Oddities for the Month of September of 2022

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

Russian war on Ukraine got you down? Why not give these stories a spin for a minor distraction?

Don’t You Hate It When the Car Rental Company Charges You for Driving 36,000KM in 3 Days?

That $8,000 extra charge was definitely a bit over the top:

A mom in Canada said she was charged over $8,000 by a car rental company, which claimed she drove 22,369 miles (36,000 kilometers) in three days: that’s almost the entire distance of the Earth’s circumference. And now, this mom has been advising people to think twice about using car rental company express services, thanks to her unfortunate experience.

Giovanna Boniface from Vancouver rented a car from car rental company Avis at Toronto Pearson International Airport earlier this month when she arrived in the city to help her daughter move to college.

She told CTV News that she used the car to drive between the airport, downtown Toronto, to Kitchener and back, about 186 miles (300 kilometers) by the time she returned the car.

Boniface was set to fly to Europe when she returned the car at the airport but was lumped with added stress when she checked her credit card statement while waiting to board.

Boniface told CTV News that she had already prepaid around $1,000 to rent the car and so was left startled to see an $8,000 charge from the company on her card.

She said she checked her statement to ensure that the prepayment had been processed correctly. “That’s when I noticed this charge for over $8,000 from Avis,” Boniface told CTV News.

After investigating the receipt, Boniface saw that she had been charged a rate of 25 cents per kilometer, for a 36,482 kilometer (22,668 miles) journey.

That’s the equivalent of driving for three days straight at a speed of 310 mph non-stop. It’s almost the entire circumference of the earth, or just over the journey from Canada to Australia and back – if such a straight line existed.

Man, that’s some really fast driving!

Don’t Be a Road Rage Assailant. If You Do Become a Road Rage Assailant, Don’t Attack People Based on Race. If You Do Become a Racist Road Rage Assailant, Don’t Road Rage Against a Trained MMA Fighter

I’m not a fan of street justice, but I did laugh at this one:

A white Florida man has been convicted of a federal hate crime over a highly dangerous and racially motivated road rage attack on a Black man who was driving with his girlfriend and daughter last summer.

Jordan Patrick Leahy, 29, was found guilty by federal jurors in Tampa on Wednesday of one count of unlawful interference with a federally protected activity, namely, driving on the street.

The conviction comes as a double loss for Leahy because the man he attacked was a trained mixed martial artist who easily subdued his assailant and kept him in a chokehold until authorities arrived.

“Across America, families must be able to freely travel our public streets without fear of being attacked because of race,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a press release. “This verdict should send a strong message that the Department of Justice remains firmly committed to prosecuting, to the fullest extent of the law, those who would use violence to enforce heinous racist beliefs.”

Leahy was indicted in late April of this year on two counts of violating federal law for “using force and threat of force” to “willfully intimidate” his victim, identified in court papers only as J.T., and “attempt to injure, intimidate, and interfere” with him because of his “race and color.” One of the counts (and the one on which he was convicted) also alleged the defendant used a “dangerous weapon,” his vehicle, to attack J.T.

“I’m gonna kill y- ow! OK, lucky pu- ow! Oof! What are you- ACK-K-K-K!”

Woman Says She Can’t Be Charged for Drunk Driving. Reason: My Dog Was Driving!

The excuses of getting off of a DUI is probably countless. Blaming the dog is probably one of the more novel approaches, though:

A woman who drove down a footpath thinking it was a road while she was intoxicated later told police her dog had been driving the car. Melissa Jenkins Johanson, 47, attempted to reverse out of the car park at Ocean Café Bar and Restaurant beside The Parrog in Fishguard four times before a man noticed her drunken state and phoned the police.

But Johanson did manage to reverse out of the car park at the fifth attempt at midday on February 15, and then began driving down the footpath before colliding with a bus stop just metres from a children’s play area, Swansea Crown Court heard on Wednesday, September 21. Hannah George, prosecuting, told the court how members of staff in the café ran outside to alert families that Johanson was driving on the footpath.

“She eventually went onto the main road where she paused for several minutes,” Ms George told the court. “She then went to the Seaview Hotel and then went on to Tesco, where she was caught on CCTV footage.”

“She was doing some shopping?” sitting Judge Huw Rees asked in disbelief. “Yes,” Ms George replied. Judge Rees said Johanson’s actions “beggared belief”.

But that wasn’t the end of the bizarre trail of events which somehow ended with no-one being injured. When two officers from Dyfed Powys Police visited Johanson at her home, she blamed the whole thing on her pet dog Lily.

“The officers arrived at her address and found the car substantially damaged,” Ms George continued. “The officers then entered the property and were immediately hit with the smell of alcohol. She asked the police if they had any proof for her arrest and then said her friend had driven the car and also that her dog Lily drove the vehicle.”

The defendant was then asked to give a sample of breath but she refused. She was then taken into custody and asked again to provide a sample, to which she refused again. Officers asked her instead if they could take a sample of her blood, to which she also refused.

“Presumably because she was so intoxicated,” Judge Rees responded. “She was babbling incoherent nonsense about her dog for a start.”

Kind of puts into perspective the most common things dogs get erroneously blamed for, doesn’t it?

Taking on Debt for the Latest iPhone? 1 in 5 American’s Think That’s a Great Idea!

There are reasonable reasons for going into debt. Paying for a car or a house are two such reasons. For a new iPhone, though?

‘Most important belonging’: 1 in 5 Americans believe it is worth taking on debt to pay for new iPhone 14, survey says

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Apple upped its tech game once again last week, officially releasing the new iPhone 14, which boasts the brand’s longest battery life ever and offers incredible advances in photo technology and several new vital safety features. But is the device — which retails for close to $1,000 and can logistically double your cell phone bill — really worth the hype and/or the debt? According to a new survey by WalletHub, more than one in five Americans think it is.

“iPhone demand is rising,” noted WalletHub, a personal finance website that found 24% more people plan on getting the new iPhone this year, compared to last year. “More than a third of Americans say that their phone is their most important belonging.”

The survey, which examined not only how the current economic environment has impacted Americans’ cell phone purchase plans, but also why people buy new phones and how essential those phones are, also identified that more than half of Americans are willing to try a budget cell phone carrier in order to make the upgrade.

“It would appear that many consumers may view and make decisions about phones as they would consumer durables,” Douglas Hausknecht, a senior lecturer and associate professor of marketing and international business at the University of Akron told WalletHub when reacting to the survey’s results. “The anticipated useful life of a phone may be viewed as similar to that of an air conditioner, dishwasher or other appliance. Financing is not a large leap.”

Living within your means is a dying concept, isn’t it?

When Stealing a Vehicle, Racing Through Wet Concrete Probably Won’t Help Your Cause

Apparently, driving through wet concrete doesn’t help one’s fuel economy:

SEATTLE — Lakewood city officials say the driver of a reportedly stolen car was stopped in their tracks after they drove through barricades and into the fresh pavement.

The driver then reportedly tried to run away with a young child and a bottle of whiskey in their hands.

A city inspector called 911 and followed the person who was arrested by police.

That second paragraph really is parent of the year award material right there.

Nothing Like a Road Painting Crew Spelling School Wrong Story

Some real English majors right there that paint crew:

PITTSFIELD — As typos go, this was a doozy.

Drivers on Thursday morning were greeted by freshly painted lines and markings on East Street — including six large white letters designed to warn motorists that they are nearing the entrance to Pittsfield High School.

All the letters were there, but not quite in the right order.

Contractors from K5 Corp., hired by the city, had inadvertently flipped the “h” and “o” in their stencil, spelling “SCOHOL” on the freshly paved roadway — much to the bemusement of drivers and pedestrians on Thursday morning.

City staff were supervising the work for most of the evening, but had ended their shift by the time the contractors made it to the school sign, according to Ricardo Morales, the city’s commissioner of public services and utilities.

It was supposed to be the finishing touch after several weeks of road work on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, but the project had to be extended by another day to fix the blunder.

I don’t think these stories will ever cease being fail material, really.

Things Grew Awkward Once the Police Officer’s Porn Star Activity Was Brought to Light

Another double-life gone awry:

EAST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – East Haven police officer Paul Cavalier is currently on administrative leave.

Police tell Eyewitness News it’s because there are videos of him posted on a porn site.

The videos were first posted about 10 months ago, according to information on the site.

Eyewitness News started digging into this after getting several tips and late last week, Police Chief Edward Lennon confirmed an officer is on leave, saying in a statement:

“We have been made aware of an off-duty matter involving Officer Paul Cavalier. He was placed on administrative leave and is the subject of an internal affairs investigation, consistent with the collective bargaining agreement. This is a personnel matter. As such, we will have no additional comment.”

I wonder how much eye bleach was used at that police station that day.

Now How Often Do Stolen Credit Card Cases Involve Psychic Readings?

I don’t think she saw that one coming:

An Ocean City therapist who used dozens of clients’ credit cards to pay for thousands in psychic readings was admitted into pretrial intervention last month, BreakingAC has learned.

Ashley Crooks, 32, was charged with theft by deception and unlawful use of credit cards after racking up $40,000 in charges over two months on an app texting psychics.

She voluntarily surrendered her license in April, and is now in pretrial intervention, which will allow her to avoid criminal prosecution if she successfully completes the program.

As owner of Counselting by the Sea on Asbury Avenue, Crooks treated children, adolescents and adults struggling with various mental health and substance use disorders.

So, the vision involving light shining through a window with black lines was a jail cell all this time?

When the Mayor Admits He was Behind the String of Bike Vandalism in the City

I admit to being used to political individuals admitting to drunk driving and other weird behaviour, but bike vandalism is certainly less common in my books:

And so ends the shortest investigation ever.

The town of Komono in the northern part of Mie Prefecture is a quaint place to live, but also not immune to strangeness. The occasional irrational driver or thieving police officer has been spotted from time to time, but none of these things could match the oddity of recent months.

On 16 August, Komono received a report from a contract worker tasked with collecting abandoned and illegally parked bicycles for impound. The reason was that near a free parking lot for bicycles beside a train station a large number of bicycles were found together on the side of the street. Moreover, they were standing upside down with their tires raised to the sky.

Disturbed by the kind of twisted mind or minds that would do something so inexplicable, the contractor told town officials: “The condition of the bicycles was abnormal. This is beyond the realm of ordinary mischief.”

The official who received the report was also alarmed by the oddness of it and immediately took it to Mayor Takayuki Shibata who then said, “That was me.”

… weird.

The Mechanic Discovered a Squirrel Nest Under the Hood of the Car

I wonder how many oil changes lead to that kind of discovery?

A Toronto woman said she felt shocked and sick to her stomach after learning during a routine oil change that a squirrel had been nesting under the hood of her car.

Shahana Mirza told CTV News Toronto her car was sitting idle for a few weeks near her parent’s home in North York after the birth of her child. Until this week, she said she hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary the few times she drove.

“Most recently though there was a shaking,” she said. “So I called my husband on the road and I thought it was due for servicing. That sign came on that I need an oil change.”

Mirza went to the dealership on Wednesday, describing the day as relatively carefree. She was looking forward to taking a tiny break from motherhood and perhaps napping in the waiting area—that is, until a service advisor approached her and said they found something unusual under the hood.

“He showed me these images, and my jaw dropped.”

Hundreds of large walnuts, pebbles, and hay filled every nook and cranny around Mirza’s car engine. The hood insulation, which absorbs the engine’s heat, had been completely chewed up and scrunched together to create a nest.

Your Product Placement News Story of the Month

A truck parked on top of a car that reads “Mobile Dent Guy / On Site Repairs – Free Estimates / One Hour Service Repair”:

WJAR) — A multi-car crash on Reservoir Avenue sent four people to the hospital on Thursday night.

Cranston police said a truck crashed into a vehicle, sending the truck into the air before landing on another car at the intersection of Reservoir Avenue and Woodridge Road.

Police said one driver suffered a broken leg and the other three patients were treated and released.

“Safe to say speed is involved but cause is under investigation,” police told NBC 10.

Police are not ruling out alcohol or drugs as a factor at this time.

That’ll buff right out.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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