Top five weird news stories for 2007

It’s been a wild, woolly year for weird news, and our warped, slightly cracked cup has runneth over. After examining all the stories, obsessing over the blog stats, and giving the WeirdIts ninja monkeys a handful of darts and a few old newspapers, it’s time to reveal the top five stories of the year!

5. Mr. Toilet’s throne home. This heartwarming story of a man and his dreams of living in a two-story, toilet-shaped home captured the imagination of people everywhere, especially those doing the pee-pee dance while waiting in line at the mall bathroom. While Mr. Toilet created the ultimate commode as an activist message about lack of sanitary facilities around the world, he’s also boosting South Korea’s tourism trade by allowing tours through his drain domain. Hmmm, wonder if the animated film ‘Flushed Away’ is in all the DVD players?

4. Dog saves owner with paws of life. A golden retriever insures a lifetime of premium dog food by applying his own Heimlich maneuver to his owner, who was choking on a piece of apple. Seeing his owner’s distress, he pushed her to the ground and ‘jumped up and down on her back,’ forcing the errant fruit outward, according to the grateful dog lover. Other than a few paw-shaped bruises, the owner survived the ordeal intact, and her doctor said that the dog likely saved her life. Toby received a commendation for his actions, and his owner probably received a recommendation to stick with applesauce.

3. Attack of the turkeys! Massachusetts was invaded this year by large, feathered bullies wandering the streets of several towns. Once hardly seen across the east, wild turkeys got busy with their own bad selves and began a re-population boom. While talking trash may step up your game, talking turkey to these fowl felons would just earn you a winged beat-down. As they move back to take their old territory, the birds have discovered a new hobby: chasing joggers. Animal control advised trying to establish ‘turkey dominance’ by whacking the flappers with a broom or a purse if people felt threatened, but perhaps the best course of action would have been an APB: suspects are not armed, but considered delicious.

2. Artists carve out secret space in mall. Sure, everyone needs their own space, but leave it to artists to create that space with stealth and style. Eight artists from a local co-op in Rhode Island created their own small apartment, hidden away in a mall parking lot. The room was decked out with a sofa, chairs and tables, along with essentials like a waffle iron and Sony Playstation. Lacking any plumbing, the artists would dart out to use the mall restrooms during their multi-week stays at the perfect pad as they studied ‘mall life.’ The percentage of artists who used the secret lair to impress women is unknown, but we all know it had to have happened, because the room went undiscovered for four long years. When their sweet digs were discovered, the leader of the co-op ultimately received probation for trespassing. While the mall guards didn’t discover the room for years, thieves did, and stole the Playstation last year.

1. Monkey on the lam! Oliver, a white-faced capuchin monkey, escaped twice this year from his home at the Tupelo Buffalo Park. The light-fingered lockpicker garnered national headlines during his initial six-day escapade, then made another break for freedom less than a month later. He was found the next day, and park officials believe he had followed train tracks to a neighboring yard. The tiny hobo-wannabe now has Gitmo-level security with locks and chains all around his enclosure, and a new status as folk hero: the park now sells Oliver t-shirts, currently the most popular uniform with the WeirdIts ninja monkey staff. With this year’s adventures culminating three escapes in six years, everyone’s just waiting for this hairy little Houdini to hit the road again next year. C’mon, OliverFest 2008!

Jesus and the GPS, part II

This just in from Engadget: Florida’s GPS-enabled baby Jesus was reported missing from the nativity scene recently, giving authorities a chance to try out their eye in the sky. The stolen Savior was found at a home across the street from his pimped-out tech manger, and an 18-year-old female was arrested for Lord-lifting.

So, to recap:

Baby Jesus-$800

GPS tech: $400

Bail for Son-stealing: $3,500

A rescued Christmas and tech that works: priceless

Savior tagged with satellite tracking; Santa concerned

“Hello, this is OnStar, how may I save you, my child?”

Tired of annual Jesus-jacking, a Florida community has decided to fight back by installing GPS on the main players of the nativity scene. The extra security was the only step available, since bolting down the statues last year still allowed someone to whisk away the tiny Savior with amazing grace. Jesus won’t be the only one tracked wherever he goes; Mary and Joseph will also have those silent blinks in the night. The top holiday celebrity family also will have a plexiglas wall separating them from the riffraff, just in case. No word yet on whether Britney’s former bodyguard will be available to Mary, Little J and J-Pa, but Santa might want to take notice; he’s not the only one who can know if you’re bad or good, or if you’ve been spirited away for a holiday trip to the islands.

Fowl play brings lost bracelet back after twenty years


A Minnesota meat locker may not seem like Oz, but one man went off to see the gizzard and re-discovered his identity– or at least his I.D. bracelet, lost on his grandfather’s farm when he was just a wee tyke and forgotten to the wings of time. The bracelet turned up again last week when a meat cutter sliced open a chicken gizzard and discovered the apparently hen-pecked jewelry inside. Rather than being reduced to illegible scratches, the name, address and phone number were clear and readable, giving the finder plenty of info to track down the bracelet’s owner through his family more than twenty years after it hit the dirt in the barnyard. CSI (Chicken Science Insider) techs theorize that bracelet was trapped in the debris of the old family barn when it was scrapped, and the wood was used to build a new barn, giving a gold-digging hen the perfect opportunity to score some bling. When the meaty bird met her end, the bracelet re-emerged into the light of day with one fell swoop of the knife.


So, which came first, the chicken or the identity theft? Only the nugget whisperer knows for sure.

My chimp is smarter than your college student

From the Only-In-Japan department: recent tests between three young chimps and a dozen humans who should have known better proved that the chimps scored higher in short-term memory exams. The MENSA-ready monkeys were taught numbers 1 -9, then tested on a timed memory test at Kyoto University. In three different levels, humans could only tie with the chimps; on the third and fastest level, the chimps crushed the competition, able to remember where the numbers appeared on the screen after just seeing the images for two-tenths of a second. Three students couldn’t catch up to their brainier DNA half-brothers, even after six months of training. The researchers believe that chimps can take in the whole pattern of numbers with a single glance, giving them the edge on the number crunch. Youth may have also been a factor, mentions the scientists, so next time, it’s chimps vs. children to prove that they are, indeed, smarter than a 5th grader. After that, the chimps will be dressed up in little suits and given jobs in television programming.