An unnamed 28-year-old man in search of a voluntary castration found himself drawn to a website offering such services, which led him to travel from Virginia to a cabin in the woods of Poteau, Oklahoma. There, on Oct. 12, Bob Lee Allen, 53, and Thomas Evans Gates, 42, allegedly relieved the victim of his testicles during a two-hour surgery, The Oklahoman reported. Allen told the victim that he has "a freezer of body parts" and that "he was going to consume the parts and laughed and said that he was a cannibal," an affidavit said. The day following the operation, Allen took the victim to the hospital because he was bleeding badly, but cautioned him to say "he done it to himself." The hospital contacted police, and investigators searched the property, finding suspected body parts in a deep freeze. Allen and Gates were charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors, including conspiracy to commit unlicensed surgery and failure to bury the body parts. [The Oklahoman, 10/22/2020]
Tynette Housley, 73, of Black Forest, Colorado, was cited by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials after her "pet" deer attacked and gored a neighbor who was out walking her dog on Oct. 16. The buck, now sporting two-pronged antlers, was taken in by Housley when it was just a few days old and raised as a pet. The victim tried to run first to another neighbor's home, then to her own, but the buck repeatedly knocked her down and gored her. A CPW officer euthanized the deer and took it for testing for rabies and other diseases. "We can't say it enough: Wild animals are not pets," said Frank McGee, CPW's area wildlife manager. Housley was charged with illegal possession and illegal feeding of wildlife. [Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 10/19/2020]
Man's Best Friend
-- Veterinary researchers at the University of Helsinki have been testing whether dogs can sniff out COVID-19, and Anna Hielm-Bjorkman has the good news: They can. With almost 100% accuracy. "A dog could easily save so, so, so many lives," she told DW. A pilot program at the Helsinki Airport is having travelers wipe their wrists or neck with a cloth, which the trained dogs then sniff. They can identify the virus up to five days before any symptoms appear. People who test positive at the voluntary canine site are directed to the airport's medical unit for confirmation. Hielm-Bjorkman said travelers have been eager to participate, waiting up to an hour in line. [DW, 10/21/2020]
-- On the Italian island of Sardinia, farmer Cristian Mallocci welcomed a litter of five dogs on Oct. 9, Fox News reported. Among them was a special pup -- one with green fur, which Mallocci immediately named Pistachio. The other four dogs had white fur, like their mom. Green puppies are rare, but not unheard-of; scientists think it happens when the puppy makes contact with a green pigment in the womb. Pistachio's color has faded since his birth, but he'll keep his name, and Mallocci will keep him to help look after sheep on the farm. [Fox News, 10/23/2020]
Twifi, a startup internet provider in Switzerland, posted a Facebook ad with a compelling offer to parents-to-be: Name your child Twifus (for a boy) or Twifia (for a girl) in exchange for 18 years of free internet service. And sure enough, KidSpot.com reported, one young couple bit, giving their daughter the rewarding middle name. "The more I thought about it, the more unique the name became to me, and that's when the thing acquired its charm," the baby's dad, 35, said. Mom went even deeper: "For me, the name Twifia also stands for connection in this context. The more often we say 'Twifia,' the heartier the name sounds!" [KidSpot.com, 10/15/2020]
Over the Top
-- Superfan Luis Nostromo, 43, of Barcelona, Spain, has spent the last three years turning his apartment there into a stunning replica of the set of "Alien," the 1979 Ridley Scott film starring Sigourney Weaver. His locations include the laboratory where the face-hugging monster attached to actor John Hurt was first examined; the spaceship's corridors; and the pod that Weaver escapes in. Oddity Central reported that Nostromo hopes to finish his "Alien Museum" project by the end of the year and is already accepting visits from other fans. [Oddity Central, 10/16/2020]
-- In July, Taco Bell announced various changes to its menu, provoking uproar among some of its fans, Riverfront Times reported. But Bryant Hoban of O'Fallon, Missouri, saw an opportunity. When Hoban heard that the Potato Soft Taco was being sliced from the menu, he jumped in the car and headed to his nearest outlet, where he bought several of the items, then put them in his freezer. Then he listed three of them on Facebook Marketplace for $200. "These babies are rare!" he gushed. "Never been eaten!" It's all part of Hoban's scheme to start an "investment sandwich" business, he said. "You know, like the McRib -- McDonald's only offers it once a year, but the demand doesn't go away." Hoban has sold two of the tacos for $70 each: "I recouped my investment." [Riverfront Times, 10/13/2020]
A 17-year-old was taken into custody, and to the hospital, after he caused a disturbance at a Petro Deli north of Topeka, Kansas, on Oct. 17. The teen, who was naked except for the ranch dressing smeared all over his body, damaged merchandise in the store, then ran out and jumped in a running car, which he crashed into a pillar, WIBW-TV reported. Investigators said he was "under the influence of a substance." He was released to the custody of his parents. [WIBW-TV, 10/18/2020]
What's in a Name?
Lawrence Crook, 37, of Jersey City, New Jersey, managed to live up to his name not once, but twice in one day on Oct. 8. In the first incident, Crook was seen loading "several blue and white striped bags" into a black SUV, according to Oddee.com. Lt. Antonio Granata said the witness confronted Crook, after which he fled on foot. The SUV had been reported stolen, and police found Crook in possession of methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and released on bond. But that was just the first part of his day. Later, a lieutenant with the Fairfield Fire Department saw Crook walking around in a fire station and rummaging through firefighters' property. He was arrested again and now has two bonds, each set at $25,000. [Oddee.com, 10/20/2020]
As Halloween approaches, residents in and around Concord, Massachusetts, are being treated to a spooky sight: A headless horseman, er, bikeman, is riding around on a blacked-out bike, strumming his guitar and waving to motorists and passersby. The Boston Globe reported on Oct. 20 that the ghoul is really Matthew Dunkle, 38, who has been known as the "bike-riding guy" in the area since 2015, when he went through a divorce and lost a grandparent. "I needed something special in my life," Dunkle said. "I had a few smiles and people waved and people laughed and stuff. So that was kind of the beginning of it." He actually donned the headless horseman costume in April, as the pandemic got going. "It just feels like we are kind of in the dark right now," he said. "We are all just running around with our heads cut off." [Boston Globe, 10/20/2020]
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