Strange But True | Anorak - Part 231

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.

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

A Girl Thing

‘PAPIA Adhikary might be little more innocent than most.

But it was her misfortune to meet and be wooed by her future husband at a typing school in North Calcutta.

Best make that her future wife because the woman to whim Papia plighted her troth had convinced her that she was really a man in disguise.

Only she wasn’t. She was a woman who looked like a woman, albeit a somewhat butch one. Do you see? Papia did not see until it was too late.

And so the Calcutta police force have arrested Papia’s nefarious wife/husband on a charge of abduction.’

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

See You Later

‘IT’S lucky that the incident happened in the US and not over here.

Given the slowness of delivery and the crippling strikes, any alligator found in the UK mail might have perished en route.

But the incident was in the United States, and the American postal worker who found the 4ft alligator chewing its way out of a shipping carton in Milwaukee, Illinois, acted swiftly.

‘The nose … was sticking out with its teeth hanging out,’ said Jennifer Hejdak.

Workers tried to repackage the parcel shut but gave up and threw it into a trolley. The alligator will be sent to Florida.’

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

Blue Moon

‘MOONING is no longer a custom peculiar to the British.

Over in Brazil, Fergal Thomas has been arrested for forgoing the obligatory Rio thong and baring his full backside to the people of that fair city.

Coming onto the stage after an appearance of the opera Tristan and Isolde, Thomas, the show’s director, was met by a barrage of boos and catcalls.

His response was to turn his back and drop his pants, so mooning the crowd.

After being charged, Thomas was far from contrite.

“I don’t accept the fact that I committed a crime because I decided to moon at the audience in my own theatre.”’

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

Bride Of Frankenstein

‘THIS week saw possibly the greatest soap wedding in history as Roy Cropper made Tracy Luv a not-so-honest woman.

The happy couple

Ceiran, who they’d dragged off the street to be a witness, could hardly contain himself. “It’s the first wedding I’ve ever been to when the groom’s wife is one of the guests,” he tittered to Hayley.

Even the registrar was a bit taken aback. “You two are here to marry?” she spluttered as Tracy rolled her eyes and applied more lipstick throughout the ceremony and Roy clutched his shopping bag closer to his chest.

“Right, you got what you want,” spat Tracy after the service. “Now leave me alone.” Tracy thinks her secret is safe about the baby actually being Steve’s now that Peter’s left town.

Peter decided to leave Weatherfield after being publicly humiliated by both wives in a showdown in the Rovers. Lucy had pretended that they had a future together providing Peter told Shelly in front of the whole pub that they were over and that he loved Lucy.

Shelly, not surprisingly, didn’t take this news too well and smacked him in the face. The pain wasn’t over for Peter, however, as Lucy then proceeded to delight in telling him that she was just stringing him along all the time.

“I hate you,” she spat, her pretty face twisted into a mask of hate, “and you’ll never see your son again.” And with that she was off to Australia. To do what we wonder – surely they have enough mediocre actresses of their own over there already.

Peter, realising that he’d burnt all his bridges and ran out of single women to marry, left for Portsmouth. Secrets are hard to keep in soaps though and you know it’s only a matter of time before the real father of Tracy’s baby is discovered. Especially if it’s born wearing a black leather jacket and a put-upon expression.

Steve’s troubles are set to get worse this week when yer man Jim McDonald contacts him from prison and asks him to spy on mum Liz, who he suspects of having an affair. Yes, folks, Liz and Jim – the Liza Minnelli and David Gest of Weatherfield are back!

And from the first “So it is” uttered from the moustachioed lips of the Big Man, it was like they’d never been away.

In a spin-off special, Steve goes to Blackpool to meet up with his mother, who must be single-handedly keeping the lycra clothing and home-perming industries afloat.

And just to up the freak factor so that it’s off the scale – Bet Lynch returns. Well she’s probably at a loose end now that Halloween’s over.

Back in Weatherfield, the age gap between Martin and Katy is beginning to show. Martin was less than pleased to come home from a shift to find the flat full of drunk teenagers writhing about on his bed.

“Ooouuut!” he shouted while pulling apart sticky teenagers. “Yer just like me dad,” pouted Katy. Perhaps not the best comparison, given the circumstances.’

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

Top Of The Burps

‘HISTORY shows that at a time, Britons have been the world’s fastest, strongest and best.

And adding his name to the Guinness World Records holders is Paul Hunn. The solicitor’s clerk from London has entered the sacred book by way of this belching.

Mr Hunn is the world’s loudest belcher and can belch at a massive 118.1 decibels. That is as loud as the sound made by an aircraft taking off.

Says the champion: “My girlfriend wasn’t too keen at first, but when we went to America to appear on a chat show there, she soon came round.”’

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

A Rock And A Hard Place

‘MOST companies like their staff to follow other pursuits outside work. As such, German engineer Thomas Milnik might feel aggrieved.

While mountaineering on the Zugspitze, one of the highest Alpine peaks, Milnik became trapped when a snowstorm struck.

Five days later he was rescued and taken to a nearby hospital. While doctors were contemplating the amputation of six of his toes, Milnik received a letter from his company. No, not a get well soon card. They had sent him a redundancy notice.

The firm, Schroeder & Uhlken, are undeterred by mounting criticism. “We only hired Mr Milkin at the beginning of October,” said a spokesman for the firm, “and he is still in his trial period. This is the second time something like this has happened within that time.”’

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

A Happy Dog Tail

‘GERMAN police dog Falk has been sacked after catching more rabbits than criminals. Dog handler Bianca Mauermann, 29, from Dresden said the one-year-old dog was just too nice to work for the police – instead of sniffing for criminals or missing people, he spent most of the time running off into nearby woods to chase rabbits.

‘It was a shock when I was told he was to be let go,” she said. “But then he always was too nice and friendly.’ The young bloodhound is now expected to be trained up as a hunting dog.’

Posted: 14th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment


‘DONNA Air and her zoo-owner boyfriend Damian Aspinall intend to place baby daughter Freya in the care of a gorilla to introduce her to the animals.

She will be put into the gorilla enclosure at Howletts Zoo near Canterbury, Kent, where she will be carried off by the female of the group.

‘It is a ritual,” says Aspinall. “I’ll probably give her to the dominant female who will take her off and introduce her to the others.’

The multi-millionaire said he had no qualms about his actions, saying that his two other daughters, Clary, 11, and Tansy, 14, had also been introduced to the gorillas at the zoo in the same way.

‘Why would I not trust them? I know them, I grew up with them, they are my friends,’ he says.’

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

Casual Acquaintance

‘BOUNCERS at an Aberdeen pub refused to let a woman come in – because she was carrying a Burberry umbrella.

The brand has become fashionable with football hooligans and many pubs now operate such a policy.

But the unnamed woman said: ‘I looked nothing like a soccer casual. I was wearing the best of clothes. But for some reason they had a real problem with my bag and umbrella. It’s absolutely ridiculous and I think they took things too far. There was no way I would have caused any problems in the pub.’

Maureen Lethorn, manager of The Filling Station bar, has apologised to the woman, saying: “We have had a number of incidents where people wearing Burberry have caused problems.

‘It is not a general ban but we don’t want rowdies so we judge each case as it comes along. Unfortunately this woman arrived shortly after a group of young lads were turned away for wearing Burberry. It was more a case of bad timing.”

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

Biscuit Case

‘CHINA has built a factory making bamboo-shaped biscuits exclusively to cater for the nutritional needs of the country’s captive giant pandas.

Steamed bread, the staple food for most captive giant pandas after fresh bamboo, loses much of its nutritional value in cooking, resulting in malnutrition for many pandas.

So experts at the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre in the city of Chengdu set up the factory in the hope that the biscuits (which contain higher levels of fibre and vitamins than their normal diet) would solve the problem.

The biscuits are being given to 30 pandas at the centre, and are now apparently top dish on their menu.

They are so popular that experts plan to expand the idea to animals in captivity across the country.’

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

Kiss Off

‘COMMUNISM, or the totalitarian Soviet version of it, may be consigned to history’s dustbin, but Russian authorities still want to control their citizens’ lives, so much so that in Moscow they are considering a ban on kissing in public.

The city’s government is said to be working on an order that would ban snogging in subways and other public places. ‘Children do not need any sexual education classes in school. They get amoral lessons every day when they see what goes on around them,’ committee member Tatyana Maximova said. ‘People are making out even on the escalator in the metro. Something must be done about this.’

However, human rights activist Valeriya Novodvorskaya vowed to violate any ban as often as possible if it was enacted. ‘If this is not a joke and the mayor’s office is indeed drafting such a resolution, I will start spending my days kissing in public places – just out of principle,’ she said, urging other residents to do the same.

Fines for breaking the rules, if they are adopted, would range from 300 to 500 roubles (up to £10). And if the kissing couples didn’t have the money, the paper reported, police could hold until somebody paid.’

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

Tread Softly

‘THE harsh ring of the school bell is painful to a child’s innocent ears.

So an Austrian school has replaced it with two minutes of soft music played before the end of each lesson.

Mattersburg High School, Burgenland, has replaced the shrill school bell with a short burst of stress-reducing music.

The school’s headmistress, Ms Schwarz, is delighted with results.

‘Before we introduced the music, lessons ended abruptly with children bumping into each other in the hurry to leave the classroom and the bell only used to add to teachers’ headaches, which aren’t uncommon after taking a class of unruly kids.”

Posted: 7th, November 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Cry Baby

‘TECHNOLOGY is a wonderful thing. It’s very nearly as wonderful as children. And a combination of the two has led to police apprehending a thief in Germany.

The robber was arrested after a mother heard him telling a friend how he had tried to rob a liquor store in Herne – on her baby monitor. The man’s broadcast on an amateur radio frequency was picked up by the mother. She called the police.

The man, who only lived a few streets away, was arrested. .’

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

Take Him Down(stairs)

‘WHEN a man from Mironeasa village in Iasi, Romania, was sentenced for trying to kill one of his neighbours, he screamed his innocence.

And then he ran. He hid for 11 years in the basement of his house. And that’s some going – since he was originally sentenced to eight years in jail.

Now 31 and under arrest, he says: “I stayed 11 years underground because I consider myself innocent. I don’t want to go to jail for something I never did.

‘I hid under the house and went out only a few times for food supplies. But there were people who knew where I was and I think somebody betrayed me”.’

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

Little Big Man

‘IT takes a big man to admit his faults. And it takes a little one to apply for a free penis enlargement in Brazil.

A group of 35 Brazilian doctors are offering free penis enlargement surgery to anyone who satisfies their criteria.

To be up for the job, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have a penis not bigger than four-and-a-half inches when erect.

They must also be poor, taking home less than £200 a month.

The group’s Doctor Menezes said: ‘We are doing this to celebrate the milestone of 1,000 surgeries of this kind done in the country since 1996.”

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

I’m On The Train

‘LEAVES on the line. The wrong kind of snow. Lazy staff who can’t be bothered to work so they’re striking instead. All excuses for trains not running on time. And now for a new one from America: hand stuck down train toilet whilst trying to retrieve mobile phone.

A man spent 90 minutes of his life aboard the 6:19 from New York’s Grand Central Station with his arm wedged in the toilet’s u-bend trying to reach the phone he had dropped.

After the train’s crew had tried in vain to free the man’s hand, the train was stopped at the city’s Fordham station, where it blocked the line while the rescue operation went on. Trains were unable to pass as firefighters dismantled the entire toilet.

The man never found his mobile phone.’

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

Excess Baggage

‘AN aeroplane pilot in Egypt caused a three-hour delay on a flight to Dubai when he refused to take off because he said one of his passengers was too fat.

There were angry scenes on the EgyptAir flight after the man barred the woman from boarding the plane with five passengers opting to cancel their flights in protest.

The pilot banished the woman not because of fears that the plane would struggle to get off the runway but that the trip would cause her medical problems.

The pilot was eventually forced to fly with his unwanted passenger. The woman’s identity and weight have gave not been revealed’

Posted: 31st, October 2003 | In: Strange But True | Comment