been put up by a disgruntled visitor. It has since been taken down.’

Posted: 15th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jumbo Diet

‘EVEN celebrity dieters like Geri Halliwell and Kate Winslet would be hard-pressed to compete with a 39-year-old elephant called Koala who has lost a staggering half a tonne after being put on a diet.

Staff at Rio de Janeiro zoo in Brazil have limited Koala to a paltry 150 kilos of food per day – with no bread or peanuts – for the past four months.

She will stay on the diet until she has lost another half tonne and is down to only four tonnes.

Valdir Ramos Junior said: ‘Her thighs were too big and her waist was too thick. But it wasn’t only for beauty purposes that we decided to put her on a diet. She was too fat and her hamstrings were suffering.”

Posted: 14th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


It’s Life, Jim

‘WANTED: US mental health group seeks interpreter who can speak Klingon.’

It’s true – officials at a facility that treats mentally ill patients in Multnomah County, Oregon, are looking for someone who is familiar with the Star Trek language to help communicate with patients.

‘There are some cases where we’ve had mental health patients where this was all they would speak,’ said county official, Franna Hathaway.

Although created for Star trek, Klingon was designed to have a consistent grammar, syntax and vocabulary and is considered by many to be a complete language.

Officials claim they are obliged to find such patients a translator.’

Posted: 13th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Australia – Where Men Are Women

”EVEN the quietest, shyest person really comes to life,’ says make-up artist and Swinburne University of Technology lecturer Michael Schifferle. And so he does – especially if he is one of the many drag queens who have enrolled on the college’s make-up course.

‘It is a way of transforming yourself. I think there is a suppressed performer in everybody,’ Schifferle said to Reuters. ‘It is a serious art form, but it is a bit of fun too, as all make-up should be.’

And very good at hiding a three-day growth…

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Australia – Where Men Are Women

”EVEN the quietest, shyest person really comes to life,’ says make-up artist and Swinburne University of Technology lecturer Michael Schifferle. And so he does – especially if he is one of the many drag queens who have enrolled on the college’s make-up course.

‘It is a way of transforming yourself. I think there is a suppressed performer in everybody,’ Schifferle said to Reuters. ‘It is a serious art form, but it is a bit of fun too, as all make-up should be.’

And very good at hiding a three-day growth…’

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Eyes Have It

‘DAVID Platt, the boychild who shares a name with an England footballer of yesteryear and a face with Robbie Williams, is making peace with Vera.

Kirk has another thought

He did this in the manner of George Bush – and lobbed a large angry house brick, of the type found in northern streets after riots, through the window of Vera’s stone-clad hovel. And it worked.

Soon David was in Vera’s house, sharing a cup of her witches brew and warbling on about how he can hear mum Gail sobbing herself to sleep at night.

How we laughed.

But soon we were worried. Les and Kirk were hatching a comedy plot, which if it had been an egg would have been small and misshapen. And rotten.

Les was having trouble getting a character witness for his trial. So Kirk called in Swanny, a thug with a thick neck and head to have a go at Les in the Rovers.

This he did for £20. But as luck had it, when the row ensued, Les forgot to duck and got a right-hander in the eye. And then (Ho! Ho!), Kirk couldn’t pay Swanny. Bosh! Eyes a la mode for Kirk and Les.

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Geena Gees Up The Boys

‘THE handbags at dawn feud between Joe and Dev finally spilled over into violence this week, with Dev suffering terrible injuries – his hair got messed up. Joe is out of prison on probation and Dev knows that any trouble and he’ll going straight back inside so he decides to goad Joe into hitting him.

Dev oiled his way into The Rovers and sidled up to Joe, whispering in his ear just how good Geena’s pump hand really is. Not surprisingly, Joe lost it and the pair had a bit of a roll around outside the pub, causing Vera to drop her chips (surely an arrestable offence in the North?).

Geena was so horrified at her boyfriend’s street fighting skills, she promptly dumped Joe, which has made Dev a very happy shopkeeper. But in the world of soap, the path of true love is more tangled than Christine Hamilton’s hair after two weeks on Celebrity Survivor.

Dev may want Geena back, but Sunita has just realised that she’s in love with Dev herself. ”You’re my number one girl,” he purred to her while she was bent over the freezer, unpacking the Findus Cripsy Pancakes, but as usual, he meant that she is the first person he turns to when he wants someone to cover him from irate girlfriends and business associates.

Sunita shouldn’t give up hope though. Given Dev’s track record with his female employees, it’s surely only matter of time before he gets round to her.

The Hooded Claw of Coronation Street (Richard) continues to delight with his split personality performance. This week he’s gone from doing the washing-up and helping David with his homework to breaking into Audrey’s house in a bid to convince her she’s going mental.

Richard’s creditors are closing in and the only way he can see to raise the three hundred odd grand he needs by Christmas is to get power of attorney over Audrey. He’s been going into her house while she’s out and switching on the radio to make her think she’s forgotten to turn it off. If this is the best he can come up with to convince her she’s going mad, then he’s got a long way to go.

Les and Toyah had a big falling out when Les discovered that she’d used his old chair as her art project. ”It symbolises the descent of working class man,” she told the press, ”from proud worker to lazy slob.” Les took umbrage at being described in such terms and I’m not surprised – he has never done an honest day’s work in his life.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


More Pants Plots

‘THE all-pervasive influence of ‘Changing Rooms’ has even reached as far as Weatherfield. Fizz and her reluctant flatmate Toyah, have decided to redecorate their flat. ”Don’t worry, Audrah,” Fizz reassured her, ”it’ll be tasteful, like everything I do.”

The pair decided to throw a decorating party. And in true soap style, the ubiquitous ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 54’ was on the portable CD player and the cans of lager in the fridge before you could say: didn’t we have this exact plot three weeks ago in Eastenders?

Toyah invited some of her student friends (who looked suspiciously like the extras from The Rovers) and Karen made sure the party went with a bang by blowing her bingo winnings on booze.

Although of course Karen is used to being the big bang of every party. But since she’s become a married lady, it looks like she’s passing that title on to Fizz, as Fizz ended up decorating Kirk’s bedroom floor with her knickers.

And on the subject of knickers, it looks like they are about to get Steve and Joe into very big trouble. Joe persuaded Steve to go with him to steal back the order that Dev’s cousin hadn’t paid for.

But having about as much ability to burgle a building quietly as The Chuckle Brothers, it’s hardly surprising that by the end of the night, Joe was unconscious in a heap at the bottom of the stairs with the alarm blaring out into the night.

Pinky and Perky somehow managed to make it back to Weatherfield only to be told by Mike that Dev had promised to pay his cousin’s debt anyway.

If only Tricky Dicky’s financial problems were so easily solved. After a meeting with his bank manager, Richard has been given until Christmas to find the 350 grand he’s in debt by, otherwise he stands to lose everything: business, home and irritatingly smug wife.

Richard’s not unduly worried, as he explained to Gail, ”I see a lot of liquidisation of assets in the winter.” Meaning that a lot of the old dears he’s lent money too are more prone to dying in the winter months (unless he gets at them with a shovel first).

Richard’s a businessman though and he doesn’t want put all his eggs in one basket, so is formulating a back-up plan. He overheard Audrey and Emily talking in the Rovers about how their memories were getting worse and that Alzheimer’s wasn’t probably too far away. No indeed, if Richard has anything to do with it.

Posted: 13th, September 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Knickers!

‘RICHARD, being a financial advisor, always has plenty of money-making ideas up his sleeve. From stealing money off corpses to bludgeoning ex-wives over the head, he’s now moved on to stealing his own car. With creditors snapping at his heels, he came up with the bright idea of selling his car and then telling everyone it had been stolen. At this rate, by Christmas he’ll be selling baby Bethany on the Internet to the Kilshaws.

There are also cash flow problems over at the factory. Mike agreed to supply a large order of Gareth Gates Pants for Dev’s cousin and promised the girls big bonuses if they finished on time. Unfortunately for them, it turns out that Dev’s cousin is about as reliable as the stitching on an Underworld gusset and his cheque bounced. He’s clearly a brave man though: having a fuming Mike Baldwin chasing after you is one thing (he’d only be able to punch up to your knees anyway) but having twenty rabid factory girls is another.

And to make matters worse for poor Mike, it looks Karen McDonald will be asking him for her old job back. Karen’s job in a designer furniture store (think Ikea pine covered in leopard skin off-cuts from Underworld) didn’t last very long. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t hide the fact that she thought Starke was the TV partner of Hutch.

Things are looking up on the job front for Sally though. Somehow she’s managed to convince Peter to take her on at the bookies. With Aunt Sally behind the counter, his profits are going to take a nosedive. It won’t be long before she’s lecturing punters on how they should be spending their money on fish fingers for their kids and not on the 12-1 long shot at Ripon.

Ashley has come clean that is was him who defaced the plaque outside their house, changing it from ‘Balmoral’ to ‘Immoral’. I find it hard to believe; Ashley wouldn’t know how to spell ‘Immoral’.

Vera, though, is still persisting on calling her stoneclad shack ‘The Rectory’ and has even gone as far as getting Kirk to print up calling card announcing the fact. ”Who’s Jock Duckwort?” asked Betty when Vera proudly handed her a card. Vera hasn’t paid much attention to Jack in the 30-odd years they’ve been married, so I doubt she’s going to start worrying about a little thing like his name now.

Posted: 6th, September 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ave It All Maria

‘Tricky Dicky’s money worries are spiralling out of control. The bank is threatening to close in on his loan, his swanky flats are now worth slightly less than a caravan in the Ukraine and the wedding bills are piling in. Gail has agreed to re-mortgage the house for him but on hearing that the bank will only lend her £17,000, Richard knows it’s time to turn to desperate measures.

Rather than get out the shovel, which seems to be his favourite method of parting women from their money, he decides to convince Audreh that she’s going mad and get power of attorney over her money. Audreh’s grasp on reality has always been tenuous to say the least (she still maintains that she’s under 50) so it shouldn’t take too much to tip her over the edge.

Someone else who’s clearly mental is Kevin: having escaped the clutches of the Black Widow once, he’s now back for a second dose. Last week Kevin and Sally shared an intimate moment over the washing up bowl but the morning after, Sally decided it had all been a horrible mistake. ”I wish I had mistakes like that in my life,” signed Eileen when Sally whinged to her over a digestive.

But of course nothing is ever good enough for Little Miss Perfect. Sally should get down on her knees and thank God that she’s got someone who’s prepared to care for her and her two devil children and live off a diet of spaghetti hoops for the rest of their lives.

Maria knows when she’s on to a good thing, and she’s 20 years younger than Sally. The lovely hairdresser agreed to go to Canada with Nick and even Tyrone’s last minute to dash to the airport couldn’t change her mind. Something tells me that Tyrone shouldn’t give up hope though as I suspect that the charms of living with a cardboard boy will wear off soon enough.

There’s also love brewing between Fiz and Kirk. A more perfect couple it’s difficult to imagine, they’re the Krankies on acid. Shelly and Peter are also back together as Peter finally realised that his best mate Kieran was actually a member of Boyzone in disguise and kicked him out.

Ken is getting into his role as the Weatherfield Gazette’s Agony Aunt, Hermione, with alarming ease. He’ll be sporting floral smocks before long and appearing on ‘This Morning’, offering advice on the menopause. Everyone who said that Ken was an old woman are about to be proved right.

Posted: 2nd, September 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Doreen Goes Doo-Lally

‘THE Hillmans are back from honeymoon and they walk right into a Dame Shirley Porter style housing scandal. Richard is devastated to discover that a prisoners’ charity has bought the house next door to the flats he refurbished and now all the buyers have pulled out.

You’d think that Richard would be more accommodating to prisoners’ needs though, seeing as he’s probably going to be one himself by the end of the year. Richard faces financial ruin as he’s been robbing Peter (and not to mention murdering, ex wives) to pay Paul and the bank is demanding its money back.

Gail offers to re-mortgage her house to bail him out and Richard, having no other little old ladies on hand to con, has to agree. Which means that Gail is set to lose not only her husband but also her home when the truth about Richard finally comes out. There must be sixteen million people counting down the days.

Nick has persuaded Maria to leave Weatherfield for Canada (bet that was difficult) after explaining that it’s all over between him and his girlfriend. But something tells me the closest Maria will get to Canada will be the Rocky Road ice cream stall at Manchester airport as Tyrone makes a dash to declare his undying love to her.

Poor Maria, it’s a difficult choice to make: how do you choose between the missing link and an extra from Planet of The Apes?

Maxine’s mother Doreen is making quite an impression in Weatherfield. Apart from resembling the bride of Frankenstein and scaring small children, she’s also managed to catch the eye of Mike Baldwin. He decides to dump Audrah and take Doreen to an important business dinner instead.

But unfortunately the gin and the HRT patches have an adverse reaction and Doreen goes a bit mental, crying into her stuffed avocado about how she’s on the scrapheap at 45 (ahem). Doreen also decides that Maxine and Ashley need to smarten up their image and christens their house ‘Balmoral’, much to the amusement of the neighbours.

Although the fact that the Peacocks live in a house full of mentally subnormal men and vain, shallow women, it’s perfectly fitting that they chose to name their house ‘Balmoral’. ‘

Posted: 19th, August 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sofa So Good

‘IT comes to something when the biggest storyline in a soap is based around a large, inanimate object that everyone hates. No, Bet Gilroy’s not back, it’s Karen’s sofa. It’s difficult to follow (or care) about this tedious storyline but apparently Karen has spent two thousand pounds in the store she works in, on a sofa that is too big to fit into their flat.

Steve took it round to his mother’s old house, where Eileen now lives to store it. With me so far? Eileen brought the sofa in so it wouldn’t get ruined and put her one in the back yard. And – would you believe it? – the removal men that Steve called to take Karen’s sofa away only went and picked up the wrong one! It’s the sort of plot the Carry On gang would turn their noses up at on the grounds that it was too ludicrous.

And speaking of soft furnishings, Sally’s mind is all in turmoil over agreeing to let Kevin move back in. Although he’s sleeping on the sofa, the residents of Weatherfield think that they’re back together and Sally is worried that this will put off any potential mate. No, Sally, love – the fact that you’re a controlling harpy is what will do it.

Across the street, Maria seems to think she’s found the love of her life. She’s sold off all her worldly possessions in readiness for a new life in Canada with Nick ‘the brick’ Platt. But something tells me she’s not even going to make it as far as Manchester Airport. Like Stepford, no one is allowed to leave Weatherfield – unless it’s in the back of a cab – and once gone is never seen again (except once a year in panto).

Poor Shelly is going through a hard time too at the moment. Fred has promoted her to temporary manager of The Rovers, much to Gina’s annoyance. Gina, being the mature, responsible person that she is quickly set about making Shelly’s life a nightmare and finally walked out after spilling tomato juice all down Shelly’s top. Shelly’s life is about to get a whole lot worse when her boyfriend Peter’s old navy mate, Kieran, turns up, played by none other than Mr Keith Duffy, formally of Boyzone ‘fame’.

Kieran makes it very clear that he fancies Shelly and sets about trying to woo her. Let’s just hope he doesn’t offer to sing – don’t know how much more pain Shelly can take. ‘

Posted: 14th, August 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A Marriage Made In Hell

‘RICHARD and Gail’s smugness levels, in the run up to their wedding, threaten to engulf Weatherfield like an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

Gail’s hen night took place in the Rovers (surprise!) where she proceeded to torture everyone by wittering on endlessly about her perfect life with Coronation Street’s premier murderer.

Richard had arranged for her son, Nick to fly over from Canada to be there for the big day. He almost didn’t make it as he didn’t have enough money for the fare so Richard paid for his ticket. I was under the impression that as a plank of wood, he would have been able to travel for free in the hold.

Richard is also perky as he’s sold the last of his flat developments and is planning to move the Platt family into a five bedroom pad, complete with pool room to make David feel at home, and dead body under the foundations, to make him feel comfortable.

Gail and Richard’s wedding day almost doesn’t happen though, when the police turn up to question him about his ex wife’s disappearance. Patricia has been reported missing and as he was the last person to see her alive, the police take him away for some questioning. But Teflon Tricky Dicky gets off without charge.

Richard is so convinced that he’s done nothing wrong, he’s given his dead wife’s bracelet to Gail as a wedding present. Well, it wasn’t much of a lucky charm for Patricia, was it?

Unfortunately for those hoping to see Gail left stranded at the altar, you’re going to be disappointed, as the wedding goes ahead but at least it does mean that Richard lives to kill another day.

Sally is dithering over whether she should let Kevin move back in or not to help pay the bills. But as Eileen pointed out, it’s unlikely she’s ever going to find herself another man (word having got out about her ability to sap the life out of grown men) so why not settle for the hamster man?

Things are looking up for Sally though, as she’s managed to get herself some work experience in Rita’s newsagent. So hopefully she’ll be supplementing the girls’ diet of fish fingers with cola cubes and Cadburys Creme Eggs.

Karen has also landed herself a new job in an upmarket furniture shop. ”They can spot class when they see it,” she gloated to the girls at the factory on her way to her first day. More likely her new bosses could tell that with her depth of experience, she’d be invaluable in giving customers advice on hundreds of different beds and sofas.

Posted: 30th, July 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A Serious Undertaking

‘IF Norris wants to live long enough attend the next Shirley Bassey tour, he’s going to have to stop annoying Richard.

Richard finally lost his temper with Norris after he successfully persuaded Rita not to hand over her life savings.

‘I think I’m going to have to shut you up,’ growled Richard as he grabbed Norris off the street and drove him to the hammer house of horrors – where both Dougie and Patricia met their ends.

After a spot of light terrorising, Richard let a shaking Norris go. Richard has got through all his little old ladies’ savings and with the cost of the wedding building up, he’s getting desperate.

Gail let slip that Audrey had just told her that she was going to leave them everything in her will. ‘But I plan to be around for years to come,’ reassured Audrey. Not if Richard’s got anything to do with it. He’s already asked Archie the undertaker to do him a quote.

And on the subject of Archie, it seems as if he’s in demand amongst ladies of a certain, post-menopausal age.

Blanche is broken-hearted that he’s dumped her for not being able to keep her mouth shut (which would be an advantage in a younger girlfriend) and now Audrey’s asked him to take her to Gail’s wedding. Maybe it’s the eau de embalming fluid that gets them going.

Doreen, Maxine’s mum, is continuing to wreak havoc at her daughter and son-in-law’s. She’s now hired Les as a handy man (surely the biggest contradiction in terms ever), who promptly charged Ashley 60 quid for laying a lawn with chunks of turf stolen from Weatherfield Comp.

Maxine and Ashley insisted on driving Doreen home but only to find that her husband had changed the locks. If only they’d thought of it too. Having discovered that she’s got nowhere else to go, the Peacocks had no choice but to take her back in again. I suspect it won’t be long before Ashley’s pencilling in the services of Archie himself.

On the other side of the Street, Kevin the gerbil has asked to move back in with Sally and ‘the girls’. Is this man some sort of masochist? Few men escape with their lives from the clutches of the Black Widow of Weatherfield. It’s difficult to have any sympathy for one who actively chooses to go back for more.

Besides, everyone knows that gerbils can’t live on a diet of spaghetti hoops and fish fingers. ‘

Posted: 22nd, July 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Les Not be Having You

‘If Norris wants to live long enough attend the next Shirley Bassey tour, he’s going to have to stop annoying Richard. Richard finally lost his temper with Norris after he successfully persuaded Rita not to hand over her life savings.

‘I think I’m going to have to shut you up,’ growled Richard as he grabbed Norris off the street and drove him to the hammer house of horrors – where both Dougie and Patricia met their ends. After a spot of light terrorising, Richard let a shaking Norris go.

Richard has got through all his little old ladies’ savings and with the cost of the wedding building up, he’s getting desperate. Gail let slip that Audrey had just told her that she was going to leave them everything in her will. ‘But I plan to be around for years to come,’ reassured Audrey. Not if Richard’s got anything to do with it. He’s already asked Archie the undertaker to do him a quote.

And on the subject of Archie, it seems as if he’s in demand amongst ladies of a certain, post-menopausal age. Blanche is broken-hearted that he’s dumped her for not being able to keep her mouth shut (which would be an advantage in a younger girlfriend) and now Audrey’s asked him to take her to Gail’s wedding. Maybe it’s the eau de embalming fluid that gets them going.

Doreen, Maxine’s mum, is continuing to wreck havoc at her daughter and son-in-law’s. She’s now hired Les as a handy man (surely the biggest contradiction in terms ever), who promptly charged Ashley sixty quid for laying a lawn with chunks of turf stolen from Weatherfield Comp. Maxine and Ashley insisted on driving Doreen home but only to find that her husband had changed the locks. If only they’d thought of it too.

Having discovered that she’s got nowhere else to go, the Peacocks had no choice but to take her back in again. I suspect it won’t be long before Ashley’s pencilling in the services of Archie himself.

On the other side of the Street, Kevin the gerbil has asked to move back in with Sally and ‘the girls’. Is this man some sort of sadist? Few men escape with their lives from the clutches of the Black Widow of Weatherfield. It’s difficult to have any sympathy for one who actively chooses to go back for more.

Besides, everyone knows that gerbils can’t live on a diet of spaghetti hoops and fish fingers.

Posted: 19th, July 2002 | In: Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0