Strange But True | Anorak - Part 230

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.

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

Going Dutch

‘THE best way to beat the breathalyser is by not drinking before you drive. Another way is to drink so much that you break the machine.

That’s what a 44-year-old Dutch man did when he was pulled over by police in Wormerveer.

When the man breathed in the machine, it initially refused to work before showing out of range. A police doctor had to give the boozed-up offender a blood test and found he was seven times over the limit.

The man, from Krommenie, claimed to have only drunk ”four beers”. He was given a 15-month driving ban, a £600 fine and a two-week suspended jail sentence.’

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

Idiot Wanted – Position Vacant

‘ANGELIKA Wedberg was desperate for a better job. Being a 30-year-old care worker in Sweden was no fun. So she considered her options and placed an advert in a Stockholm newspaper.

”I want a well-paid job,” it said. ”I have no imagination. I am anti-social, uncreative and untalented.” As a result she has received stacks of job offers, including one offering her three times her previous pay.’

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

Les Goes Down

‘LES Battersby, the Rodney King of Weatherfield, went to court this week. After telling Curly that she was going to tell the truth, Emma changed her mind at the last minute and ensured that Les was given six months at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

”It wasn’t me either”

Now it’s Emma who’s facing her own sentence, as Curly proceeds to act with self-righteous moral indignation. ”I thought you were better than that,” he sniffed. ”You’ve let me down.” Mick on the other hand is delighted. ”He got what he deserved,” he told Janice over a celebratory pint.

Kirk has vowed to clear Les’ name, which is a bit like having Forrest Gump as your legal representative.

Karen and Joe could well be seeing the inside of a prison cell soon, as their plan to defraud Mike out of his factory gets out of hand. Mike has handed over the running of Underworld to them as he attempts to bond with son Adam, who’s run away from school.

”I want it all,” Joe told Karen as he showed her round a penthouse show flat, ”together we can do it babe.” As the pair are more Terry and June than Bonnie and Clyde it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re going to end up getting caught.

Dev is back from India a changed man. To show he’s turned into a caring, sharing New Man, the wardrobe department has put him in an embroidered waistcoat and given him facial hair Catweazel would have been proud of.

Dev has decided to settle down and mend his Peter Stringfellow-like ways by marrying Sunita. He hasn’t actually mentioned this to Sunita yet, though.

Another unlikely romance developing on the Street is Martin and Katie. The middle-aged father of three and the schoolgirl are getting disturbingly close as they train together for a fun run. ”She’s a very attractive girl isn’t she?” he said to Roy. Which just goes to show how old Martin really must be – his eyesight is going. ‘

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

Thick As Thieves

‘HOLE-in-the-wall cash machines are an attractive target for thieves. But they are hard to get into.

For this reason, thieves in Calcot, Berkshire, obtained an oxyacetylene torch to aid their crime.

Having punctured the outer surface of the safe, the thieves were forced to flee empty handed – when they set fire to the cash inside. ‘

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

Shaggy Dog Story

‘DOSHA the dog is made of tough stuff. Having been hit by a car in California, the stricken hound was spotted by a local cop, who, in an attempt to alleviate unnecessary suffering, shot Dosha.

The pooch was then taken to the local animal control centre, and placed in a freezer. Two hours late, when the icebox was open, Dosha was alive and well.

Aside from a dose of hypothermia, she is back to normal. ‘

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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