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.

Vanity Case

‘HUNDREDS of nomadic West African tribesman are competing in a ”Mr Sahara” beauty pageant to celebrate the end of the rainy season.

The Wodabe men in Niger have performed a dance and showed off the whiteness of their teeth and eyes to compete for the honour of being selected as the most beautiful man by women.

The festival, near Agadez, is held because the Wodabe value male beauty and are taught from an early age to look into mirrors to consider their appearance.

Nomadic they certainly are, as several members of the tribe seem to have wandered as far as the UK where they mostly can be found presenting children’s TV.’

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

Cell-By Date

‘CARST Kijlstra, 32, from Assen, Holland, was hungry.

So he went shopping to his local Eddah in order to to buy some veal for dinner, but the assistant would not serve him because he wasn’t carrying a basket.

Mr Kijlstra explains: ”I told her I didn’t want one because it was nearly closing time. She wouldn’t listen but came back with the shop owner who told me it was the rules.

”I said: ‘Don’t be ridiculous’, left the money on the counter and went home. I was preparing dinner when a police car came to take me to the police station. They put me in jail like a criminal, for half an hour.”

Mr Kijlstra was only released when he agreed to pay a £95 fine and not visit the shop for 12 months.’

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

Boyfriend In A Coma

‘THERE’S not much Christmas cheer going around in Weatherfield at the moment as an attempted murder plot finds Martin lying in a coma while his family squabble over his still warm body.

A nation mourns…

Martin almost paid the ultimate price for love this week as Katy’s younger brother Craig employed schoolboy logic to get rid of the aging Romeo.

“If Martin weren’t around, things could be like they were before, couldn’t they, Dad?” Craig asked his father.

Unfortunately, an alcoholic sacked mechanic who scrapes his knuckles on the floor as he walks really isn’t the best person to ask advice from.

“Have I told you how proud I am of you?” Tommy told Craig, “No? Well me dad never told me neither and it done me no harm.”

Craig has moved in with his dad, ostensibly as a protest against his mother, but in reality it’s to make sure his father doesn’t choke to death on his own vomit in the night.

Since getting fired from the garage, Tommy’s new job seems to be to try and out-drink George Best into an early grave. Craig thought that if Martin were to “disappear” then all his family problems would be over.

He’s clearly been watching too many episodes of The Sopranos, however, as he’s taken the term rather too literally by cutting Martin’s brake cables (which of course all well brought up Northern boys know how to do).

Craig panicked when he saw his sister get into the car and told his father what he’d done. Tommy jumped into his car and chased after them.

But Martin, seeing an irate alcoholic closing in on him in his rear view mirror, especially one who’d threatened to kill him just hours earlier, declined to stop.

Martin dropped Katy off to do some Christmas shopping and carried on his way to work, complete with ginger maniac on his tail at 80 miles an hour. Martin’s car plunged into a wall and Tommy only just managed to drag him to safety before the car exploded in a fireball.

By the time the ambulance arrived, Martin was in a coma (although to be fair it took people some time to realise as there’s actually very little difference). He was taken to Weatherfield General – the world’s smallest hospital, consisting of only one bed – and soon his bedside was surrounded by a Jerry Springer style collection of ex wives, girlfriends, step-children and in-laws.

David and Sarah Louise tried to get Katy removed from the ward on the grounds that she was “nothing to me dad,” but for once Gail acted almost like a reasonable human being and insisted that Katy stay.

Tommy and Craig meanwhile were taken to the police station to give a statement about what happened.

Tommy had persuaded his son to lie and say that they’d just happened to spot Martin’s brakes leaking fluid. Tommy may live to regret that decision, however, as later this week Katy goes to the police with her suspicions that her father deliberately tried to kill Martin.

And with a whole pub full of witnesses who heard Tommy telling Martin he was going to “get him,” it’s not looking too good.

Elsewhere on the Street, Dev is trying to persuade Maya to move in with him, having gone out for about three weeks – which in Soap Land is quite a long time.

Maya isn’t the cool, collected solicitor that Dev thinks she is though: she’s lost her job for sleeping with a client, is tens of thousands of pounds in debt and he later discovers that she’s also a shoplifter.

Sunita for one will be pleased when Dev discovers the truth, as she’s been getting more and more jealous of Maya. Which is not really the behaviour you’d expect from a woman due to get married in two weeks.

Ciaran too is showing less than enthusiasm for his trip down the aisle. Betty walked into the back room of the Rovers recently to discover Ciaran and Bev locked in a passionate embrace.

Well, I suppose Christmas is traditionally the time to help out the lonely elderly people.’

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

Jingle Smells

‘WHAT is the essence of Christmas?

Researchers investigating the issue have found the three ingredients for a perfect Christmas are candles, carols and mulled wine with cinnamon.

Professor Brammer, who led the research, says that combinations of experiences had a much bigger impact than any smell on its own.

”It’s called the cocktail effect, and its well known in multisensory studies,” he said. ”None of the sensations were thought of as very Christmassy on their own, but in combination it was a different story.”

Now add the smell of a damp church…’

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

Name and Shame

‘SADDAM Hussein has changed his name to ‘bring him good luck’. This is not the Saddam, so beloved by US marines, but a 27-year-old resident of Ramallah on the West Bank.

”I thought it was a bad end for him to be captured without resistance or anything, but I was relieved to get rid of my name,” Hussein said.

He said his father named him after Saddam after hearing a radio report that ”Saddam is the strongest man in Iraq”. But the name has brought only bad luck.

”I hope it will be a new start and maybe this name will bring me good luck, not bad luck like Saddam Hussein.”’

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

A Dry Wit

‘IN some part of the world alcohol is seen as the Devil’s brew.

Given the prevalence of booze-fuelled crime, this might well be a valid point.

But some counter the claim – people like Mohammed Ali bin Hj Ibrahimn, a 39-year-old import-export man from Brunei.

Trying to do his bit for those who like a tipple, Ibrahim decided to smuggle 700 cans of beer into the country.

Only he was caught and fined £5,000.

His excuse was that he had been trying to raise money to pay a fine of £5,000 he incurred two months earlier – for the same offence.’

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

Nice Drop Of Riechsling

‘ALESSANDRO Lunardelli is an Italian wine producer with a mission. He wants us to appreciate, as he does, the subtle delights and fresh bouquets of his Hitler wine.

His cause has been helped by Belgium and Germany trying to ban it. The man, who has sold Mussolini wine in Italy for years, says that the move to ban has boosted sales. “Getting sued was the best thing that could have happened.”’

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

Blessed Are The Thieves

‘A MAN who popped into a church in the Russian town of Nakhodka to get blessed for a safe journey home came out to find his £70,000 jeep had been stolen.

The man was so shocked when he left the church and realised that the jeep, along with a video camera and more than £2,000 cash he had had in the car, had disappeared that he had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

Officers said they were investigating the case but that the chances of finding the thieves are slim. Perhaps, they should start by asking the priest.’

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

Porn Again Christian

‘IF only Songs Of Praise were as much fun. German priest Frithjof Schwesig has felt the wrath of his congregation after it emerged that a video he had sent out about God’s message at Christmas in fact contained hardcore porn.

The video was sent out to 300 people in the German town of Lampoldshausen as a way of spreading the word to those who didn’t enjoy reading.

But it wasn’t just the word that was spread by the sound of it – and, when he realised his mistake, a red-faced vicar and his helpers had to rush round the village collecting the offending tapes.

Father Schwesig blamed a mix-up in the copying factory in Munich, saying that only half a dozen people actually saw the film.

”The project has received enormous publicity through the mix-up – even if that wasn’t the original idea,” he said.

“God moves in mysterious ways, and best of all, the people who ordered the porn now have our religious films about Jesus in their video recorders.”

We bet they’re thrilled.’

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

Souled Out

‘SELLING your soul is not as easy as you might have thought.

A Dutchman, who is offering a ”soul in good condition with no serious damage” on eBay, has so far not received a single bid.

The man from the Enschede region in Holland made the offer after saying it would be ”an ideal and unusual Christmas gift” and, with a starting price of only £6, it is hard to disagree.

Any successful bidder before the auction finishes has to sign a contract and seals it with blood to complete the soul transfer.’

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

Nativity Play

‘SARAH Lou and Todd are really getting into the spirit of Christmas. Unfortunately they’re not tucking into turkey and lashing out on presents: Sarah Lou is pregnant and penniless.

”Have you nicked my Busted CD?”

If she chooses to keep the baby, she may well be living in a manger. Todd is delighted that he’s going to be a father but that’s more to do with the fact that he thinks it proves he’s not gay (because that worked so well for Oscar Wilde, didn’t it?)

On hearing the news, Gail stormed round the flat and tried to persuade Sarah to get rid of it. “Put yerself and Bethany first for once,” she urged. Sarah will have more to worry about soon, as granny Brenda is getting progressively madder.

Rumour has it that she ends up on a church roof with Bethany on Christmas Day. Well that’s one way to get closer to God.

Sarah Lou’s pregnancy has also caused Martin and Katy to split up. David and Craig have set out to wreck their relationship and for a pair of 12-year-old boys, they’ve done a remarkably good job.

David has managed to ensure that Katy saw Gail and Martin together as much as possible. He ran round to their flat and dragged Martin over the road, telling him that his mum was in tears and needed him.

Martin grabbed the eternal cardie and ran straight over the road, leaving Katy, understandably miffed as he’d promised her a top night out: probably a Busted concert.

Katy went storming round to Gail’s. “It’s over,” she screamed at Martin. “I’m going back to my mum’s,” she said before stropping off and gathering up her schoolbooks and Sindy dolls.

“She’s got a lot of growing up to do,” remarked Martin. Really? Who’d have thought a 17-year-old had some growing up to do?

Maria and Candice have had a teenage falling out too. Nick has decided that Candice isn’t the right girl for him and dumped her. Which is bad enough but he’s now dating her flatmate Maria.

Some of you may remember that Nick and Maria ran off to Canada together a year or so ago. But a year is a long, long time in Soap World.

“Are you sure she’s the one Nick?” worried Gail. “Remember what happened last time?” Nick, bless him, hasn’t been gifted with a lot upstairs. I’d be surprised if he can remember what happened that morning.

When Candice discovered that her ex boyfriend was dating her supposed best mate she smacked Maria in the face, wiping off her self-satisfied smirk.

“Thanks Candice,” muttered Nick. “You’ve just confirmed for me that I’ve made the right choice.” Indeed – he’s finally found someone that’s as big a girl as he is.’

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

Bootleg Beetles

‘THEY have got a new, and interesting door policy at Berlin’s Sage Club – clubbers who arrive for the weekly Housebug Party have to eat a crispy fried beetle before they are allowed in.

According to the club’s management, the edible insects (which are a Thai speciality) haven’t put many off going to the club and some guests have even asked for more.

”They’re a bit crunchy,” said one guest, “but they taste just like popcorn.” That bad, eh?’

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

Ropeless Case

‘WHEN staff on a bungee platform above the Waikato River on New Zealand’s central North Island wouldn’t let a 30-year-old man jump, it was not the kind of rebuff he was going to take lying down.

Instead, he barged past them and dived 154 feet into the river – without a rope attached to his leg. The impact with the water knocked the unidentified man unconscious, but he was quickly rescued and flown to nearby Taupo hospital.

Constable Tracey Haggart said police had no plans to charge the man who was said to have consumed ”a small amount of alcohol”. One dreads to think what he gets up to when he’s really drunk.’

Posted: 8th, December 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

A Bum Rap

‘DETECTIVES in Darwin, Australia, are on the hunt for an office burglar who leaves prints of his or her bottom on the victim’s photocopier.

Investigating officer Sen-Sgt Pollock says that in the past he has investigated crimes where the villain has left ”calling card” photocopies of their face but never their backsides.

An identity parade is being prepared…’

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

Kicking Up A Stink

‘WHEN New Zealander Michael Gargan arrived at the AA driving test centre in New Plymouth, New Zealand, he was in good spirits.

But after waiting 25 minutes, the examiner told him that because his car stank he would not be taking his test.

Mr Gargan says the tester told him she could not take the test because ”there is an odour in the car” and ”I am wearing a polyester shirt and it picks up hair”.

Gargan even offered to pay for her dry-cleaning bill, but was refused.

He was duly made to pay for the test he never took.’

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

It’s Behind You

‘PANTO season has come early to Coronation Street – in the past week we’ve had men in drag (Bet/Liz), over-the-top villains (Cecil’s son Philip), and unlikely heroes (yer man Jim McDonald).

”Here! I’ve only used it a couple of times”

And that’s to say nothing of a plot so implausible even Baywatch would reject it.

To recap, Jim had broken out of prison to find Liz because he didn’t trust her and thought she was having an affair. With the help of Steve and Karen, he found her and she managed to convince him that she wasn’t having an affair (even though she actually had).

Jim and Liz decided to run away together to America via Northern Ireland in a stolen speedboat but – would you believe it – they happened to bump into Ashley, Claire and Joshua who were also in a speedboat and were drowning.

“We’ll have to turn back, Jim,” cried Liz, more concerned about what the salt water was doing to her hair then anything else. “Oh well!” said Jim. “It was good while it lasted, Liz.” No Jim, trust us, it wasn’t.

Jim was led away in handcuffs while Liz went off to Brighton to start a new life with Bet. As the other half of a drag act no doubt.

Bet was suffering from heartache of her own as her fiancé, Cecil Newton, had died at the altar, just as he was about to marry her. He was probably envisioning his wedding night and realised he was better off dead.

Ashley and Claire have got Christmas Wedding written all over them though. They returned to Weatherfield after their Blackpool trip noticeably closer. “People will be thinking we’re a couple,” laughed Ashley nervously.

Poor Ashley is still caught up in the memory of dead wife Maxine. Let her go Ash! She’s moved onto bigger and better things, love, not least a series of adverts for Asda.

Dev-id Essex has also got a new lady in his life – Maya, the lawyer who put the ‘solicit’ into solicitor. Maya has revealed that she’s not the together career woman Dev thought she was by getting fired for having an affair with a married client. She then revealed that she had thousands of pounds worth of debts.

Dev took it all in his stride however. “Get dressed,” he told her. “You’re moving in with me.”

Award for loony of the week though has to go to Brenda Ferns. Brenda is playing an increasingly large and unstable part in the lives of Bethany, Sarah Lou and Todd.

Sarah let Brenda take Bethany home for the night, where she proceeded to tell the two-year-old some very interesting bedtime stories. “And all the fornicators and the liars will burn in the hell fires of damnation forever,” she read before kissing her granddaughter goodnight on the cheek.

Brenda ‘forgot’ to take Bethany home the next day and when she did finally turn up she launched into a tirade against the “filth and sin” that her grand daughter was being subjected to, living with an unmarried couple.

Sarah Lou threw her out of the house and so Brenda’s developed a very nice line in lurking around corners, a la Tricky Dickie.

Poor Sarah Lou’s set to get another nasty surprise later this week too when she discovers that she’s pregnant. Again. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: “To get pregnant by accident once is a misfortune, have it happen twice and you should get yourself on Trisha.”’

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

Claus Out

‘BELGIAN priest, Daniel Beernaert, 68, has refused to put up posters advertising a Christmas carol concert because they include the image of Santa Claus.

”I’ll never welcome Santa Claus in my church. He is a pagan symbol. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ and not Santa Claus,” he said.

The organisers even wanted a Santa Claus to walk around in the church during the concert. Santa Claus is a commercial symbol that has nothing to do with Christmas.

”If people want to join it, it’s all right, but not in my church.”

Or God’s, for that matter.’

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

Family Ties

‘THE name Corleone will long be associated with the clan featured in the Godfather books and films.

But rather than being proud of it, some people from the Sicilian town that spawned the name are not happy.

“We intend to change the name to another that does not completely betray the historical traditions of the town,” says one campaigner.

But there is opposition, particularly from the town’s mayor, Nicolo Nicolosi, who calls the whole thing “madness”.

Until he gets an offer he cannot refuse, that is.’

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

Family Ties

‘THE name Corleone will long be associated with the clan featured in the Godfather books and films. But rather than being proud of it, some people from the Sicilian town that spawned the name are not happy.

“We intend to change the name to another that does not completely betray the historical traditions of the town,” says one campaigner.

But there is opposition, particularly from the town’s mayor, Nicolo Nicolosi, who calls the whole thing “madness”. Until he gets an offer he cannot refuse, that is.’

Posted: 1st, December 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

The Flaccid Blue Line

‘HUNDREDS of Danish policemen are being given free lessons on how to improve their sex lives because the stress of the job is affecting their performance in the sack.

In the New Year, 500 policemen in southern Jutland will get sex advice, provided by the Danish police federation. Police spokesman Arne Sogaard said: ‘An unbelievable number of policemen have, we discovered, problems with their relationships because of a daily routine that constantly involves taking positions on serious issues.

‘There is no doubt this also affects their sex lives, which in turn rebounds on effectiveness at work.”

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

Cheque Mate

‘AUTHORITIES in the US are looking for a 35-year-old man called Mike Mikitka in connection with several recent bank robberies, warning the public that he may be dangerous.

However, it’s certainly not his brainpower that will overwhelm those who come into contact with him – he was identified after holding up a bank by writing a demand note on the back of a personal cheque.

The cheque carried his name, address and bank account number.

Although the suspect didn’t show a weapon, the FBI’s Robert Smith said Mikitka is ‘not in his right state of mind’ because of possible drug use.’

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

Willy Won’t He

‘A MAN who showed off his newly pierced penis to residents of an old folks’ home did not break the law, prosecutors in Italy have ruled.

They threw out a case brought by managers of the residential home in Trento against the employee, ruling that it was not an offence to show off a piercing even if it was on a person’s private parts.

They said that as long as it was not displayed in public and everyone was over the age of 14 it was not a punishable offence.’

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

Running Of The Cows

‘THE Welsh town of Cowbridge is planning to mark its 750th anniversary with a replica of the famous Pamplona bull run – except with heifers.

Hundreds of young men gather in Pamplona in northern Spain on the first day of the festival of San Fermin every year and, traditionally dressed in white shirts and red belts, run through the streets ahead of bulls.

A similar event is being considered for Cowbridge, which celebrates its 750th birthday next March.

Mike Meredith, one of those involved with the Cowbridge 750 Group, said: ”We are restoring the ancient office of town crier which has been moribund for 15 years.

”One of the chaps who is going to compete for the post, Simon Fowler, came up with the notion that while Pamplona has a bull run, why couldn’t Cowbridge have a cow run?

”It is an intriguing idea, but cows are fairly slow. It may be a non-starter.”’

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

Back From The Dead

‘AS Christmas time approaches, it’s nice to see the producers doing so much to help struggling pensioners.

”I knew I should have turned myself in instead”

Out of the kindness of their hearts (I can’t see what other reason they’d have), they’ve ensured that Bet Lynch and Liz McDonald won’t go cold and hungry this Yuletide by bringing their characters back from the Twilight world of adverts for support tights and fitness videos.

Bet and Liz were reunited at the Newton and Ridley Former License Holders Reunion in (where else?) Blackpool. “I’d know that voice anywhere,” shrieked Bet as she emerged from a toilet cubicle where she’d been etching her name and number on the wall.

The two quickly caught up and realised that nothing much had changed apart from the amount of Polyfilla they now need on a daily basis.

Liz revealed that she’d had a one-night stand with her boss, Laurie (who’d clearly robbed Jimmy Saville’s dressing room the amount of gold he was wearing) but that her heart belonged to Jim.

“You can’t imagine what it’s like being without a man for years and years,” she wailed to Bet. Oh yes she can, Liz. Jim had heard rumours that Liz was playing away (indeed her away form would put Arsenal’s to shame) and broke out of prison to confront her, roping in Steve and Karen for the ride.

“I’m sorry to be puttin’ yer to so much trouble, so I am,” he told a fuming Karen in the car up to Blackpool. Jim shouldn’t be too concerned, however, as trouble is Karen’s middle name (along with “money back guarantee”).

Bet was also having trouble with matters of the heart when millionaire Cecil Newton (of Newton and Ridley fame) proposed marriage to her.

“We’re not getting any younger Bet,” he told her, winning this week’s prize for stating the bleedin’ obvious. “How about it?” Bet, realising that leopardskin marquees don’t grow on trees is seriously considering his offer, much to Cecil’s son Philip’s horror.

“She’s nothing but a money-grabbing harlot who’ll suck you dry.” Which is, we suspect, exactly why Cecil’s keen to marry her. Philip hired a private investigator to take pictures of Bet and of course, this being the wonderful world of soap, happened to picture her in a compromising clinch with Jim McDonald.

Bet had gone to warn Jim, who was hiding out in Fred Elliot’s caravan, that Ashley was on his way. Bet and Jim fled down the pier just as a police car was making its way in the opposite direction.

“Quick! “hissed Bet. “Kiss me.” Yer man Jim duly obliged. “Blimey!” said Bet. “You’ve learnt some tricks in jail.”

Back in Weatherfield, the mighty Blanche has returned from wherever it is that Vampires go on holiday. On hearing that her granddaughter was carrying Roy Cropper’s child, she wasn’t backwards at coming forward.

“No way!” she screeched. “No way is my great grandchild being brought up by a bloke who looks like he should be crayoning somewhere and another bloke in a dress.”

Blanche – we salute you.’

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

Choc Horror

‘ONE hundred staff at the Bank of Scotland’s offices in Edinburgh were evacuated after a hold up – by a chocolate Santa.

The offending article was picked up by an X-ray machine in the post room and string on its wrappers mistaken for wires.

The building was evacuated but luckily the sender of the chocolate was tracked down before bomb squad staff could destroy it.

”Everyone is jumpy these days,” an employee said, “and I think everyone is very aware of the need for high security. Mind you, we’d have thought whoever was checking the X-rays would have recognised Santa.”’

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