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.

Monkey Business

‘CANADIAN multimillionaire Phil Sprung is suing the Alberta government for the return of his poker-playing monkey, Tarzan, and three other pets seized during a 2001 raid on his Calgary ranch.

He has filed a £250,000 lawsuit for the return of macaques Tarzan and Jane, both of whom are in an Ontario wildlife park, and a female moose called Murray, who now lives in Calgary zoo.

A racoon called Rascal has sadly died since the raid.

The suit follows a decision by prosecutors to drop four charges against Mr Sprung of unlawfully possessing wildlife after a judge ruled investigators used an illegally obtained warrant.

Mr Sprung’s lawyer, Paul Brunnen, said the pets were popular with the family, and Tarzan used to play cards with people at the ranch.

‘I have seen pictures that he would play poker,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s any good at the game.’

If he wasn’t, all the more reason to get him back.’

Posted: 13th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Pole Position

‘TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD Erica Meredith has been arrested in Indianapolis for driving a car with a picture of a pole dancer painted on it.

Police also impounded the car, a 1976 Buick that belongs to Meredith’s boyfriend Keyon Johnson, charging the mother-of-two with disseminating matter harmful to minors, driving with a suspended licence and exhibition of obscene material.

Patrol officer Kevin Kerns said the painting of the dancer ”displays a theme which appeals to the prurient interest of sex”.

Meredith claims she the car is normally only used at custom car events, but she was forced to use it to drive one child to hospital because her other car wasn’t working.’

Posted: 12th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Going Backwards

‘HARPREET Devi, from Bhatinda, India, has developed a reputation as the taxi driver who goes everywhere in reverse gear.

His legend began when his car got stuck in reverse gear and he had to drive 35 miles home.

‘After dropping off some students, I backed out the car a little and found the gear lever stuck on reverse. There was no way I could release it so I drove in reverse, all the way back home. It gave me the confidence that I could really do it. That incident became an inspiration for more.’

Harpreet has been driving his taxi in reverse for the last two years and says he has covered around 7,500 miles, traveling through heavy traffic at speeds of up to 25mph.’

Posted: 9th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment (1)

Jesus Barmy

‘A NEW Year and there’s a new psycho in Weatherfield. After the much lamented demise of Tricky Dicky the Street hasn’t been the same, so it’s nice to see that Granny Brenda “the Baby Jesus made me do it” Fearns has nobly pulled on the black leatherette gloves.

Emily is never far from the scene of a crime

Brenda had been getting more and more demented as Christmas wore on. She and baby Bethany had practically moved into Weatherfield Cemetary, visiting son Neil’s grave every day. “When your mummy has a new baby, she won’t have time for you any more. You’d like to join your daddy in heaven, wouldn’t you?” the loon asked Bethany, while dangling her off a church roof.

Luckily for Bethany, Emily was on her trail. The Miss Marple of Weatherfield had quickly deduced that the first place Brenda would have taken Bethany was the church yard and set off in hot pursuit – well, once she’d put on her head scarf and buttoned up her duffle coat.

Emily managed to talk Brenda out of killing Bethany, “Thou shalt not kill!” she bellowed a la Charlton Heston in ‘The Ten Commandments’. A rather startled Brenda came to her senses and allowed Emily to lead them down the stairs of the church into the waiting arms of the Weatherfield constabulary.

“I never meant no harm,” she whined to Sarah Lou and Todd. “From now on, it’s just me and you,” Todd told Sarah, without adding, “until I run off with my gay lover.” For Todd is due to go the gay way shortly when he falls for a hospital nurse, leaving Sarah Lou alone and pregnant.

In the meantime, he’s doing his best to convince everyone – including himself – that he’s straight, even proposing marriage to Sarah Lou – because that worked so well for Elton John and Michael Barrymore, didn’t it?

Elsewhere on The Street, the path of true love isn’t running smoothly for Fizz and Kirk either. Fizz spent the Christmas night with Tyrone and although nothing happened, Fizz’s mum, Cilla, was quick to tell Kirk that it had. “You just can’t trust some women,” the ginger troll told him – somehow keeping a straight face.

Cilla was determined to get her own back on her daughter after Fizz had told Shelly the truth about her light-fingered mother and lost her a job at The Rovers. “No one makes a fool out of me and gets away with it,” Cilla hissed to Fizz. No, because she does a good enough job on her own.

Sunita and Cairan have also called it a day, but in slightly more dramatic a fashion, with Sunita running out of the registry office seconds before they were due to get married. Cairan hadn’t been the most willing of grooms in the run up to the wedding – he even managed to get himself arrested the night before the big day by punching Dev.

Unfortunately for him, Dev decided not to press charges; Cairan had no choice but to go through with it. “Oi’m the happiest man alive,” he told her in a completely unconvincing manner as they walked into the registry office. Sunita looked at Cairan and thankfully realised before it was too late that they were both making a terrible mistake.

“I’m sorry, I just can’t go through with it,” she sobbed before running off. Sunita has realised too late that she’s still in love with the fat shopkeeper. “I’m sorry,” growled Dev when she told him how she felt. “It’s too late for us, I’m with Maya now.”

Fear not though fans of happy endings, for Maya turns out to be a light fingered shoplifter and compulsive liar, so Sunita won’t have too long to wait for wedding number three – she might even go through with that one.

Steve and Karen’s upcoming wedding is also looking distinctly shaky. Tracy Luv chose Christmas Day to tell Steve that he was actually the father of her baby and not Roy Cropper. “We only did it the once!” spluttered Steve, showing as much knowledge of conception as Sarah Lou.

Tracy revealed to Cairan (of all people) that she was in love with Steve and was making it her mission to “get him”. Nothing’s going to stop me,” she vowed. And this from a woman who drugged someone to win a bet and slept with a pensioner she thought was a millionaire. Be afraid Steve, be very afraid.’

Posted: 9th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

A (Criminal) Record Deal

‘SINCE, it seems, everyone is entitled to an audition to be a singing star, James Reid, 20, decided that he’d have a go.

He decided to launch his pop career when he appeared before Circuit Judge Annette A. Eckert in Belleville, Louisiana, and sang a gospel-oriented hymn.

In the spirit of Fame Academy, he’d even written the tune himself.

”God has changed that man. I’m doing the best I can,” sang Reid.

Although Judge Eckert gave Reid credit for the song and his decent attitude, he rewarded his crime with a 12-year custodial sentence.

A captive audience awaits.’

Posted: 8th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Book Worm

‘NEW Yorker Patrick Moore, 42, loves books very much – his flat is full of them.

But he might like them a little less since a pile of them collapsed on top of him.

‘I was hollering for two days, ‘Let me out, let me out’, and nobody wanted to answer,’ says Moore.

He had been stacking magazines and books when the pile became unstable and collapsed one top of him.

Landlord Bernie Jones says he heard Mr Moore’s shouts on the first day of his ordeal but ‘didn’t pay any attention because he’s always talking to himself’.’

Posted: 7th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

The Midfield General

‘FANS of football clubs often sing about running round such-and-such a place with their willies hangin’ out.

The cock of the north

But one fan of Dutch club ADO Den Haag preferred to behave in such a way at home and posed for a photograph with the local mayor with his penis hanging out of his trousers.

Mayor Wim Deetman says he did not realise the fan was exposing himself when he agreed to have his picture taken with him and after seeing the photograph was shocked.

Now he’s taking legal action against the supporter who has been banned from the club’s stadium.

‘To us, the incident is now closed,’ said club chairman Ronald Langenbach.

However, the fly remains somewhat agape.’

Posted: 6th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

A Dirty Job

‘MANY are the victims of burglary who return home to find that in the adrenalin rush of crime the villain has left a large pristine turd behind.

But police in Sweden are fighting back. After more than £25,000 worth of computers were stolen in the raid on a paper plant in Dalsland, investigators found a few large faeces in one of the toilets.

Officers delivered the calling cards to forensic scientists in a bid to discover the non-flushing perpetrators’ DNA.’

Posted: 5th, January 2004 | In: Strange But True | Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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