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Just Above Sunset offers, in special arrangement with Andrew J. Hewett and his site WEIRD, BIZARRE and UNUSUAL (chewednews.com), the best of the week's weird, bizarre and unusual.

As noted there, he publishes, via e-mail, a growing archive of true events compiled from a variety of sources, covering "every conceivable subject." You can submit your own favorite "strange story" - including a verifiable source, of course. He's sent over 1,200 of these out to the distribution list, and you too can sign up to be on the list.

The items that have appeared previously in these pages can be found here - Archives of the WEIRD, BIZARRE and UNUSUAL

For the week of August 27, 2006 -

 

THOU SHALT NOT RUN OVER THY BROTHER'S KEEPER, OR HIM

 

Two new sins were added by Pope John Paul II in 1989: bad driving and speeding. The Pope told Italian auto club members who attended his weekly audience, reckless drivers will have to answer to God. (Perhaps he could swap covetousness and adultery for reckless driving and speeding, to keep the commandments at ten?) 

 

"THE OTHER WHITE MEAT" FOR HER WAS POTATOES 

 

After Abigail Boettcher was chosen Pork Queen of Buena Vista County, Iowa, she did an excellent job of fulfilling her role to promote pork. Once her term had expired, only then did she let the truth be known, she was a vegetarian. 

 

THREE MORE FUN FACTS

 

(1) There were 24 more countries in 2000 than there were in 1990. (2) How many time zones are there in China? One. (3) Kentucky citizens are required by state law to bathe at least once a year.

 

DID THIS MEAN HE DIDN'T GET-A-KICK OUT OF GOING TO HEAVEN? 

 

After his death and burial in 1995, the family of Monty Winikirei sued the New Zealand health authority. The family learned too late the hospital had broken a Maori taboo by burying the corpse without its amputated leg. 

 

JUSTICE WAS BLIND OVER THIS SHOCKING DEATH

 

In 1992, the Illinois Supreme Court reinstated a $1.5 million verdict against the Chicago Transit Authority, over the death of Korean immigrant Sang Yeul Lee.  Mr. Lee had been electrocuted back in 1977 when he urinated on the center rail of a CTA train track.

 

AT LEAST THEY DIDN'T CRASH INTO A FUNERAL HOME 

 

The Indianapolis Star reported in November of 2005 that an SUV had collided with another vehicle, and crashed partially through an office building wall. Among the building's tenants was the personal-injury law firm Mitchell Hurst Jacobs & Dick, which specializes in automobile accidents. 

 

NOW HERE'S A GUY WHO REALLY WAS HEN-PECKED

 

Franz Jaumotte's badly mutilated body was found inside the hen house on his farm near Brussels, Belgium. Police speculated Mr. Jaumotte had probably fallen to the ground while dying from heart failure. Then later, when the chickens ran out of grain, they began by pecking out his eyes, then moved on to any exposed flesh.

 

WONDER IF THAT CD CONTAINED HEAD-BANGER MUSIC?

 

Steve Kemble was arrested March of 1995 after stealing a CD from a store in St. George, Utah.  Stopped by a store clerk, he broke free and ran through the open door head-on, straight into a pole supporting an overhang, knocking himself unconscious. 

 

SMOKEY THE BEAR WOULD HANG HIS HEAD IN SHAME

 

To demonstrate the dangers of fireworks as July 4th grew near, firemen and police gathered at a bomb disposal range near San Diego to explode thousands of illegal fireworks for the news media. Sparks from the explosions set fire to dead grass, which burned 10-acres of brush that took 50 firefighters, two water-dropping helicopters and a bulldozer to put out.

 

ALL THAT MEAT PROBABLY WASN'T GOOD FOR HIS HEART 

 

After the heads of two men were found on a street in St. Petersburg, Russia, police searching a nearby abandoned apartment building found two arms and two legs in a hallway. Inside apartment #22, the one-room flat of Ilshat Kuzikov, 35, they found a casserole dish near the oven containing human bones, along with a sack of human ears and other parts nearby. Pickle jars sat around the room filled with vinegar and what turned out to be pickled human meat. And, last but not least, a plastic bag hanging outside a window in the cold, which contained marinating human flesh with onions, probably for his evening meal.  

 

HERE'S AN HONEST TO GOODNESS EXCUSE FOR MISSING SCHOOL

 

"Please excuse Edward for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch and when we found it on Monday we thought it was Sunday."

 

HERE'S A PARTY THAT WAS A QUIET RIOT                               

 

A dinner disco party for the deaf, held at Blackpool's Winter Gardens, attracted 1,500 hearing and speech impaired young adults. During the evening, amid the silence, and for reasons unknown, a brawl broke out. Police soon arrived, but felt frustrated when none of the rioters could hear their bullhorns, and only spoke with sign language. Eventually, using foam spray, police did bring the crowd under control. But not until four policemen were injured and seven men arrested for disorderly conduct.

 

GIVES "GOOD FRIDAY" ANOTHER MEANING 

 

Increasing numbers of teen pregnancies in York County, Pennsylvania, caused local leaders to try and teach abstinence through self control, by declaring Monday, March 22, 1993, "The Great Sex-Out Day." One teen interviewed said, Monday without sex wouldn't be too difficult but if it were Friday, that would create a conflict. 

 

PERHAPS SHE'LL GET A DISCOUNT WHEN HER BODY GOES?

 

Melanie Roberts, 41, of ProvidenceOhio, was still recovering from having her left leg amputated when she received a funeral bill for that leg in the amount of $600. The bill had been broken down, giving exact amounts for plot, gravediggers, hearse and minister. And she hadn't even been invited, and knew nothing about the proceedings.

 

HE LITERALLY GAVE HIS CAPTORS THE FINGER

 

In October of 1980, in Zurich, Switzerland, a Smash-and-Grab thief broke the window to a jewelry store and scooped up a handful of expensive gems. But, as he pulled out his loot, he made contact with a sharp edge of glass still remaining in the window, and completely amputated one of his fingers. He got away, but within two hours was arrested after police had hurriedly matched his real finger with his prints they had on file. 

 

"ANYTHING TO SELL NEWSPAPERS" ATTITUDE?

 

Not everyone was pleased with Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address (1863). The Chicago Times wrote the following day: "The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dish-watery utterances of the man who has been pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States." 

 

HE CAN SAVE HIS BATTERIES WHILE COOLING HIS HEELS

 

When Alfred E. Acree was stopped by Charles City County, Virginia, sheriff's deputies, the known drug dealer jumped from his car and began running through dense woods. But even on that moonless night he was soon captured, wearing his L.A. Gear battery-operated sneakers, which flashed light each time one of his heels made contact with the ground.  

 

FAME, BUT AT WHAT A PRICE

 

Judy Garland, a top film actress known for playing many parts, is probably best remembered as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Already 16, she was playing the part of an 11-year-old girl. So, to keep her looking younger, MGM only allowed her to eat 4 times a week, and her breasts were taped flat to make her look more like a child. MGM's constant attempts to keep Garland slim with diet and drugs shortened her life. She passed away in June of 1969, at the age of 47. 

 

HUH? HE GOT EVEN BY FREEZING HIMSELF TO DEATH 

 

Determined to cast the final insult, Cory Quinn of Sydney, Australia, committed suicide by locking himself inside his estranged wife's walk-in freezer, while she was away on vacation. The note he left for the 280-pound woman read: "Gorge on this, you fat pig!"

 

HE SHOULD'VE CHANGE HIS NAME TO MR. DRUNK

 

In April of 1994, after spending all his money on liquor, John Smart of Sunderland, England, hated to go home to his wife and kids broke, so he attempted to break a store window to rob his money back. Problem was, staggering around in the dark, Mr. Smart couldn't find anything to break the window, so he removed a manhole cover, raised it over his head and... lost his balance to fall into the hole he had just uncovered. Cut, bruised, and dripping sewage water, he was arrested before he could crawl home. 

 

CONVICTED UNDER HIS OWN LAW

 

A sexually exploitative video featuring a 17-year-old boy got a conviction against former Colorado State Rep. David Bath. Back in 1991, while Bath was in office, he'd sponsored the bill against sexual exploitation of minors which he himself was convicted under.

 

"HO!" "HO!" "HO!" AND MERRY CHRISTMAS, NOT!

                                    

An undertaker in Iceland was forced to run for safety after bereaving kinfolks of a deceased elderly man turned on him. What they'd turned angry at was seeing their grandfather inside his coffin not wearing the conservative three-piece suit they had selected for his final rest. What he was wearing, due to a mix-up, was the clothing for another deceased male's Christmas Day ceremony. That's right, poor grandfather was dressed in a nice red Santa Clause suit, with beard, cap, stupid smile, and all. 

 

THREE MORE QUICK FACTS

 

(1) The city of Damascus was already thriving in 2000 B.C., oldest of any other city on earth. (2) Quartzy is the highest-scoring Scrabble word. (3) Peruvians eat about 65 million guinea pigs each year. 

 

THAT'S WHAT THEY GET FOR HORSING-AROUND FOR BEEF

 

In May of 1994 Argentinean thieves stole a refrigerated truck they thought contained beef worth about $35,000 on the Black Market. But the truck they had stolen was not heading to unload at a meat processing plant. It was to unload at a Buenos Aires medical school. What they had stolen were 33 human corpses. 

 

GOSH, ANYBODY CAN MAKE A FEW MISTAKES

 

Health officials in Taiwan fined Hsiao Ming Hospital the equivalent of $12,200, and barred it from accepting patients for two weeks, after one of its surgeons removed the appendixes of 11 children, all of whom only suffered minor poisoning.  

 

THEY MET THE ENEMY AND IT WAS THEY

 

Literally hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens met for New York City's 'Park on Earth Day' in 1990 to "exhibit their deep concerns" for Mother Earth's environmental needs. They were so concerned they left behind 154.3 tons of litter.

 

WELL, THEY DID HELP HIM STAY UNEMPLOYED                            

 

An organization in Great Britain, named Age Concern, formed to help the elderly, missed a great opportunity in June of 2000 to help an older man. When Hector McDonald, age 69, applied for one of their job openings, he was told he was too old. 

 

PERHAPS A CHANGE OF BARS COULD'VE DONE HIM GOOD?

                         

Darren Brown was tired of being kept inside a Mexico City penitentiary, so one day in March of 1993 he hid inside a laundry van to make his escape. But at the gate prison security dogs sniffed his presence and the plan was spoiled. It wouldn't have mattered, though. The next stop the laundry truck would make was inside another prison.































 
 
 
 
Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
 
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