As 2014 draws to a close, it's time to go back through the archives to search for our Top 10 Crazy Stories of 2014.
Don't Use Fire to Remove TP From a Tree: Cheryl Crausewell of Dora, Alabama, found that someone had TPed the trees in her yard one night in January. The family tried to clean up the mess, but some of the toilet paper in a magnolia tree was out of their reach. What to do? Maybe they should have tried a ladder, but instead they set it on fire. A small piece of paper drifted out to the yard and ignited the grass. Within seconds the fire spread to the house where the propane tank exploded. No one was hurt in the blaze. One word....IDIOTS
8. Sewer Blocked By Big Pooh: Scottish Water, a national public utility, has found some unusual objects blocking the sewers underneath Scotland over the past year. That includes a huge plush Winnie-the-Pooh bear in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. But they say the list also contains a fax machine, a bike, a snake, and blue jeans. How does anyone get such items down the drain? The most common objects that block a sewer are grease, diapers, and baby wipes. A new public awareness campaign hopes to discourage people from putting anything into the sewer system that will cause blockages. Unstopping the pipes costs the utility more than £7 million every year. This equals $8.9222 million U.S. dollars. I knew the Scots were full of "Pooh".
7. Drunk Driver Busted by Parrot: Guillermo Reyes was driving home from a bar in Mexico City when he encountered a DUI traffic stop. When police talked to him, they heard a voice from inside the car saying, "He's drunk! He's drunk!" They shone a light into the car, but there were no other passengers, just Reyes' parrot. Apparently he'd heard people say that phrase enough to learn it. The cops gave Reyes a Breathalyzer test, and concluded that he was, indeed, driving while impaired. Reyes was sent to the drunk tank overnight, and the parrot was allowed to accompany him. I'm surprised that bird saw the light of day.
6. Two Dogs Take Truck on Joyride: A pickup truck came very close to plunging into the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma in February. The truck, belonging to a man identified only as Scott, was parked on a hill. While Scott was inside a house, his two dogs Luna and Roscoe were left in the truck. "I got around to the front of the house where the truck was, and it's like not there," he said. "And I was like 'did I get towed?' and I just thought no it didn't. One of the dogs put the car into gear and they took off. "Approximately three blocks down a hill," Tulsa fire-fighter Clay Ayers said. The dogs missed drivers on Riverside Drive, runners on the trail and narrowly missed landing in the Arkansas River. The truck was stopped by the brush along the river. The vehicle was badly damaged. Roscoe and Luna were uninjured, and were let go with a warning. Our local cops would have wanted to put these dogs down.
5. Virginia Man Claims African Country to Make Daughter a Princess: Bir Tawil is a stretch of land between Egypt and Sudan that neither country wants. Jeremiah Heaton of Abingdon, Virginia, now claims it as his own. Last winter, Heaton’s six-year-old daughter Emily asked him if she could be a princess. He said yes, and has worked since then to make it so. To that end, Heaton has claimed the 800-square-mile territory of Bir Tawil, renaming it the Kingdom of North Sudan. He planted a flag there on June 16, Emily’s seventh birthday. That makes him the king, and Emily a princess. Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, told the Bristol Herald Courier last week that Heaton would need legal recognition from neighbouring countries, the United Nations or other groups to have actual political control of the land. Heaton, who ran for Congress out of Virginia’s 9th district in 2012 and lost, plans to reach out to the African Union for assistance in formally establishing the Kingdom of North Sudan and said that he is confident they will welcome him. Representatives from the Egyptian and Sudanese embassies in Washington did not respond to requests for comment Saturday. The area is desert, but Heaton plans to turn it into an agricultural area, which should please both Egypt and Sudan. Looks like an easy attack for Isis.
4. Car Enters Garage Through the Roof: George Strother and his wife, of Escondido, California, thought they felt an earthquake early on December 10th. It was only when an Escondido police officer knocked on their door that they found out a car had crashed through the roof of their garage! A BMW had broken through the roof and landed on Strother’s Nissan Pathfinder. His Mazda Miata was also damaged by the falling roof. The driver of the BMW, which was loaned out from a car dealer, didn’t stick around to face the damage. The Strothers' home sits around twenty feet below a roadway, and police estimate that the driver of the BMW took a turnoff too fast. The garage can be repaired, but the two cars were totaled. How did that car get up there?
3. Risque Ads Cause 517 Auto Accidents in Moscow: The Russian firm ADVtruck sells advertising on large trucks. As a promotional stunt intended to show how noticeable the ads are, 30 trucks were decorated with a picture of a woman’s breasts. In the first day that the trucks were deployed in Moscow, 517 traffic accidents were blamed on the distracting image. Moscow police were dispatched to impound all the trucks until the pictures were removed. The ad agency says that the company will compensate drivers for any damages that their insurance does not cover. Looks like the high beams must have blinded drivers.
2. China Performs Cavity Searches on 10,000 Pigeons: October first is National Day in China, commemorating the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. As part of the celebration in Beijing, 10,000 pigeons were released over Tienanmen Square. But first, each pigeon had to undergo a security check, which included an anal probe. The process was videotaped by authorities. The procedure drew widespread derision on social media.
“I have not heard of pigeons released at National Day requiring security checks, but it is possible for them to carry things such as explosives,” Mr Yang of website China Pigeon Net, told the New York Times. “They could carry something on their legs, under a wing, or in their anus. If they carried out security checks they would find them, just like on a person when they get on an airplane,” Mr Yang said.
That last sentence should make anyone wary of booking a flight out of a Chinese airport. Only in China!
1. Man Fights Off Shark, Stitches Up Leg, Goes to Pub: James Grant of Colac Bay, New Zealand, was spear fishing with friends when he was attacked by a shark. He stabbed the shark with a knife, which caused it to leave. When he got out of the water, he saw a deep gash in his leg where the shark bit him. Grant, a junior doctor, removed his wetsuit and stitched up the wound, using supplies from a first aid kit. Then he and his friends went to the Colac Bay Tavern. The bar staff gave him a towel because his wound was bleeding onto the floor. Sometime afterward, he went to a hospital for a proper re-stitching. Grant planned to return to the water as soon as the stitches are out. This is my kind of guy!
There you have it. The Top 10 Crazy Stories from around the world in 2014. I'm sure next year at this time we will be posting even crazier stories.