CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

Man Dressed as Cow Steals 26 Gallons of Milk

A man dressed in a cow costume went into a Walmart store in Stafford, Virginia, filled a cart with 26 gallons of milk and wheeled out of the store without paying. Outside, he began to give away the milk to passers-by. Police were called, and found 18-year-old Jonathan Payton, no longer wearing the cow costume, in a car at a nearby McDonalds. Payton was given a summons for shoplifting. The milk and the cow costume were recovered outside the store.

Bumping Banned for Bumper Cars

They might have to start calling them something else. Three Butlin resorts in Britain have banned bumping in their bumper car rides.

Bemused customers who assume that the ‘no bumping sign’ is in jest are told to drive around slowly in circles rather than crash into anyone else for fear of an injury that could result in the resort being sued.

Telegraph columnist Michaal Deacon, who has just returned from a holiday at the Bognor Regis resort, said the experience was like “trundling round an exitless roundabout”.

“I’m not convinced that the dangers were great, given that the bumper cars were equipped with bumpers,” he said. “Seat belts, too. There were no airbags for the drivers, but it can be only a matter of time."

Boat Abandoned at Intersection

A motorist in Bülach, Switzerland, was towing a boat behind his vehicle and came to a stop at a traffic light. When the car continued, the boat became unhitched and was left sitting at the intersection. The driver didn't appear to notice that his boat was no longer behind him. Other vehicles were left blocked at the intersection. Police eventually caught up with the driver and made him return to pick up his boat.

Man Sues Parents for Allowance

An unnamed 25-year-old man in the Andalusia region of Spain was upset that his parents quit giving him his 400 euro monthly allowance. He was still living with his parents, who told him to start looking for a job. So, he took his parents to court and sued them for the money! A judge ruled that the man must move out of his parent's home within 30 days and look for a job. However, he also ruled that the parents must give him 200 euros a month to help in the transition.

Suspect Asks Victim to Install Stolen Stereo

Tuesday morning, Eric Ford's girlfriend found that a window had been broken and her multimedia system had been stolen from her vehicle. Several iPods and some money were also taken. Ford then went to his job installing car stereos at Mobile Audio Designs in Lincoln, Nebraska. Within hours, 21-year-old Anthony Trang came into the business and approached Ford about installing a DVD player. Ford recognized the Clarion NX501 deck that was stolen earlier. Ford called police, who arrested Trang on suspicion of theft.

Grocery Store Opens By Itself

A grocery store in Hamilton, New Zealand opened its doors automatically without any store employees present on Good Friday morning. The store's computer system opened the doors at 8AM, and shoppers came in as usual. Some bought groceries and used the self-checkout, while others just left without paying.

Supermarket owner Glenn Miller was initially furious over the incident, fearing that thousands of dollars of groceries might have walked out the door. But after reviewing the shop's security footage during the weekend his mood had mellowed.

"I can certainly see the funny side of it ... but I'd rather not have the publicity, to be honest. It makes me look a bit of a dickhead."

Customers' choices were recorded on closed-circuit TV, but Miller says he will not prosecute those who left without paying. See a video report.

Robbery Suspect Escapes with Cuffs, Chair

Police in Buffalo, New York arrested 58-year-old John Caesar Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of robbing a restaurant. They secured Caesar at the police station by handcuffing him to a chair. The next thing they knew, Caesar was gone, chair and all. Police believe he slipped out the back door of the station. He was seen Wednesday morning riding a bicycle, with the handcuffs still attached. The police re-arrested Caesar, who was no longer attached to the chair.

Original image
iStock
arrow
gross
London's Sewer-Blocking 'Fatbergs' Are Going to Be Turned Into Biodiesel
Original image
iStock

UK officials can't exactly transform the Whitechapel fatberg—a 143-ton trash mass lurking in London's sewer system—into treasure, but they can turn it into fuel. As The Guardian reports, Scottish biodiesel producer Argent Energy plans to convert parts of the noxious blockage into an environmentally friendly energy source.

For the uninitiated, fatbergs (which get their names from a portmanteau of "fat" and "icebergs") are giant, solid blobs of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, and sanitary products. They form in sewers when people dump cooking byproducts down drains, or in oceans when ships release waste products like palm oil. These sticky substances combine with floating litter to form what could be described as garbage heaps on steroids.

Fatbergs wash up on beaches, muck up city infrastructures, and are sometimes even removed with cranes from sewer pipes as a last resort. Few—if any—fatbergs, however, appear to be as potentially lethal as the one workers recently discovered under London's Whitechapel neighborhood. In a news release, private utility company Thames Water described the toxic mass as "one of the largest ever found, with the extreme rock-solid mass of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil weighing the same as 11 double-decker buses."

Ick factor aside, the Whitechapel fatberg currently blocks a stretch of Victorian sewer more than twice the length of two fields from London's Wembley Stadium. Engineers with jet hoses are working seven days a week to break up the fatberg before sucking it out with tankers. But even with high-pressure streams, the job is still akin to "trying to break up concrete," says Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks.

The project is slated to end in October. But instead of simply disposing of the Whitechapel fatberg, officials want to make use of it. Argent Energy—which has in the past relied on sources like rancid mayonnaise and old soup stock—plans to process fatberg sludge into more than 2600 gallons of biodiesel, creating "enough environmentally friendly energy to power 350 double-decker Routemaster buses for a day," according to Thames Water.

"Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely, bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone," said company official Alex Saunders.

In addition to powering buses, the Whitechapel fatberg may also become an unlikely cultural touchstone: The Museum of London is working with Thames Water to acquire a chunk of the fatberg, according to BBC News. The waste exhibit will represent just one of the many challenges facing cities, and remind visitors that they are ultimately responsible for the fatberg phenomenon.

"When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play," Rimmer says. "Yes, a lot of the fat comes from food outlets, but the wipes and sanitary items are far more likely to be from domestic properties. The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish."

[h/t The Guardian]

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.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios