News of the Weird

Jan. 5, 2010
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But, Mom!

According to police, bandanna-clad Jason Zacchi, 27, was arrested in Dearborn Heights, Mich., in November after pointing a shotgun at a Wendy’s employee at the drive-in window and demanding money. Moments later, the shift manager angrily approached the window and yelled at Zacchi, “What the hell are you doing?” The manager recognized Zacchi through his bandanna—Zacchi is her son.

Latest Religious Messages

  • Carried Away: (1) Since March 2008, the Cathedral of Christ the King in Phoenix has been ringing its bells at least once an hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Neighbors have become enraged at the constancy of the ringing, and a showdown with city officials was looming at press time, according to ABC News. (2) Britain's Sevenoaks Magistrates Court sanctioned Martina Rabess, 52, in October after neighbors complained about her loud, long recitations of the “Lord's Prayer” in the middle of the night in and around her apartment. (3) Atlanta municipal bus driver Leroy Matthews was suspended in November for an incident in which he stopped the bus and refused to open the doors until passengers held hands and joined him in prayer.
  • Aggressive Christianity: (1) Pastor Marc Grizzard, leader of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., staged an October book-burning of "Satan's" literature, which included works by Mother Teresa and Rev. Billy Graham, as well as any Bible besides the original King James version. (2) In October, Mikey Weinstein, a former military lawyer who served in the Reagan White House, filed a lawsuit against Gordon Klingenschmitt, head of a Dallas chaplains' association, to stop Klingenschmitt from publicly reciting Bible verses implying a smiting of Weinstein, along with Weinstein's family and descendants for 10 generations. Said Klingenschmitt: "I never prayed for anyone's death. All I did was quote the Scriptures."


(1) Shannon Broome, 15, of Jacksonville, Fla., still recovering from injuries she suffered in a June rollover accident in an SUV, was hurt again in December when an out-of-control SUV crashed through her bedroom wall and caused part of the ceiling to collapse. (2) Recently, at the Abergele Hospital in North Wales, Geraint Woolford, 52, was moved into a room to await a partial knee replacement and discovered that his roommate was Geraint Woolford, 77, who was awaiting a hip replacement. According to a December report in the Daily Mail, they are not related, but both are retired police officers.

The Simplest Musical Instrument

Rajeev Kumar of Calcutta, India, is well known locally for playing the harmonica—specifically, for playing the harmonica while using only his right nostril. For added show, Kumar plays two harmonicas simultaneously, one with his right nostril and another with his mouth. A BBC News reporter watching him perform for a December dispatch said that the strain of this playing style was obvious. The reporter wrote that "the veins running through his nose and neck bulge, his eyes pop out and his face looks red and stretched." And at Britain's West Midland Safari Park, an African elephant named "Five" spends portions of almost every day puffing away at a harmonica she found in her enclosure. Said a park representative, "Five was making tunes within a few weeks." (The talented Five also paints on canvas.)

Questionable Judgments

Michael Sampson, who was in court in Salina, Kan., in November on charges of littering and driving with a suspended license, now faces more serious charges after a judge spotted him at the defense table making threatening gestures to witnesses. Sampson was seen pointing at a witness and then holding his thumb and fingers in the shape of a gun, and later making a slashing motion across his neck.

People With Issues

Sara Foss, 39, the mother of 13 children in Derby, England, and who is scheduled to deliver No. 14 in April, told the Daily Mail in November that she plans to continue getting pregnant until she fulfills her desire to have twins. (Foss, apparently a fan of literature and movies, has kids named Artemis, Morpheus, Voorhees, Baudelaire, Rogue, Malachai and Frodo.)


Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, the male Swedish student who vowed in September to pump milk from his nipples every three hours for 90 days, drop by drop, to show that it could be done, quit in November, concluding that it can't be done. Said a TV producer following Bengtsson around, "All he got was sore breasts."

A News of the Weird Classic (May 2002)

In April 2002, the U.S. Patent Office awarded patent No. 6,368,227 to Steven Olson, age 7, of St. Paul, Minn., whose father helped him to file for a method of swinging on a swing. The Olsons' discovery: While seated, if you pull alternately on one side's chain/rope and then on the other side's while gradually introducing a forward-backward thrust, you can swing in an oval-shaped arc, as long as the side-to-side motion is greater than the forward-backward motion. According to the Patent and Trademark Office, licenses to use the patented method are available from the inventor.

2010 Chuck Shepherd


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