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The Weird Week in Review

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100,000 Attend Topless Biker Parade

An estimated 100,000 workers in Auckland, New Zealand gathered to watch the annual "Boobs on Bikes" parade Wednesday. Female porn stars and drag queens cruised topless as spectators competed for good vantage points to take photographs. The event was organized by adult film producer Steve Crow as part of an "Erotic Expo." The city council had introduced a bylaw to ban the parade, but at the last minute, a judge ruled that the display was not offensive. With video.

Plane Hangs Upside Down

An unnamed retired couple in Germany were flying their small plane when it became entangled in power lines. They were left hanging upside-down in the plane while fuel dripped over them and 380,000 volt cables ran above them. Authorities considered a helicopter rescue, but that would have been too dangerous. After three hours, the two were rescued by workers in a cherry picker. They were treated at a hospital for shock.

Australian Mayor Looking for Ugly Women

John Molony is the mayor of Mount Isa, an isolated mining town in the Australian Outback. In an attempt to alleviate the imbalance of men to women in his village, he made remarks to a newspaper that "beauty-disadvantaged" women seem to be happy in Mount Isa. The female population of the town took offense, saying the men there were not exactly gems, either.

"We've got a saying up here that the odds are good, but the goods are odd," 27-year-old Anna Warrick told The Brisbane Times.

Two-headed Turtle Stolen

150Two-headed turtle.jpgAn unnamed two-headed turtle is missing from an animal shelter in New York City. Owner Sean Casey reported the turtle kidnapped on Sunday, although police at first did not believe him. The turtle was surrendered to the shelter, which is also a pet supply store, when its previous owner could not care for him. In the several months the turtle lived at the shelter, he became popular with the neighborhood children. Casey believes a child may have taken the turtle as a pet, but wants him back because he needs special care. Two-headed turtles have maneuverability problems, and may drown if they encounter deep water.

Keys Locked in Getaway Car

Police arrested 24-year-old John Wilkinson on robbery charges. He had allegedly taken Xanax and hydrocodone from a drugstore in Stanton, Texas. He left his car running out front, but found he had inadvertently locked the doors! He led police on a brief foot chase until they shot him in the shoulder. Wilkinson was taken to the hospital and then to jail.

Standing at His Own Wake

125angel.jpgAngel Pantoja Medina of San Juan, Puerto Rico had wished to remain standing even after his death. His wish was granted as the 24-year-old stood for three days at his own wake! He was propped in a corner, wearing his Yankees baseball cap and sunglasses. Medina was found dead under a bridge a week ago, and buried on Monday. Police are investigating the circumstances of his death.

Cat Survives Ride on Speeding Ambulance

Paramedic Myles White of New South Wales, Australia responded to a medical emergency that required a 13 kilometer trip at speeds up to 100 kph with lights and sirens. When he was loading the patient, he heard meowing from the top of the ambulance. It was his own cat! Chloe had apparently climbed on top of the vehicle to nap when the call came in. White was amazed that she managed to hold on for trip.

"I cannot believe that she managed to stay on and survive.

"When I took her down, she was all fluffed up and her eyes were a bit blown out and she did a big 'Help, get me off' meow."

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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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