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News Quirks 

Published October 24, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

After breaking into a St. Louis home and stealing several items, Damon L. Petty, 37, lingered to eat. The homeowner and a friend returned to find him frying bacon in the kitchen. They subdued him until police arrived. Petty pleaded guilty to burglary and received a seven-year prison sentence. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Police investigating a bank robbery in Southfield, Mich., arrested Todd Jason Kettler, 37, after the manager of a strip club in Kalamazoo Township reported a man was paying for lap dances with money covered in red dye, which banks use to mark stolen money. (Detroit Free Press)

Winner of the Next Nobel Prize

Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles began offering a 5 percent discount to customers who check their cell phones with staffers when they’re seated. Noting that nearly half the customers take advantage of the offer, owner Mark Gold explained the policy is an attempt to create an environment where diners connect to each other instead of to technology. (Associated Press)

Mensa Reject of the Week

Bank of America executive Jason Selch protested the firing of a colleague by bursting into a conference room and mooning his bosses. His subsequent firing cost him a contingent bonus package worth millions that would have vested only a few months later. Besides losing his job and the multi-million dollar bonus, Selch lost his lawsuit arguing he couldn’t be fired “for cause” because the mooning didn’t interfere with his official duties. (CNBC)


An Italian study of male sexuality discovered that the average size of male genitalia has been steadily shrinking. Penises now are roughly 10 percent smaller than they were 50 years ago. The study identified the causes as weight gain, pollution, stress, smoking and alcohol, although radio host Rush Limbaugh insisted “it’s feminism.” (Salon)


Federal authorities accused Ronald Robinson, 34, of returning used enema kits to a Florida drug store, which returned them to shelves. Prosecutors said Robinson resealed the enemas inside their boxes and brought them back to the store for refunds. (United Press International)

Police who arrested Anthony Leopold Rowe, 26, at his home in Easton, Pa., said he tried to swallow marijuana that he had hidden in his anal cavity. (Allentown’s The Morning Call)

Freedom to Lie

When Canada’s Competition Bureau tried to fine Rogers Communications CAN$10 million for misleading advertising, the telecom company asked the Ontario Superior Court to strike down a key provision of the federal law requiring companies to have “adequate and proper” tests of a product’s performance before making performance claims in advertisements. Rogers declared this requirement violates its right to free expression granted by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Michael Janigan, executive director and general counsel at Public Interest Advocacy Centre, called the notion that companies shouldn’t be required to have facts and evidence to back up their advertising claims before making them “a bit like a Madison Avenue wet dream.” (Ottawa Citizen)

Good News for Zombies

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Gerber Legendary Blades announced a voluntary recall of 119,000 Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machetes that were marketed to zombie killers on last fall’s season opener of “The Walking Dead” television series. “If the Dead walk, the continuation of the human race will become a daily struggle,” the Portland, Ore., company said on its website. “Are you prepared to protect and defend your family and friends? Your best chance lies in the Gerber Apocalypse Survival Kit.” The limited-edition kit, which included six other zombie-fighting tools, sold for $349. The problem with the 19.5-inch-long curved weapons, with a 13.5-inch blade, was a weakness where the handle meets the blade, “posing a laceration hazard,” the recall said. Gerber received 24 reports of the blade or handle breaking during use and one injury, not, however, to a zombie. (Orlando Sentinel)

Beyond Suspicious

Federal officials at Los Angeles International Airport who noticed a passenger arriving on a flight from Japan dressed in bulletproof vest and flame-retardant pants decided to search his luggage. After finding a smoke grenade, knives, body bags, a hatchet, a collapsible baton, a biohazard suit, a full-face respirator, handcuffs, leg irons and a device to repel dogs, they arrested Boston-bound Yongda Huang Harris, 28. (Associated Press)

Not a Total Loser

Pennsylvania’s State Employees Retirement System said convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky could keep more than $900,000 in state pension payments he received after his 1999 retirement from Penn State University. (Associated Press)

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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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