Bride and groom run for the border with Taco Bell nuptials

Ah, weddings! Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…with cheese? An Illinois couple (from the seemingly misnamed town of Normal) tied the Gordita knot recently in a neighborhood Taco Bell. Party favors were sauce packets, and the happy lovebirds sealed their spicy yet inexpensive love with the help of an online-ordained, t-shirt-wearing minister. News reports say that the bride looked resplendent in a $15 hot pink dress, and the entire wedding cost $200. Seriously? Who could spend $200 at Taco Bell?

The honeymoon plans were not disclosed to the press, although rumors of a weekend spent in a Winnebago located in the eatery’s parking lot wouldn’t be far off base; one day, the newlyweirds will have to explain the whole story to their daughter, Volcano Taco.

Supporting Simon

We interrupt your crazily scheduled weird news fix to bring you an important message: blogger, writer, and mama extrodinaire Mysti has a darling little boy born too soon.  Simon is fighting for his life, and his family needs your help. In this day of ballooning gas prices and rising costs of…well, everything, Simon’s family is saddled with more than the daily overwhelming worry of their precious bundle’s health; they are also burdened by the financial challenge of traveling to Denver to see their son. Take a moment and visit Supporting Simon, read his story, and make life easier for one tiny, determined spark in the world. No joke this time, just hope. Thanks.

Stewardess has Wonka-esque ticket to ride

What would be better than scoring the last Golden Ticket into Willy Wonka’s fictional candy factory? Try a real-life ticket to space, the final frontier, for one French ‘air hostess.’ (Sorry, but that brings Twinkies to mind; let’s stick with stewardess, just for retro fun.)

The hungry sky worker grabbed a Kit Kat bar at a local French supermarket and snarfed down the chocolate, not thinking about Nestle’s space race contest until the sugar high wore off. A couple of hours later, she returned to the scene of the snack, and found the winning wrapper in the refuse. The ticket wins her a seat on the Rocketplane XP, part of an developing project to bring economical space travel to the masses—because we as a species have apparently already achieved cheap, comfortable, punctual air travel here on earth.

The high-flying choco-fan also receives several days of training like an astronaut in Oklahoma City, which may be more of a culture shock for her than the actual trip into space. Let’s just hope when she gets to claim her final prize, she overcomes the urge to make sure everyone is strapped in securely with their cell phones turned off.

Fire sale means eBay garage sale for Bear Stearns employees

The fire sale of Bear Stearns last week meant a four-alarm wake-up call for company’s 14,000 staff members, many of whom will be spending some time in the unemployment line soon. But a few enterprising employees are creating their own Bear market on eBay, where items branded with the company name are stacking up. So far, more than 40 items have been listed, from t-shirts to teddy bears, cafeteria cards to stock certificates. On one cafeteria card auction, the description includes the forlorn phrase ‘no longer needed, unfortunately.’

Most of the items have bids, although whether it’s due to a collecting frenzy or just trying to help some folks in need, no one can say. Yeah, we’re pretty sure it’s a collecting frenzy, too. At least one seller came with a sense of humor, toting a toy bear with the description, “Do not delay, bail out a Bear today! Money upfront only-no ‘loansies’-we’ve already got into enough trouble with that.

Another auction featured a Bear Stearns hard hat, a lovely, poetic bit of irony, since it couldn’t protect its owner much from falling stock prices. Although you have to wonder, considering what bears do in the woods, did anyone issue hard hats before that hit the fan?

Forget Blockbuster; DVD is Bulletbuster for fireman

The latest in body armor may be shiny, round and completely entertaining. A South Carolina firefighter was spared recently when a stray bullet ripped through his jacket and was stopped by a DVD in his pocket. The wayward ammo sped toward the man as he exited a Waffle House restaurant when two men ran in, fighting over a gun, apparently determined to make hot lead available as a breakfast side dish.

Although the fireman was uninjured, the brave little DVD was nicked in the skirmish, which also destroyed its plastic case. In a perfectly sarcastic world, the DVD would have been a copy of Bruce Willis in Die Hard; in reality, it contained a recording of a show about fire extinguishers, which now can save lives on several different levels.

All this leaves at least two questions:

1. Just how dangerous are the Waffle Houses in South Carolina?

2. If you make armor out of DVDs, how do you plug the center hole?

Dancing with the Devil Toad

Scientists dug up a new dinosaur recently in Madagascar, an armored, toothy predator that surely sent smaller creatures running away millions of years ago. A new type of velociraptor, perhaps, or T-Rex? No, they found a T-Ribbit: a massive, ten-pound, 16 inch long, bad-tempered frog. The dusty, eons-old remains were still intimidating enough that the scientists named it the ‘Devil Toad,’ and believe it is related to some far-flung amphibians in South America, namely the big-mouthed ‘Pacman’ frogs. While today’s hoppers no longer have menacing teeth, protective bone armor, or a glandular problem that makes them as big as bowling balls, they do have the same yawning yappers.

In an age when even the bugs were scary, Devil Toad is believed to have gone after many types of prey, including hatchling dinosaurs. In high-school terms, this was one bully who would give you a wedgie, stuff you into a trash can, then cram the whole thing into your locker on the last day before spring break. Eeee-villlll.

While this was one toad you definitely wouldn’t want to lick, I’m sure a few folks have tried to imagine how many dino frog legs would fit in the average frying pan, but they haven’t considered how many fingers you’d lose in the process while dancing with the Devil Toad.

Forget fleas: have some monkey-picked tea

From the weird products department:

For those who want tea with a tail, out of China comes Monkey-Picked Tea. Apparently, having monkeys pick your tea was all the rage just a few centuries ago. Now, the monkeys have better employment opportunities, like Hollywood and showing up college students. But in one remote Chinese village, trained monkeys still pick wild tea leaves for a unique blend that hopefully has nothing else included in it, a thought that is emphasized after one visit to your local zoo’s monkey house. (Don’t have a monkey house close by? Find the nearest gathering of politicians.)

The label states that the monkeys are not mistreated or harmed in any way to gather the delicate tea leaves, and are in fact honored members of the village families. Perhaps after the WGA solves its strike, a few representatives might think about flying over to China and getting the monkeys interested in a union. No, wait, the executives are probably already there, with a shipment of typewriters, hoping to get the next television season sewn up.

This loose tea has been proclaimed delicious by ThinkGeek, who sells Monkey-Picked Tea on their wonderful, gadget-packed website. While $25 is a bit steep for the Weird Its ninja monkeys just for a caffeine buzz, it’s the perfect smart-ass Valentine’s gift for the tea snob close to your heart.