Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weirdest News Stories of 2009

We may be facing shortages of fossil fuel, clean drinking water, jobs, and a definite big time shortage of world peace, but there's one thing we still have in abundance—weird news stories. I'm going to ignore those big headline grabbing stories involving people desperately seeking their fifteen minutes of fame and concentrate on the stories that didn't make every television newscast, newspaper headline (both real newspaper and tabloid), and magazine.

1. Driving Furniture While Intoxicated. A man in Ohio equipped his bar stool with a lawnmover engine, downed fifteen beers, then went zipping down a public street on his motorized bar stool at 38 miles per hour. Not to be outdone, a man in Minnesota was arrested when he plowed his motorized recliner into a parked car. And finally, a woman in Wisconsin drank seven or eight brandy and cokes, then called 911 to report herself driving drunk. The police pulled her over, gave her a breathalyzer test, and concluded she was right.

2. Busted Justice. When British retailer Marks & Spencer started charging more for bras size DD and larger, a British woman used her Facebook group with 17,000 members to bring Marks & Spencer to their knees and they dropped the additional increase in their price.

3. Moonwalk Like An Ancient Egyptian. Following the death of Michael Jackson, crowds gathered at Chicago's Field Museum because they thought they could see Jackson's face in a 3000 year old statuette.

4. Antisocial Media. A teen in Staten Island, NY, walking down a sidewalk while texting, fell into an open manhole. Within hours of being rescued she was tweeting about it. In a Sao Paulo, Brazil, prison the inmates began smuggling in cell phones by carrier pigeon.

5. Urine Luck. A strange save the Earth campaign. A Brazilian environmental group is encouraging everyone to save water by peeing in the shower, claiming it would save 1000 gallons of water annually.

6. Horsing Around. One interspecies romp is bad enough, but get caught twice and you are in really big time trouble as a 50 year old man found out who was sentenced to three years in prison and banned from ever going near a stable again.

7. Unbelievably Fertile. For years an Arkansas woman and her husband had been trying to conceive without any luck. Then it happened not just once, but twice. She somehow managed to conceive a second child while still pregnant with her first. The phenomenon, known as superfetation, is so rare that doctors know of only ten other cases.

8. This Is Your Brain On Drugs. A 20 year old Pennsylvania man was caught by the sheriff using an extra-large homemade bong to "mellow out his cat." The sheriff said he knew it wasn't the first time it had happened, it was just the first time someone had been caught.

9. Excuses, Excuses. A Belgian teen claimed she fell asleep in a tattoo artist's chair and woke up with fifty-six stars tattooed on her face. The artist claimed she was a willing client. Days later she admitted she didn't want to tell her parents the truth.

10. Nude Coffee Kerfuffle. A 29 year old man was busted in his own home for drinking his morning coffee in the nude. It seems the two women and a 7 year old boy spotted him sipping his coffee au naturel while they cut through his yard on the way to a park. A jury convicted him of indecent exposure, but the judge did not fine or sentence him. He's vowing to appeal the conviction.

11. Google Worship. SEO…Search Engine Optimization…is a fancy way of saying sell yourself in any way possible to rank high in an internet search. This became an obsession in 2009 with not only media companies and retailers, but also municipalities. The French coastal town of Eu announced that it was considering changing its name because people searching for the vacation town on the Web are instead inundated with information on the European Community, also known as the EU.

12. Moo-ving Research. Farmers have been trying to get their cows to produce more milk for a long time. Scientists at England's Newcastle University gave us a solution—talk to the animals. The researchers found that cows with names produced one to two pints of milk more per day than cows that weren't given names.

And that's a dozen of the weirdest news stories from 2009. Do any of you have weird news stories that have come to your attention during the last year?


Shayla Kersten said...

Funny! I remember the tattooed teenager story. It was all over the web! Thanks for the morning laugh!

Samantha Gentry said...

Shayla: Did you see the picture of her? 56 stars tattooed on her face and she claimed to have slept through it and didn't know what the tattoo artist was doing? I can't imagine why she thought someone was going to actually believe her story. :)

Judy said...

The one that caught my attention is naming the cows to get more milk. I can just see the workers talking to them cows and them chewing their cud :)

They were all very interesting. Thanks!!

Samantha Gentry said...

Judy: It's probably the same concept as talking to your house plants. They say plants respond when someone talks to them. Of course, we have no idea who "they" are. :)

P.L. Parker said...

I love these stories. One of our radio stations lists weird stories every Monday morning. Only thing that makes Monday mornings worthwhile.

Samantha Gentry said...

P.L.: I love little weird news stories, too. How neat that your local radio station shares some of these every week.

Cassidy McKay said...

Love the stories, Samantha!

I'm not sure I believe the thing about the cows, though... I named all of my kids and can't get a lick of work out of them. ;)

Samantha Gentry said...

Cassidy: LOL about not being able to get a lick of work out of your kids. I guess the concept has a flaw or two. :)

Sylvie said...

Thanks for sharing! I recall hearing about the woman who reported herself for drunken about a citizen's arrest lol

Samantha Gentry said...

Sylvie: That really was weird. She had the presence of mind to know she was too drunk to drive, but it didn't keep her from getting behind the wheel and driving.