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The Weird Week in Review

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Brazen Broccoli Bandit

Someone invaded Frank Fahy's garden in King's Somborne, England four times in one week. Each time the thief cut through the protective netting and took only one head of broccoli. Fahy posted signs after each theft, warning of surveillance, insecticide, and police action, but the vegetable villain has not been deterred. Fahy reports that he was victimized in a similar manner a year ago.

Obese Inmates Sues Over Weight Loss

19-year-old Broderick Laswell was arrested in Benton County, Arkansas last September on a murder charge. He weighed 413 pounds at the time. Since then, he has lost 105 pounds, and is now suing his jailers for starving him. Authorities report the jail food provides 2300-3000 calories a day.

Wedding Couple Jailed

A wedding couple became involved in a brawl with each other and wedding guests after repeating their wedding vows in Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

The fight between dentist David W. Wielechowksi, 32, of Shaler, and his bride, Christa Vattimo, 25, began as the couple were about to enter their room at the hotel on McKnight Road on Saturday night, according to police.

The couple spent their wedding night in jail, in separate cells.

Escaped Flying Pig Recovered

150pinkpig.jpgA signature Pink Floyd giant inflatable pig escaped its tether and flew away during the Coachella music festival last weekend. The tattered pig came to ground in the driveways of two families in La Quinta, California. The families will split a $10,000 reward offered by Coachella organizers. They will also share four life tickets to the annual music festival.

Crabs Attack Passenger After Plane Crash

Three people were returning to Houston from a fishing trip Tuesday when their small plane stalled in midair. An emergency landing in a field wrecked the fuselage, but no one was hurt from the crash itself. However, the man in the back seat suffered from crab pinches.

"When this happened, Craig was sitting in back and he said the cooler just went. Crabs went all over him just biting him left and right," said Georgette McGuire, the girlfriend of one of the men aboard the plane. "He said it was driving him crazy. He's got a bunch of crab bites on him."

Huge Beaver on a Liquor Rampage

150_beaver.jpgA large beaver broke into a liquor store in Ozersk, Russia last weekend and smashed several bottles of vodka before authorities could apprehend him. The beaver, who was thought to be fleeing nearby forest fires, was taken to a safe area and released.

High-Priced Dinosaur Dung

Dinosaur coprolites were sold for $960 at an auction Wednesday. Bonhams New York auction expected the fossilized feces to bring only around $450.

The buyer was Steve Tsengas of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The 71-year-old owns OurPets, a company that sells products to treat dog and cat waste.

"Poop," he said, "is a big business in the pet industry."

Tsengas plans to use the purchase to display at trade shows.

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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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Supermarket Employees to Compete in National Bagging Competition
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In today’s busy world, efficiency is king—especially at grocery stores, where long checkout lines can turn even the most patient shopper into a petulant purchaser. It only makes sense, then, that a nationwide competition exists among supermarket employees to determine the country’s best bagger.

As the Associated Press reports, Alysha Orrok, a teacher from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, recently won her state’s Best Bagger competition. She’s now headed to the U.S. finals, which will take place in Las Vegas in February 2018 and is sponsored by the National Grocers Association (NGA).

In Las Vegas, finalists from more than a dozen states—ranging from Washington to Florida—will duke it out onstage to see who’s truly king or queen of the checkout line. Competitors will be judged on weight distribution, appearance, speed, and technique (no smushed bread or bruised fruits allowed).

Orrok, who works evenings and weekends at a local grocery store, says she was initially clumsy on the job. “My first day as a bagger I dropped a soda and it exploded everywhere,” she told NBC Boston.

Over time, though, Orrok got so good at her side gig that she decided to compete in the New Hampshire state bagging competition earlier this month. At the tournament, "I was like 10 seconds faster than the next person," Orrok said. "I feel like I get in the zone and I just fly."

Competitors heading to 2018’s Best Bagger competition will face off to see who can achieve the best customer service in the shortest time span. The grand prize is $10,000, which will be awarded to a deserving grocery store employee “with infectious company pride and an enthusiastic commitment to customer service,” according to the NGA.

[h/t NBC Boston]

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