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The Weird Week in Review

Arrested for Drunk Driving a Wheelchair

Raymound Kulma of Utica, Michigan, was pulled over by police while cruising in a motorized wheelchair. Police found his blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and the wheelchair was stolen. It belonged to James Konkel, with whom Kulma had argued just prior to the arrest. The wheelchair was returned to Konkel. Kulma has a history of drinking and driving.

Cow Proposal

Nathan Evans of Bracknell, England, wanted to ask Angela Olano for her hand in marriage in a way that would be meaningful to her. Olano really likes cows, so Evans contacted the organizers of the South England Show about borrowing a bovine. Catherine Elmes of Costow Farm clipped and bathed her show cow, Rosie, for the event. Then Rosie was fitted with a proposal banner and kept for Olano to find while on an outing with Evans.

The proposal came as a complete surprise to Ms Olano, 21, who thought she was being driven to a pub in the county to celebrate a relative's birthday.

She said: "I like cows, if I could have a cow I would, so I just thought he was going to take me for a walk somewhere to look at cows.

"So I was really amazed but it really means a lot to me. I know Nathan is the man I want to marry."

The wedding is planned for September. No, they will not serve beef at the reception.

Mystery Panties Incinerated

A pair of red and white lady's underpants fell out of someone's briefcase and onto the floor of the Chamber of Deputies during an urgent meeting of five members of the Brazilian Congress. Security guards discretely confiscated the panties. Two weeks later, no one had claimed them, but the story had leaked to Brazilian social media sites. The lost and found department made the decision to burn the underwear to forestall a media circus. One legislator said that there are suspicions over who the panties belong to, but no one in the congress is ready to name names.

Live Fish Lodged in Boy's Lung

Twelve-year-old Anil Barela of Madya Pradesh, India, was taking part in a stunt by a group of boys who were catching fish and swallowing them alive. But in Barela's case, the small fish didn't go down the right way. Instead, he inhaled it into his lung! He was taken to a hospital, choking. Dr. Pramod Jhawar extracted the fish in a 45-minute procedure, while Barela's oxygen level fell. He said the fish was struggling against him as he removed it.

Woman Accidentally Steals Getaway Car

A Houston woman identified only as Blanca was cashing a check at the Chase bank in Uvalde, Texas, when armed bank robbers stormed in. She was so frightened she ran to the first car she saw and drove away. She later found out that she had taken the robbers' getaway vehicle!

She said she drove a few miles from the bank, pulled into a parking lot, fell out of the car and ran into a Cricket store, screaming for help.

But what she didn’t know was, she’d just stolen the suspects’ getaway car – which police said the suspects had stolen from someone else.

"Then, they arrested me, and they said, ‘You’re the one that stole a stolen car.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it was their car,’" Blanca said.

The FBI cleared Blanca of car theft charges. The robbers carjacked another vehicle and are still at large.

Obese Body Causes Crematorium Fire

A crematorium fire in the city of Graz in southern Austria destroyed the building in April. The cause of the fire has now been released: it was a fat woman. A 440-pound corpse caused the crematorium's filter system to overheat, leading to the blaze. The local fire chief said special facilities should be created to cremate obese bodies.

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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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