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News Quirks 

Published January 28, 2009 at 6:13 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again Police responding to a break-in at a convenience store in Athens, Tenn., identified their suspect when he returned to the scene two hours later. Officer Chandler Rollo told the Daily Post-Athenian he was at the store waiting for a manager to arrive with the key after someone shattered a glass door and entered the store. A blood-covered Roger Scott Buckner Jr., 21, approached Rollo to ask for help. Buckner required dozens of stitches in his hand and ankle for wounds from the shattered glass.

Stand Up for Freedom CIA agents began supplying Viagra to win support from Afghan warlords in the war against Taliban insurgents. “Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people, whether it’s building a school or handing out Viagra,” a CIA operative told the Washington Post. The paper reported the erectile dysfunction drug has proved more welcome than customary bribes, such as guns and money. Aging chieftains often have up to four wives, for example, and see the Viagra pill as a way to “put them back in an authoritative position.”

One official told the Post that four Viagra pills transformed the attitude of one 60-year-old warlord, who had been wary of the United States. “He came up to us beaming,” the official said. “And after that, we could do whatever we wanted in his area.”

Twenty Miles to the Pound Dr. Alan Bittner declared he is saving the planet by running his Ford Explorer and his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigators on fat removed from at least 7000 liposuction patients. “The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel,” the Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon said on the website, “and I have more fat than I can use.”

Since the United States bans the use of human medical waste to power vehicles, California’s public health department began investigating Bittner after his claim came to their attention because several patients filed lawsuits accusing him of letting his assistant and his girlfriend, both unlicensed, perform the procedure. Three patients said the assistant and girlfriend removed too much fat, leaving them disfigured. A small notice on his official clinic website reveals that Bittner has relocated to Bogota, Colombia, “where I can help those most in need.”

Making Sure No One Wins Hoping to win $1000 in travel vouchers, photographer Duane Kerzic was taking pictures of trains from the passenger platform at New York City’s Penn Station for Amtrak’s annual Picture Our Trains contest when Amtrak police arrested him. He said the officers who handcuffed him to the wall of a holding cell told him “it was illegal to take photos of the trains.”

Incendiary Device A man using a propane-powered blowtorch to melt ice on his back porch set the house on fire, according to fire officials in New Bedford, Mass. Fire Capt. Scott Kruger told the Standard-Times that the man got too close to the building’s wood frame and ignited the vinyl siding. The fire spread to the building’s second- and third-floor apartments, causing $30,000 in damage but injuring no one.

Ways to Meet Women (No. 3245) Japanese police arrested Manabu Mizuta, 35, for releasing more than 200 worms inside a moving express train to scare female passengers. He had more than 3000 of the beetle larvae still in his backpack when he was caught, a police official said, adding that Mizuta explained, “I wanted to see women get scared and shake their legs.”

Kiss of Deaf An amorous young man in China ruptured his girlfriend’s eardrum during an exceptionally passionate kiss, causing a partial hearing loss. “The kiss reduced pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear,” a doctor in Guangdong province told the China Daily after treating the 20-something woman from Zhuhai. The doctor said the woman’s hearing should return to normal after two months.

The Medium Is the Message A strip club in Chester, England, began selling advertising on the bottoms of its dancers. “Local firms can sponsor as many of the girls as they wish,” Dan Phillips, booking agent for the Platinum Lounge, told the Chester Chronicle, likening the arrangement to corporate sponsorships on race-car drivers’ uniforms. Phillips explained the 4-by-6-inch notices are stenciled onto the women’s butt cheeks with body paint. “I had to do a lot of research with a tape measure,” he pointed out, “to come up with the optimum size for the adverts.”

Old Habits Die Hard Authorities in Hamilton County, Ohio, said Jessica Cohen, 20, went to the public defender’s office to request a lawyer to defend her on a theft charge. When she left, she stole a cellphone belonging to the employee who took her personal information. The employee discovered the theft and notified sheriff’s deputies, who went to the address Cohen gave. Confronted, she admitted the theft.

From First to Worst Police who arrested Charles Barkley, 45, for drunk driving in Scottsdale, Ariz., reported that the former basketball star told them he ran a stop sign because he was in a hurry to pick up a girl who had “given him a ‘blow job’ one week earlier” that Barkley described as “the best one he had ever had in his life.”

• Authorities arrested Charriss Bowers, 27, for biting her husband’s penis. The couple began having oral sex at their home in Deltona, Fla., but after a few minutes, she decided she didn’t want to continue and began biting down hard enough that Delou Bowers asked her to stop, according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s report. When she refused, he started punching her in the head and face until she finally let go. The deputies decided his injuries warranted a charge of battery.

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About The Author

Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet was the author of a syndicated column called "News Quirks," which appeared weekly in Seven Days.


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