CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

£20,000 Dog Wedding

Around 80 guests attended a lavish wedding in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, England. Louise Harris hired a wedding planner who oversaw the flowers, decorations, food, and security for the £20,000 ($32,000US) affair. The wedding was for Louise's six-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Lola. Lola wore a £1000 specially-designed wedding dress, decorated with Swarovski crystals. Harris has thrown lavish birthday parties for her dogs, but this bash outdid them all. The groom was Mugly, who once held the title of Britain's Ugliest Dog. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a sumptuous buffet and a six-foot tall chocolate fountain. The dog guests had their own specially-made treats. The bride and groom will not live together, but will visit once a month.

Actor 'Dies' Five Times in 24 Hours

Hong Kong actor Law Lok-lam works for broadcasting company TVB, so he is assured to find other roles after five of his characters were killed off -all in one 24 hour period!

His character met a bloody end during a fight in the martial arts drama Grace Under Fire, and he vomited blood before expiring in Fate to Fate, the Sunday Morning Post reported.

In Relic of an Emissary, Law played the Ming emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, who died after an illness.

In two other shows, Police Station No. 7 and comedy Virtues of Harmony, the actor did not die on screen but his death was discussed, the paper said.

A company spokesman said the timing of the deaths were a coincidence. Law said he doesn't mind, but it bothered his daughter.

World's Smallest Engraving

Graham Short managed to engrave three words, "nothing is impossible" on the edge of a razor blade. You can only see it at 400x magnification. The 64-year-old Short, who admits he is obsessed with miniature engraving, made about 150 attempts before he got the engraving right. He worked on the project every night (after midnight to avoid vibrations from traffic) for seven months. Short even trained himself to slow his heart rate so he could work between heartbeats. Now the finished blade is for sale, for £47,500.

General Electric Not Returning Tax Refund After All

The General Electric company made over 14 billion dollars in profits in 2010, yet paid no income tax. After the news was made public, an Associated Press story said that GE planned to voluntarily donate their $3.2 billion tax refund to the U.S. Treasury. The problem was, the company said no such thing. The AP story was based on a fake press release planted by the activist group The Yes Men. When the hoax was revealed, the AP immediately pulled its story. Reuters also pulled the story they published based on the phony press release.

Woman Stopped for McDonald's Instead of Police

Police in Coral Springs, Florida, tried to pull over 64-year-old Roberta Spen as she pulled into a McDonald's outlet when they noticed her brake lights weren't working. Spen ignored the flashing lights and siren and pulled into the drive-through and made a purchase. Officers flagged her down, but she told them she wasn't speeding and then drove off. After a chase involving several police cars, officers boxed her in twice, as she escaped in reverse once, and finally stopped the car. Spen still refused to roll down her window, so police smashed the car window and arrested her for resisting arrest, fleeing, and eluding, in addition to driving with defective equipment.

Last Two Speakers of Ancient Language Not Talking to Each Other

An ancient language of Mexico is dying out. The last two people who are fluent in Ayapaneco are not speaking to each other. Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velazquezto both live in the village of Ayapa in southern Mexico, but don't get along well.

Daniel Suslak, an Indiana University linguistic anthropologist, is compiling a dictionary to record the existence of the language.

He said he has discovered that the two men 'don't have much in common' and while Mr Segovia, 75, is 'a little prickly', Mr Velaquez, 69, doesn't like to leave his home and is 'more stoic'.

Segovia speaks to his wife and son in Ayapaneco, and they understand him, but neither can speak the language fluently. Velazquez is not known to speak Ayapaneco at all anymore.

The Fake Army

It was a profitable but outrageous scheme, set forth in a trial going on now. Prosecutors are charging that David Deng recruited Chinese immigrants to join the "U.S. Army/Military Special Forces Reserve" to help their chances of obtaining U.S. citizenship, and that he charged hundred of dollars from his "soldiers." The U.S. military has no such unit. The group is well known in Asian-American neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where community leaders had no idea they weren't government issue. An investigation began when soldiers used fake military IDs to avoid traffic tickets. If convicted of all charges, Daniel Deng could face 11 years in prison.

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