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News of the Weird

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Doug Brightmoser was arrested in Nashville in August on a neighbor's complaint that he was firing shots into the air at night. Brightmoser explained that he was not firing to cause trouble but was shooting at a snake that was "trying to suck the nipples" of a goat in his yard. During arraignment, Brightmoser continually referred to the judge not as "Your Honor" but as "Bubba," which he later told a reporter was a term of endearment and not disrespect.

Oops!

Power was knocked out for 1,248 customers of American Electric Power near Amesville, Ohio, in August when a helicopter chartered by AEP executives to get to a meeting smashed into power lines and fell to the ground. All aboard the helicopter survived.

Jill Moles, part-time track coach at a junior high school in Aspen, Colorado, was fired in May for showing the film Personal Best as a training film to her 13- and 14-year-old athletes. She claimed to have fast-forwarded through the scenes in which the two female stars show affection to each other but inadvertently missed a scene in which they kiss. Said Moles, "I had a hunch I was going to be in trouble when they all started chanting, 'porno lezzie flicks!'"

The Times of India reported in May that two Hindu brides, their vision obscured by long veils, married each other's grooms at ceremonies in the village of Patan that were rushed because both had been mistakenly scheduled for the same time. Village elders said the marriages are final and cannot be revoked.

Georgene Johnson, 42, intending to run a 10-kilometer race (6.2 miles) in Cleveland in May, arrived early and accidentally joined the field in the Revco-Cleveland marathon (26 miles), finishing 83rd. She said she realized her mistake at the seven-mile mark but decided to run it anyway. Said Johnson, "I guess I was in better shape than I thought."

Rescue workers near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, searched frantically in May for an Amtrak engineer feared dead just after his train collided with a tanker truck full of raw sewage, which spilled all over the first two cars of the train. The engineer was discovered later in the back of the train, where he had gone after the crash to shower and change clothes.

Eddie Oakley had requested a recording of Ella Fitzgerald singing "Every Time You Say Goodbye" at his cremation services in Kidderminster, England, in June, but the person in charge mistakenly played "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."

Newspapers in Naples, Italy, reported in June that a couple filing suit against an insurance company had blamed her pregnancy on an automobile accident. She claimed that while the couple was making out in a car in a notorious lover's lane, another car rammed their car from behind, causing the couple to "lose control," making them unable to avoid insemination.

Denise Hudson, 28, was hospitalized with broken bones in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in June after she rode off from her wedding on the back of her new husband's motorcycle and the train of her gown got stuck on the bike's rear wheel.

The American Statistical Association announced in June that its 1991 directory of world members would correct the errors made in its 1989 directory, including the association's failure to regard Ireland as a country. (In the 1989 directory, members residing in Ireland were listed as living in nearby countries.)

Omaha attorney (and former judge) David Crawford broke his collarbone recently as he was demonstrating to his office staff how easy it is to tip cows as they sleep. He had gotten down on all fours and asked a staff member to tip him over onto his side.

In April five armed inmates overpowered guards at a Venezuelan prison close to the Colombian border, commandeered a vehicle, and prepared to escape. However none of the five, nor any of the several hostages they grabbed, knew how to drive stick shift, and army troops soon obtained the men's surrender.

Police seized nearly a half million dollars from the safe-deposit box of Benson Hilt in Evergreen Park, Illinois, in May--money they said was profit from illegal drug trafficking--because Hilt had lost his right to protect the box when he forgot to pay his box rent.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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