News of the Weird

In early August, Volusia (Florida) County Beach Safety officers banished 73-year-old Richard G. Basaraba of Daytona Beach from all county beaches after it was discovered he was handing out business cards to young women, reading "Sugardaddy seeking his sugarbaby." The mother of a 16-year-old said he approached a group of girls with his cards and continued to speak with the minor girl even after she told him her age. He also produced a bra padding, telling the girls he was "looking for someone who would fill it." He told the 16-year-old she "would be perfect." [Palm Beach Post, 8/3/2017]

People Different From Us

In a shocking display of mischief, an unnamed 60-year-old man in Singapore is under investigation for lodging three toothpicks in a seat on a public bus in July. If he is found to be the culprit, he could spend up to two years in prison. Singapore has an extremely low crime rate, and even minor offenses result in harsh punishments. For example, vandalism is punishable by caning. Police said at press time that the investigation was continuing. [Reuters, 8/8/2017]

Wait, What?

Practicing physicians in Cairo, Egypt, opened a surgery-themed restaurant called D.Kebda in July, where they wear surgical scrubs and prepare their only offering, grilled beef-liver sandwiches, behind a glass partition. Kebda is a popular street food in Egypt, but it can cause food poisoning if not prepared carefully. "We tried to take our career values and apply them to this other field," said Mostafa Basiouny, one of the owners. "There is no contradiction between them; we are still practicing doctors." [Reuters, 8/3/2017]

Great Expectations

On Aug. 7, 16-year-old Jack Bergeson of Wichita, Kansas, filed papers in Topeka to run for governor as a Democrat in the 2018 race. Bergeson, who won't be able to vote in that election, said: "I thought, you know, let's give the people of Kansas a chance. Let's try something new." The candidate says he would "radically change" health care and would support legalizing medical marijuana, but he's conservative on gun rights. Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state's office, said there is no law governing the qualifications for governor. Bergeson's running mate, 17-year-old Alexander Cline, will be 18 by the election and will get to vote. [ABC News, 8/13/2017]

Animal Antics

-- A skunk got up close and personal with a 13-year-old boy on July 25 when it climbed into his bed in Hamden, Connecticut, apparently after hitchhiking into the house in a trash can. The family was able to remove the skunk without the help of the Hamden Animal Control Division, but an officer said the "smell of skunk ... emanated throughout the house." [FOX News, 8/6/2017]

-- The Scardillo Cheese factory in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, has a squirrel to blame for a fire that resulted in more than 20,000 gallons of milk being spoiled on Aug. 8. The squirrel chewed through a main power line on the outside of the building, which sparked the fire, and power could not be restored for 12 hours. Already-made cheese was kept cool with generators, but milk being readied to make cheese warmed and went bad. [Vancouver Sun, 8/10/2017]

Least Competent Criminals

-- Criminal justice student Jordan Dinsmore, 20, of Columbia, South Carolina, had her car's manual transmission to thank for her safe escape on July 26. Three men approached her around 1 a.m. and pointed a gun at her. After robbing her of her phone and purse, the men forced her into her car, threatening to kidnap and rape her, but when they realized none of them knew how to drive her stick-shift car, one of the criminals ran away. The other two forced Dinsmore to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash. As she drove, Dinsmore removed her seatbelt, then put the car in neutral and jumped out, screaming, "Call 911! Call 911!" to passing motorists. The Richland County Sheriff's Department arrested a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old in the kidnapping and robbery. [ABC News 4, 7/28/2017]

-- Surveillance video from a July 27 break-in at the home of John C. Burbage, 59, of Naples, Florida, showed a surprisingly familiar picture of the perpetrators: Harold Russell Lanham, 22, and his dad, James Edward Lanham, 41, both of whom Burbage employed and both of whom were wearing their work uniforms. The Lanham duo stole a safe containing more than $30,000 worth of cash and property from their boss's home. [WINK News, 7/29/2017]

The Weirdo-American Community

Residents of Hollis, Maine, were unnerved on the evening of July 25 as Corey Berry, 31, wearing a clown mask, walked around town with a machete duct-taped to the place where his arm had been amputated. When Berry, intoxicated, was taken into custody in nearby Waterboro, he explained to officers that he was copying other clown sightings as a prank on a friend. Karmen LePage of Hollis warned: "He's not funny. We live in the woods; you think we don't have guns? He's ... lucky." [Portland Press Herald, 7/26/2017]

Paranormal Activity

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division issued an alert on Aug. 9 in advance of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 asking South Carolinians to be "vigilant" and look out for Lizardmen during the celestial event. "SCEMD does not know if Lizardmen become more active during a solar eclipse," the note reads. "But we advise that residents of Lee and Sumter counties should remain vigilant." The folkloric reptilian beast is thought to live in swampland around Lee County and frequent sewers in nearby towns. While some people thought the warning might be a joke, SCEMD said it "will neither confirm nor deny" the existence of Lizardmen. [United Press International, 8/14/2017]

Anger Management

Customers at a Flying J truck stop in West Hanover Township, Virginia, got quite the show on Aug. 14 when Craig Troccia, 54, of Roanoke smashed the windshield of his truck and poured a cup of urine onto the interior. Wait -- did we mention Troccia was naked? He then yelled a racial epithet at a black man and flashed his genitals at everyone within sight. Next, (still naked) Troccia pointed a gun at the same man and then at another man and threatened to kill them both. After state troopers loaded Troccia into their cruiser, he "slammed his body and head on the various panels of the vehicle," they reported. He was charged with 34 criminal counts, including public drunkenness. [Penn Live, 8/15/2017]

Compelling Explanations

Jeremy A. Perkins, 27, was led astray by someone who told him "the purge" was happening on Aug. 12 in Kansas City, Missouri. ("The Purge" was a 2013 horror film that envisioned a temporary decriminalization of all criminal acts, after which society collapses in chaos.) In response (and high on methamphetamines), Perkins climbed to the top of a building and began throwing rocks at passing vehicles. Perkins told responding officers that he perceived everyone as his enemy and was trying to protect himself. He added that if he had had a gun, he would have shot people. [FOX4KC, 8/14/2017]

The Continuing Crisis

There are 70 registered voters in McIntire, Iowa, but not one of them showed up to vote in a two-question special election on Aug. 1. Mitchell County deputy auditor Barbara Baldwin told reporters that even poll workers didn't vote because none of them live in McIntire, which is about 130 miles northeast of Des Moines. [NBC News, 8/4/2017]

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