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The Weird Week in Review

Snow in Mexico

The snowstorm that blew through the Unites States Wednesday night also left its mark in Mexico. The border city of Ciudad Juarez closed schools and factories after it received a thin layer of snow. Abraham González International Airport closed down due to the snow. Widespread power outages affected the region, and 28 traffic accidents were reported (with no fatalities). The temperature in Ciudad Juarez was reported at 9 degrees above zero Fahrenheit- the coldest recorded temperature since 1951.

How Not to Ship a Puppy

Stacey Champion took a package to the Minneapolis Post Office and told the clerks not to worry if it moved, as it contained a toy robot. She paid $22 to ship the box to Georgia via priority mail. The package later moved and made noise. A postal inspector gave permission to open the box, which contained a four-month-old puppy! The puppy would not have survived the trip in the sealed box, which would have taken two days and a flight in an unheated cargo hold. Champion was cited for animal cruelty, and the puppy was taken to an animal shelter. Champion demanded her $22 back, which the postal service declined to refund.

Burglar Has No Luck

Do you ever have those days where everything goes wrong? That's what happened to an unnamed 19-year-old burglar in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. His plan was to rob a bakery while it was closed for the night.

The young man broke into the shop, in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston, through a skylight and landed in a locked store room.

So he tried stacking up a number of containers on top of each other to try and climb out.

But they toppled over, throwing him to the floor.

Then he tried to climb shelves to get out, and they collapsed under him.

He fell to the floor several times, and ended up with a number of cuts and bruises.

When he discovered the security camera, he tried to cover it, but too late: his various falls were caught on camera. He eventually escaped, but when his face was publicized, he turned himself in.

Neon CRAP Sign in Idaho Neighborhood

A new glowing neon sign appeared in Nampa, Idaho around Christmas. It wasn't a holiday decoration. Large red letters spell out the word CRAP. Neighbors were surprised by the strange glowing sign on the roof of Andy's Joseph's used appliance shop. For Joseph, it was a business decision, not an opinion. He says the letters stand for "Can't Resist Andy's Place." Why such a strange acronym? The slogan came about when Joseph got a deal on an old sign from a defunct floor covering store. The sign spelled CARPET, which gave Joseph some letters he could use for a different business.

World's Oldest Person Dies

Eunice Sanborn, who outlived three husbands, was 114 years old when she passed away Monday at her home in Texas, according to caretaker David French. Or was she 115? Census records indicate Mrs. Sanborn was born on July 20, 1896, in Louisiana. Sanborn herself had always said she was born in 1895, and that the Census Bureau had made a mistake. Either way, with Sanborn's death, the oldest person in the world is now 114-year-old Besse Cooper of Georgia.

Firemen Called to Rescue Beer

A 44-year-old man in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and a friend stepped off a train for a smoke and saw the train pulled away without them. The man panicked when he realized that he had left his beer on the train. Then he did what anyone would do in an emergency -he broke the glass and pulled a fire alarm! A squad of firefighters from the Kaiserslautern Fire Department responded. The only emergency they found was an injury the man sustained while breaking the fire alarm glass. He was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .195 percent.

A Flood of Duck Feathers

While some cities are buried under snow, a road in Cambridgeshire, England only looked that way as it was covered in duck feathers. A truck carrying the feathers caught fire and spilled its load on the A14 near Hemingford Grey. The truck's diesel engine caused the fire, which burned until the truck was destroyed. Meanwhile, the load of feathers flew about, resembling a snowstorm and making the road slippery. The westbound lanes were shut down and a rolling roadblock was installed in the eastbound lanes. Motorists were advised to avoid the area.

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

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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The Long, Strange Story of Buffalo Bill's Corpse
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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.

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