Oddities for the Month of May of 2022

This is a list of weird, wacky, and other unusual stories that we found around the web. It is for May, 2022.

If your tired of watching your stock market investments crater, why not spend a few minutes with a nice slate of distracting weird news stories?

Advice: Never Report the Vehicle You Stole as Stolen to the Police

An Ohio man stopped for gas. His passenger, however, decided that it was the perfect opportunity to steal his vehicle. When the man saw his vehicle being driven away, he reported it to police. It sounds fairly straight forward until you realize that the man who was reporting the stolen vehicle also stole the vehicle:

HILLIARD — An Ohio man who reported his truck stolen on Monday was arrested after authorities learned he stole the truck five days earlier in Delaware County.

Hilliard police said 36-year-old Brett Redd, of Columbus, reported his truck was stolen by his passenger from a UDF gas station, our news partners at WBNS reported.

Police were able to catch up to the truck, and the suspect, identified as David Harrison, ran from the vehicle. He was later arrested in a nearby residential neighborhood, according to WBNS.

Police later learned that the truck was originally stolen by Redd on May 4.

I do wonder what the original owner thought when he found out that his truck was stolen twice in one go.

The Food Truck Exploded

If you ever wonder if food trucks are safe, this might not be the most comforting news story to read. Naturally, this happened in Florida:

VERO BEACH, Fla. – State and local investigators are investigating a food truck explosion during a seafood festival.

Vero Beach police reported on Facebook Saturday that one person was was flown to an Orlando hospital burn unit.

The department posted photos of the scene on Facebook that showed the sides and roof of the truck blown off the vehicle.

No one else was injured.

No one really knows at this point what caused the explosion, but there is so much in the way of fuels and sources of ignition, it’s kind of amazing this doesn’t happen more often thanks to a lack of regulation.

No, It’s Not Normal for Police to Arrest an Alligator

There’s obvious threats to public safety when alligators occupy the same place as humans. Still, I can’t disagree that this was an atypical arrest:

An apparently studious alligator had to be relocated after it was found wandering around an elementary school in Charleston, South Carolina.

Concerned passersby called police after observing the alligator on Tuesday, according to Charleston’s Animal Control Supervisor, Courtney Bayles. The 6-foot reptile was spotted walking in roadways and through residents’ yards before making its way to the elementary school.

“Our concern always when we respond to an alligator call is what public safety threats are there?” Bayles told CNN. “We don’t want any harm to come to the alligator, we don’t want any harm to come to people.”

Bayles noted that when possible, officers will guide alligators to the nearest pond. But in this case, there was no pond immediately nearby. So her team captured the reptile, loaded it onto their truck and took it a pond further up the road.

Yeah, there’s nothing normal about that arrest. After all, the alligator wasn’t shot on sight, right?

Don’t Sell Meth. Doubly so if you are the Chief of Police

There’s always some who question life choices when someone is arrested for selling meth. When you throw in the fact that the person arrested was the chief of police, that adds a bit of complexity to the situation:

Calvin Police Chief Joe Don Chitwood has been arrested on suspicion of distributing and using methamphetamine.

Spokesperson for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) told FOX23 the chief was taken into custody Thursday after a search warrant on May 3rd.

“The chief was arrested without incident a search,” said Spokesperson Mark Woodward, “It resulted in the location of a small amount of methamphetamine.”

According to an affidavit it says a senior agent “utilized an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics confidential informant to purchase methamphetamine from Calvin Police Chief Joe Chitwood.”

“We had received information about a month ago circulating that this individual possibly buying and selling individual in Hughes county,” said Woodward.

The affidavit goes on to say that the conversation was recorded and listened to by a district attorney investigator and that during the conversation the informant “informed Chitwood that he or she had some cash and was needing some expletive.” Based on training and experience it says “some expletive “refers to methamphetamine.”

I’m sure that is going to go a heck of a long way to restoring the reputation of American police.

How to Tell You Hired the Wrong Babysitter

When hiring a babysitter, you know that some sitters are better than others. However, you might find it challenging to find a sitter worse than this:

DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) – A babysitter was arrested Wednesday after she was found passed out at her Delhi Township home. Donna Muthert, 65, faces a child endangering charge.

On a side note: did that really have to be the whole text of the article?

No, You arn’t Bringing 9 Boxes of Ammunition With You As Carry-On Luggage

Some people try to bring the worst things through an airport. One bad thing to bring with you through airport security? Nine boxes of ammunition:

NEW YORK — A woman attempted to go through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with nine boxes of ammunition on Tuesday, according to officials.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a press release that a woman was stopped by their officers at JFK Airport for trying to carry 400 bullets onto her flight. The bullets were a variety of ammunition for shotguns and handguns including 12-gauge, .308 caliber, .233 caliber and 9 mm. TSA officers confiscated the ammunition from the woman and gave her a citation.

PIX11 says the woman told officers that ammunition belongs to her son and she accidentally grabbed the wrong bag on her way to the airport. TSA says the bag she grabbed was slightly heavy and the ammunition took up a lot of the space in her bag.

“This is an excellent opportunity to remind travelers that it is always best to start with a completely empty bag when packing for a flight to ensure that you don’t have any prohibited items inside. Not only is it important to know that you have not packed anything prohibited or illegal into your luggage, it is just as important to know which bag is yours to ensure you are familiar with its contents,” said John Bambury, TSA’s Federal Security Director for JFK International Airport.

Yeesh, how long did she expect to be firing weapons into the air after rolling down the windows in the flight, anyway?

You Know You’ve Been Drinking Heavily When You Wake Up at Ibiza

Some drunk stories are better than others. This one involves booking a flight to Ibiza:

A pair of pals took two days to return from the pub – because they drunkenly booked a trip to Ibiza.

Dan Evans and Alex Stubbs had been out in the town of Merthyr, in Wales, on Friday.

They’d started sinking pints in the afternoon, but promised each other they’d be home by 11.30pm.

A joking suggestion was made at one point that they should go to Magaluf in Majorca.

Dan and Alex, spurred on by Dutch courage, agreed there was no time like the present.

They called a taxi which took them home to pick up essentials, before they headed toward Cardiff Airport.

Dan said: ‘We stopped off at home to collect our passports and phone chargers, and then headed to the airport.

‘When we got there though the Majorca flight was fully-booked, but there was a flight to Ibiza, so we booked ourselves on to that one.

‘We literally partied the whole weekend, and then when the sun came up on Sunday morning we had to think about how we were going to get home.’

Yup, that sounds drunk to me.

Police Reminder: Don’t Do Car Burnouts to Celebrate a Wedding in a Residential Area

There are ways to celebrate weddings, but police apparently don’t take too kindly to some of those ways. One of those ways? Burnouts:

DEARBORN, Mich. – Police in Dearborn are asking excited wedding guests to refrain from performing vehicle burnouts in residential neighborhoods.

Police released video (watch it above) showing a recent burnout that happened on Saturday, May 7, on Bingham and Warren. Guests of a wedding taking place nearby were reportedly driving dangerously through the neighborhood, with the vehicle burnouts causing excessive noise, large clouds of smoke and damage to the freshly paved streets, police said. They also blocked local traffic.

“Weddings are a time of celebration and festivity for new couples in our community, and beyond. However, we need to ensure that both guests and residents are protected by following the law and celebrating safely in order to prevent harm or tragedy,” said Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin. “Reckless driving is illegal, and there is zero tolerance for this behavior in our community. There are more appropriate, and safer, ways to celebrate special occasions without endangering others.”

Man this is getting tiring.

The DEA Says the Canadian Maple Leaf is the Universal Code for Drugs

The DEA has released a chart to show what the emojis mean for those dealing drugs. Apparently, the Canadian maple leaf is the universal sign for drugs among other things:

The drugs represented in the chart range from prescription medications to illegal street drugs.

For example, according to the DEA, a brown heart and a dragon together is the code for heroin. Meth is represented with a blue heart and a diamond, while a snowflake symbolizes cocaine. A maple leaf is considered the “universal” icon for drugs.

“Emojis, on their own, should not be indicative of illegal activity, but coupled with a change in behavior, change in appearance, or significant loss/increase in income should be a reason to start an important conversation,” the DEA said.

Look, I get that Rob Ford was on crack, but really?

Things You Thought Only Happened in Movies: Air Traffic Control Having to Guide a Passenger to Land a Plane

Granted, this was a small plane and not a passenger aircraft, but this scenario apparently actually happened:

JUPITER, Fla. — Robert Morgan is a Jupiter resident, a dad of three, and now a certified hero.

It was around noon on Tuesday when Robert, an air traffic controller at PBIA, was outside the tower reading a book on a break when his co-worker yelled, “There’s a passenger flying a plane that’s not a pilot and the pilot is incapacitated so they said you need to help them try and land the plane.”

He was the man for the job. In addition to his 20 years in tower control, he is also a flight instructor with around 1,200 hours under his belt.

“I knew the plane was flying like any other plane, I just knew I had to keep him calm, point him to the runway and tell him how to reduce the power so he could descend to land,” Morgan said.

He had never flown the specific model, a Cessna Grand Caravan, so he used a picture of the cockpit to understand the specifics the novice was working with.

Don’t Use Road Flares to Scare off Bugs in Dry Grass. Doubly So If You’re the Fire Chief

You’d think that if you are the fire chief, you’d know better. Not in this case, however:

Firefighters are true heroes that deserve our eternal respect and appreciation, and yet they are also human and as such are prone to errors in judgment like any of us. Even starting a brushfire, which is probably the absolute last mistake we’d expect from a firefighter, has been known to happen and just did recently in Akita Prefecture.

On 7 May at about 1:25 p.m., the chief of the Akita Prefecture Kazuno Wide-Area Administrative Union Fire Department was out clearing land by his parents’ home in Kazuno city. Suddenly, he was confronted by several insects which reports refer to as “hachi“, a Japanese word that can encompass all kinds of yellowy, stingy bugs from humble bumble bees to terrifying murder hornets.

I suppose we can give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was murder hornets, because the encounter spooked him enough to pull out a road flare and light it to ward off the flying beasts. After throwing the flare at the bugs in self-defense, it landed in a pile of dry grass and ignited it.

Luckily, a high-ranking firefighter was already at the scene and called for backup. However, by the time three fire engines and eleven other firefighters arrived, about 45 square-meters (484 square feet) of grass and trees were already engulfed in flames.

Well, that’s a bit of a facepalm story right there, isn’t it?

That Awkward Moment When Other Canadian MPs Suspect That You are In a Bathroom Stall During Debates

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, one of the solutions for Canadian parliamentarians is to use a hybrid model. That hybrid model would have some MPs be there in person while others would be present via a Zoom meeting. It’s a great idea and the model continues to be utilized to this day. There are, of course, drawbacks to this which includes the idea that there is little control over where the MPs might be located during said Zoom meetings. As it turns out, one Liberal MP was busted being in a Zoom meeting while in a bathroom stall:

A Canadian lawmaker has apologized after he was caught logging on to a closed parliamentary session from a toilet stall.

Liberal party member Shafqat Ali participated in a hybrid session of parliament last Friday, joining with a Zoom-like feed visible only to other parliamentarians. But Conservative members grew suspicious of his surroundings.

Conservative MP Laila Goodridge told the House of Commons that a lawmaker “might be participating in a washroom” somewhere inside parliament – an allegation that baffled the Speaker of the House until it was confirmed by parliamentary pages.

On Monday, the Conservative House leader, John Brassard, told parliament that after studying the stonework, door hinges and coat hook, lawmakers had concluded Ali had placed his camera “on the ledge or ridge on the wall just above the back of the toilet”.

“The member of parliament was literally using the washroom while participating in a sitting of the House of Commons, the cathedral of Canadian democracy,” he said. “I can’t believe I actually just said those words, Madame Speaker.”

Ali apologized, calling the incident from a toilet stall in the building’s West Block an “unfortunate event” that arose from a lapse in judgment.

“I take this matter extremely seriously, and I promise never to repeat this error again,” he said.

What a load of cr@p.

The Catholic School Said it is Investigating After Accidentally Sending Mothers Thongs Instead of Roses

A school in Philedelphia was raising money for mothers day where they would sell fake roses to mothers. Somehow, there was a mixup and the roses in question turned out to be well concealed sexy thongs:

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An embarrassing Mother’s Day mix-up at a local catholic school goes viral — and has many people cracking up. St. Anselm’s Catholic School in Parkwood held a flower sale for Mother’s Day and the moms ended up with quite a surprise.

The faux roses turned into a sexy, red thong.

It was obviously a mistake for a grade school to be giving something like that to moms. The principal for Saint Anselm’s sent out a follow-up email to parents saying:

The roses sold at our Mother’s Day plant sale were not the single faux flowers originally intended. Instead, the item was a Valentine’s Day gift intended for adults. The administration will determine how the error occurred and take steps to prevent a further recurrence.

I have to ask: how is it possible that a mistake like that happens?

Police Engage in 6 Hour Empty House Standoff

The suspect was a real hardcore professional or he wasn’t in the house at the time. As it turns out, he wasn’t home:

DULUTH — The suspect in a domestic violence-related gunfire incident Sunday night had left an East Hillside residence before law enforcement arrived and conducted a six-hour standoff, authorities said Monday.

The man, 36, was contacted by phone and surrendered to police without incident in the 1200 block of West Michigan Street at approximately 12:15 a.m., according to the Duluth Police Department.

Tactical response and crisis negotiation teams from several agencies, including the Superior Police Department’s BearCat tactical vehicle, staged on the 700 block of East First Street after shots were reportedly fired inside the home just before 6 p.m. Officers used loudspeakers in an attempt to coax the man from the residence, and a message purported to be from his mother was played at least twice.

But police said they now believe the suspect left before officers arrived. A statement said the establishment of a perimeter and the evacuation of neighboring residences was were a “precautionary measure.”

No word if the empty house has obtained legal representation.

Article About Plagiarism Was Apparently Plagiarized

A classic story about irony:

This morning, LitHub published an essay titled “I Plagiarized Parts of My Debut Novel. Here’s Why.” The first-person account was from fiction writer Jumi Bello and detailed how her debut release, The Leaving, was canceled by its publisher Riverhead after they learned that sections had been plagiarized.

According to Publisher’s Lunch, which reported on the cancellation in February, the book about “a young Black woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy” had appeared on “multiple anticipated lists.” In her essay, Bello claimed she came clean about lifting lines from other writers, losing the book deal in the process (the book was scheduled to come out in July).

Bello’s essay explored the origins of plagiarism and her specific experience with it, which she tied indirectly to a history of mental illness. After a stay in a psychiatric ward and an allergic reaction to an antidepressant, Bello found herself pressed to deliver on her manuscript: “I just want to get through it, to a place where I can sleep again. Looking back on this moment, I ignored my instincts. I ignored the voice inside that said quietly, this is wrong wrong wrong.”

By mid-morning Monday, however, the article had been removed. It now loads to an error page.

LitHub did not immediately return Gawker’s request for comment, and neither Bello’s website nor her Twitter profile include contact information. But the writer Kristen Arnett, a fellow Riverhead author, noted on Twitter that parts of the text about plagiarism’s etymological origins appeared to closely resemble other articles on the history of plagiarism.

Not the first time I’ve seen something like this, but seriously?

Actual Headline: “Tyrone man arrested 3 times for DUI shows up drunk to court”

You know, there is a point in life when drinking is a really bad idea:

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Tyrone man is behind bars after he reportedly drove himself to his arraignment on DUI charges while drunk.

Lawrence E. Williams, 58, showed up to his arraignment with Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller Thursday at 11 a.m. while he was visibly drunk, according to charges filed by the Tyrone Police Department. As soon as he entered the courtroom, officers said they could smell alcohol. They also noted he had “extremely red, bloodshot eyes.”

This arraignment was for a previous DUI case from April 22 when he crashed his car into a fence on SR 865 at the intersection of East 5th Street in Bellwood. At this time, Williams was already on probation for two other DUI cases from 2021.

Have you had anything to drink, sir?

Nothing Like a Nice Relaxing Round of Golf on the I-75

The constant traffic can be a hassle, and the YouTuber’s gawking at you can be annoying, but the course definitely features a nice long fairway:

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — A pair of Southwest Florida ‘vloggers’ driving down Interstate 75 captured a golf practice gone wrong on the side of the road.

Jose and Katherine Rodriguez live in Fort Myers but travel around the country documenting the everyday for their YouTube channel, “SouthernLife.”

The duo was driving down the interstate Friday afternoon during rush hour when their dash cam captured something they haven’t seen before on the side of the road.

“We see this guy on the side of the road literally having a full golf game,” Jose says. “This is like Tiger Woods junior out there, he was doing his thing.”

Yes, there is video:

Apparently, Frivolous Lawsuits Don’t Exist

Who would’ve thought with all these nonsense lawsuits we see so often that frivolous lawsuits don’t exist?

I have a lot of pet peeves. They range from the propensity of restaurants to leave the tails on shrimp to the fact that much of the time, I’m not invisible. But not many things piss me off more than the use of the term “frivolous lawsuit”. I say that because actual frivolous lawsuits are virtually nonexistent. In fact, if I may be so bold, I believe that in the context of litigation, we use the term “frivolous” frivolously. And yes, that is what passes for “bold” in my affrighted life.

As a former lawyer and public policy maker, I have heard that dreaded term frequently throughout my professional life. As a lawyer, virtually every defendant in my civil cases described the case against them as frivolous, often in the case of overwhelming evidence. It doesn’t matter if there is the sworn testimony of two dozen nuns saying that you ran the red light, a videotape of you doing it, and an audio-recording of you saying “Hey, here comes a red light. Fuck The Man and his rules.! I’m gonna run it!!” The claim that you indeed did run the red light is an exercise of rank frivolity.

When I saw this, I had to give Mike Masnick of Techdirt the good news that frivolous lawsuits don’t exist. You can already tell he was thrilled:

Police Say the Shooting At the McDonalds Wasn’t Related to the Shooting At the Nearby Taco Bell

Could this get any more American where police are having to tell people that the shootings next to each other are completely unrelated?

About 200 yards from a shooting investigation in a Taco Bell parking lot, gunfire rang out at another South Fulton fast-food restaurant before dawn Wednesday.

The shooting at a McDonald’s on Fulton Industrial Boulevard was not related to the shooting at Taco Bell on Camp Fulton Way, which occurred hours earlier and injured two teenagers, according to South Fulton police.

Investigators were still collecting evidence at the Taco Bell scene when the shots were fired about 3:15 a.m. at McDonald’s, which is open 24 hours. According to police spokesperson Lt. Jubal Rogers, a customer had a dispute with an employee and fired a weapon into the drive-thru window. No injuries were reported, he said.

Three bullet holes could be seen in one shattered window, and a glass door was completely broken out.

You know… maybe those Uber Eats/Skip the Dishes type services aren’t such a bad idea after all.

If Your Sat-Nav System Tells You to Drive Down Stairs, You Really Shouldn’t

“At the next pedestrian staircase, drive down them. Await police arrival.”

According to the Telegraph, the story goes like this. On May 11, a Saudi engineer was driving his rented Maserati Levante around Rome and ended up driving down Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti, otherwise known as the iconic Spanish Steps. Wait a second. An engineer doing some impromptu off-roading in a Stellantis product? David Tracy, come get your mans! Oh, did I mention that this urban descent was captured on CCTV? Have a look.

Man, this remake of the ZJ Jeep Grand Cherokee launch sucks, am I right? Believe it or not, this tourist managed to guide the Levante all the way down the steps before allegedly getting out of the crossover and dashing away from the damaged landmark before a tow truck picked up the messed-up Maser. Damaged landmark? Ah, yeah.

See, the Levante has just enough ground clearance to feel like an SUV but doesn’t actually have much capability. The undercarriage of a jacked-up Ghibli bashing off of 300-year-old marble steps is going to mess some stuff up. I’m not talking about the Maserati, it might have needed a tow truck anyway. I’m talking about the steps. CNN reports that the 16th and 29th steps of the right-hand flight were fractured, while numerous other steps had “chippings, scratches, abrasions and deposits,” according to a statement released by Rome’s heritage body.

The spontaneous urban rock-crawler was apprehended at Milan’s Malpensa airport on Friday and charged with aggravated damage to cultural and monumental assets. It likely wasn’t hard to find the driver. How many Levantes get rented out in the first place? Anyway, the Saudi embassy has reportedly arranged a legal team for the driver that helped coordinate an official statement.

According to the driver, his sat-nav directed him down the steps. Now hold on a minute. I understand that it was dark out but the headlamps on a Levante aren’t exactly rubbish, so it should’ve been easy to see a marble staircase, even if the navigation system was suggesting it as a shortcut. There are bollards and a yellow line and a clearly-marked pedestrian crossing that should set off bells in any sentient beings head that ring with notes of “Hey, don’t drive through here.”

We… really should stop blindly trusting these systems without question.

Debatable: Corporal Punishment on Your Children. Not So Debatable: Using a Taser on Your Children

Look, I’m not going to get into the debate about the use of corporal punishment on your children, but the use of a taser is a bit much:

SPRING, Texas – Bond has been set at $450,000 for a former Precinct 4 deputy accused of using a taser on all three of her children, court documents state.

Xochitl Ortiz, 34, was charged with three counts of injury to a child under 15.

Documents do not outline the exact details of the incident, but do note that, between April 1 and April 4, Ortiz injured her three children by “drive stunning” each child with an “electric self-defense device.”

That’s one way to zap your career I guess.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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