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The Weird Week in Review

Dairy Princess is Lactose-intolerant

Laurel Gordon holds the title of Grays Harbor County's Dairy Ambassador and is competing for the post of Washington State Dairy Ambassador for the coming year. The requirements of the job are experience on a dairy farm or with dairy cows, a neat appearance, and residency in Washington state. There is no requirement that the contestant actually drink milk. Gordon is lactose-intolerant! She says she misses dairy products since she lost her ability to digest milk only two years ago. Gordon grew up on a dairy farm, and her sisters have also held the title of "Dairy Princess." If she wins the state title in June, she'll receive a $7,000 scholarship.

Woman Shoots Washer, Home Flooded

An unnamed estranged husband and wife were the focus of a police call in St. Lucie County, Florida. They had gotten together for an evening and the husband was cooking on the outside grill. The couple also engaged in target practice and fired shots inside the house. The wife called 911 when she began to think her husband was shooting too close to her. At least one shot from the woman hit the washing machine, causing metal shards to cut into her leg. The washer leaked and flooded the floor with water.

Asked to write a sworn statement, she said, "I'll try my best but I'm drunk."

Police confiscated all the guns, and told the couple to stay away from each other.

Three Albino Raccoons Found

A homeowner in Toronto called a wildlife control company when he saw a unidentified white animal in the garage. Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control thought it might be a skunk from the description. The crew found a litter of four raccoons -three of them albinos! The kits appeared to be somewhere around six to eight weeks old. Gates said that his company, in business for 27 years, had only seen albino raccoon kits twice, and in each case there was only a sole albino in a litter. Albino wild animals are rare because they are easy for predators to spot. The litter was put in a box and relocated to the roof of the house, where the mother raccoon could retrieve them.

Woman Attacked Roommate with Butter

Police in Collier County, Florida responded to a domestic disturbance call and found evidence of a food fight. Sheriff's deputies confronted Dawn Elizabeth Rhash, who allegedly threw butter at her male roommate in an argument over who owned the food items in the home. The police report noted that the victim had butter on his ankle. Alcohol may have been involved.

Drug Deal Pocket-dials Police

If you are involved in illegal activities, it only makes sense to not have 911 on speed dial. An emergency dispatcher in Hall County, Georgia, received a call in which she heard a conversation about a drug deal. Police traced the cell signal to a Waffle House location. When they arrived, they heard another policeman's voice coming from the pocket of 18-year-old Daniel Moore, whose phone had apparently "pocket-dialed" 911. The connection was still open when he was confronted by police at the scene. Moore was arrested for possession of prescription drugs.

Man Blew Up Like a Balloon

A 48-year-old truck driver was the victim of a bizarre accident in New Zealand that reads like a classic cartoon script.

Steven McCormack was standing on his truck's foot plate Saturday when he slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the truck's brakes.

He fell hard onto the brass fitting, which pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into his body.

"I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot," he told local media from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane, on North Island's east coast.

"I was blowing up like a football," he said. "I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon."

Co-workers released a valve to stop the air pressure, and he was taken to a hospital. Doctors say the air inflated McCormack's body under his skin as it separated fat from muscle. He is expected to recover.

Cat Raising Baby Chicks

A farmer in China noticed something really strange about his cat. She doesn't eat chicken. Instead, Niu Niu has taken 30 young chicks under her wing (so to speak), and even licks them clean. Lao Yang of Heilongjiang Province said when he saw the cat was in the chicks' box, he was sure the cat would eat them. But Niu Niu was playing with the babies, and they were climbing over her. He now trusts the cat to protect the chicks from harm. The chicks have bonded with Niu Niu, and follow her everywhere.

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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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