News of the Weird by the Editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication

LEAD STORY -- Wait, What?

In Mumbai, India, 27-year-old Raphael Samuel, an apparent follower of antinatalism, is suing his parents (both attorneys) for giving him life. Samuel says he was conceived without his consent, so his parents should pay him for his life. "I love my parents, and we have a great relationship, but they had me for their joy and their pleasure," Samuel explained to The Print. "My life has been amazing, but I don't see why I should put another life through the rigmarole of school and finding a career, especially when they didn't ask to exist. ... Other Indian people must know that it is an option not to have children, and to ask your parents for an explanation as to why they gave birth to you." [The Print, 1/30/2019]

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

Pavlos Polakis, Greece's deputy health minister, did not take kindly to a recent reprimand from European Union Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who admonished Polakis for smoking in public. Andriukaitis was in Athens Feb. 4 to mark World Cancer Day, reported Reuters. He also complained that the health ministry smelled of cigarette smoke and that nobody wears ties. Polakis replied in a Facebook post about the casual dress: "That's a lie ... the security guard at the entrance wore one. I don't. It's the suits which passed through here who bankrupted our country." As for the scold about smoking, Polakis retorted: "I'll decide when to stop smoking, on my terms." Greece has the highest rate of smoking in the EU. [Reuters, 2/6/2019]

Lost at Sea(l)

When researchers at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand thawed out some frozen leopard seal excrement in January, which they use to study the animals' health, they discovered "deep inside the scat" a USB stick containing vacation photos from Porpoise Bay. Reuters reported the defrosted poo had been placed in the freezer in November 2017, and the USB stick was left to dry for a few weeks before volunteers tried it out. The only clue to its owner is the nose of a blue kayak shown in one of the photos. Should the owner want it back, NIWA has a request: more leopard seal poo, please. [Reuters, 2/5/2019]

Awesome!

Exterminators were called to the Rogers County (Oklahoma) courthouse on Feb. 4 after an attorney appeared in a third-floor courtroom with bed bugs falling out of his clothing. "Hard to imagine someone doesn't know ... bed bugs are crawling all over them, certainly in abundance," remarked Sheriff Scott Walton to KJRH TV. Courthouse officials met and decided to close the building at noon until exterminators could eliminate the pests. "I was told the individual that had them also shook his jacket over the prosecutor's files," Walton said. The buggy attorney, however, seemed unfazed by his parasitic companions, and it was not clear who would pay for the extermination. [KJRH, 2/5/2019]

People With Issues

The Harlem Romantic Depot lingerie store in New York City was the target of a vandal's political rage on Jan. 26. In surveillance video, the man can be seen pacing up and down in front of the store window, where two mannequins were on display: one of President Barack Obama dressed as a prince, and one of President Donald Trump, dressed as a princess and wearing a MAGA hat. Taking a brick or stone from a nearby construction site, the man used it to smash through the window, store owner Glen Buzzetti told the New York Daily News. Next, he yanked the Obama mannequin out of the window and threw it on the ground. A member of the store's security team was able to chase the man down the block and catch him, Buzzetti said. But Obama fans in the street weren't happy with him, either. "We had to protect him from the crowd," Buzzetti said. "He could have been killed. We had women trying to kick him in the head." He said the man kept repeating that "he hated Obama" and that "the (Obama) mannequin was looking at him bad." [Daily News, 2/5/2019]

Police Blotter

-- When firefighters responded to a house fire Feb. 5 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, resident Holly Williams, 37, was happy to tell them how it started. She and Michael Miller, 38, keep their car fuel in a container in the house, and they were arguing (about his drinking), and he was trying to take their car, so she flushed the gasoline down the toilet, reported the Altoona Mirror. Miller threw a lit cigarette in the toilet and as flames spread, Williams ran out of the house and called 911. Miller was arrested for arson, risking catastrophe and recklessly endangering another person; later Williams was charged, as well. [Altoona Mirror, 2/14/2019]

-- Phillip Lee, 27, was arrested Feb. 4 on charges of simple robbery and simple battery after his attempt to take cash from a New Orleans Popeyes restaurant went south. The Times-Picayune reported that Lee arrived at the restaurant around noon and tried to steal money, but he couldn't get the cash register open. So instead, he took some fried chicken and fled. Police caught up with him later, and the judge set his bond at $13,500. Popeyes is good, but wow. [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2/6/2019]

Least Competent Criminal

Richard J. Betters Jr., 44, of Schenectady, New York, has encountered police detectives in nearby Rotterdam before, which explains why he had one officer's phone number in his contacts list. So on Feb. 6, The Daily Gazette reported, when a detective mistakenly received a text from Betters offering drugs, it was a law enforcement slam dunk. The detective played along with Betters, offering to meet him at the Taco Bell in Rotterdam, where he arrested Betters for criminal possession of a controlled substance (Oxycodone pills). He was held on $20,000 bail. [Daily Gazette, 2/6/2019]

Recurring Theme

It's happened again. In Fairhope, Alabama, 2-year-old Ezra Ingersoll visited Rotolo's Pizzeria with his family for dinner and game-room fun on Jan. 4. Soon, his sister alerted mom Kelsey that Ezra was in the claw machine. Ezra, hoping to get a toy, had crawled through the opening, but the flap inside wouldn't swing the other direction, so he was stuck. AL.com reported that police and firefighters responding took the machine apart to free the tyke, who received a free toy for his trouble. [AL.com, 2/5/2019]

Technology Update

And you thought smartphones were cutting edge! Samsung's Family Hub smart refrigerator offers a new app, Refrigerdating, that works something like Tinder. Instead of uploading a profile pic of yourself, according to United Press International, you lure mates with a photo of the inside of your fridge. "Let the world know what kind of person you are," the app's website suggests. "Refrigerdating will then hook you up with a variation of fridges, of different tastes, to pick and choose from." It even offers a little philosophical advice: "Remember, it's the unexpected mixes that make the three star restaurants." [United Press International, 2/6/2019]

Cabin Fever

As the polar vortex unleashed its cold fury on the middle of North America in early February, doctors switched from warning people about the cold to warning them about the dangers of flinging boiling water into the air to watch it freeze. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Feb. 6 that eight people trying the boiling water challenge, ranging in age from 3 to 53, ended up at Loyola Medicine's Burn Center. "We strongly warn people not to perform the boiling water challenge," said Loyola burn surgeon Arthur Sanford. "There is no safe way to do it." [Chicago Sun-Times, 2/6/2019]

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