The Weird Week in Review

Toddler Steals Keys and Car

A four-year-old boy in Gärsnäs, southern Sweden, sneaked into his mother's jacket pocket as she slept, stole her car keys, and went for a joyride. The toddler managed to drive the car about half a kilometer and made three right turns before crashing the vehicle into a truck. A nearby shopkeeper took the unnamed child home and woke his mother. Police had a hard time believing what happened, but decided not to press charges against the child or his mother. No one was injured.

Sneaking Into Spain Disguised as a Car Seat

Two Moroccan men tried to sneak an illegal immigrant from Guinea into Spain in a Renault. They had removed the padding from the passenger seat, replaced it with the immigrant, and recovered it. Then one of the Moroccan men sat on him as the car attempted to cross the border. Border police examined the vehicle and felt a body underneath the upholstery. The Guinea man was sent to a detention center and the two Moroccans were arrested. The story contains a photograph of the scheme.

Conveniently Peeled Bananas

The European supermarket chain Billa uses a slogan urging more "common sense." Then in at least one store in Austria they offered bananas for sale peeled and packaged in styrofoam trays with plastic wrap.

But the stunt by the German-owned Billa supermarket chain - part of the Rewe group that has thousands of stores in 9 European countries, has caused outrage among users after it was posted on the firm's Facebook page.

Last night staff moved to distance themselves from the sale of ready-peeled bananas and apologised for the "one off" mistake, saying it would not happen again.

I guess someone explained to them that bananas come in their own nature-made packaging that's even safer than plastic wrap.

Make A Birthday Party Special with Alligators!

If having a birthday party poolside is not enough excitement for your child, you can now rent alligators to swim in the pool with the kids. Alligator wrangler Bob Barrett will deliver an alligator to your party for $175 -if you live near Tampa, Florida. The idea has really taken off, as parents feel the need to step up from providing clowns and bouncy castles for children's parties. The party gators are very young rescued animals, and their mouths are taped shut before their public appearance. When asked, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the practice is not illegal, but they do not recommend it.

Protip: Do Not Dress as a Stereotypical Terrorist in Public

Police in Phoenix, Arizona, responded to reports of a man walking around town with a grenade launcher, just eight days after the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre in July. They determined that the stunt was a hoax, and the 16-year-old dressed in a sheet and carrying a fake grenade launcher was not arrested. Soon after, a video of the incident was posted at YouTube under the title "Dark Knight Shooting Response, Rocket Launcher Police Test." The video was traced to 39-year-old local filmmaker Michael David Turley, who was arrested on Monday.

Turley was charged with knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act, endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misconduct involving a simulated explosive.

He is being held in county jail on a $5,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 45 months in prison, said Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb.

Buy a Diamond, Get a Free Gun

Like grandpa always said, nothing goes together as well as engagement rings and rifles. A jewelry store in Atlanta, Georgia, is offering a sweet package deal if you want both. Buy a diamond worth $2,499 or more at D. Geller and Son, and get a free hunting rifle! The jewelry store doesn't actually hand out guns. When you purchase a diamond, you get a voucher and then you must comply with applicable laws when you go to the gun store.

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The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
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Though dressing up as an angel is acceptable, it’s ghouls and goblins that truly capture our imaginations during the Halloween season. As lit jack-o’-lanterns beckon and monsters lurk in the shadows, we explore the origins of 25 frightful things that go bump—or boo—in the night.

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]


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