News of the Weird by the Editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication

LEAD STORY -- Inexplicable

Jacob Pina, 20, of Westport, Massachusetts, can't explain his physical oddity, but that's not stopping him from firmly grasping his 15 minutes of fame. Pina, recently dubbed "Thumb Boy," unveiled his unusually long (5 inches) right thumb on the TikTok app on Aug. 24, reported Metro News. "There's no reason it's so big just an anomaly," Pina posted. "I feel great about it. It's always great to be different and embrace your own essence." Pina has gained 145,000 followers on the app -- and he's never lost a thumb war. [Metro News, 8/29/2019]

Desperate Housewife

The Botox RN MD Spa in Sugar Land, Texas, was the scene of a breaking-and-entering caught on camera on Aug. 23, but police are still looking for the slim, youthful-looking culprit. Surveillance video shows a woman testing the locked doors of the spa that evening, the Associated Press reported, then returning in a Mercedes SUV with a battery-powered grinding saw. After cutting through the clinic's front door, she took an undisclosed amount of anti-aging products and drove away.

Weird Science

A day of fishing on Lake Champlain became more memorable than most when Debbie Geddes of Plattsburgh, New York, reeled in a trout worthy of a social media storm: It had two mouths. Geddes and her husband were fishing in mid-August when the unusual catch took the bait, WPTZ reported. Geddes' co-worker Adam Facteau posted pictures to Facebook and said he's heard many theories about what caused the fish's deformity -- including that it's an offspring of the lake's famed monster, Champy. Geddes threw the trout back after snapping some photos. [WPTZ, 8/21/2019]

Cuteness Overload

About a dozen service dogs in Ontario, Canada, took in a performance of "Billy Elliot: The Musical" in August as part of their training through the K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs organization. When the actors took their curtain call, nary a whimper or a quiet woof could be heard -- music to the ears of head trainer Laura MacKenzie. During such a performance, dogs are trained to sit under the seat or at their handler's feet, but MacKenzie told CNN that a few of the dogs peeked over the seats to see the action on stage. Dogs are also exposed to subways, zoos and crowded fairs during their training. [CNN, 8/20/2019]


Firefighters near Estacada, Oregon, rescued a woman on Aug. 20 who had been trapped in a septic tank on her rural property, possibly for two or three days. The unidentified woman, who lives alone, couldn't alert neighbors of her predicament because they live out of shouting range. Her daughter found her after becoming concerned when she was unable to reach her mother for four days. Firefighters told KATU that work appeared to be being done on the tank -- a hole had been dug exposing the tank, which had a rusted 2-by-2-foot hole in its lid. The woman had apparently fallen through the hole and was lying in sewage, with her face just above the surface, when rescuers got to her. They did not see any visible injuries on her, but she was transported to a hospital in Portland. [KATU, 8/22/2019]

Crime Report

-- Nicholas Redmond, 32, of Philadelphia, had a productive August as an employee of Macy's at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. Not because he sold a lot of merchandise, but because, according to police, he told them he stole about $12,000 in cash from the retailer. His run came to a halt on Aug. 25 when a security system alerted police to an intruder in the store. Around 4:30 a.m., authorities found Redmond hiding in the first-floor ceiling, clutching $7,000. Upper Merion Township police Lt. Brendan Brazunas told WPVI his officers "were very shocked ... they just couldn't believe somebody had gone up to that length to hide from them." Redmond was arraigned and held in jail, failing to post a $10,000 cash bond. [WPVI, 8/26/2019]

-- A Pennsylvania state appellate court has ruled against Stephen Kirchner, who was convicted in a lower court for disorderly conduct in 2018 for pointing his finger like a gun at a neighbor. In June of that year, KDKA reported, Kirchner was walking past a neighbor's home in Manor, Pennsylvania, when the neighbor made an obscene gesture with his hand. Kirchner responded by making a shooting gun gesture with his own hand. A witness called 911, and the unnamed neighbor told police he felt "extremely threatened." Kirchner argued that his gesture was not a hazard, but the appeals court disagreed. [KDKA, 8/29/2019]

Weird Fetish

Sebring, Florida, resident Gary Van Ryswyk, 74, has been charged with practicing medicine without a license following a bizarre incident at his home. According to the arrest report, Highlands County Sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 hang-up call on Aug. 18 were told by Van Ryswyk he had just removed the testicles of a man he'd met on a "website for those who have a fetish for castration." Officers found a 53-year-old man from the Tampa area lying on a bed, holding a towel to his groin, with said body parts in a jar nearby, BuzzFeed reported. The victim was flown to Tampa for medical treatment. Police also found a surgery room set up in the house with medical equipment and a camera to record the procedures. Investigators said Van Ryswyk told them he had bought painkillers from England and admitted to performing the surgery on at least one other man and on bulls and other animals while living on a farm growing up. He also said he removed one of his own testicles in 2012. But his most recent procedure went wrong when the "patient" bled profusely, making it difficult for Van Ryswyk to suture the wounds. For now, he's facing second-degree felony charges and a $250,000 bond. [BuzzFeed, 8/20/2019]

Anger Management

In Hudson, Florida, Pasco County deputies arrested 46-year-old Keith Mounts on a felony aggravated assault charge after he allegedly threatened an unnamed man with a machete. A sheriff's office spokesperson said the two men were at the victim's home on Aug. 24 when Mounts used the bathroom and "didn't flush, and when the victim called him on it, the suspect threatened" to "chop" him, according to Newsweek. The arrest report said officers found the machete in the yard, and Mounts told them he was using it to defend himself, but he couldn't say from what. He did provide a written statement saying simply, "S--t happened." Touche! [Newsweek, 8/27/2019]

Bright Idea

If you've experienced one (or more) flat tires in Sherburne County, Minnesota, over the last few weeks, News of the Weird is now able to tell you why. Jeffrey Scot Caouette, 63, of Elk River admitted to authorities in late August that he had purchased 55 pounds of sheetrock screws (that's more than 12,000 screws) and scattered them on local roads to "slow down" a person he believed was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Specifically, KSTP reported, he put the screws on the road where he believed the man lived and on the roads between that house and the ex-girlfriend's house, among others. The arrest complaint notes that Big Lake police have received more than 100 reports of damage from the screws, including to three of their own vehicles. Caouette was charged with first-degree property damage. [KSTP, 8/28/2019]

Great Art!

In downtown Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, someone left a plate of macaroni and cheese, complete with fork, sitting atop a steel road barrier on Aug. 27, which caught the interest of a Reddit poster. No one knew where it came from or if someone would be back to retrieve it, but a day later an anonymous citizen made it into an art installation, reported CTV News, by adding a museum-like tag beside it. "Abandoned Snack (2019) -- Macaroni and sundried tomato on ceramic -- Unknown Artist," reads the placard. Christie's, are you listening? [CTV, 8/28/2019]

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