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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.

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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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