Issue 26 of the Odd Stew: strange and weird news items, oddities, plus other fascinating things that have happened in the news that you may have missed.
Can I Have a Sticker Instead?
The Detroit Zoo added a new souvenir for visitors to the zoo on April 14, 2018. A free 5-pound bucket of animal manure. The souvenir was called Detroit Zoo Poo and was part of the zoo’s GreenFest event which highlighted how the zoo recycles the waste of its animals using an anaerobic digester. The machine turns 500 tons of animal waste into methane that helps supply power to the animal hospital of the zoo. The first 1,000 lucky patrons visiting the zoo received the souvenir poop which the zoo said makes an excellent fertilizer for a garden. (Detroit Free Press 4/3/2018)
A Surprising Return
Reverend Alex Santora of Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken, New Jersey, found a suspicious package at the church that had no return address, so he decided to call the police. When officers arrived, they checked the package and found it was clear of explosives. They opened it to see what was inside and discovered a statue of the baby Jesus along with a note. The note explained that the baby Jesus statue had been stolen from the church’s Nativity scene in the early 1930s. The note’s writer stated that his or her mother was twelve when the statue was taken, and it had ended up in the possession of this person’s father. The father gave it to the note writer’s mother when she got married, and the woman kept it until she passed away. The note writer got possession of the statue and felt it was right to return the figure to its rightful owner, the church where it had been stolen over 90 years before. (UPI 3/16/2018)
A Crime Against a Toilet
Police in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, appealed to citizens on their Facebook page for help on solving a perplexing crime. According to police, someone had been clogging the toilet at the Deland Community Center for a year and a half using a 20-ounce soda bottle. The incidents began in 2016, and at the time of this writing, the toilet had been clogged almost 30 times over the last two years. The suspect doesn’t just flush the bottles. They push the bottles directly into the pipes instead. The city has had over $3,000 worth of expenses because of the unknown serial toilet clogger. (NBC26 3/22/2018)
Using a Bowl Would Have Been a Better Choice
A 22-year-old student at Eastern Michigan University named Andrew filled a pothole in Trenton, Michigan, with Lucky Charms and a gallon of milk on March 12, 2008. He then laid down on the road and ate the cereal from the pothole. Surprisingly, Andrew wasn’t protesting potholes or making himself into an art exhibit. He stated that he did the strange act just to do it because the mood struck him. Maybe college kids have too much time on their hands. (IBT 3/23/18)
What Was In Those Cookies?
When cookies were dropped off for Valentine’s Day by a parent at the Watch Me Shine daycare in Bangor, Maine, a dozen staff members began to report that they started to feel high. The police seized the remaining cookies and took them for testing. It was reported that no kids ate the cookies. Fast Forward to April 2018 when police reported that after testing the cookies, they found no illicit substances. Authorities have no idea what caused the staff to feel the way they did. The daycare now prohibits any outside food from coming in the facility for children or staff. (AP 4/2/2018)
That’s a Lot of Fajitas
A Cameron County juvenile detention center employee in Brownsville, Texas, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing over $1.2 million worth of fajitas over a nine-year period. The 53-year-old man had been arrested a year earlier when it was discovered that he was ordering the meat for the detention center and then selling it off. A driver for Labatt Food Service had called the detention center and informed them that their 800-pound delivery of fajitas had arrived. Inmates at the detention center weren’t served fajitas. The man stated that he started out stealing small amounts of fajitas and then the amount got larger and out of control. It was also discovered that the man had been stealing other meat products such as brisket, pork chops, sausage, and chicken, and these hadn’t been included in the total dollar amount of meat the man had stolen. The amount of time for the sentence was based on the amount of money that had been taken and because the man had been a public servant while stealing the fajitas. (Brownsville Herald 4/20/2018)
But She’s Still Grumpy
The internet sensation Grumpy Cat, the cat with the frown, won a federal lawsuit to the tune of $700,000 in a case over the use of her identity. The owner of Grumpy Cat, Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Arizona, filed the lawsuit against the Grenade beverage company three years ago. Bundesen had the cat endorse a Grenade product called “Grumpy Cat Grumpuccino,” but the suit said the company used the image of the cat to sell other products. A jury found that the use of the cat’s image had been unauthorized and awarded the grumpy cat the monetary award. Grumpy Cat rose to fame after Bundesen began posting pictures of her on the internet in 2012. (NBC 1/25/2018)
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