News of the Weird by the Editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication

LEAD STORY -- Creme de al Weird

Kazakh bodybuilder, actor and self-described "sexy maniac" Yuri Tolochko announced his marriage to his beloved, a sex doll named Margo, on Instagram on Nov. 25 and shared with his followers their wedding video, in which the joyous couple, wearing a tuxedo and a full-length wedding dress, exchange vows and welcome friends and loved ones to a reception after the ceremony, The Sun reported. The groom identifies himself as pansexual and able to fall in love with "a character, an image, a soul," and said the two became engaged a year ago, after he rescued her from some unwanted attention in a nightclub. "Couples need to talk less and connect more," Tolochko said. "Margo and I realized that it takes more than words to have a conversation." [The Sun, 11/25/2020]

Nice Try

Jin Wu, of Taiwan, told his Facebook followers on Nov. 21 about his good fortune in purchasing a PlayStation 5 the previous day, and marveled at the low price he paid for it, reported Taiwan News. The reason became clear when the seller revealed he had tried to pass the console off as an air purifier, but his wife wasn't fooled. "My wife wants to sell it," the middle-aged gamer told Wu. "It turns out that women can tell the difference between a PS5 and an air filter." [Taiwan News, 11/30/2020]

Bright Idea

A Washington State Patrol officer pulled over a motorist on I-90 near North Bend on Nov. 30 after noticing the vehicle's "super dim" headlights, patrol spokesman Rick Johnson told CNN. Closer inspection revealed the unnamed driver had duct-taped flashlights to the front of his vehicle to replace the headlights, which had been damaged in a crash. Flashlights-as-headlights are illegal in Washington because they don't provide enough brightness, Johnson said, adding that the driver also had a suspended license. [CNN, 12/3/2020]

Awesome!

-- The British Museum on Dec. 9 announced that among the historical finds it has registered this year was a cache of 63 gold coins dating from the reign of Henry VIII, dug up by a family weeding their garden in New Forest. The coins, totaling 24 pounds and equivalent to more than $18,000 in today's dollars, were probably buried around 1540, The Guardian reported. The museum has experienced an increase in garden finds this year, as Treasure Registrar Ian Richardson said people are spending more time in their gardens, "resulting in completely unexpected archaeological discoveries." [The Guardian, 12/9/2020]

-- French chef Benoit Bruel in Lyon struck a blow for French cuisine by capturing the Guinness World Record for most varieties of cheese on a pizza with 254 cheeses, United Press International reported on Nov. 30. Guinness posted a video of Bruel making and then enjoying the pizza with friends along with its listing of the achievement, noting also that "Benoit took this as a patriotic challenge, as one of the things France is most famous for is its cheeses." [UPI, 11/30/2020]

-- Ray Liddell, 49, of Hartlepool, England, was shocked when the inflatable toy Grinch he bought for his daughter turned out to be 35 feet tall -- taller than his two-story house, Times Now News reported. The giant turned Liddell into something of a local celebrity as hundreds of people stop by to see the Grinch, so he decided to put the attraction to good use, asking visitors to donate to Alice House Hospice, where his father was cared for before dying of COVID-19. "I reckon we must have had over 5,000 people visit," Liddell said on Dec. 7, and according to reports, he's collected more than $13,000 for the facility. [Times Now News, 12/3/2020]

Least Competent Criminal

Police in Jackson, Mississippi, had little trouble identifying the man who they said passed a threatening note to a teller at a Trustmark Bank on Dec. 3 and got away with an undetermined amount of cash, WAPT reported. Security cameras in the bank clearly captured images of suspect Richard Jiles, 41, wearing a white shirt and camouflage jacket with a blue face mask pulled down below his chin to reveal his entire face. Jiles was later apprehended. [WAPT, 12/5/2020]

Superfan

Houston Astros fan Darren Johnson in Fort Worth, Texas, posted photos of the chicken coop he built on Facebook in November and was "totally shocked" by the overwhelming response, he told KTRK. The coop, which Johnson estimates took about 100 hours to construct, is an exact 1/60th-scale replica of the Houston Astrodome, including details such as an Astros logo and the numbers of all the Astros' retired jerseys, and the chickens who call it home are all named after Astros players. The social media attention "shows my kids that I'm not the only one obsessed with a stadium that's been closed for 20 years," Johnson said. [KTRK, 12/7/2020]

Schemes

-- Residents in upscale neighborhoods of Woodway and Edmonds, Washington, have been visited recently by people carrying official-looking documents who knock on doors, tell homeowners they own the property and "they're there to repossess the home and want the people to vacate the premises," Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure told KIRO. The group identifies itself as Moorish Sovereign Citizens, McClure said, who "believe that they own all of the land between Alaska and Argentina." So far, the people have cooperated with police and left after being told they are trespassing. [KIRO, 11/25/2020]

-- The 400 Rabbits tequila bar in Nottingham, England, has applied to the local registrar general to be declared a place of worship, namely the Church of the 400 Rabbits, in an effort to allow customers back inside the establishment, something that is currently prohibited by local COVID restrictions. The Guardian reports that the effort may have been inspired by a similar attempt made by a gym in Krakow, Poland, in October. Men's Health reported that Marta Jamroz, manager of The Atlantic Sports and Fitness Club, went to great lengths to rebrand her gym as the Church of the Healthy Body. the outcome of her efforts is unclear; the tequila bar's application is given little chance to be approved. [The Guardian, 12/2/2020; Men's Health, 10/20/2020]

Coping

Seattle dad and self-described travel enthusiast Steve Simao attracted a following after his daughter, Annisa, called him out on her TikTok account for his purchase of a pair of first-class leather seats taken from a Delta MD90 Jetliner, complete with an air safety card. Simao, who is vice president of sales at Windstar Cruises, found the seats on eBay in November, reported The Washington Post, and has had fun scratching his itch to travel with them ever since, sending his daughter videos of her mother "bringing food to the (tray) table and him just sitting there enjoying it," Annisa said. Delta CEO Ed Bastian has taken notice and given the three Simaos round-trip, first-class tickets to anywhere in the United States. Hawaii is high on their list. [The Washington Post, 12/8/2020]

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