CLOSE
Original image

The Weird Week in Review

Original image

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."

Original image
Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
arrow
Weird
Restaurant Seeks Donations to Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center
Original image
Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’ve ever wondered where all those Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish that flew off shelves in the early 2000s have gone, take a look inside a Flying Fish restaurant. Each location of the southern seafood chain is home to its own Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center, and they’re always accepting new additions to the collection.

According to Atlas Obscura, the gimmick was the idea of Dallas-based restaurateur Shannon Wynne. He opened his flagship Flying Fish in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2002 when the Big Mouth Billy Bass craze was just starting to wind down. As people grew tired of hearing the first 30 seconds of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” for the thousandth time, he offered them a place to bring their wall ornaments once the novelty wore off. The Flying Fish promises to “house, shelter, love, and protect” each Billy Bass they adopt. On top of that, donors get a free basket of catfish in exchange for the contribution and get their name on the wall. The Little Rock location now displays hundreds of the retired fish.

Today there are nine Flying Fish restaurants in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee, each with its own Adoption Center. There’s still space for new members of the family, so now may be the time to break out any Billy Basses that have been collecting dust in your attic since 2004.

And if you’re interested in stopping into Flying Fish for a bite to eat, don’t let the wall of rubber nostalgia scare you off: The batteries from all the fish have been removed, so you can enjoy your meal in peace.

Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
arrow
Weird
The Long, Strange Story of Buffalo Bill's Corpse
Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

You probably know William Frederick Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, as the long-haired Wild West icon who turned the frontier experience into rip-roarin’ entertainment. But the story of Buffalo Bill’s body and its many burials is almost as outrageous as the man himself.

When Cody died of kidney failure in January 1917, his body ended up on a mountain outside of Denver, Colorado—a counterintuitive choice given his close ties to the town in Wyoming that bore his last name. Cody, Wyoming was founded in the 1890s with help from Buffalo Bill, who employed many of its residents and was responsible for its tourism business. It might seem natural that he’d be buried in the place he’d invested so much in, but he wasn’t. And that’s where the controversy began.

Though Cody spent much of his time in the town named after him, he also loved Colorado. After leaving his family in Kansas when he was just 11 to work with wagon trains throughout the West, he headed to Colorado for the first time as a 13-year-old wannabe gold prospector. During his short time in the area, he chased the glittery fortunes promised by Colorado’s 1859 gold rush. Even after leaving the territory, his traveling vaudeville show, which brought a glamorous taste of Wild West life to people all over the United States, took him back often. Later in life, he frequently visited Denver, where his sister lived. He died there, too—after telling his wife he wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain.

The mountain, located in Golden, Colorado, has a commanding view of the Great Plains, where Buffalo Bill experienced many of his Wild West adventures. It was also a place to contemplate the giant herds of buffalo that once roamed the West, and from whom Cody took his nickname. (Denver still maintains a small herd of buffalo—direct descendants of original American bison—near the mountain.)

But weather almost thwarted Cody’s burial plans. Since he died in January, the road to Lookout Mountain was impassable and his preferred burial site frozen solid. For a while, his body lay in state in the Colorado Capitol building. Governors and famous friends eulogized Cody in an elaborate funeral service. Then his body was placed in a carriage that moved solemnly through the streets of Denver, where thousands showed up to say goodbye. Afterwards, his body was kept in cold storage at a Denver mortuary while his family waited for the weather to change.

Meanwhile, Colorado and Wyoming started a heated feud over one of America’s most famous men. Wyoming claimed that Cody should be buried there, citing an early draft of his will that said he intended to be buried near Cody. Colorado cried foul, since Cody’s last will left the burial location up to his widow, who chose Lookout Mountain. Rumors even began to circulate that a delegation from Wyoming had stolen Cody’s body from the mortuary and replaced it with that of a local vagrant.

In part to stop the rumor mill, Cody was finally buried in an open casket on Lookout Mountain in June 1917. Twenty-five thousand people went to the mountaintop to bid him farewell before he was interred. To prevent theft, the bronze casket was sealed in another, tamper-proof case, then enclosed in concrete and iron.

Pennies on Buffalo Bill's grave
V.T. Polywoda, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yet his rocky grave was anything but safe. In the 1920s, Cody’s niece, Mary Jester Allen, began to claim that Denver had conspired to tamper with Cody’s will. In response, Cody’s foster son, Johnny Baker, disinterred the body and had it reburied at the same site under tons of concrete to prevent potential theft [PDF]. (Allen also founded a museum in Wyoming to compete with a Colorado-based museum founded by Baker.)

The saga wasn’t over yet. In 1948, the Cody, Wyoming American Legion offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could disinter the body and return it to Wyoming. In response, the Colorado National Guard stationed officers to keep watch over the grave.

Since then, the tussle over the remains has calmed down. Despite a few ripples—like a jokey debate in the Wyoming legislature about stealing the body in 2006—Buffalo Bill still remains in the grave. If you believe the official story, that is. In Cody, Wyoming, rumor has it that he never made it into that cement-covered tomb after all—proponents claim he was buried on Cedar Mountain, where he originally asked to be interred.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios