The Weird Week in Review
Yule Log Video Prompts Emergency Calls
The fire department in Regina, Saskatchewan, has responded to way too many false alarms over the past few weeks. There was no prankster to be blamed, though, just the holiday spirit of the local hockey football team. The stadium used by the Saskatchewan Roughriders has a large video display, and the display has included video of a traditional Yule log burning. A festive idea, to be sure, but from a distance it appeared as a wildfire against the nighttime horizon. Over the past few weeks, four callers to 911 dispatch have reported the stadium on fire. Others say it looks like a neighborhood on fire. The fire department let the situation be known to the Roughriders organization, who agreed to ditch the video fire and change the display to a thank you message.
Fox Sends Text Message from Stolen Phone
Norwegian teenager Lars Andreas Bjercke downloaded an intriguing app that imitates the sounds of rabbits, in order to attract foxes. It worked very well. After several nights of circling the yard where the phone was left, a fox took the phone and ran off! The theft was captured on video. But the story gets even better.
Lars later called the phone and, surprisingly, the fox answered.
"There was a crackling sound and some noise," Lars told Verdens Gang.
The next day, Lars's friend wondered why he had sent him an odd text message. The message was in strange letters and numbers. Lars knew that the sender was the fox.
"I FRY o a0ab 34348tu åaugjoi zølbmosdji jsøg ijio sjiw," it said in the message.
Assault with a Ukulele
A store clerk at a gas station in Seattle, Washington, saw a couple trying to steal a six-pack of Olde English beer Tuesday night. The clerk confronted the two and announced his intention to call police. As he was reaching for the phone, the male perpetrator smashed him in the head with a ukulele! The couple fled the scene, and police arrived to find the clerk bleeding from the head. He was taken to a hospital for first aid. No arrests were made, and the case is under investigation.
Serbian Vampire on the Loose
The well-known Serbian vampire Sava Savanovi? lived in a water mill near the village of Zarožje. The Jagodic family bought the mill and turned it into a tourist attraction. However, they neglected to keep the mill in good repair, because they were afraid of disturbing the vampire. Recently, the structure collapsed and fears that Sava Savanovi? is looking for a new home have locals terrified. The local council advised citizens to guard against vampire attack. Garlic has been selling like hotcakes in Zarožje.
Chicago's Highest-Ever Parking Ticket Bill
Jennifer Fitzgerald has racked up over $105,000 in parking ticket fines for a car that was left at O'Hare airport for three years. Fitzgerald says the car was purchased by her then-boyfriend, but he registered it in Fitzgerald's name without telling her. When they broke up in 2009, he parked the car at the airport.
Now three years later, the car has received 687 parking tickets, equaling a hefty $105,761.81 fine. The Expired Meter reports that it's the highest ever fine in Chicago history, with second place only coming in at $65,000 and more than 400 tickets.
Fitzgerald claimed to The Expired Meter that she didn't know the car was parked in the airport. However, even if she did, Chicago law states that any car parked for more than 30 days in a city-owned lot is subject to an immediate tow to a city pound or authorized garage. She's arguing that the majority of the tickets would not have even been issued if the car had been towed.
Fitzgerald found out about the car when the first parking tickets arrived, and she asked for it to be towed away because she did not have the keys. She had the car's license plates revoked in 2010, but it was not towed until October of 2012 -and the tickets piled up all that time. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald has lost her driver's license because of the debt.
Russian Children Take Found Lion to School
Children playing on the Russian steppe in the Rostov region found a 5-month-old lion cub -and took it to school with them! Their teacher contacted authorities, but the children played with the lion cub while waiting. The cub, named Barsik, had escaped from a car while being transported to a zoo in Dagestan.